15 books you really need to read this Christmas

Christmas is the perfect time to snuggle up beneath the blankets or next to an environmentally friendly peat fire burner and enjoy a good read. Reading is also a good way to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of a busy home during the festive period.

We asked staff at CityLibrary for their favourite Christmas books and got some great recommendations.

Narnia*

‘Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.’

Spot on'”

The Twelve Days of Christmas

“This book is basically the song with pictures, I always have trouble remembering all of the rhyme but my kids love shouting FIVE GOLD RINGS !!!!!”

Box of Delights by John Masefield*

“The wolves are running and the evil Abner Brown and his gang are on the prowl. They’re after a magical box, but Kay has it, and he’ll fight to keep it”.

None

“I don’t read during Christmas, busy enjoying relaxing/socialising with friends and families”

champagne

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas 

“A festive murder mystery full of family intrigue.  A bit like my own dysfunctional family, except more lethal”.

Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs

“Shows Father Christmas in an interesting and humorous light and has elements for both kids and adults.”

Hogfather by Sir Terry Pratchett*

“It’s an entertaining look at Christmas and winter traditions through the distorted lens of Discworld, and features Death (tall chap, hood and scythe) being forced to take on the role of Father Christmas/The Hogfather while his granddaughter sorts out the world”.

‘Twas the night before Christmas

“It was a gift for my daughter and is beautifully illustrated” says one member of staff; “because it rhymes” says another.

Dubliners

“The short story The Dead IDK if it takes place at Christmas but there is a party and it has a very evocative scene where a character watches snow falling from the the window.”

A Christmas Carol

“Reminds me of Christmas”

“Just because”

“The Christmas spirits reminding us all of Christmases past, why we should  enjoy the present and to help people in need.  The amazing change in Scrooge and how it made life better for everyone around him”.

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

“These short stories are quick reads in between meals that never fail to leave me in stitches”.

MR James*

“A most spooky collection. Spine chillingly good, like a cool slushie”.

Gawain and Greene Knight

“Love the lines about Christmas ‘On þe morne, as vch mon myneȜ þat tyme, joy reigns in every dwelling in the world“.

The Gospels

“I have heard the Christmas story as told in the Gospels every year for many years in church, and I like the familiarity of it”.

Harry Potter saga*

“I used to do it in school, taking advantage of the two weeks off. Now I don’t always do it, but I always feel Christmas as Harry’s time”

shooting star

*All books with asterisks are held by our friends in Islington Libraries. Anyone from City can join with a valid City card.

 

This year (2017) the Northampton Square Library will be open 27th – 29th December 10 am – 6 PM for self-service and reference only use. Check Library Services website for more information on library opening times.

What’s your favourite holiday reads? Tell us in the comments below.

Fairytale of #CityLibraryXmas

Christmas is a time of joy and good tunes. Whether you are having fun with family or friends, or spending a little bit of time revising, music can lift the spirits, energise or relax and help you bond with other people.

We asked members of staff from across City Library what their favourite festive tracks were. We got a lot of responses. Fairytale of New York and Last Christmas were both popular, but some very interesting tracks were added.

Listen to our Spotify playlist below.

 

Bianco Natal and Scende la Neve

“They are all Italian songs, we used to sing them in primary school (our teacher used to play guitar – very homey!)

The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York

“I love the lyrics!” says one. “Great to sing-a-long to” says another.

Last Christmas

“George Michael, school disco memories !!”

Silent Night and Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody

“Remind me of people I miss”

Anything from Muppet Christmas Carol

“The best sing-along songs for Christmas” says Chloe.

Oh Holy Night

Lynn chose this. She said “At the line “Fall on your knees, O hear the angels’ voices” it gives me goose pimples and makes me cry – every time, no matter who is singing – King’s College choir or Mariah Carey.”

Tim Minchin’s White Wine In The Sun

Samantha says “I’m not religious but like a lot of non-religious people I enjoy Christmas for the chance to spend time with family and friends and this song is all about an Australian family waiting for their children to travel home for Christmas and meet them, where they’re all outside, drinking white wine in the sun and I’m not Australian either so I really like the different image from the usual snowy winter festivals we think of in Europe”.

 

This year (2017) the Northampton Square Library will be open 27th – 29th December 10 am – 6 PM for self-service and reference only use. Check Library Services website for more information on library opening times.

Have we missed one of your favourite songs? Tell us in the comments below or add it to our Spotify playlist.