What's your Christmas holiday reading?

Eleanor Catton and The Luminaries
Category: Reading

The new edition of the Book Talk podcast features our panel discussing one of the year's hottest titles, the Booker prize-winning The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, a book that is likely to be nestling under many a readers' Christmas tree this year, we'd wager.

Yes, it's the most wonderful time of the year for many reasons, one of which is that it affords us booklovers a bit of time to treat ourselves to some holiday reading. Here's how five of the Scottish Book Trust team will be spending their holiday hours:


Sasha DeBuyl, Reader Development Administrator

Reading over Christmas is like a wonderful present to myself. It's the only time of year where I don't have to worry about putting my book down at night in order to get up for work the next morning, and it is my favourite way of getting away from it all after too much time with family. 

I tend to read really moreish plot-driven books over Christmas, as it's the perfect time to get totally immersed in a new world. Two years ago, I read the Hunger Games trilogy over about three days, and had a total blast. This year for Christmas I have set aside:

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
The Observations by Jane Harris
Grimm Tales by Phillip Pullman
And I am secretly hoping someone will buy me S by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst.


Helen Croney, PR Manager

For my family, Christmas is a time to spoil yourself. My own version of festive self-indulgence usually starts and stops with alcohol and chocolate, but this year it will also include some non-fattening brownies, in the shape of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales, chosen and edited by Gordon Jarvie. This little treasure of a book was gifted to me at a Big Book Bash during Book Week Scotland and I've been saving it as the perfect nostalgic Christmas treat to go with my sherry. If I finish it very quickly then JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy will also be undertaken, accompanied by a turkey sandwich.


Danny Scott, Digital Marketing Co-ordinator

Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team, and a Dream by H. G. Bissinger
[High School American Football Coach voice]: I'll tell you somethin'; I've been watching season 1 of Friday Night Lights. It tracks the highs and lows of a small Texan town where over 20,000 people turn up to watch the high school's American football team each Friday.

You listen to me now; it's one of the most touchin' American series I've watched in a long gosh darn while. Hell, I've enjoyed it so much I've started speaking like the characters.

Now get this; when I heard the series (and film starring Billy Bob Thornton) was inspired by H. G. Bissinger's highly lauded non-fiction book, I had to buy it right? It sure is my Christmas holiday treat.


Philippa Cochrane, Head of Reader Development

I tend to follow two completely contradictory patterns in my reading over Christmas and New Year – either short and murderous or long and meaty. It is a time when I return to well-loved stories, either of the ghostly variety (anything by MR James for example, or one of Susan Hill's short but blood chilling books) or crime (the Miss Marple stories, or something from Unravelled Knots by Baroness D'Orzcy). Stories are read in snatched moments between walks and sprout preparation. At the other end of the spectrum, I also usually save myself a big, absorbing read for the Christmas holidays, something that may require a few hours at a time. Although it isn't huge, this year I shall be reading The Outlander by Gil Adamson – recently recommended to me by a librarian as the most richly surprising thing he had read all year. That's me sold!


Julia Collins, Finance Manager

For me, Christmas reading runs along the same lines as Christmas dinner: sheer gluttony. For starters there are a couple of books I delve into time and time again, the main course has to be Jane Eyre (with orphanage and moors parts cut out) and dessert is usually made up of books which I have received as presents. Bliss.


What are your holiday reading plans? Tell us in the comments below!

Listen to the Book Talk discussion of The Luminaries here: 

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