Holiday Reading Suggestions with Kate Pawson Studer and W*n Books!

First, a couple of quick notes. A ginormous THANK YOU to everyone who had a hand in nominating me for the 2013 Favorite Author award at the awesome Grave Tells site (and thanks to Liz for passing along the link). Voting begins on Sunday, and I’ll pass along the voting link when it’s up, but it’s an honor to be nominated alongside Lara Adrian, Joey W. Hill, Gabrielle Bisset, Donya Lynne, and S.E. Jakes. (I’m there wearing my Susannah Sandlin hat.)

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!)

Kate decided that writing was going to be a big part of her life early on, when she “wrote” her first “book” about a unicorn that eats rainbows. She went on to write many more stories (most of them lacking in unicorns) at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, where she graduated with an Honors BA in rhetoric and professional writing. After a brief stint working in youth magazine publishing, it became clear that the charmed world of fiction is where her heart is most happy, so she embarked on her journey into the book-publishing world, first as an editorial assistant for a major publisher, and then as a YA author, writing about magic, adventure, and all things swoonworthy.
Kate makes her home in Toronto, Ontario, where she lives with her husband, daughter, two cats, and an ever-rising pile of cherished books. You can learn more about Kate by visiting her website or by following her on twitter.
And now, let’s hear from Kate…
Books to Escape to (or Revisit) this Holiday Season by Kate Pawson Studer
Don’t you just love this time of year? The food, the gatherings, the mail—that’s right, actual mail with a stamp on it and everything! You know you love it! But let’s not get so distracted by remembering how to use our letter openers that we forget about all the marvelous holiday reads out there, or the blissful stretch of extra leisure time we get to read them in. The holiday season is the perfect time to curl up with a good book by the fireplace while glittering snowflakes twirl toward the earth just outside your window.
I don’t know about you, but I like to indulge in a variety of books at this time of year (one can only read so many heartwarming Christmas classics, even if they are about our dear friend with the constructive heart condition, the original squishy-centered dough boy himself, the Grinch). So I’m happy to share with you my list of less-obvious, but still quite fitting holidays reads; what I’m calling the book equivalent of the movie, Die Hard. Sure, it doesn’t scream Christmas, but you can’t deny that it totally works.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

Thanks, Kate.  Those titles are great suggestions for re-visiting old favorites or for a book or two we may have always meant to read, but just never got around to it. I have to confess I have not ever read A Wrinkle in Time (I know, shocking, right?), but I’ve read the others enough to make up for it! What do you think would make a perfect feel-good holiday read or re-read?
Leave a comment and perhaps will make your holidays a bit more cheerful with a mystery selection or two from my TBR stack. It’s Santa’s time of year, so it could even be three books!

22 thoughts on “Holiday Reading Suggestions with Kate Pawson Studer and W*n Books!

  1. Never read A Wrinkle in Time?! You need to add that to the monster TBR pile 🙂 Of course, I’m sure we all have books that we should have read, but just never gotten around to. I know I have a list of those.

  2. I don’t usually re-read around the holidays because I’m usually trying to catch up with everything I haven’t read yet. But the Harry Potter books are always a good read.

  3. i never read the Wrinkle in Time either^^;;… i can’t think of a book i want to reread but for christmas i will rerread the novella christmas in dogtown^^

  4. I’ve also not read Wrinkle in Time… .gotta go add that to my TBR pile 🙂 I’m with Lil on Little House in The Big Woods. That was such a great series! Another would be Five Little Peppers and How They Grew. I don’t know why, but that was one of my favs growing up 🙂

  5. It has been fun reading the comments. I, too, was a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan–I read that series over and over. And–yay–another Five Little Peppers fan! I’d forgotten about those books. I absolutely loved them!

  6. From this list I only read Harry Potter & Little Women.

    And around Christmas I feel like rereading things like Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch, the Lucivar novella from Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels series, etc.. Feel good books.

  7. I think you should add Christmas in Dogtown by this amazing author called Suzanne Johnson, and sometimes Susannah Sandlin …

  8. Just finished I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Jessica Scott which I loved and Bound by Wish and Mistletoe which was fun. Then theirs the classics like my favorite ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas which I read every year to my daughter.

  9. I loved A Wrinkle in Time when I was young. So much so that I made sure my son read it when he was young as well. I couldn’t let him miss out on such an awesome story. I love holiday stories, but I don’t usually reread anything, there’s just too much to read that I haven’t read yet. 😀

  10. I reread my favorite books all year long. But I have been indulging in Christmas novellas over the last week. Short and sweet!

  11. I also enjoyed A Wrinkle in Time when I was a child. Loved the Harry Potter books, but I read them as an adult. Some of my favorite Christmas reads are ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens,

  12. Wow, those were some of my favorite books growing up (of course, the HP books are much more recent favorites, lol). I don’t think there are particular books I read especially around holiday time…there are always so many new ones trembling on my TBR mountain! Thanks for the giveaway and good luck in your Favorite Author contest!

  13. Harry Potter is always great to reread during Christmas break! I also love a good Christmas-themed historical romance novel or novella.

  14. I honestly don’t think I’ve read A Wrinkle In Time! I need to fix that!!!! The books that I love to reread are The Thorn Birds and Bridges of Madison County and Watchers by Dean Koontz. Other than that, I love to grab new books