Bells ringing in the streets? Multicolored lights wrapped around lampposts? The smell of pine and woodsmoke in the air? It’s holiday time! Is there anything better this time of year than snuggling up in a knit blanket with a loved one and a cup of hot chocolate to watch a movie? How about curling up with a book? Why choose at all? We’ve taken the liberty of pairing some favorite holiday movies with equally great books. You can count on all of these pairs to feel simpatico in tone, atmosphere, or subject matter; as long as you like the movie, we guarantee you’ll like the book!
For fans of A Christmas Carol
An ingenious retelling of Dickens’s famous A Christmas Carol, Jon Clinch’s MARLEY offers a prequel to Scrooge’s tale of redemption. Jacob Marley is a brilliant scoundrel who, together with his business partner, Scrooge, is set to make a fortune on the slave trade. But as competition mounts, their livelihood is threatened, and the men become entangled in ill-fated romances. In an effort to outsmart each other, they lock themselves into a dangerous battle of violence and deception. Dark and beguiling, MARLEY sets the terrible stakes for A Christmas Carol’s denouement.
For fans of It’s a Wonderful Life
Did you know that before it was a movie, Frank Capra’s beloved It’s a Wonderful Life was a short story? In Philip Van Doren Stern’s original story, which Stern claimed came to him in a dream, George Pratt is at the end of his rope. On the verge of suicide, George is suddenly given the opportunity to see what the world, and those he cares about most, would be like if he didn’t exist. With elegant illustrations and all the heart and generosity of the movie, THE GREATEST GIFT will renew your love of this classic story.
For fans of Die Hard
From the bestselling author Vince Flynn comes another razor-sharp page-turner starring Mitch Rapp, a CIA counterterrorist operative. When the White House is taken hostage by a terrorist organization, Mitch, with his knowledge of the building’s secret passageways, has the opportunity to save a hundred hostages; but he’ll have to finish the job before the terrorists find the ultimate prize—the president, hidden in a bunker below. With all the heart-pounding action and puzzle-solving intrigue of Die Hard, TRANSFER OF POWER offers a new iconic hostage scenario.
For fans of A Christmas Story
A Macy’s department-store elf records his trials and tribulations during the Christmas season. A local school’s Christmas pageant goes hysterically awry. A pair of neurotic neighbors go wild in their attempts to outdo each other’s generous spirit. These are just a few of the hilarious, heartfelt gems in master-comic David Sedaris’s holiday-appropriate collection. With all the wit, humor, and familial nostalgia of the 1983 romp A Christmas Story, HOLIDAYS ON ICE is sure to appeal to those looking for both laughs and catharsis.
Who can forget this collection of raucous stories about Christmas traditions and mishaps? From "Christmas Means Giving," with its competitively generous neighbors, to "Front Row Center for Thaddeus Bristol," Sedaris' mock serious review of a grade school Christmas pageant. Holidays on Ice is a full bounty of entertaining stories about Christmas, Halloween, secret Santas, and the difficulties of explaining the Rabbit of Easter to the French. Read it for a laugh this holiday.
For fans of Miracle on 34th Street
Straight from the mouth of the man who played Radio City Music Hall’s Santa for twenty-seven years, SANTA CLAUS IS FOR REAL tells the inspiring story of Charles Edward Hall. After years of struggle, Hall believed himself to be a jaded, down-and-out man with no hope of reform. But a series of miraculous coincidences lead to him taking on the role of a lifetime that will renew his faith in people, the season, and himself. A charming real-life fable à la Miracle on 34th Street, this book is sure to renew even the harshest cynic’s belief in magic.
For fans of Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
After 13-year-old Theo Decker survives an explosion that kills his mother, he is taken in by a wealthy New York City family. In this new world of privilege and secrets, Theo must navigate his own loss and grief as he becomes embroiled in an art world mystery that follows him and a stolen painting across time and space. A Dickensian coming-of-age story that delights in the details and the texture of New York City, THE GOLDFINCH is an unexpectedly rich pairing with the boyish adventures of Home Alone and its New York sequel.
The novel that took the world by storm and won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction is (finally!) out in paperback. A mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, it is an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.
For fans of Nightmare Before Christmas
Bod is a normal boy . . . except for that fact that he lives in a graveyard and has been raised by ghosts. Bod recounts his darkly entertaining graveyard adventures, but hanging above him always is the threat from a man named Jack who said if Bod leaves the graveyard, he’ll end up like his murdered parents. Macabre, tender, and surprisingly funny, THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, which won both the Newbery and Carnegie medals, aligns with the eccentric, cobwebbed aesthetic of Nightmare Before Christmas.
For fans of The Nutcracker
From master fairy-tale re-teller Gregory Maguire comes HIDDENSEE, a re-imagining of the ultimate Christmas classic: The Nutcracker. In telling the origin story of the magical toy Nutcracker, who leads young Klara into a magical forested world, Maguire also investigates the shadowy, uncanny figure of Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker’s creator and Klara’s not-so-benevolent godfather. Like the original The Nutcracker, HIDDENSEE relishes in finding light amid the darkness and luxuriates in the magic of mystery.
For fans of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
The first book in Elin Hilderbrand’s riotously fun holiday series about the Quinn family, Winter Street recounts patriarch Kelley Quinn’s attempt to bring together his four children for the holidays at his beloved Inn. But after Kelley finds his second wife kissing a coworker, and with each of Kelley’s children embroiled in their own dramas, the holidays are bound to be more complicated than anticipated. Warm-hearted, funny, with a dose of dysfunctionality, Winter Street is bound to appeal to fans of the raucous, family-adventure-filled NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION.