Sunday, 14 July, 2024

Sure, Christmas is officially observed 25 December, but this annual celebration of peace on Earth and goodwill toward our fellow humans — plus, cookies — is the ideal justification for a few weeks of year-end merriment.

Arriving between the long night of the winter solstice and the fresh start of the new year, it’s the ideal time for personal reflection, family gatherings, rampant revelry, and twinkling lights festooning every possible surface, including evergreen trees, rooftops, shrubbery, and bookshelves.

From shopping to baking, infatuation to heartbreak, family harmony to long-held feuds, every moment of the holidays is laden with storytelling opportunities. And that’s very merry, indeed, for book lovers.

recommended books

2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas

buy | read review

Betty Crocker's Cooky Book

buy | read review

The Inn at Lake Devine

buy | read review


buy | read review

Last Night at the Lobster

buy | read review

The Dead of Winter

buy | read review

Top image courtesy of Rodion Kutsaev/Unsplash.

Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!

featured posts

We're wearing red sweaters, drinking eggnog, eating cookies, and generally making merry because it not now, when?! And amidst all the noshing and noel-ing, we want to share two sweet poems that celebrate the season.
The island nation of Iceland has much to recommend it: breathtaking scenery, the creamiest yogurt, friendly inhabitants, amazing seafood, and a charming holiday tradition: the Christmas Book Flood called Jólabókaflóðið.
Holiday choice: A charming coming-of-age story in snowy Philadelphia, or eerie stories starring Krampus, the Christmas-y demon who drags bad children to the underworld. Or both! 'Cause what good is nice without naughty?!
This weekend, we recommend a getaway to a lake-side resort in Vermont... where you'll find yourself right smack in the middle of a romantic comedy with real, messy people who make real, messy mistakes.
Russian Teacakes are like butter bombs of happiness. The original recipe in this classic cookbook is the hands-down, best-ever holiday cookie. If you've never tried these fluffy white puffs of joy, now is the time.
The shortest day, the longest night, the transition to deep midwinter — the winter solstice is a powerful date on the calendar. This moving poem by British author Susan Cooper captures its magic. Welcome, Yule!
Poet Emily Dickinson grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts, in the late 19th century. I can only assume she knew her way around snow. It couldn't have been easy to navigate drifts in low skirts and ankle boots with heels.
It's just four days until Christmas, and it's Manny's last night working at the Red Lobster that's the center of his life. This quiet story is vast in its emotional scope and sense of place — sweet, sad, and dignified.
Nothing says 'holiday revelry' like the tangy flavor of cranberries and a little bit of murder under the Christmas tree. Snuggle up with this charming homage to golden-age crime novels and berry delicious recipe.
In this episode, we get excited about two new books: Murder at Black Oaks by Phillip Margolin and Dickens and Prince: A Particular Kind of Genius by Nick Hornby. Then Mel makes her case that Betty Crockers Cooky Book is the best cookie cookbook on the planet.
In this episode, we get excited about two new books: Galatea by Madeline Miller and Novelist as a Vocation by Haruki Murakami. Then Dave recommends three fun boardgames for the holiday season — or anytime.
In this episode, we get excited about two books: The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer and The Vulnerables by Sigrid Nunez. Then Dave recommends three great tabletop games to play with your favorite people.

sharing is caring!

Can you help us? If you like this article, share it your friends!

our mission

Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.

our patreon

Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.

get our newsletter

Join our Substack to get our FREE newsletter with podcast updates and behind-the-scenes info join in fun chats about books and travel.

no spoilers. ever.

We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.

super-cool reading fun
reading atlas

This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.

get our newsletter
Sign up for our free Substack!
follow us

Content on this site is ©2024 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.