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Cat in the Stax: Classics To Read for Christmas in July

By Jenna Newman

We’re celebrating Christmas in July, so the feeling of cheer never needs to disappear. Light a candle, snuggle up with one of these books, which are great all year round! 

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

This novel is the epitome of a Christmas classic, which is why it’s taken the coveted spot of first on my book list this week. Dickens’ classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge has been adapted for every audience and medium. My personal favorite adaptation is the Mickey Mouse Disney take starring Mickey and Scrooge McDuck. However, if you haven’t read the classic in a while (or ever!) it’s definitely worth the read this holiday season. 

The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford

If you’ve read, and loved, A Christmas Carol then the next book for you to read is The Man Who Invented Christmas. Standiford tells the story behind the story, including how Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in a last attempt to save his career. If you like to see stories on a big screen, The Man Who Invented Christmas became a film in 2017, although it hasn’t picked up as much momentum as one may have expected. 

The Father Christmas Letters by J.R.R. Tolkien

Whether you’re a Lord of the Rings fan or not, The Father Christmas Letters is worth pulling off the shelf this holiday season. The novel is a compilation of letters that Tolkien wrote to his children each year at Christmastime. Each letter was written either from Father Christmas or a polar bear. Tolkien creates a world for his children, aiding in their belief of Santa Claus and all things having to do with the North Pole, which creates for a magical read for all.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Once again, I’ve found a way to throw my favorite book Little Women onto a book list. If you haven’t picked up the book yet, Christmas is a perfect time to read it for the first time. Little Women was originally two separate stories, Little Women and Good Wives. The first original novel and first half of what we know today as Little Women is book-ended by the March girl’s Christmas day celebrations. Greta Gerwig’s movie adaptation was also released Christmas Day 2019!


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.






Banned Books Week Selection: The Lord of the Rings

headshot of Darren Poley

“Banning The Lord of the Rings makes no sense at all. The works of J.R.R. Tolkien are woven so densely that the underlying Christian sensibility of them is a nearly imperceptible part of the fabric, but that hardly means they should be denounced as Satanic. In fact, some of the greatest works by some of the greatest minds including Augustine struggle with the invisible hand of God and the human discernment of free will in concert with a limited understanding of divine foreknowledge.

“I submit that divine Providence is a major character of The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien, because and not in spite of the fact that there is no religion in it at all, and anyone who takes a grossly un-intellectual approach to it should brush up on what C. S. Lewis called transferred classicism.”Darren G. Poley, Associate Director of Research Services and Scholarly Engagement, Theology, Humanities and Classical Studies Librarian on his must-read selection for Banned Books Week



Last Modified: September 27, 2019

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