The Christmas Cracker Book Tag

I found this fabulously festive book tag at the Wicked Witch’s blog and couldn’t resist. It was originally created by The Bumbling Bibliophile and Queen of Contemporary (but so long ago the original posts seem to have been archived). Yes, I should be focusing on reviews, shh.

Pick a book with a wintry cover

I’m going with three covers from my TBR / wishlist, which I find wintry in different ways. The Winter Garden has an explicitly seasonal setting, and I love the ice blooms and the cut crystal stars of the cover. The association for The Time Trials is entirely in my head: to me, those Rorschach bursts coming off the stopwatch are snow-laden trees even though I know it’s meant to be spacetime or something. As for Always North, sure, there are polar bears in the Arctic all year round, but as a child of a slightly more southerly latitude I can’t help but associate cold climate territories with winter.

Pick a festive themed book

Most years I’d be straight in here with The Dark is Rising, which is full of Christmas carols and snow and magic and destiny and pushing back against violent souls – or possibly with The Box of Delights, which I haven’t reread in forever but left deep marks on my childhood. The wolves are running, Master Harker. AAAAAH. Christmas means snow and magic and fear, people.

However, the ever erudite Calmgrove has just launched Narniathon21, with our first discussion at the end of the month. So this winter I’ll be reading my other festive children’s book fantasy: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. And oh look – it’s snow and magic and if it’s rather warmer and fuzzier than my other two picks, it still has terrifying wolves. And yes, I’ve got some hot chocolate to drink while reading it (but no Turkish Delight).

Pick a book that you’re likely to buy as a present 

I have bought a lot of book presents recently, so – without revealing who is getting what – here is a teasing glimpse of a few of them:

Pick a book that you’re likely to curl up by the fireplace with 

I’m a very lucky reptile, and do have a fireplace to curl up by through the festive season, which I’m very much looking forward to. This answer is therefore ‘my current read’, whatever that presently happens to be when the fire goes on… Although I’ve just picked up You Let Me In, which could be exactly the sort of unnerving read that is perfect for a winter night by the fire.

Book cover: You Let Me In - Camilla Bruce

Pick a book that you want to read over the festive period

I’ve been bouncing off books like a pinball and have a wide-open winter TBR. Having struggled to love space opera so far this month (which is making me very sad, but I’ll stop fighting it now), my next read is likely to be a recent fantasy release (Sistersong and The Mask of Mirrors are long overdue) and/or part of a fantasy series that is eligible for next year’s Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards to see if they can dethrone my current two potential nominees (unlikely, but you never know; and I need to get back to The Wolf of Oren-Yaro trilogy and finally read Bradley Beaulieu’s Song of the Shattered Sands).

Pick a book that’s so good it gives you chills

There are some books I just sink into like a stone into deep water. Many of them have been on my list for years, carving out spaces in my heart that endure, but focusing on books I’ve read this year: I’ve got to give a shout-out to the sapphic trifecta of The Jasmine Throne, The Unbroken and She Who Became The Sun, and to the magnificent A Desolation Called Peace (sequel to the similarly brilliant A Memory Called Empire). This year in genre has been staggeringly good.

Fancy joining in? Tag yourself and link back so I can come check out your answers!

IMAGE CREDIT: Cracker/bauble image incorporated in header graphic courtesy of christmashat at