16 December 2009

Wednesday reading experience # 50

Celebrate the Christmas season with a holiday-themed read.

Any one of Charles Dickens’s Christmas novels will serve to get you in the mood. Start with A Christmas Carol, then move on to The Chimes and The Cricket on the Hearth. I leave it up to you whether you also read the less popular The Battle of Life and The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain.

Fannie Flagg’s A Redbird Christmas is funny and somewhat sentimental, but many of us like sentimentality around Chrismas.

Connie Willis has an excellent fantasy and science fiction themed collection titled Miracle and other Christmas Stories.

For younger readers J.R.R. Tolkien’s Father Christmas Letters is both heartwarming and funny and while Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! may have been written and drawn for children many adults find it enjoyable as well.

Christmas probably wouldn’t be complete for many Americans without "A Visit from St. Nicholas", better known as "The Night Before Christmas". This famous poem, originally anonymously published, has been attributed to Clement Clarke Moore and also to Henry Livingston, Jr. Whicever of them wrote it, it’s an entertaining little poem, lively and full of Christmas spirit.

Generally speaking, Christmas in crime stories is rather miserable due to most of them being about murder, but there is an exception: Mary Higgins Clark and her daughter Carol have written several Christmas crime stories starring Mary’s sleuth Alvirah Meehan and Carol’s sleuth Regan Reilly. These aren’t really mysteries, but rather caper stories focusing on how Alvirah and Regan foil some baddies, usually thieves or kidnappers, and tend to be frothy, fun and full of holiday cheer, and weak on mystery but usually with some suspense.
Mary started the series with Silent Night and All Through The Night, and Carol joined her for Deck the Halls, He Sees You When You're Sleeping, The Christmas Thief, Santa Cruise, and Dashing Through the Snow.

5 comments:

Dorte H said...

Did you stumble upon any Indian crime fiction?

I have decided to host a global reading challenge in 2010, and I could use some Asian suggestions.

Bibliophile said...

Dorte, I did discover Satyajit Ray's Feluda stories, which are fun and lighthearted short mysteries, but they were written for kids and some adults might find them a bit simple (I did enjoy reading them).

Indian crime fiction in English seems to mostly consist of one-off books by authors who also write in other genres.

Dorte H said...

Thank you.

I have one from Singapore, and I will order one from Israel instead then.

Couldn´t I tempt you with the global challenge, by the way? You strike me as someone who likes a varied reading diet.

Bibliophile said...

The global challenge sounds interesting - did you post about it already? (I'm still catching up with 5 weeks of my most visited blogs).

By the way, I found these links which may help you find more Asian crime fiction: http://internationalnoir.blogspot.com/2006/05/chinese-and-southeast-asian-crimenoir.html (out of these, I am only familiar with Qiu Xiaolong, who is Chinese but emigrated to the USA and writes in English and is very good);
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/aug/27/top10s.asian

Dorte H said...

I wrote a sort of draft post the other day to see if anyone was interested, and as a handful of my readers liked the idea, I have set up a new blog for the challenge: http://2010globalchallenge.blogspot.com/

It would be great if you joined one of the three levels, also because it is fun with a global flock of readers.