Merry almost Christmas from everyone at Bookbarn! Our retail team leader, Emma, shares her Christmas book list…

Throughout the month of December, there are many things that get you feeling festive. Putting up the tree, going ice skating, wrapping presents - I’m a huge fan of all of these. Something else I attempt every year is to work through my Christmas Book List.

It’s made up of all of the books that get me excited for Christmas, that make me feel all warm and cosy, or even leave me so chilly that I have to dive under a very large blanket.

(It’s important to mention that not once have I managed to read every one of these during the Christmas period, but maybe this will be the year!)

Here they are.

The Harry Potter Series J K Rowling


Truthfully, is there any time when the Harry Potter books aren’t the perfect read? Heartwarming, exciting - and the thought of Hogwarts in the snow, floating candles and a massive Christmas feast never fails to get me feeling super festive.

"Harry had never in all his life had such a Christmas dinner. A hundred fat, roast turkeys; mountains of roast and boiled potatoes; platters of chipolatas; tureens of buttered peas, silver boats of thick, rich gravy and cranberry sauce — and stacks of wizard crackers every few feet along the table... Harry pulled a wizard cracker with Fred and it didn't just bang, it went off with a blast like a cannon and engulfed them all in a cloud of blue smoke, while from the inside exploded a rear admiral's hat and several live, white mice."

A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens


The ultimate Christmas story! What better to remind you what Christmas is all about than the story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s unique Christmas Eve.

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”

The Woman in Black Susan Hill


Now this one may seem a little like the odd one out - but I love being thoroughly creeped out and needing to hide under a blanket. It’s also a great contrast, to read passages about isolated houses and neverending marshlands whilst sitting in a comfy chair next to the Christmas tree with a hot chocolate.

“But at my feet, the dog Spider began to whine, a thin, pitiful, frightened moan, and to back away from the door a little and press against my legs.”

Matilda Roald Dahl


The wonderful Matilda, so genuinely heartwarming and sweet, makes my list each year because I feel that it embodies all of the best things about Christmas. Generosity, kindness and fun all wrapped up in one little children’s book. Keeps me warm every year. Also, without this story, I’d still be struggling to spell Difficulty.

“So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.”

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Dr Seuss


Last but definitely not least is the wonderful How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr Seuss. My love for Dr Seuss knows no bounds, and this story is so much fun that I sit down to read it regularly, not just at Christmas. The grumpy Grinch is so lovable, and who wouldn’t want to spend Christmas down in Whoville?

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,

stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?

It came without ribbons. It came without tags.

It came without packages, boxes or bags.

And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.

What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store?

What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”