Everyone needs a festive book to read at this time of year. But how can we tell the bundles of festive joy from the lumps of coal? Why not take some advice from my top 5 Christmas novels, to escape the never-ending supply of turkey, the cheesy Christmas films and dreadful Christmas sales.

  1. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens.

From Disney’s new 3D version to The Muppets, there have been a mass of adaptations of this Christmas classic. But the original Ebenezer Scrooge in paperback form is the classic. Delve into the Christmas world of Victorian London by reading possibly the most famous Christmas story of all time. Who wouldn’t want to find out what happens when Scrooge is visited at night by the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and Christmas yet-to-come? Although many have made this a comedy, maybe this original novella shouldn’t be read at night. Scrooge’s phantoms can leave readers on the edge of their book pages, ready to turn! So put down that turkey sandwich and watch the life of Scrooge unfold, will he finally gain some Christmas spirit?

  1. The Greatest Gift – Philip Van Doren Stern.

The inspiration for the loved Christmas Classic It’s a Wonderful Life, The Greatest Gift tells the story of George Pratt’s unforgettable Christmas. After telling a ‘stranger’ that he wished he had never been born, readers are taken into the world where George Pratt no longer exists. The ‘stranger’ leads George to see the impact he has on his ‘would have been’ close friends and family when he ceases to be in their lives. A beautiful Christmas tale that will leave you feeling warmer than the fire ever could!

  1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe –C. S. Lewis.

OK so this may not yell Christmas straight away, but let’s not say “Bah Humbug!” To C.S. Lewis’ novel! The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe tells the story of four children’s discovery of a wardrobe that leads them into a magical land – Narnia. With beautiful wintery descriptions, a huge white ice castle and an ice queen known as the White Witch, a snowy December is brought straight to the readers’ minds! But let’s not forget – this is no British winter. Be transported straight into a world of magic, wonder and danger as the children must help to save Narnia from this evil witch. A best loved story by adults and children, it is the beginning to C.S. Lewis’ much loved Chronicles of Narnia.

  1. The Gift – Cecelia Ahern.

Inspired by The Greatest Gift and A Christmas Carol, The Gift is a Christmas story you’ll never forget. Follow Lou’s life, that’s now too complicated to even involve his children. After meeting a homeless man, Lou’s life starts to get interrupted by this new man in his life. As Christmas approaches can this homeless man help Lou get his life back on track, with a work and home life balance? Or does Lou really need to be in two places at once? See how powerful the gift of time truly is with this Christmas novel that is bound to make you well-up with tears!

  1. A Gift from Bob – James Bowen.

After the best-selling A Street Cat Called Bob, a deep heart-felt story of how an extraordinary cat saves James Bowen’s life from being a homeless man, A Gift from Bob is Bowen’s Christmas story. Readers are taken to Bowen and Bob’s last Christmas on the streets of London, scraping to get by. By Bob providing Bowen with a sense of being, friendship and love, we see the character transformed. The author takes readers through a whirlwind of emotions at Christmas time, as they follow the true story of a man on the margins of life. You won’t be able to put this one down. A purrrrrfect novel to read next to the Christmas tree!

Jessica Rushton

Wishing you a very merry Christmas from the Impact Arts team! 

Image Credit: USAG-Humphreys via Flikr

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