With Thanksgiving (finally) behind us, it's time to settle into the end of the year and get cozy with a good book (or six). I usually take December off from writing to catch up on some reading, and while others are enjoying heart-warming holiday romances I am - as usual - erring on a bit more of the darker side. Be it a Yuletide fantasy, a dark romp with Krampus, a little holiday irreverence, or some holiday screams, here is what I am reading (and in some cases rereading) this December.
The Winter Riddle by Sam Hooker
I've been looking forward to this one all year. An antisocial winter witch teams up with a less than jolly Santa? Yes, please. It also helps that it's written by my friend and fellow author, the always brilliant and ceaselessly hilarious Sam Hooker, responsible for the Terribly Serious Darkness books. Review to come. Get your copy.
Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom
I love the myth of Krampus, and what I heard of this book last year when my husband read snippets of it aloud (between his fits of laughter), so decided to give it a go myself this year. If you're looking to pitch Santa back up to the North Pole, or otherwise want to terrify your kids, consider Krampus. Review to come. Get your copy.
Hark! The Herald Angels Scream by Christopher Golden
I'm a big fan of short story anthologies, and bought this when it released in October. As noted by the anthology's editor, there is darkness at the heart of the season, and we've long been telling ghost stories about it. I cannot wait to dig into this. Review to come. Get your copy.
A Christmas Blizzard by Garrison Keillor
What's better than a slow-burning holiday tragedy penned by a curmudgeonly author? Nothing. This is one of those stories I read every year - a wonderful farce delivered only as a storyteller as masterful as Garrison Keillor could spin. (#protip: Listen to a few back episodes of A Prairie Home Companion so you can get your narration voice straight before cracking this one open). Get your copy.
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
Another annual read, this story speaks to my inner Luther Krank--someone who is over the holiday insanity and just wants to go relax on a beach somewhere. The book that inspired the film Christmas with the Kranks, if you've ever just gotten sick of holiday madness, this one will make you giggle and still manage to give your Grinchy heart a little boost, too. Get your copy.
Old Christmas by Washington Irving
Stay in your lane, Charles Dickens, and leave Olde English Christmas to Washington Irving, the author who brought us The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. If you've not read this true Christmas classic, it's time to leave Scrooge to count his coins and read this oft-forgotten classic instead. (#protip: Get the illustrated version.) Get your copy.