First, Happy Solstice everyone--I am thrilled that we've turned the corner and the days will start getting longer again. I crave the sun.
I can hardly believe I haven't posted since December 1, but work has been crazy busy, prepping for Christmas takes time, and what's left goes into reading to keep me sane.
Here's what I read for the holidays this year:
The Twelve Clues of Christmas, by Rhys Bowen - my friend Rae gave it 4 stars on Goodreads and she is very sparing with her stars. It was a fun bit of English Christmas set in the 1930s and featuring an impoverished young lady, 32nd in the line of succession. Nothing deep or meaningful, but I liked the premise, a serial murderer who planned the murders around the Twelve Days of Christmas song.
The Nutcracker, by E.T.A. Hoffmann - read with the Goodreads True Book Talk group. This was my second encounter with the story that provided the inspiration for Tchaikovsky's incomparable ballet (I listened to Christopher Plummer read a version of this years ago), but I still think the ballet is better than the story. The best thing about the book, and I'm not disparaging it, were the illustrations by Maurice Sendak. I would love to see a production of the ballet that uses his set design. The introduction that he wrote about his work on the production was quite good.
Winter Solstice, by Elin Hilderbrand - the fourth in the Winter Street series about the Quinn family, set on Nantucket, Boston, and New York. I love this series and am sorry that this is the last book--I enjoy the food, the clothes, the traditions, the restaurants. I find myself looking up places for the next time I go to NYC, and now Nantucket is on my bucket list of places to visit...though not in summer, I think! Hilderbrand has scads of summer novels, but they don't appeal to me. I like the winter setting. When is Hallmark going to adapt these? They would be perfect.
The Holly-Tree Inn, by Charles Dickens - the complete 1855 Christmas number of Dickens' periodical Household Words. This is the first Dickens’ Christmas number that I have read that had multiple authors, and the editor provided an excellent introduction as well as terrific notes and good biographical notes on the various authors. The stories themselves were mostly grim, with the exception of Dickens’ The Boots, but the whole was very satisfying. This is a terrific addition to my Dickens collection and well worth reading--short but not all the Christmasy, actually.
The Ghost of Christmas Past, by Rhy Bowen - I stumbled upon this title in someone's blog (sorry, I don't remember where) and it appealed to me. Another easy mystery, this time featuring Molly Murphy, and set in NYC in 1906. I love novels set in NYC, and easy is good right now! Just started it today.
Happy Holidays...Happy Reading!