I am totally in nonfiction mode with all the reading for the Cybils Awards; so I decided to hunt for and present a selection of festive nonfiction reads with you. I have read some of these, while others are now on my reading list, and I hope you add these to your TBRs and bookshelves. This is for the top ten theme for this week over at ThatArtsyReaderGirl – a seasonal freebie. A previous holiday top ten list is here.
While I know I am looking forward to reading a cozy romance with a hot mug of cocoa, considering we are in a stay-at-home-order period in our area for the season, nonfiction can serve very well too! It can entertain, warm your heart, inspire, and inform… so definitely festive, and totally worth the read!
I do not have to be of any specific religion or culture to enjoy and appreciate a good book; and these books prove that fact!! Since I moved to the US, I have borrowed many celebrations and our family has added to our rich assortment of traditions.
Festive Nonfiction Reads
Debbie Macomber’s Christmas Cookbook
Title: Debbie Macomber’s Christmas Cookbook: Favorite Recipes and Holiday Traditions from My Home to Yours
Author: Debbie Macomber
Length: 240 pages
This cookbook is for everyone; for those who love Debbie Macomber or have never read her books; those who love cooking, baking, or simply looking at beautiful pictures of food; well, for everyone. Macomber shares more than recipes in this book, and her voice shines through as she relates stories, includes holiday crafts, and ideas for gifts and traditions.
I know have lots of new ideas to try out for this holiday season!!
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Title: The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits
Author: Les Standiford
Length: 256 pages
I read and enjoyed Charles Dickens’ novels as a young girl; starting with Oliver Twist, and then on to David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, and then Hard Times. But I read A Christmas Carol only as an adult after moving to the US. And loved that as well. So it was no wonder that I knew I have to read this book, simply because. It is on my TBR now, and sounds wonderful (the title says it all!!)
The Atlas of Christmas
Title: The Atlas of Christmas: The Merriest, Tastiest, Quirkiest Holiday Traditions from Around the World
Author: Alex Palmer
Length: 256 pages
I did a quick preview of this book and it is quirkily delightful – my favorite kind of quirkiness!!! A little bit of everything, as the title says, and you are sure to feel joyful as you read the book. I will get around to actually reading this one fully after my Cybils reading; and while Christmas will most likely be done by then, I can hold on the season’s feelings with reading!
The Nutcracker Comes to America
Title: The Nutcracker Comes to America: How Three Ballet-Loving Brothers Created a Holiday Tradition
Author: Chris Barton
Illustrator: Cathy Gendron
Length: 36 pages
This is a gorgeous children’s book that everyone will enjoy. Aimed at elementary aged kids, this book shows how the Nutcracker has become synonymous with Christmas in the United States. I wondered why the author was familiar until I realized I had read another book by him earlier this year. Chris Barton’s conversational narrative make reading this book easy-peasy; and Cathy Gendron’s stunning illustrations capture the beauty and essence of ballet as well as the Nutcracker perfectly.
Holidays on Ice
Title: Holidays on Ice
Author: David Sedaris
How could I not? Sedaris is a recent discovery for me, comparatively, but he has easily become a writer I enjoy reading; and of course, the fact that my son loves reading Sedaris too adds to his — Sedaris, I mean (since, of course, my son is one of my favorite persons already) — appeal!! While not Christmassy all the way through, there is the cover, and I can use the laughs. Note that I am yet to read this one but will be sure to before the year is over…
Simply Tradition: 70 Fun and Easy Holiday Ideas for Families
Title: Simply Tradition: 70 Fun and Easy Holiday Ideas for Families
Author: Kierste Wade
Length: 224 pages
A book not just for the holidays but for the whole year. This is one that will find its way out of the bookshelf often. Divided into sections by seasons, and one section devoted to Christmas, the book is chockful of recipes, printables, and loads of ideas for traditions every family can start for themselves.
The Indisputable Existence of Santa Claus
Title: The Indisputable Existence of Santa Claus : The Mathematics of Christmas
Author: Hannah Fry, Thomas Oléron Evans
Length: 146 pages
Math and festivities! Count me in, and if you are like me (or even if not), you have got to love a book that talks about The Prisoner’s Dilemma while discussing holiday gift exchanges. I am reading it in between my Cybils reads and loving every bit. I am guessing it can be a great conversation starter too. And now I am off to watch some of Hannah Fry’s YouTube videos.
A Very Merry Holiday Movie Guide
Title: A Very Merry Holiday Movie Guide
Author: Rachel McMillan
Visual Art: Laura Leigh Bean
Length: 224 pages
When I saw this book on NetGalley, I knew I had to read it. While I do not have a Hallmark or Lifetime subscription, I watch my fair (more than) share of holiday movies (throughout the year). And this book is so perfectly giftable — for that — well, most anyone you know; the book is divided into themes, with chapters set aside for a book lovers celebration, or one for the adventurous traveler. You can find something if you love animals, or music, or fashion, or ….. Includes tips for traditions, ideas to get yourself setup to watch the movies in customized movie lists for each theme, as well as fun facts, and more. Even when the movies listed might not be ones you find where you live, you will be inspired!
How to Spell Chanukah… and Other Holiday Dilemmas
Title: How to Spell Chanukah… and Other Holiday Dilemmas
Edited By: Emily Franklin
Length: 255 pages
Discoveries are wonderful, and when they(i.e., the discoveries) happen to be wonderful writers you know want to read more, even more so, right?! And this book led me to exactly that. This collection of brilliant essays is simply a must-read, no matter what you celebrate. I have read a few already from my borrowed edition, and know I will be returning soon to complete the rest.
O Christmas Tree
Title: O Christmas Tree
Author: Jacqueline Farmer
Illustrator: Joanne Friar
Length: 32 pages
The history of the Christmas tree told for young readers, and one that will capture the attention of and fascinate older readers too. I know I was! Something to learn for everyone, and will illustrations that are bright, joyous, and colorful to keep you looking.. well, reading!
A World of Cookies for Santa
Title: A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa’s Tasty Trip Around the World
Author: M.E. Furman
Illustrator: Susan Gal
Length: 48 pages
Such a fun way to travel around the world with Santa, and enjoy tasty treats!! How does Santa leave gifts for children in other parts of the world? What is he known as elsewhere? What treats do children leave for him? All these and more fun facts fill the pages of this book brimming with information and postcard-worthy illustrations.
If you loved any of these books, and plan to buy them for yourself or to gift, you can support all those independent bookstores (and me!) by using my Bookshop page below. Thank you!
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, have you read any of the selections today? Are any of them in your bookshelf, or do you plan to add one? Any other recommendations? Both fiction and nonfiction suggestions are welcome. As always, would love to hear your thoughts on this post….and thank you for your continuing support…