Saturday, December 21, 2013

{merry christmas!}

Merry Christmas 
to all my fellow book-lovers! 

I hope you have a gorgeous & peaceful Christmas 
and that the New Year brings you 
all sorts of bookish wonderfulness. 

Incidentally, while looking for something Christmassy to read, I came across this list of Christmas Mystery Books at which gave me quite a few ideas. 

And, if you have an e-reader, there's a free Ruth Galloway Christmas short story ('Ruth's First Christmas Tree') by Elly Griffiths available at amazon (non-affiliate link). 

After loving Come Out of the Kitchen! by Alice Duer Miller (recommended at fleur in her world), I have decided to read The Burglar and the Blizzard (free at project gutenberg) as one of my Christmas-themed books. 


I also have W. Somerset Maugham's Christmas Holiday for back-up (Ali warns me it isn't really about Christmas); and someone (who was it?!) mentioned Georgette Heyer's Envious Casca as another possibility (but have I read it?). Or maybe, since I loved my first Robert Barnard book (here), I should go with his Death in a Cold Climate... What is it about Christmas and a good murder?

Do you like a Christmassy read? 
(And is 'Christmassy' really a word?)

Have a great holiday!


  1. I enjoy Envious Casca, though it has one of Heyer's more unhappy families. I meant to look for Alice Duer Miller's books after Jane's review - thanks for the reminder. Now I have two to download. A very happy Christmas! I hope it brings you some great books. I've bought myself a couple, just in case no one else does ;)

    1. I'm very rarely bought books, although this year my mother asked if I had a copy of 'How Tea Cosies Changed the World' (!!!), so I suspect that will be in my stocking! I hope you have an excellent, book-filled Christmas Lisa, and I'm glad to know that you are well prepared for any book emergencies!

  2. One of my book group very kindly gave me a book of Christmas stories that he'd been reading and thought I might like: The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gardner. I may have to eschew the crime novel I'm reading at the mo (since it's hardly very festive!) and pick it up. Though the fact he was quite happy to pass on a book he'd spent money on for me to keep I'm not entirely sure is singing its praises!

    1. This is the Sophie's World Gardner? It might be quite meaty, though I too wonder about the 'hey, you have it!' aspect. But it's Christmas, season for giving... (I say, optimistically! And a free book!). Thanks for dropping by, and have a fabulous, book-filled holiday.

  3. I love how you're reading books with a Christmas theme! One of my greatest joys last year was reading a little anthology of Christmas stories right around this time, but now I'm halfway through Book Two of A Game of Thrones and I can't put it down or I'll be really lost in all the characters' names! Merry Christmas! Love your accompanying picture for this post!

    1. Thanks for popping by, Bellezza. I've also discovered that the 4th Flavia de Luce book is a Xmas read, so that's on my list now too. I may soon have enough Christmas reads to do me until next Christmas! I'm terribly forgetful about characters' names in longer books - I really need some sort of chart.

  4. I do love a good Christmas read -- be it murder or humour! I hope your Christmas is a very, very happy one.

    1. Thank you Jeanie - all the best to you and your family. I hope that your day is merry and bright, and the New Year brings you many pleasures.

  5. Do you know I have never read any of Georgette Heyer's mysteries--though I have a number of them on hand. I love her Regencies and suspect I would find her mysteries equally as entertaining. Did you know she wrote them with the help of her husband? I was thinking that it would be fun to read something with a Christmas theme, but I've left it too long now and have plenty (ahem) to choose from already. And that's not counting the stack of 'soon to be reads' either.... Love your list, though, and I hope you get in many happy hours of reading with them! Have a really lovely holiday. Many thanks for all the comments which I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to! :)

    1. Thanks, Danielle - I did read her mysteries many, many years ago, before I read her Regencies. I have to say that I didn't warm to the mysteries, but I am hoping that as I have totally forgotten their plots and my tastes for vintage reads has expanded my palate, that I will enjoy this one. I wonder if anyone's done a 'read only Xmas books' challenge? It might be a bit masochistic! Have a lovely Christmas - and thanks for popping by.

  6. I love the 'Make this a Book Christmas' poster! Merry Christmas Vicki, and a Happy New Year!

    1. It's gorgeous - and so true! You have a wonderful day, Lindsay - all the best for a sparkling 2014.

  7. Merry Christmas Vicki! I've not read a Christmas themed book, although I really should one year at least. I do generally make sure I am reading a 'fun' book on Christmas/Boxing Day - for example at the moment I'm reading 'Erasmus Hobart and the Golden Arrow' (

    1. Oh yes, I am scanning my books for something suitable to that slightly hungover with food and wine Boxing Day feeling! Preferably that I can read while simultaneously watching the cricket! I hope you had a great day, Joanne.

  8. I enjoy a bit of seasonal reading too. Shame I haven't got to doing any seasonal blogging just yet. I haven't heard of any our your Christmas titles, I love it that there's so many out there.

    1. Thanks Louise - I hope you had a fabulous Christmas - I've still got one Xmas themed read left, though I think I might now be over Xmas for the year!

  9. A bit of a late reply, so I'll say 'Happy New Year' to you instead. Hope you have a great 2014.

    1. And to you too, Sarah - I hope 2014 brings you many joys and delights (in which books are obviously included!).


{READ IN 2014}

  • 55.
  • 54.
  • 53. The Benevent Treasure - Patricia Wentworth [re-read; Kindle]
  • 52. The Catherine-Wheel - Patricia Wentworth [re-read; Kindle]
  • 51. The Alington Inheritance - Patricia Wentworth [re-read; Kindle]
  • 50. The Key - Patricia Wentworth [re-read; Kindle]
  • 49. The Watersplash - Patricia Wentworth [re-read; Kindle]
  • 48. Miss Silver Comes to Stay - Patricia Wentworth [re-read; Kindle]
  • 47. The Ivory Dagger - Patricia Wentworth [re-read; Kindle]
  • 46. Miss Silver Intervenes - Patricia Wentworth [re-read; Kindle]
  • 45. Pilgrim's Rest - Patricia Wentworth [re-read; Kindle]
  • 44. The Traveller Returns - Patricia Wentworth [re-read; Kindle]
  • 43. The Case is Closed - Patricia Wentworth [re-read; Kindle]
  • 42. Vanishing Point - Patricia Wentworth [re-read; Kindle]
  • 41. The Chinese Shawl - Patricia Wentworth [re-read; Kindle]
  • 40. Through the Wall - Patricia Wentworth [re-read; Kindle]
  • 39. Lonesome Road - Patricia Wentworth [re-read; Kindle]
  • 38. The Runaways [Linnets & Valerians] - Elizabeth Goudge [Kindle]
  • 37. The Blinded Man [Misterioso]- Arne Dahl [Kindle]
  • 36. Cloak of Darkness - Helen MacInnes [re-read]
  • 35. The Hidden Target - Helen MacInnes [re-read]
  • 34. Sprig Muslin - Georgette Heyer [re-read; Kindle]
  • 33. The Corinthian - Georgette Heyer [re-read; Kindle]
  • 32. The Talisman Ring - Georgette Heyer [re-read; Kindle]
  • 31. The Unknown Ajax - Georgette Heyer [re-read; Kindle]
  • 30. The Quiet Gentleman - Georgette Heyer [re-read; Kindle]
  • 29. Unnatural Death - Dorothy L. Sayers [re-read; Kindle]
  • 28. Want to Play - P. J. Tracy [re-read; Kindle]
  • 27. The ABC Murders - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 26. Out of the Past - Patricia Wentworth [re-read; Kindle]
  • 25. The Listening Eye - Patricia Wentworth [re-read; Kindle]
  • 24. Brewster's Millions - George Barr McCutcheon [Kindle]
  • 23. A Fair Barbarian - Frances Hodgson Burnett [Kindle]
  • 22. Gimlet: King of the Commandos - Capt. W. E. Johns [re-read]
  • 21. Out of Circulation - Miranda James [Kindle]
  • 20. Beautiful Ruins - Jess Walter [Kindle]
  • 19. The Blank Wall - Elisabeth Sanxay Holding [Kindle]
  • 18. Dumps: A Plain Girl - L. T. Meade [Kindle]
  • 17. The Inconvenient Duchess - Christine Merrill [Kindle]
  • 16. Biggles Takes it Rough - Capt. W.E. Johns
  • 15. Pnin - Vladimir Nabokov [Kindle]
  • 14. The Silver Linings Playbook - Matthew Quick [Kindle]
  • 13. Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell [Kindle]
  • 12. The Case of William Smith - Patricia Wentworth [Kindle; re-read]
  • 11. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm - Kate Douglas Wiggin [Kindle]
  • 10. A Sweet Girl Graduate - L.T. Meade [Kindle]
  • 9. A College Girl - Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey [Kindle]
  • 8. The Woman Who Did - Grant Allen [Kindle]
  • 7. The Golden Child - Penelope Fitzgerald [Kindle]
  • 6. Her Father's Name - Florence Marryat [Kindle]
  • 5. They Do It With Mirrors - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 4. Hallowe'en Party - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 3. Cards on the Table - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 2. Dumb Witness - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 1. Fer-de-Lance - Rex Stout [Kindle]

{READ IN 2013}

  • 145. The Toll-Gate - Georgette Heyer [re-read; Kindle]
  • 144. The Great Silence 1918-1920: Living in the Shadow of the Great War - Juliet Nicolson
  • 143. What Katy Did - Susan Coolidge [re-read; Kindle]
  • 142. The Good Soldier - Ford Madox Ford [Kindle]
  • 141. The Bookshop - Penelope Fitzgerald [Kindle]
  • 140. The Burglar & the Blizzard - Alice Duer Miller [Kindle]
  • 139a. Ruth's First Christmas Tree - Elly Griffiths [short story; Kindle]
  • 139. Hercule Poirot's Christmas - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 138. Envious Casca - Georgette Heyer [re-read?; Kindle]
  • 137. I am Half-Sick of Shadows - Alan Bradley [Kindle]
  • 136. Taken at the Flood - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 135. Never Go Back - Lee Child [Kindle]
  • 134. When William Came - Saki [Kindle]
  • 133. N or M - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 132. The Chronicles of Clovis - Saki [Kindle]
  • 131. Come Out of the Kitchen! - Alice Duer Miller [Kindle]
  • 130. The Last Werewolf - Glen Duncan [Kindle]
  • 129. The Thirteen Problems - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 128. I Am Pilgrim - Terry Hayes [Kindle]
  • 127. Passenger to Frankfurt - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 126. The Body in the Library - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 125. Appointment with Death - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 124. Lord Edgware Dies - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 123. Murder in Mesopotamia - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 122. Sarah, Plain and Tall - Patricia MacLachlan
  • 121. Death in the Clouds - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 120. Destination Unknown - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 119. They Came to Baghdad - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 118. Five Little Pigs - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 117. Crooked House - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 116. Murder at the Vicarage - Agatha Christie [re-read; Kindle]
  • 115. The Bat - Mary Roberts Rinehart [Kindle]
  • 114. Touchstone - Laurie R. King [Kindle]
  • 113. Fiona on the 14th Floor - Mabel Esther Allan
  • 112. Hell! Said the Duchess - Michael Arlen [Kindle]
  • 111. Pollyanna Grows Up - Eleanor H. Porter [Kindle]
  • 110. Pollyanna - Eleanor H. Porter [re-read; Kindle]
  • 109. The Female Detective - Andrew Forrester [Kindle]
  • 108. Hit Man - Lawrence Block [Kindle]
  • 107. The Fortune of Christina M'Nab - Sarah Macnaughtan {REVIEW}
  • 106. Trains and Buttered Toast - John Betjeman
  • 105. Jim and Wally - Mary Grant Bruce
  • 104. Death of an Old Goat - Robert Barnard [Kindle]
  • 103. An Old-Fashioned Girl - Louisa M. Alcott [Kindle]
  • 102. Thornyhold - Mary Stewart [Kindle]
  • 101. Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein [Kindle]