Christmas. While I've already looked at music, films and pop culture, another part of Christmas is the written word.
Stretching back to the Bible and the first Christmas story, to classic poems (like Moore's 'A Visit From St Nicholas'), classic books (Dickens' A Christmas Carol springs to mind) and the like, there is a never-ending supply of Christmas books to delight readers of all ages.
But there are some Christmas books which don't get the same sort of love, and that is a shame because these five books are good books, all with Christmas as a central theme.
1. Ho Ho Horror editted by Steve Rossiter
Ho Ho Horror cover (amazon.com)
Starting with an Australian book, a collection of short stories, and the unifying theme is horror. From fantasy to out-right horror, this is a wonderful and eclectic collection of tales. There is very little Australian horror out there, and so books like this should be encouraged.
Another Australian book. The continued story of the wombats (starting with Diary Of A Wombat), this one comes into Christmas time and is a charming book that I hope will become a Christmas classic in years to come. Superb and already a favourite of my children.
3. Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkein
Letters From Father Christmas cover (amazon.com)
Yes, that Tolkein, of Lord Of The Rings fame. This book collects a series of letters Tolkein wrote to his own children, telling of life in the North Pole. I first read this in primary school and was captivated by the stories inside. A forgotten gem.
Something of a forgotten work (again) by Christie, this is a great murder mystery with loads of characters, red herrings, and a particularly (for Christie) bloody and violent crime. One of the better Poirot mysteries, and yet one that seems to be overlooked these days. Due for another look.