Gone are the years that winter vacation was synonymous with an endless stream of toys that could be played with earnestly for hours on end. These days, any extended time we have off for the holiday season is generally spent sneaking in extra sleep in the mornings and watching old holiday movies on TV. Oh, and napping. (Yes, we know we kind of implied that one already.) Wild. Times. But the good news is that with all that downtime come prime opportunities for snuggling up on the couch with a good book, and here are eight reads that are perfect for the season. Try not to spill your hot chocolate on the pages — even if it is spiked.
1. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris ($13): In search of something truly hysterical to read this holiday season? You’ve found it! This collection of funny December stories will make you look at Christmas — and the people who work in department store Santalands — in a brand new light.
2. A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd ($16): Before Ralphie and the leg lamp came to life on the big screen, they existed in the pages of Jean Shepherd’s A Christmas Story — and whether or not you can recite every line of the film version by heart (guilty!), you’ll find something to laugh about with this read. Put on your bunny pajamas and grab yourself a glass of Ovaltine, because you’re going to fly through this hilarious little book.
3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott ($16): The holiday season is the perfect time to revisit literary classics, and Little Women is one of our favorites. There are some great Christmas scenes in this book too, which makes it that much more perfectly suited for December.
4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon ($18): You may have already fallen in love with Gabaldon’s characters on the Starz show inspired by the series, but what better time to get lost in this 850-page masterpiece of historical fiction than when you have some time off?
5. Winter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand ($26): Looking for something that’s fully festive but a bit more modern? Hilderbrand’s Winter series will give you all kinds of Hallmark movie vibes. The four-book series starts with Winter Street and wraps up with Winter Solstice, which debuted earlier this spring. The covers alone should make you want to get cozy next to a fire.
6. The Nest by Cynthia Sweeney ($17): The holidays are a time for family — and all the fun, fighting, and complicated feelings that come with it. The Nest is chock-full of family drama that will make yours seem downright manageable, and since it’s written from multiple perspectives, it will give you the opportunity to consider whatever tensions are running through your own family this season from a different point of view (a useful exercise for all of us!).
7. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens ($5): No list of holiday reading would be complete without a shout-out to this Christmas classic. Pour yourself a glass of mulled wine (that sounds like a Dickensian beverage, no?) and tuck yourself in with this cautionary tale about what happens when you behave like, well, a grouch. When you’re done, lighten the mood with a casual screening of The Muppet Christmas Carol.
8. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes ($16): It’s about to be a new year (flip that calendar, girl!), so what better time to get yourself a slice of literary inspiration? You’ll love curling up with A Year of Yes and getting to know Shonda Rhimes — the powerhouse writer behind shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal — as she walks us through a transformational year in her life in the pages of this book. We can’t say for sure whether or not you’ll want to embark on your own “year of yes” after reading this memoir, but we are pretty confident that it will leave you with plenty of food for thought heading into 2018 and beyond.
Is there a book that you come back to every winter? Tweet us your fave holiday reread @BritandCo!
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