Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts

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I have not read this book.  I don’t even own it yet.  But I read about it this morning, I’ll buy it today, and I’m so excited to share it with you!  If you like Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, read on.

Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days is a collection of stories by award-winning British novelist Jeanette Winterson (Why be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, The Gap of Time).

Here’s what Kirkus Review has to say:

Ghosts, fairies, self-revelation, and friendly seasonal recipes give this collection a potentially wide-ranging appeal for readers as well as gift shoppers.

Winterson … has gathered 12 Yule-themed stories in a book laced with bits of autobiography both in the introduction – a handy guide to the history of Christmas – and in the dishes she describes after each tale.  She is especially good with the supernatural, using eerie and magical elements in ways that hark back to Poe and Dickens…. Winterson’s prose is often witty and sometimes lyrical, as in this description of Bethlehem before the first Christmas in the quite wonderful “The Lion, the Unicorn and Me”: “a musty, rusty, fusty pudding of a town…its people cussed and blustering.”  The recipes seem doable and appetizing and come with intriguing glimpses of the writer, her friends, and their Christmas rituals.

And here’s from Erin Kodick, who wrote about the book in Amazon’s Best Books of December post:

My friend’s boyfriend, a musician, was going through a bit of a creative slump, so she suggested he record a Christmas album.  The holidays were approaching so it seemed the perfect time.  He scoffed, “A Christmas album?! That’s what people do when they’re washed-up.”  Though we didn’t agree (and neither does Mariah Carey), I have to admit that I shared the boyfriend’s skepticism.  It just seemed, well, cheesy.  This probably explains my dubiousness when I discovered that Jeanette Winterson had penned a collection of Christmas stories, despite the fact that she is one of my favorite authors.  But I am not ashamed to say, Christmas Days melted my cynical heart.  There are twelve tales, of course, every one infectious with Winterson’s enthusiasm for the season.  This is not to say that all of the stories are joyful.  She slips a couple delightfully spooky ones into the mix, and there are accompanying holiday recipes as well.  Again, not typically a fan of the story/recipe combo, but this book is breaking all of my literary rules because it’s just…well, magic.  There, I said it.  With feeling!

This book has my name all over it.  Maybe yours too!  xo

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If you need some holiday gift ideas, check out these three excellent lists:

Parnassus’ Big List: Part One (Adults), with other parts coming soon:  https://parnassusmusing.net/2016/12/05/the-big-list-holiday-books/

The New York Times, 100 Notable Books of 2016:  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/23/books/review/100-notable-books-of-2016.html?_r=0

The Guardian, Best Books of 2016:  https://www.theguardian.com/books/series/best-books-of-2016

 

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