Despite the song, the real twelve days of Christmas start on Christmas Day and continue through the eve of the Epiphany (Twelfth Night). But the countdown to Christmas may start as early as December 1st if you have an Advent Calendar and sometimes right after Halloween in shopping malls.
With twelve days left, here is a short list of Christmas themed books you might have missed.
- Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Leviathan
What would you do if you found a notebook in the stacks of a New York City bookstore with a mysterious note, challenging you to solve a mystery? In this young adult book, the authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist create a quirky and delightful story combining a love of books with teenage first love.
Lily, an avid reader and dog walker, has written a set of clues and challenges in a red notebook and left it on her favorite bookstore shelf hoping for the right guy to find it. Dash (short for Dashiell), a lover of books and yogurt, finds the notebook and they begin passing it between them with clues, sometimes literary, leading each to new places and experiences around the city during Christmas.
- Agatha Christie Christmas Mysteries
A Christmas family get-together abruptly ends in a murder with Hercule Poirot called in to investigate in Hercules Poirot’s Christmas, and in The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (a wonderful BBC audiobook), Poirot finds a scrawled note on his pillow: “DON’T EAT NONE OF THE PLUM PUDDING. ONE WHO WISHES YOU WELL”. A fun alternative to listening to The Night Before Christmas.
Pablo Picasso’s Noel by Carol Ann Duffy follows the famous painter as he moves through a small town in the south of France on Christmas Eve, drawing the residents and the festive scenes he encounters, accompanied by his small dog.
- The Indisputable Existence of Santa Claus by Dr. Hannah Fry provides mathematical proof of Santa with puzzles and games.
- Christmas: A Biography by Judith Sanders gives a social historian’s examination of the origins, myths, legends and history of the season.
- Christmas with the Savages by Mary Clive, a funny children’s story based on real events and people, is seen through the eyes of a prim eight-year old girl in a large Edwardian country house.
- Christmas Remembered (audiobook) by children’s author Tommy dePaola shares his love for Christmas in fifteen vivid memories, spanning six decades – as a teenager in Connecticut, an art student in Brooklyn, a novice monk in Vermont, and an artist in New Hampshire.
To get to twelve, try some Charles Dickens: The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, A Christmas Tree, and The Holly Tree – all available on line at Dickens on Line.