Our last day. I was wearing my favourite dress today, and it’s now damp and rumpled; a bit like we are. A bit tired and a bit ready to go home, and a bit sad-looking because we’re not ready to say good-bye. Not to those red doubledecker buses, not to the tea, not to the bookshops. Not to each other.
But, my friend, I have loved being on an adventure with you, loved it so much I wished it would never end. But I think you’re fast asleep, and it’s only another three minutes until tomorrow, and this diary is all that’s left of today. A bunch of words that fail to describe a feeling. Like trying to catch a beam of sunlight.
Oh Happy Day! I just passed my final exam for this month and the taste of liberty is ever so sweet. This means that I finally get to read bad romance novels again. Excessively. Of course December is a special time to get involved with books – at least for a Christmas fanatic like me! So for today‘s post I decided to share some of my absolute favourites with you! Enjoy!
Harry Potter and the Philosopher‘s Stone (J.K. Rowling) I know this is not strictly speaking a Christmas novel. But Christmases at Hogwarts always seem to be particularly festive. The armours carol, there‘s a massive dinner and everybody gets the coolest presents. I wanted to have an Invisibility Cloak so badly when I was little!
Shiver (Maggie Stiefvater) To me Maggie‘s stories are the ultimate books to curl up with on cold winter days. The story is about Sam who turns into a wolf every year when the cold comes. But now he‘s human and Grace, the protagonist, wants to keep him warm and around at all costs. This book absolutely completely ruined me! It‘s that good!
Let It Snow (Maureen Johnson, John Green & Lauren Myracle) Now this is all about Christmas. It contains three individual love stories that are all somehow linked, and then there‘s a great finale at the end. It‘s just perfect to get into the Christmas mood. And I laughed. Like, the whole time!
Christmas with Billy and Me (Giovanna Fletcher) Can I just say, the reason I enjoy reading Giovanna Fletcher so much is because I like watching her so much. Whenever there‘s a part of the story that I don‘t like I imagine her reading it out loud and it makes it all better. She‘s such a lovable lady! Christmas with Billy and Me is a spin-off from the original Billy and Me in which Sophie, an anxious small town girl, meets Billy, a famous actor. They fall in love and I can promise you some kind of Happy End, because, you know, they have Christmas together in the spin-off. It‘s a gorgeous little story that had me well up in tears.
Hogfather (Terry Pratchett) Now this is my all time favourite Christmas Story! Very short summary: Death plays Santa Clause. It‘s hilarious, just read it!
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis) It‘s always winter, but it‘s never Christmas. You have no idea just how many wardrobes I entered, hoping I would somehow find myself in Narnia (I was the most gullible child, I swear!). There is so much to this little book that defines Christmas for me
My True Love Gave To Me (edited by Stephanie Perkins) My Honduran host brother got me this last year and I have to say it‘s a perfect match. I love the song from which the title derives, I love the cover and I love almost all the authors that contributed their short stories to this gorgeous work.
It‘s only 18 more days until Christmas and I‘m now going to be spending most of my time away from uni working in the book shop. Book shops are such a magical and beautiful place, especially in winter. I actually love this place so much that I still hang out in the shop‘s café during my free time and just read. And if you‘re wondering, I‘ll now be reading Dream a Little Dream by Giovanna Fletcher. Aaaahh, it‘ll be fabulous!
Of course Anna has also created a list of her favourite books to read in December, so make sure you have a look at her blog on www.tinytrinket.wordpress.com. Actually, I can‘t wait, because I limited myself to seven books and I have a zillion books more I could tell you about right now! So, little consolidation: more books on Annas‘s blog!
A few years ago my aunt gave me a copy of The Fault in our Stars for my birthday. It wasn‘t the kind of gift that she had put a lot of thought into – it was a young adult bestselling novel, and my aunt needed a gift, so there you go. But I instantly fell in love with Hazel Grace and Augustus and their heartwarming story. Hardly a day went by that I didn‘t at least once open the book to find a favourite passage, to stroke the pages and get lost in John Green‘s beautiful words.
So, naturally, when I went to live in Honduras for six months last year TFIOS was the first thing I packed. And despite it being a sad story of a girl with terminal cancer, it always cheered me up. It‘s really not a book about death but a book about life. And it doesn‘t romanticise or glorify cancer or death or even life in any way, but it makes you want to live as much as you can. It makes you want to grasp for air, to just breathe, to fall in love, to hug your friends, to let your breath be taken away.
Before I left Honduras last July, I gave my copy of the book to one of my friends. I didn‘t even think twice about it – if anything can make you remember me, it‘s a book that has all my favourite parts underlined. And I didn‘t regret giving it away either; it‘s in good hands and I‘m glad I gave that person something that means so much to me.
I missed having the book, but I didn‘t want to go to a bookstore and replace it just like that. That just seems such an inappropriate thing to do when it comes to something you love. About a month ago I told the story to my Dutch penpal. I wasn‘t expecting anything in return, it was a mere reply to the TFIOS postcard she‘d attached to the letter. I was all the more surprised when last week I opened the mailbox only to find a battered blue book in it. I was so psyched that I literally took the book for a stroll around my suburb. I took it to the mechanic‘s where I had my bike fixed, I took it to the post office and the bank, and I went grocery shopping with it. Then I went back home and read the little message Soscha had left me on the very first page.
Isn‘t this the loveliest message ever?! Everyone should feel encouraged to give away parts of themselves – whether this is in form of a gesture or a book or a photograph; in the end what we give away comes back to us, and then it can mean so much more.
Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
Ps. Just felt like sharing this super cute scene from the movie with you!
Just read: Let It Snow. Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Lauren Myracle & Maureen Johnson.
I think it‘s fair to say that almost everyone who has once read a John Green novel will read another because he is that amazing a writer!
I finished An Abundance of Katherines last year, and had therefore run out of John Greens – except of course for Let It Snow. But if I‘m very honest, a book called Let It Snow is hardly something I could read in a country like Honduras, where I lived at that time, – it‘s thirty-five degrees warm, I just can‘t bring myself to read a book about snow under these circumstances!
I read it just before Christmas when the weather got cold and grey which is the perfect condition to read Let It Snow!
The book consists of three independent parts that can be read as individual stories. In the end, however, they all come together and you‘ll find out what a girl named Jubilee, a girl named The Duke, four teenage boys called Tobin, Stuart and Jeb, a teacup pig and a bunch of cheerleaders have in common!