Take Ten: Bah Humbug

Sick of the sappy sentimentality of the holiday season? Do you like your Christmas fruitcake a little on the nuttier side? If you answered yes, then you’re definitely someone who may appreciate one of the following books; they might raise your spirits, but in a snarky way – sort of like spiking the egg nog. Try one before the craziness has you dressing up in ugly Christmas sweaters, minus the irony.

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A Christmas Blizzard – Garrison Keillor

  • A short comic novel about a Hawaii-bound holiday traveler who ends up stranded in his North Dakota hometown during a blizzard.

 A Christmas Story – Jean Shepherd

  • Its affectionate, wacky, and wryly realistic portrayal of an American family’s typical Christmas joys and travails in small-town Depression-era Indiana. (Description from the TFPL Catalog.)

The Christmas Pig – Kinky Friedman

  • In an unconventional holiday tale set in a kingdom two hundred years in the past, ten-year-old Benjamin, a mute autistic savant, is commissioned to paint a nativity scene for midnight mass and meets a talented pig who helps him to find his voice.

Holidays on Ice – David Sedaris

  • An anthology of humorous Christmas tales and essays features excerpts from the author’s “Barrel Fever” and “Naked,” as well as “The Santaland Diaries,” “Season’s Greetings to Our Friends and Family,” and a new tale of holiday mayhem.

I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas – Lewis Black

  • The popular comedian presents rants and anecdotes on the Christmas season, including shopping for presents, large holiday dinners, and visiting relatives.

Politically Correct Holiday Stories – James Garner

  • Garner joyfully frees our popular holiday fables from sexism, ageism, religious imperialism, and every other sorry vestige of our flawed, low-consciousness past. (Description from the TFPL Catalog.)

The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter, the Christmas Miracle Dog – Dave Berry

  • Delighted to be playing the part of a shepherd in the local Christmas pageant at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Doug Barnes is suddenly confronted by a host of problems, including the misbehavior of his fellow shepherds and the illness of the family dog.

Skipping Christmas – John Grisham

  • Luther and Nora Krank have decided to set sail on a Caribbean cruise on December 25th and skip Christmas. They are about to discover that their decision brings enormous consequences–and isn’t half as easy as they imagined.

The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror – Christopher Moore

  • A humorous tale of what happens when a none-too-clever angel overhears a little boy, who, having witnessed Santa taking a shovel to the head, prays for Santa to return from the dead.

You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas – Augusten Burroughs

  • In this caustically funny, nostalgic, poignant, and moving collection Augusten Burroughs recounts Christmases past and present–as only he could. With gimlet-eyed wit and illuminated prose, he shows how the holidays bring out the worst in us and sometimes, just sometimes, the very, very best.

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Annotations are courtesy of NoveList Plus, unless otherwise noted.

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