I’ve spotted a few different bloggers, and people in my reading groups, talking about the books they intend to read over Christmas – and quite often they’re picking specifically seasonal titles. My friend Lyn reads A Christmas Carol every year, for example, and Claire at Paperback Reader has just put up some she intends to read (including Barbara Comyns’ A Touch of Mistletoe, which may not have a very Christmassy theme, but certainly has a Christmassy title.) I’m feeling a little odd-one-out, now, since I never do seasonal reading. I read Tove Jansson’s The Winter Book on a beach in summer (though admittedly it was windy and perishingly cold); I’m just as likely to read something set in sunny Spain by a fireside in December as I am in June. And I do feel I’m missing out, a bit… but somehow I don’t plan my reading that well.
The one exception which springs to mind is Jostein Gaarder’s The Christmas Mystery, a lovely book which has a chapter for each day of Advent – I read it in that style a few years ago.
How about you? Do you just read what comes your way, or do you plan books for seasons? Is it every season, or is Christmas special? The books I’ve set aside to read over the festive weeks (aside from ones for my research) are The Bell by Iris Murdoch, In the Springtime of the Year by Susan Hill (completely unseasonal, you see), Pastors and Masters by Ivy Compton-Burnett, and The Unspoken Truth by Angelica Garnett. Whether I’ll actually get around to reading any of them is another question – others might force their way in, I like to keep my reading spontaneous when I can, since so much (for research and book groups) can’t be.
I’d be interested to hear from you – especially if you have an unusual choice for this time of year…