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.


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.


Annotations are courtesy of NoveList Plus, unless otherwise noted.

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