The Bookshelf: Christmas Edition

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Eva Pace, Arts & Technology Editor
@espcourant

As you are surely aware, we have officially reached the Christmas season. Elm St. has been garnished with Christmas lights, the Holiday Stroll was a booming success, and your car stereos have probably played more than their fair share of Mariah Carey’s Christmas tunes. This truly is the most wonderful time of the year, and for us students, holiday break provides us with some much needed time to relax before jumping back into midterms. So whether you’re on a plane to some exotic beach, or lounging on your couch eating leftover Christmas cookies, here are my top ten “merry” reads to get you into the holiday mood.

10) Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1)

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We’re starting off with a somewhat unconventional holiday read, but with a name like Shiver, how could I not put this on the list? Maggie Stiefvater tells the story from the perspective of two main characters, Grace and Sam. Grace, a human, has her breath taken away by a yellow-eyed boy who looks eerily familiar to the wolves she watches behind her house. What she does not know is that Sam only has a few precious summer months of his humanity before he shifts back into a wolf in the wintertime. Can he fight to maintain his human form, or else risk losing this special girl? With romance and the chill of the winter season, this is sure to be a thrilling holiday read.

9)The Polar Express

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I know what you’re thinking, but even a totally mature sixteen-year-old can appreciate the magic behind a great children’s book. If you’ve been living under a rock and have never read The Polar Express or watched the movie, it centers around a young boy who is awakened on the night before Christmas by a train that magically appears outside of his home. When he goes to explore further, he sees an entire train car filled with children who are promised a trip to the North Pole. If you’re looking for a short read (or maybe a movie) that will rekindle the “magic” of Christmastime that you had experienced as a young kid, The Polar Express is a must-read.

8)The Autobiography of Santa Claus

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The Autobiography of Santa Claus is the perfect story for somebody interested in learning a little bit more about the truth behind the Christmas tradition. But don’t get me wrong, this is by no means a historical novel. Jeff Guinn incorporates solid fact with entertaining legend in order to tell the definitive story of Santa Claus, told by the man-in-the-red-suit himself. Not only that, but the book actually includes one chapter for each December night leading up to Christmas!

7)A Charlie Brown Christmas

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Again with the children’s books. But for the scrooges of NCHS, there is no other book quite like A Charlie Brown Christmas to truly get you into the holiday spirit. You might be a little bit like Charlie Brown — downtrodden, disgruntled, and feeling as if everyone’s forgotten what Christmas is all about! But if Lucy, Linus, and the rest of the Peanuts gang can cheer Charlie up, there’s no doubt that this quick read (and also movie!) will do the same for you.

6)   The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1)

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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis is one of those classic novels that just seems to fit right into Christmastime. The idea of opening a door of a dusty cabinet and entering into another world is almost as magical as the holiday spirit itself. Most of the novel is set in Narnia, a land of talking animals and mythical creatures that the White Witch has ruled for 100 years of deep winter. The four children’s adventures in this fascinating and snowy place is just what makes it the youthful read that captures the magic of Christmas.

5)Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

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I would have gotten coal in my stocking had I not put the first novel in the Harry Potter series on this list. Showings of the ABC Family Harry Potter marathons throughout the Christmas season is an iconic part of the holiday tradition, and even better is getting to have a hard copy of the book in hand as you relive the magic of Hogwarts. If you haven’t had a chance to read this light-hearted, yet beautifully written story, the Christmas season is the perfect time to do it.

4)My True Love Gave To Me

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This novel, written by a variety of best-selling authors, is basically a rom-com movie in book form. Twelve short stories make up this beautifully written holiday special, with celebrations from Hannukah all the way to the Winter Solstice and New Years. For the impatient reader who finds himself/herself bored by seemingly endless stories, but still wants to get into the holiday spirit this season,  this collection of quick reads may just be for you. Goodreads said it best: “Curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.”

3)Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

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Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares is one of those sweet, youthful romances that just can’t help but put you in a good mood. Written in the perspective of both Dash and Lily, the whirlwind starts after Lily leaves a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to accept its dares. Even though Dash is apparently up to the mission, will their in-person selves clash? Rachel Cohn and David Levithan wrote a love story that’s sure to put you in the cozy winter mood throughout the Christmas season.

2) The Snow Child

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For the readers who crave adventure, it can sometimes be difficult to find a book that blends both holiday cheer and an enthralling page-turner into one. The Snow Child surrounds a young, blonde-haired girl named Faina who seems to have grown out of the remains of a child built from snow. Somehow surviving the Alaskan wilderness of the 1920’s, a couple comes to love her as their own daughter. But the more they learn about Faina, things prove to be not as they seem. A twist on a classic winter tale, this novel is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat this Christmas.

1)Let It Snow 

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Last but not least, John Green along with two other acclaimed authors worked their magic yet again in this collection of holiday romances. The book illustrates a kind of romantic snow haven that you only see in movies, and love blooms out of the least likely circumstances. You’d never guess that a trip to the Waffle House through feet of snow would lead to the blossoming of a relationship with an old friend. These charming stories are sure to bring a light of warmth to those chilly winter evenings, so they surely deserve the number one spot on your reading list this season!

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About Author

Eva is a managing editor and junior at New Canaan High School.

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