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Have a Little Christmas reading!

The socks are padded. The Christmas cards are in the mail. Santa is in his sleigh and on his way. All that remains is to sit back and enjoy the season. Why not treat yourself and stop by the Peter White Public Library for some literary Christmas cheer?

“A Christmas Memory” by Truman Capote (808.8 CA) is a classic vacation tale originally published in Mademoiselle magazine in December 1956. Largely autobiographical, it tells the story of Capote as a seven-year-old boy living with distant relatives in Alabama. Capote lovingly describes the last Christmas he spent with his parents “best friend,” an elderly cousin who throws herself into preparations for the holidays with the energy and simplicity of a child. Filled with nostalgia and a little sadness, this thin volume will melt the hearts of the most dedicated Scrooge McDuck.

“A Different Christmas” by Alex Haley (FIC HALEY) is a Christmas story for lovers of historical fiction. Set in 1855, the book chronicles the awakening of Fletcher Randall, the 19-year-old son of a politically powerful plantation owner. After befriending Quaker abolitionists in school, Fletcher joins the Underground Railroad and embarks on a plan to help a large group of slaves escape on December 24th. The narrative has enough twists and turns to keep you on the verge of your eggnog as Fletcher turns his back on everything he knows to create a Christmas miracle.

For those who like their Christmas tales a little darker, please reply “Different seasons” by Stephen King (FIC KING). This anthology of four novellas contains King’s only true Christmas story. It is entitled “The Breath Method” and uses a frame story in which an elderly doctor, Emlyn McCarron, recounts a gathering at a mysterious gentlemen’s club about a single woman who gives birth to a child under macabre circumstances. Both grotesque and heartwarming, this novella is a holiday treat for any horror fan.

If Ralphie and his quest for a two hundred round Red Ryder Officer Model Air Rifle is more your style, look no further than Jean Shepherd’s humorous “We believe in God; Everyone else pays cash” (FIC SHEPHERD). The 1983 classic film A Christmas Story was based on many of the essays in this collection. However, the book goes further, painting a nostalgic portrait of the author’s childhood in Hohman, Indiana with the likes of Schwarz, Flick, and the Elder. Both hilarious and touching, Shepherd’s stories will move any reader from laughter to tears and back again.

Finally, any Charles Dickens fan will fall in love with Oscar Hijuelos’ novel “Mr. Ives Christmas” (FIC HIJUELO). This book tells the story of Edward Ives, an adopted foundling growing up in New York City. A modern take on the biblical book of Job, the central story concerns Ives’ struggles to overcome the murder of his son during the Christmas holidays. Ultimately, the novel becomes a moving meditation on kindness and forgiveness, layered with elements of Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol.

From the ghosts of Christmas to the deranged pink Easter bunnies, the Peter White Public Library has something to satisfy the tastes of anyone looking for a little more noel this holiday season.

By Martin Achatz

Adult Programming Coordinator

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