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5 Wonderfully Festive Reads to get you into the Christmas Spirit

The festive season is well under way and as a book lover what better way to celebrate than with a festive read or two. This December I’ve decided to read Christmas themed books in a few different genres. So, here’s a list of what’s on my festive book stack this year! If you’re looking for a holiday read, then I hope this list inspires you.

Jenny Colgan – An Island Christmas

Jenny Colgan always offers a feel good, cosy reading experience and in this Christmas themed new release she returns to the Scottish island of Mure and I can’t wait to get stuck in. Here’s the blurb:

"Christmas on the remote Scottish island of Mure is bleak, stark - and incredibly beautiful.

It's a time for hunkering down, getting cosy in front of whisky barrel wood fires, and enjoying a dram with the people you love - unless, of course, you're accidentally pregnant to your ex-boss, and don't know how to tell him. In what should be the season of peace and goodwill on earth, will Joel think Flora is a bearer of glad tidings?

Meanwhile Saif, the doctor and refugee from war-torn Syria is trying to enjoy his first western Christmas with his sons - but without his missing wife. Can the little family possibly find comfort and joy?

Travel to the beautiful northern edge of the world and join the welcoming community of Mure for an unforgettable Christmas."

Whitley Strieber – The Christmas Spirits

Set in Chicago, this is a modern retelling of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. This was the first of my Christmas reads and I really enjoyed it. George Moore is an extremely wealthy, workaholic commodities trader with a reputation for being a miser. Obviously, I already knew the plot, but I found this to be a quick, fun ghost story and enjoyed the updated setting with the original plot – clearly there are still Scrooge’s out there! A great reminder of the meaning of Christmas.

Kate Atkinson – Festive Spirits

I really enjoy Kate Atkinson's writing and this didn’t disappoint. Containing 3 short stories, which can easily be read in one sitting, this book is perfect for the season – as long as you’re not looking for picture perfect life. She manages to succinctly depict the characters thoughts in each story and with humour and sharp writing shows their reality rather than their public face. I don’t want to say anything about the actual stories as they’re so short. If you’re a fan of Kate Atkinson’s books, then I totally recommend picking up this little book and as a bonus £1 from every sale is being donated to Sightsavers.

M. B. Shaw – Murder at the Mill

If you’re looking for a cosy crime read this Christmas, then this could be just the thing. Written by Tilly Bagshawe under the name M. B. Shaw, this is a contemporary murder mystery and I was totally drawn into the story. Iris is someone that people open up to and after a body is discovered on Christmas day she puts her skills to use as an amateur sleuth. She gets behind the public face of the family and discovers a multitude of lies and secrets. Here’s the book description:

"A picture hides a thousand lies . . . And only Iris Grey can uncover the truth.

Iris Grey arrives at Mill Cottage in a picture-perfect Hampshire village, looking to escape from her crumbling marriage. She is drawn to the neighbouring Wetherby family, and is commissioned to paint a portrait of Dominic Wetherby, a celebrated crime writer.

At the Wetherby's Christmas Eve party, the mulled wine is in full flow - but so too are tensions and rivalries among the guests. On Christmas Day, the youngest member of the Wetherby family, Lorcan, finds a body in the water. A tragic accident? Or a deadly crime?

With the snow falling, Iris enters a world of village gossip, romantic intrigue, buried secrets and murder."

Nancy Mitford – Christmas Pudding

This book is the Christmas pick for my book club. I haven’t read this one yet (luckily I’ve got a week to go until book club!) but I’m hoping it will provide the funny Christmas spirit we are seeking. Here’s the blurb:

“The formidable fox-hunter Lady Bobbin is holding a Christmas house party. Attendees include her rebellious daughter Philadelphia, a pompous suitor, a couple of children poring over newspaper death notices, and a dejected writer whose first serious novel has been declared the funniest book of the year. Add to the mix beautiful ex-courtesan Amabelle Fortescue and her guests staying in a neighbouring cottage and you have a ribald tale of true love and false fidelity, hijinks and low morals, not to mention the consumption of a considerable quantity of Christmas spirit.”

If you’re looking for a unique Christmas gift for a book lover in your life, then why not order a surprise book gift or monthly subscription box from Cosy Wee Reads. Click here to find out more.

* For clarity, all the books I send out in Cosy Wee Reads packages have some connection to Scotland. However, this doesn’t apply to all of the books listed above – this is my personal festive reading list.

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