Whew, it’s been a while, friends! But I’m back and ready to supply you with some new reads. This go round is actually a double review of two wonderful little seasonal reads that are perfect for Christmas time: Skipping Christmas by John Grisham and Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand. Both are fairly short, quick little reads perfect for curling up next to a well-lit tree and a warm fire (and a toasty cup of cocoa too). So pull out your Christmas sweaters and stockings, and put on the carols, because it’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Skipping Christmas – John Grisham
Yes, you read that right. This christmas book was written by THAT John Grisham. Skipping Christmas is far cry from a legal thriller, and if you’ve ever watched Christmas with the Kranks a lá Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, then you’ve essentially read this book. That being said, it still stands on it’s own in the best way. If you’re just looking for a fun, quick story that is the equivalent of watching Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas, and is well written and leaves you satisfied, John Grisham delivered.
I love Christmas with the Kranks, I think it’s a funny Christmas movie that holds up well even while competing against the big whigs like White Christmas and Christmas Vacation. I’ve seen the movie countless times, so I was interested to see what it’s literary precursor had to offer. The movie stayed pretty true to the book; Luther and Nora have decided to forgo Christmas and take a tropical cruise now that their daughter Blair is off with the Peace Corps through the holidays. They say no to all of their traditional Christmas goings on and whatsits: no party, no tree, not a thing. When you live in a very Christmas-oriented neighborhood with holiday obsessed friends, coworkers, and neighbors, you’re obviously going to get backlash. The characters are funny, quirky, and just trying to figure out how to navigate riled teens, questioning adults, and people who really just want Luther to Free Frosty!
Like I said, if you’ve seen Christmas with the Kranks, you’ve basically read this book. Book Luther is quite a bit more strict about forgoing Christmas fun than his Tim Allen counterpart, and unfortunately we don’t get a funny botox scene, but all in all, it reads wonderfully.
The book is rather short, perfect for a chilly afternoon. You could easily read this in one go. And if you never grow tired of Christmas hi-jinx like myself, then this is a perfect little read. If you’ve absolutely never seen the movie, then definitely grab this book, because it is a wonderful Christmas story that leaves you all warm and fuzzy at the end, all that true meaning of Christmas and whatnot. If you’ve seen the movie, give it a go anyway. With Grisham having penned it, it’s definitely not lacking some great writing.
Winter Street – Elin Hilderbrand
I have never read a single thing by Elin Hilderbrand, never even heard of her until I saw this book plastered all over bookstagram. The raving fans left me wanting, so I grabbed a copy for FOUR DOLLARS at our local bookstore and pushed it to the top of my TBR list.
This is actually the first of three books about the mildly dysfunctional Quinn family. Dad, Kelley, owns a little B&B on Nantucket, Mom is an illustrious news anchor for CBS, the daughter is a music teacher, the oldest son works in investments, and the middle son is a bartender with a track record of giving up. The story begins just a few days before Christmas as Kelley discovers his current wife, Mitzi, is leaving him. Winter Street follows each family member in the days leading up to Christmas as they all deal with trials, tribulations, and dysfunction individually and with each other. Patrick, the eldest son is facing major illegal activity, while his younger brother, Kevin, is planning for the future.
If you enjoy love, dysfunction, and a good outburst of drama at dinner, than this book is for you. It’s a great contemporary drama with the warmth of Christmas and wintery Nantucket thrown in. I do recommend making sure you have access to all three books, because Winter Street leaves you absolutely wanting more. The cliff hanger at the end made me so upset that I didn’t snag the other two when I grabbed the first one.
If you’ve got a favorite seasonal read or Christmas story, let me know! This is the first year I’ve attempted to read something seasonal, and I really loved it.