Need a holly, jolly book club read
October 30, 2007 6:47 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a book for my book club to read (novel, nonfiction) that takes place during the holidays or has a holiday theme. I've thought of Holidays on Ice, A Christmas Carol (they seem obvious) but am stumped on others. The book doesn't have to totally revolve around the holidays, though. Any suggestions?
posted by printchick to Writing & Language (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The Corrections should do nicely.
posted by munchingzombie at 6:48 PM on October 30, 2007

D'oh, I was going to suggest The Corrections too.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 6:51 PM on October 30, 2007

this might be a little twisted, but jim crace's "quarantine" is about jesus's fast in the excellent, very literate book, if dark and more than a little weird.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:02 PM on October 30, 2007

A Prayer for Owen Meaney !!!
posted by lorenzism at 7:13 PM on October 30, 2007

My first thought is Little Women, even though it doesn't take place entirely in the holidays.
posted by cholly at 7:50 PM on October 30, 2007

Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory is beeyootiful. It's, I guess, a novella.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 8:08 PM on October 30, 2007

Do you want a mystery?
posted by mediareport at 8:27 PM on October 30, 2007

Did you mean 'fiction'?
posted by pompomtom at 8:49 PM on October 30, 2007

Seconding Truman Capote's 'A Christmas Memory.'

Sample of his own narration of the story.

The film: A Christmas Memory (1997 | Starring: Patty Duke, Piper Laurie)
posted by ericb at 8:54 PM on October 30, 2007

Mustn't forget Geraldine Page as 'Sook' in the 1966 ABC television broadcast of 'A Christmas Memory.'
posted by ericb at 8:58 PM on October 30, 2007

Assuming you mean fiction, how about Christopher Moore's The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror? Not Moore's best work, IMO, but still among the most nontraditional holiday-related novels I've read.
posted by nadise at 9:27 PM on October 30, 2007

A xmas Memory is a great story, but very short. Not really all that appropriate for a bookgroup.

How about The Doomsday Book. It's speculative fiction, kind of scifi, but really about someone going back in time to learn about England during the Middle Ages. It doesn't focus at all on the scifi part and is very character driven, but it does speculate about what the English Middle Ages were really like. Although it isn't the focus, the book takes place during two different Christmases, and the differences are pretty fascinating.
posted by OmieWise at 5:30 AM on October 31, 2007

"The Dark is Rising" by Susan Cooper takes place at Christmas. It's young adult fiction and not terribly long, but a really great book.
posted by belladonna at 6:25 AM on October 31, 2007

Response by poster: I meant novel OR nonfiction --I know the difference.
posted by printchick at 6:38 AM on October 31, 2007

while the OP did say nonfiction, I can't help but toss up there Jean Shepherd's venerable "In God We Trust - All Others Pay Cash". This was (mostly) the source material for the classic Christmas movie "A Christmas Story". It's not really nonfiction, but then again it's not really fiction, either - it's got that cloudy, nostalgic feel that makes it a sheer joy to read. And it's hilarious, which helps make the distinction a moot point.
posted by namewithoutwords at 6:40 AM on October 31, 2007

What about that John Grisham one that came out a few years ago?

The 1966 version of A Christmas Memory is great. Watch it even if you don't read it.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 6:42 AM on October 31, 2007

Santaland Diaries
posted by PY at 6:43 AM on October 31, 2007

Charles Palliser's The Unburied has a great frosty-spooky-melancholy Christmas atmosphere.
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 6:55 AM on October 31, 2007

while the OP did say nonfiction

The OP said "(novel, nonfiction)" two different categories, and then listed a book in each category (although with the order reversed).
posted by OmieWise at 7:13 AM on October 31, 2007

Seconding OmieWise on Doomsday Book if you want a book that's sort of tangental to Christmas rather than being about Christmas. It is set during the holidays, but has no holiday cheer or anything resembling a meditation on the true spirit of Christmas. Damn fine book.

Hogfather, part of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, is about the true spirit of Christmas, sort of. I don't think you'd need to be familiar with the Discworld to appreciate it, but I am, which makes it hard to be sure.
posted by fidelity at 8:18 AM on October 31, 2007

Jean Heglund's Into the Forest involves one or two Christmases, if I remember correctly and, while very dark, is sure to make everyone in your club grateful for what they have.
posted by Work to Live at 4:26 PM on October 31, 2007

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