Book Tag: Christmas Bookshelf Challenge

Title in white on book pages

Time to kick off December with a wintry book tag created by Emma (Turn Another Page.) This is a challenge to find books on your shelf that match the prompts. This could be interesting as most of my books are stored in a loft, so we’ll have to see what I remember is in those boxes… To see the original tag, click here.

A book with “Christmas” in the title

Book cover for FATHER CHRISTMAS: a pencil drawn Father Christmas under the title

This one, I admit, is ever so slightly cheating. I don’t currently own any books with the word “Christmas” in the title (so far as I remember I got rid of A CHRISTMAS CAROL) but my family as a whole owns FATHER CHRISTMAS, by Raymond Briggs.

We love this graphic novel about a very grumpy Father Christmas trying to deliver presents in one night dealing with igloos (where’s the chimney?) and bad weather. It’s somewhat traditional for us to all read this at some point together, though when that will be this year as we’re scattered about the place, I don’t know.

A book with a scene set at Christmas

THE SNOW CHILD, by Eowyn Ivey, is set across a span of Alaskan winters, so there probably has to be at least one Christmas mentioned in it. It seems like a waste not to have such a scene with the strange family and the friends they make in one of the harsh, dark days.

A couple who are getting on in life move there to start a new life and one winter make a child out of snow. The next day, a girl wearing the clothes they dressed the snowman in arrives. Is the girl human or is she something made from wishing – and what does that mean for them?

A book that has a red and/or green cover

DRAGON MOUNTAIN, by Katie and Kevin Tsang, has a bright red cover. The third entry in this middle grade series, DRAGON CITY, has a green cover, so really picking this series means I get to include both colours. (Or at least I’m pretending it means that!)

I love this series so much, a UKMG about a group of kids who find some dragons in a mountain and are swept away into an adventure to save the dragon realm. While the first “season” of the series is complete now with DRAGON DESTINY, there is a second “season” coming next year, and I am so excited for it!

A book adapted into a film/tv series that’s always on at Christmas

I have very few books that have been adapted into TV/film on my shelves. Not to mention that “things always on at Christmas” are things like Doctor Who, which inspired book adaptations, not the other way around.

I think the closest I’m going to get is THE LORD OF THE RINGS or THE HOBBIT, by J. R. R. Tolkien. They’re probably going to be shown on some channel at some point. It’s a long thing that can provide a break if you need them!

A book that sends characters on a magical quest

Book cover for PAWN OF PROPHECY title above drawing of a boy with a sword against a lush backdrop

This is my favourite sort of book, so there are so many titles I could pick from here. However, I’m going to pick the books that set me down the path to loving this trope.

I grew up on David Eddings and I started with PAWN OF PROPHECY (though THE DIAMOND THRONE and that series is my favourite of his.) They are your classic sort of quest with prophecies and a chosen one and so many magical macguffins. The thing I will say is that these books are old, so bear that in mind (most of the female characters have very constrained “traditional” roles and there’s some bad coding of non-white characters.) However, these books will always have a place in my heart for getting me into fantasy.

A book with a cover as white as snow

All of the UK covers for Karen M. McManus‘ books are white with the title in bold and some black text (and usually some silhouettes of the narrators.) The most famous of her titles is ONE OF US IS LYING (very excited for the third book coming out next year.)

I don’t think (off the top of my head) that any of these books are set in winter. If one is, that would probably have been the best to pick! But as far as I can recall, they’re all either set in the summer or autumn as kids go back to school after whatever disasters have happened over the holidays that will trigger murder.

A book by an author whose name is associated with Christmas

Book cover for MIDNIGHT'S TWINS: two character within a mirror holding weapons trailing smoke

I’m taking this to mean part of the name is Christmassy in some way, rather than the author has a strong brand associated with putting out Christmassy books. (Mostly because I’d be clueless about the second option given I tend not to read those sorts of books!)

The author therefore is Holly Race, author of the MIDNIGHT’S TWINS trilogy, a modern portal fantasy that is a really fresh take on Arthuriana. Fern discovers a dream world version of London (and beyond) where dreamers shape the landscape, but can be preyed upon by nightmares. She trains to be a night to defend them, but a populist politician is trying to twist the dream world to seize power…

A book that you were given as a Christmas gift

Book cover for THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY: title in gold surrounded by border on green leather

There’s pretty much only one person who gets me books for Christmas anymore because they’re the only one who knows my tastes (and what I’ve read) enough to more or less guarantee that I’ll like it.

The absolute winning gift (so far – each year we say who we think ended up getting the better present and we’re about even) is THE INIVISBLE LIBRARY, by Genevieve Cogman. I devoured this instalment, then got my paws on the other books that were out by then (six or seven books) and binged my way through this incredibly addictive and fun series.

A book that’s not necessarily about Christmas but you associate with it

I cannot remember if this book stops just before Christmas, just after, or at New Year (it’s sometime around then because there’s a lot of snow!), but A SNOWFALL OF SILVER, by Laura Wood, is a delicious wintry historical about a girl joining a travelling theatre company in the 1930s (as part of the wardrobe division, I believe.)

It’s a tale of dreams and beautiful theatres, and the hectic life of a theatre on the road. And there’s a romance too, as one of the performers is very swoony. It’s just such a nice book to curl up with on a cold day.

Spell “Christmas” in books

C – CRATER LAKE, by Jennifer Killick

H – (THE) HIGHLAND FALCON THIEF, by M. G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman

R – RACE TO THE DEATH, by Annelise Gray

I – INTO THE CROOKED PLACE, by Alexandra Christo

S – STATE OF SORROW, by Melinda Salisbury

T – (A) THRONE OF SWANS, by Katharine and Elizabeth Corr

M – MALAMANDER, by Thomas Taylor

A – A KIND OF SPARK, by Elle McNicoll

S – S.T.A.G.S., by M. A. Bennett

I tag Noly (The Artsy Reader) and Rebbie (Rebbie Reviews)

5 thoughts on “Book Tag: Christmas Bookshelf Challenge

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