A Winter’s Tale
In the 18th century Victorians would gather round the flickering lights of an open fire and tell each other ghost stories at Christmas time. But the telling and sharing of scary tales at midwinter goes back much further. As the days grew shorter it must have seemed to our ancestors that light was dying and darkness would prevail. Darker, older, more fundamental tales of death would be shared, along with hope and promise of rebirth.
Nowadays we gather round the TV to watch the Christmas specials of our favourite dramas such as Call the Midwife, or our favourite movies such as It’s a Wonderful Life or The Muppets’ Christmas Carol.
And without doubt, cold days and long dark nights are the perfect excuse to curl up with a good book. And books are the reason we are here!
Fireside tales, television, films, books – they are all ways of sharing stories.
We have selected some of the seasonal books available from Jesmond Library. Ghost stories to scare you, true life to inspire you, then there is cosy crime, gritty crime, family drama, humour, historical romance – we have stories to suit all tastes. Which will you choose for your winter’s tale?
A Christmas Carol and other Christmas Writings by Charles Dickens
Without doubt, the ghost story we most associate with the season is the Victorian classic, A Christmas Carol. Along with Dickens’ other Christmas writings, it has had a lasting and significant influence upon our ideas about the true meaning of Christmas, and about the season as a time for celebration, charity, and memory.
Christmas in the Trenches by Alan Wakefield
Next on the list is a collection of true life stories from the First World War. Alan Wakefield has trawled the archives of the Imperial War Museum, National Archives, and National Army Museum to provide a fascinating selection of first-hand accounts of wartime Christmases of World War I.
Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon
On Christmas Eve, heavy snowfall brings a train to a halt near the village of Hemmersby. Several passengers take shelter in a deserted country house. Trapped together for Christmas, the passengers are seeking to unravel the secrets of the empty house when a murderer strikes in their midst.
The Santa Klaus Murder by Mavis Doriel Hay
A classic country-house murder mystery. When Sir Osmond Melbury, the family patriarch, is discovered dead on Christmas Day, the festivities are plunged into chaos.
Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson
Detective Alex Cross is called into action on Christmas Eve – and he’ll be lucky to see the New Year.
The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
A shivery, atmospheric, page-turning novel of psychological suspense in the tradition of Agatha Christie, in which a group of old college friends are snowed in at a hunting lodge . . . and murder and mayhem ensue.
The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
A young boy wakes to find his mother missing. Outside, he sees her favourite scarf – wrapped around the neck of a snowman. When a second woman disappears, the detective’s worst suspicion is confirmed: a serial killer is operating on his home turf.
Snowdrift and other stories by Georgette Heyer
Famous for her historical tales of regency times, affairs of the heart between heirs and orphans, beauties and bachelors; romance, intrigue, escapades and duels at dawn.
This Year it Will be Different by Maeve Binchy
Filled with Maeve Binchy’s trademark wit and true storytelling genius. The festive season may be magical, but it can also be a time of family difficulties, a time to reflect on relationships; a time of change.
Mixed bag of short stories:
The Snow Garden and other stories by Rachel Joyce
As read on Radio 4, seven linked stories set in the Christmas holidays – all as funny, joyous, poignant and memorable as Christmas should be.
However you spend the holiday season, all of us at Jesmond Library wish you a very happy Christmas.
- June 2022 (2)
- March 2022 (1)
- February 2022 (2)
- January 2022 (1)
- December 2021 (2)
- November 2021 (3)
- October 2021 (4)
- September 2021 (1)
- August 2021 (2)
- July 2021 (2)
- June 2021 (1)
- May 2021 (2)
- April 2021 (1)
- March 2021 (3)
- February 2021 (4)
- January 2021 (7)
- December 2020 (2)
- September 2020 (2)
- August 2020 (3)
- July 2020 (1)
- June 2020 (6)
- May 2020 (5)
- April 2020 (4)
- March 2020 (7)
- February 2020 (4)
- January 2020 (5)
- December 2019 (4)
- November 2019 (4)
- October 2019 (4)
- September 2019 (6)
- August 2019 (4)
- July 2019 (5)
- June 2019 (4)
- May 2019 (5)
- April 2019 (8)
- March 2019 (10)
- February 2019 (9)
- January 2019 (6)
- December 2018 (4)
- November 2018 (10)
- October 2018 (10)
- September 2018 (4)
- August 2018 (5)
- July 2018 (7)
- June 2018 (1)
- May 2018 (8)
- February 2018 (2)