It may be difficult for book clubs to meet during the busy and stressful weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Spending time with familiar people doing routine things may be just the thing to lower stress during the holidays. While this may not be the best time of year to take on a book like Tolstoy’s War and Peace, there are many holiday themed choices that would spark a timely discussion related to families and expectations during the holidays.
Book Club Choices With a Christmas Theme
Jeff Guinn has written a series of books that started with The Autobiography of Santa Claus (Tarcher 2003). With a mixture of fantasy and history, Guinn gives an account of the life of Santa Claus. His follow-up books, How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas (Tarcher 2005) and The Great Santa Search (Tarcher, 2007) continue the magic in the same engaging story-telling tradition.
Popular author, Debbie Macomber, wrote her first Christmas book in the early 1990’s and has continued the tradition throughout the years. She’s published over ten seasonal books including Christmas Letters (Mira, 2006) and The Perfect Christmas (Mira, 2009). She also has several short holiday stories published in anthologies.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is a classic holiday read that may allow book groups to talk about the true meaning of the holidays or how money influences the way we celebrate them.
Many authors have joined the ranks of those with published holiday titles. Check out these books as possible selections:
- Richard Siddoway’s, The Christmas Wish (Harmony, 1998) and The Christmas Quest (Eagle Gate Publishers 2002) are popular story choices.
- Richard Paul Evans has several holiday books including The Christmas Box (Simon & Schuster, 1995), Finding Noel (Simon & Schuster, 2006), The Gift ( Simon & Schuster, 2007) and The Christmas List (Simon & Schuster, 2009)
- The Christmas Shoes (St. Martin’s Press, 2001) by Donna VanLiere was later made into a TV movie starring Rob Lowe. Book clubs could read the book and enjoy the movie together for a fun evening discussion.
- Following the successful release of The Christmas Jars, (Shadow Mountain, 2005), author Jason F. Wright has written a sequel, The Christmas Jars Reunion (Shadow Mountain, 2009). Discussion of these two books may inspire a book group to make their own plan for a Christmas Jar next year.
Out of The Ordinary Holiday Books
For book groups who enjoy science fiction, a Christmas short story collection by Connie Willis called Miracle and Other Christmas Stories (Bantam 2000) may be a good fit. Willis also has a novella called All Seated On the Ground (Subterranean, 2007)) that combines aliens, Christmas carols and Alvin and the Chipmunks for a fun sci-fi read.
For groups seeking funny books to read over the holidays, try John Grisham’s, Skipping Christmas (Dell, 2004) or Janet Evanovich’s Visions of Sugarplums (St. Martin’s Press, 2002).
The Stupidest Angel: A Heart Warming Tale of Christmas Terror (William Morrow; Enhanced edition, 2005) by Christopher Moore is another irreverent look at the holidays. Humorist Dave Barry ‘s, The Shepherd, The Angel and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog (Putnam, 2006), is another quick funny read.
While it may seem easier to forgo regular book club gatherings during the busy holiday time, plan a get-together with a book that encourages inspiration, humor or reflection. Getting together with friends is a proven stress reducer, so don’t miss out on an opportunity to share in the community of book club during the holidays this year.