12 Books of Christmas

Good morning Savvy Readers,

Happy 12 Books of Christmas! Earlier this week, we introduced you all to our 12 Books of Christmas festivities, here. The plan is a 12-day and 12-book celebration, during which we discuss some of our favourite titles of the 2012 holiday season! As mentioned, there will be classic books, children’s books, books we are giving as gifts and books we just had to share with you! More importantly, we are excited to hear from you! Join in with the hashtag #12DaysofXmas… there will be lots of holiday discussions and giveaways!

Book #12: The Night before Christmas by Clement C. Moore and illustrated by Mary Engelbrit

Although tonight is not yet the night before Chrsitmas, it is the end of our 12 Books of Christmas, and so we saw it fit to give honour to a classic Christmas poem. The Night Before Christmas is read by children and adults around the world every Christmas Eve. For this merry celebration, illustrator Mary Engelbreit has filled every page of Clement C. Moore’s classic story with bewitching details, rich color, and memorable characters. These include a bevy of mischievous elves, an adorable mouse, and a lovable, bespectacled Santa. What is there not to love!?

What is your favourite holiday book? Is it one on the list, or is there one that we missed!? Let us know on twitter using the hashtag #12DaysofXmas. Though we will be laying low over the holidays (and trying to stay off the computer!) we look forward to hearing from you. We hope you all have wonderful holidays! Merry Christmas!

Book #11: The Lump of Coal by Lemony Snicket

The penultimate book of our #12BooksofXmas is my personal favourite: Lemony Snicket’s hilarious attempt at Christmas cheer, The Lump of Coal, which begins by stating that “Miracles are like pimples, because once you start looking for them you find more than you’d ever dreamed you’d see.” Accompanied by surprisingly charming pictures of a lump of coal dressed in a tux, whose only wish is to be used for artistic purposes, Snicket’s snarky picture book makes for a wonderful addition to anyone’s collection of holiday books, old or young.

Book #10: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Book 10 of our 12 Days of Christmas is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I may be speaking from personal experience, but I strongly believe that A Christmas Carol is an integral part of the holidays. Whether you are like me and reread this Christmas classic every year, or you enjoy watching the film adaptations, the story of Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim is forever linked to Christmas tradition. My family’s rule is no one is allowed to go to bed until Reginald Owen stands on his head in the 1938 film adaptation. And, let’s be serious: who hasn’t seen and loved the Muppets version with Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge? Charles Dickens created a story that can be adapted and repurposed for stage, screen and in print – as a picture booka graphic novel or an eBook – but remains true to the spirit of Christmas. What’s your favourite Christmas Carol adaptation? Tell us via Twitter using the hashtag #12BooksofXmas.
PS – HarperCollinsCanada has a Charles Dickens’ ebook collection featured right now! It features four short holiday stories, including A Christmas Carol, and is quite simply the perfect holiday collection for anyone with an e-reader supported by KoboAppleAmazonGoogleor Sony.

Book #9: The Berenstain Bears’ Old Fashioned Christmas by Mike and Jan Berenstain

With book number nine of our 12 Books of Christmas celebration here at The Savvy Reader, we’re travelling back in time to revisit a childhood Christmas-time favourite: The Berenstain Bears’ Old Fashioned Christmas! When the Bear family visits Grizzly Gramps and Gran for the holidays, there is no TV to watch or video games to play—only carols to sing and decorations to be put up. While the cubs are at first put off by their grandparents’ request for an old-fashioned Christmas, it ends up being the best holiday they can ever remember having! A family classic, Jan and Mike Berenstain’s story is especially pertinent in today’s technologically-savvy age and serves as a friendly reminder to turn off the gadgets and plug into the festive, family-oriented season!

Did you grow up reading The Berenstain Bears, too? The loveable bear family recently celebrated their 50th anniversary! Watch this video to learn more.

Book #8: Sweet Celebrations by Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne

The eighth book of our 12 Books of Christmas is a great gift for anyone with a sweet tooth, or the perfect way to treat yourself this holiday season! Jam packed with inventive cupcake recipes, decorating tips, personal memories of family bake-a-thons and much more, Sweet Celebrations is yet another wonderful cookbook from sisters Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne, the passionate and hardworking stars of TLC’s DC Cupcakes. Offering up ideas for every occasion—from Christmas to baby showers to campouts—this is not only a fantastic baking resource but also a reminder that as long as you love what you do, and you’re willing to work hard, anything is possible.

Tell us what your favourite holiday recipe is on Twitter at @SavvyReader using the hashtag #12BooksofXmas!

Book #7: The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

Today marks ONE WEEK until Christmas Eve. It is also Day #7 of our 12 Books of Christmas, which means we are half-way through our celebrations! Can you believe how fast time flies? Time is the theme of today’s book, The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom, a compelling fable about the first man on earth to count the hours. Upon inventing the first clock, the Time Keeper must come to understand the meaning of time, and teach others the importance of making every second count. Similar to his previous works – including The Five People You Meet in Heaven and Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom weaves together an absorbing story that simultaneously engages and inspires readers.

Congratulations to those of you who guessed Mitch Albom’s The Time Keeper as Book #7! Winners will be announced via Twitter this afternoon. Now it’s your turn to share with us! How are you spending time this holidays: reading, baking, with your family and friends? Tell us on Twitter at @SavvyReader with the hashtag #12BooksofXmas!

Book #6: Christmas Magic by Cathy Kelly

On the sixth day of our 12 Books of Christmas, we at The Savvy Reader recommend making yourself a cup of hot cocoa, stoking the fire and relaxing with best-selling author Cathy Kelly’s heartwarming debut collection of short stories, Christmas Magic. Using the wonder of the holiday season as her inspiration, Kelly writes with wit and honesty about such daily trials and tribulations as family gatherings, office Christmas parties and playing hostess to out-of-towners. An easy but satisfying read, this is a book to get lost in and revisit throughout the years—it may just be the gift that keeps giving!

Giveaway Alert!: Speaking of giving, tomorrow we are giving away two copies of Book #7! Can you guess what it is? Hint: You should definitely take the time to read it over the holidays! It will keep your heart full, and remind you of what’s important. Think you know it? Tell us what it is on Twitter at @SavvyReader. Winners will be announced tomorrow afternoon!

Book #5: The Kind of Life It’s Been by Lloyd Robertson

Christmas is getting closer, which means we’re ready to reveal Book #5 of our 12 Books of Christmas—longstanding Canadian news anchor Lloyd Robertson’s engaging memoir, The Kind of Life It’s Been! Having delivered Canada its news for 60 years, covering all major events from Terry Fox’s inspiring cross-country run to the horrific details of 9/11, Robertson’s story has become entwined with that of our sprawling, polite nation. Here, he tells us about his humble beginnings in Stratford, Ontario, gives us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into some of the country’s biggest news networks and recounts personal anecdotes with warmth and humour. This is a must read for any proud Canadian or news buff, and makes for a wonderful gift!

Book #4: Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

Book #4 in our exciting 12 Books of Christmas celebration is a true classic: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas. Quite a departure from his most famous works, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and its prequel, The Hobbit, this is in fact a collection of letters that J.R.R. Tolkien penned as “Father Christmas” and sent to his own children each Christmas, over the course of 23 years. Contributing stories to the existing North Pole folklore—such as how, for example, Santa once broke the moon or the reindeers broke loose—this is a perfect gift for both young and old, believers and non-believers alike. Filled with humour and poignancy, beautiful images and even letters from Ilbereth the Elf, Letters from Father Christmas is sure to become a holiday classic cherished by anyone lucky enough to receive it. Psst, if it’s for a Tolkien-lover, may we suggest gifting it with a pair of tickets to see Peter Jackson’s new film adaptation of The Hobbit, or a copy of the book?

PS: We’d love for you to share your Tolkien moments with us over the holidays! If you read the book, tell us your favourite letter. If you see the movie, let us know what you think! Get in touch with us on twitter at @SavvyReader. Don’t forget to check in on our 12 Books of Christmas all weekend… we’ll be announcing the next giveaway in due time!

Book #3: The Divergent/Insurgent Box Set by Veronica Roth

Yesterday, The Savvy Reader appropriately deemed The Perfect Present book #2 in the 12 Books of Christmas, and the perfect present for readers. Though this is true, we believe there is an additional perfect present – the perfect present for YA book-lovers! And what is even more perfect? Our choice is a two-in-one! The Divergent and Insurgent box set is our, HCCFrenzy‘s, choice for book #3 (and, well I guess book #3.5 too) of the 12 Books of Christmas. Join Tris and Four on their adventures through a dystopian society where teenagers are forced to choose a faction based on particular virtues, in which they will remain for the rest of their life. It’s a jam packed adventure with a hint of romance, and both books won Goodread’s Choice Awards: in 2011, Divergent won Favorite Book of 2011 and Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction. In 2012, Insurgent won the prize for Young Adult Fantasy. Also, they’re amazing. Happy holidays!
HCCFrenzy.

Book #2: The Perfect Present by Karen Swan

To all of you on twitter who guessed that The Perfect Present by Karen Swan would be book #2 of our 12 Days of Christmas, you were correct! The Perfect Present is, literally, the perfect present for anyone who wants to curl up with a sentimental, romantic read over the holidays. Laura Cunningham, a shy, introverted jewelry designer is commissioned by Rob Blake to make a charm necklace for his wife, Cat. But each charm must represent a significant part of Cat, and as Laura begins to explore Cat’s life, she begins to rediscover her own.

Of course, we owe a big congratulations to our lovely giveaway winners! We will be announcing your names on twitter later this morning, hang tight! Meanwhile, tell us what you think the perfect present is on twitter at @SavvyReader, using the hashtag #12BooksofXmas!

Book #1: Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin

The first book of our 12 Books of Christmas festivities is Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean; an adorable, illustrated holiday adventure! Santa has fallen ill, and calls on Pete the Cat to deliver the presents on Christmas Eve. “I’ll do it!” said Pete. “And although I am small, at Christmas we give, so I’ll give it my all!” In addition to reminding those young and old the importance of giving over the holidays, reading Pete the Cat Saves Christmas with your family is the perfect way to unwind after an afternoon of decorating. So get cozy in front of the fire and join Pete the Cat on his adventure. Hot Chocolate is highly recommended to make the afternoon even sweeter (if that’s possible!).

Giveaway Alert!: To celebrate the first installment of 12 Books of Christmas, we will be giving away a copy of tomorrow’s book! Can you guess what it is? Hint: it is the Perfect Present for the holidays! Now do you know? Tweet the title of tomorrow’s book at us (@SavvyReader) using the hashtag #12BooksofXmas for your chance to win! We’ll be announcing the winners tomorrow with the book!

Sending you all warm holiday wishes!

The @SavvyReader team.

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Digital Marketing Coordinator at HarperCollins Canada. Film, fiction and fashion blog enthusiast. Follow me on twitter @SavvyReader & @ktvncnt.

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