Sunday, 15 December 2013

Countdown to Christmas Day 15: My Favourite Christmas Book(s) by Caroline Finnerty

This evening's Countdown to Christmas feature is a guest post by Irish author Caroline Finnerty talking about her top picks for Christmas reads.

Christmas is my all time favourite time of year. All those lazy days of catching up on your to-be-read pile by the fire, the only thing you need to move is your hand to turn the page or to fish a sweet out from the tin of Roses. Here are a few of my picks if you’re looking for a warm read to cosy up with over the Christmas. I hope you enjoy them!

The Gift by Cecilia Ahern

Lou Suffern wishes he could be in two places at once. His constant battle with the clock is a sensitive issue with his wife and family. When Lou invites Gabe, a homeless man who sits outside his office, into the building nd into his life, Lou’s world is changed beyond all measure…

Cecilia Ahern is queen of the modern day fairytale and this book is exactly that, with all of the magic of Christmas thrown in. There is a message about what really is important in life at its heart. Think ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ for the modern day.

Mad About The Boy by Helen Fielding

What do u do when a girlfriend's 60th birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend's 30th?

Is it wrong to lie about your age when online dating?

Is it morally wrong to have a blow-dry when one of your children has head lice?

Is sleeping with someone after 2 dates and 6 weeks of texting the same as getting married after 2 meetings and 6 months of letter writing in Jane Austen's day?

These are some of the questions that poor Brigid is now obsessing about. I’m a huge Bridget Jones fan both of the books and the movies. Mad About The Boy is in my pile and I’m looking forward to catching up with Bridget over a glass of mulled wine, an open tin of Roses and seeing what antics she gets up to next.

A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill 

Darcy Archer works in a small bookstore in Manhattan. One day, when cycling to work, Darcy accidentally crashes into a man walking his dog. He is rushed to hospital and the poor pup gets left behind.

Wracked with guilt, Darcy takes the dog and makes plans to reunite him with owner, Aidan. As she discovers the mysterious stranger's world of books, travel, adventure and all the wonderful things she's ever dreamt about, Darcy builds a picture of this man and wonders if he could be THE ONE…

But what happens when Prince Charming wakes up? Will Aidan be the happy ever after she's always imagined?

Melissa Hill always does a great plot full of twists that will keep you guessing until the end. I have to say I loved Something From Tiffanys and The Charm Bracelet, which are both warm, romantic reads set in beautiful snowy New York at Christmas time. So A Gift to Remember will be the perfect book to cosy up with this year.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This classic needs no introduction. It opens with:

"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.

“It's so dreadful to be poor!” sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.

“I don't think it's fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all,” added little Amy, with an injured sniff. 

“We've got Father and Mother, and each other,” said Beth contentedly from her corner.

Nobody does Christmas like the Victorians and that’s why I have to include at least one book from that era. Most young girls will have read this at some point in their lives and if there is a girl in your life who hasn’t yet read it, it would make a wonderful gift.

If I Was A Child Again (Various)

I hope it’s okay to include a book that I had the pleasure of compiling but it is a very special book for a very worthy cause as 100% of the royalties raised are going to Barnardos. If I Was a Child Again is a collection of memories and inspirational words from some of Ireland’s finest writers, journalists and TV personalities as they tell us what they would do, if they could be a child again for one more day. 

Some people recall their fondest childhood memories, some are bittersweet, while others provide uplifting words of wisdom for today’s children. This book will make you laugh and cry but, above all, it encapsulates the magic of childhood. I can hand on heart say it is a truly great read, so please, please buy a copy and help to change a child’s life for the better. 

Caroline Finnerty lives on the banks of the Grand Canal in Co. Kildare with her husband, three young children and their dog. Her first book 'In a Moment' was released in April 2012 her second 'The Last Goodbye' was released in July 2013 both published by Poolbeg Press. She also compiled 'If I was a Child Again ' a collection of non-fiction pieces from some of Ireland’s best loved authors, journalists and media personalities with all royalties donated to Barnardos. Her third novel ‘Into The Night Sky’ is due for release in 2014. You can find out more on her website or she is on Twitter as @cfinnertywriter.

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