Judith’s (Reader in the Wilderness) Christmas Open House

Judith at Reader in the Wilderness is running a December/Christmas/New Year themed Open House, have a look if you’re interested.

Every year to get myself in the mood for Christmas I read some Christmas themed books, but this year that isn’t going to be so easy as I’ve packed away most of the books which I’ve read already, in anticipation of moving house. In fact we had hoped we would have moved by now but houses just aren’t selling at the moment, unless you can afford to practically give them away – so I don’t have my Christmas books to hand this year. I’ve also ‘lost’ a box of crucial Christmas decorations, somewhere in the attic I think.

Anyway, tonight I just want to quickly mention two books which aren’t really Christmasy but I was given them by my Gran at Christmas when I was about 9 or 10, so to me they always mean Christmas. They are also the only books which have survived from my childhood as my mother gave all the others away when my back was turned at the age of 12!! She kept these two because they had been inscribed by Gran to me.

The first one is I suppose a classic. It’s The Silver Skates, sometimes called Hans Brinker, a story of life in Holland by Mary Mapes Dodge, an American author and was first published in 1865. You can read it here from Project Gutenberg. It’s a quick and enjoyable read.

The other book is Sahara Hostage by Kelman D Frost, another American author and published in 1962. I absolutely loved this adventure story about a horse which is kidnapped, but I’ve never seen any more books by this author, or even met anyone else who has read his books. But I see that there are a few more titles on Abebooks, I might just have to buy them. I think this one was really meant for boys, but that obviously didn’t bother Gran – or me.

As these were both Christmas presents from Gran, they spell Christmas for me. I remember I was thrilled when I unwrapped them, it was the days when children were satisfied with small gifts, a book and a wee flat tin of toffees with a photo of puppies or kittens on the lid, happy days!

Tomorrow I’ll write about some more Christmas related books.