Also, as Suzanne (yeah, it gets confusing), I’m over at Jersey Girl Book Reviews, talking about the meaning of home and how my thoughts about it have changed over the years. Leave a comment over there for an extra TBR mystery book drawing (or one of my books if you prefer).
Now, to Preternatura!
Please help me welcome author Kate Pawson Studer to Preternatura. Kate and I share the same terrific agent, and I’m happy to have her stopping by today with some awesome suggestions for holiday reading. She’s got some great ideas for “read it again, for the first time” books. I’ve been wanting to read the Harry Potter books again so badly, if I could only get one of those time-changing things and give my days a few more hours. (And yes, I’d SO take a hand-knit sweater from Mrs. Weasley!) My additions to this list would be Francis Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, my favorite book as a kid, along with Little Women and Heidi. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who wanted to eat bread and cheese, play with goats, and drink milk out of a bowl!)
- You’ll quickly notice that all of these titles are ones you may have read when you were younger (or books that are generally targeted at younger readers), but I think that goes a long way to add to their appeal at this time of year. The magic of the holiday season has been known to make us feel like kids again, so I can’t think of a better way to emphasize that than with one of the books that made me fall in love with reading as a child: A Wrinkle in Time. For me, that book was the essence of a magical reading experience, which is perfect for the holidays. If you haven’t read it before, it’s an adventure you won’t soon forget. Maybe it’s because of the age I was when I first read it (eleven), but the scene in the very first chapter where the kids are making hot cocoa and their world is suddenly turned upside-down has always stood out in my mind, so be sure to enjoy a warm mug of the sweet stuff as you read.
- The next title on this list might seem a little more obvious, but that doesn’t make it any less worthy. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. This one is a classic for a reason, and Narnia is the perfect winter wonderland to lose yourself in as the temperature drops. Adventure, excitement, and sibling rivalry—the Pevensie children will be waiting when you need a little break from your own family. Plus, who wouldn’t want to snuggle up in Aslan’s mane on a chilly, winter’s night? Oh, and there’s that whole religious allegory aspect to it. That kinda works for the season too.
- One of the most memorable moments in Harry Potter and the Philosopher/Sorcerer’s Stone is Harry’s first real Christmas at Hogwarts and the Burrow. Cause let’s be honest, the Dursleys were not delivering in the fond childhood memory department. Though I personally have early Christmas memories, I don’t remember my first Christmas so I’m glad I got to experience the wonder and excitement of it all through Harry’s eyes. I think it was also the moment that cemented everyone’s wish that Mrs. Weasley make them a monogrammed holiday jumper. Ron didn’t realize how good he had it.
- I have to admit, this next book is one I haven’t re-read in years, but Christmas plays a major part in Little Women, even if the book does get a bit depressing in parts. But doesn’t that just make everything else seem merrier and brighter? Sometimes a bit of classic coming of age drama is just what the cozy armchair called for. And I couldn’t let this list be only fantasy titles (okay, yeah, I could have…). The holiday season helps to initially define who each of the girls is, which ultimately leads to the little women they’ll become (see what I did there?).
Happy Holidays and happy reading! I’m always looking for new titles to add to my holiday reads list so please share your personal favorites in the comments!