Good reads that deck the halls


Dec. 20: Final exams are over, the weather finally cool and students and faculty alike are off from school for a little less than a month.

What could be better than to curl up with a good book? Here are some suggestions to get you started.

“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens

Twinkling lights, hot cocoa, candy canes and Dickens. Christmas would not be complete without the incredulous tale of  “A Christmas Carol.”

The original vernacular Christmas story, A Christmas Carol is a favorite that is revisited year-after-year by fans of Christmas and Christmas literature.

Journeying into the Christmas past, present and future of Ebenezer Scrooge, Dickens reveals the impact of a not so cheerful Scrooge on the characters around him and the spirit of Christmas itself.

Christmas and the holiday season is an occasion to be celebrated, a time of merriment and abandonment of cares and worries, Scrooge attempts to ignore it until the very power of the yuletide becomes too much and too great to be conquered by any one man. Even the most vile and bitter of human souls can be swayed by the power of Christmas and the people who hold it dear.

Dickens reveals that everyone, regardless of how black or golden their heart may be, is connected during holiday time.

Readers will find that “A Christmas Carol” is a timeless piece and get into the Christmas spirit beside a fire or  after decorating the tree.

“The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror” by Christopher Moore

Don’t let the cute and funny title fool you. “If you’re buying this book as a gift for your grandma or a kid, you should be aware that it contains cusswords as well as tasteful depictions of cannibalism and people in their forties having sex. Don’t blame me. I told you,” said author Christopher Moore. That warning alone should make you want to read this book.

Archangel Raziel makes another appearance, this time as “The Stupidest Angel” on a mission to find a child who has a holiday wish that needs granting. Little Joshua Barker of Pine Cove is the unlucky winner. Joshua just saw Santa being smashed in the head with a shovel and wishes with all his little heart that Santa will come back from the dead.  Of course Raziel, who is known for his special talent of screwing up, misinterprets and accidentally creates a zombie apocalypse that descends upon Pine Cove’s holiday cheer.

The book is also filled with familiar (or tastefully recycled) characters from multiple Christopher Moore books, including the entire town of Pine Cove from “The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove,” as well as Tucker Case and Roberto the Bat from “Island of the Sequined Love Nun.”

“Polar Express,” by Chris Van Allsburg

Although “Polar Express” may be considered a children’s book, the content is relatable.

When a young boy hears a train whistle outside his door, he runs outside to be invited in to the Polar Express. The train is packed with excited, carol singing children. As the train arrives in the North Pole, the boy is hand-picked to recieve the first gift of Christmas. The boy asks for a bell from Sanata’s sleigh.

As time goes by, the bell becomes harder to hear. The book states, “Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.”

“How the Grinch Stole Chrismas,” by Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss tells the story of the Grinch whose heart is two sizes two small, who can’t stand the Whos who live Whoville. He can’t stand Christmas, no not at all, so the Grinch gathers a grand idea, that he will steal Christmas from the Whos. After the stunt is pulled, it seemed it hasn’t mattered at all, the Whos are still singing in Whoville, enjoying their Christmas regardless of the lack of presents and decorations.

The story teaches us the true meaning of Christmas, no matter how big or small.