Cool Off With Christmas in July!

Winter is often a time of joy, when people come together to sing carols and spend time with family and friends. Often throughout the year, we forget what is important. The spirit of giving and the season to spend time with those you love can be celebrated all year long. So, to instill these feelings we experience during the popular winter holiday, here are some ebooks, audiobooks, music, and movies about the Christmas season! 

Ebeneezer Scrooge is the quintessential Christmas grumbler in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (also available on hoopla), a story that has inspired countless retellings as books (see these ebooks on hoopla), movies (seven of which are available on hoopla), and even holiday plays such as the one shown at North Shore Music Theater. The unforgettable ghostly quartet that visits the greedy guy, led by the spirit of Scrooge’s deceased partner, Jacob Marley, are enough to change a man’s entire outlook and remind him of what is important in life, especially at Christmastime.

John Grisham’s Skipping Christmas is a popular modern classic which inspired the movie Christmas with the Kranks (available to watch on hoopla with no wait!), starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee-Curtis. If ever there were characters who forgot what the holiday season was about, it’s the Kranks. They decide to skip Christmas and set sail on a caribbean cruise. But will they go through with their holiday plans, or will something remind them of why this time of year is so special despite all the holiday hassle?

Mystery fans will love to cuddle up with some Christmas cozies on Overdrive and hoopla. Get ready for A Little Yuletide Murder with Jessica Fletcher in book 11 of the Murder, She Wrote Series. Who killed Santa Claus? All Jessica Fletcher wants to do is enjoy a nice holiday in Cabot Cove, but someone killed the guy who plays the small town Santa Claus every year, and Jessica wants to wrap up the case by Christmas. 

Baker and amateur sleuth Hannah Swensen is on the case in Joanne Fluke’s dessert-filled delectables, which can be checked out on Overdrive or hoopla. Included in the holiday-themed titles are a spectacular Christmas ball, a deceased Mrs. Claus, and recipes for delicious desserts!

If you’re more into movies than books, stream one of the many holiday movies available on hoopla! Not only will you find the aforementioned Christmas with the Kranks and various versions of A Christmas Carol, but you’ll find family friendly movies like Small Town Santa, in which the sheriff arrests a home intruder who claims to be Santa Claus; or Christmas with the Andersons, to show how you can enjoy the holiday even if you lose your job. For more mature movies, Christmas Kiss or Back to Christmas might be the romantic movie you want to see.

All these titles are just the tip of the iceberg! Check out even more on Overdrive/the Libby app or on hoopla!

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Narratives with Recipes!

Enjoy a good book and try a new homemade treat with these novels and biographies that delve into the culinary world!

Meet Me at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan is a heartwarming story of Issy Randall realizing her dream of opening a café. Growing up with her Grandpa Joe, who ran several bakeries, baking was in her blood. So, after being laid off from her job, she decided to turn to what she knew how to do best.

Don’t forget to check out the next book in the series: Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe. Jenny Colgan has many other culinary-themed fiction novels to check out from other series as well, and they are also available to download on hoopla. 

My Life in France by Julia Child is the fascinating autobiography of Julia Child, a tall girl from Pasadena, California who we know as the celebrated French Chef from her PBS cooking show and her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which she wrote with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. It is an endearing story about how she met and fell in love with her husband, Paul Child, who worked as a diplomat. They had to travel to France for his work, and with the desire to learn how to cook for her husband and falling in love with the cuisine of France, Julia was inspired to take courses at Cordon Bleu Cooking School. The rest is history.

Julie and Julia became a movie, directed by Nora Ephron and starring Meryl Streep, based on the books My Life in France and Julie Powell’s memoir, Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen. It won a Golden Globe Award. Powell’s book chronicles the year of embarking on a project to cook a recipe from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking every day for a year. Frustrated with her job as a secretary, this cooking project and the successful blog she writes about it gives her a whole new direction in life. Check out the ebook on Overdrive or the audiobook on hoopla.

Ann Mah’s impressive travelogue, Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love From a Year in Paris, details the regional food of France as she travels the country. Stationed in France with her husband, who is a diplomat, Ann Mah researches the traditional food of France, referencing the work of Julia Child. Ann Mah is a writer for The New York Times travel section, a journalist, and a novelist.

Lavender Blue Murder by Laura Childs is 21st in the Tea Shop Mysteries featuring Theodosia Browning, proprietor of Indigo Tea Shop. Prolific writer Laura Childs’ cozy series is set in Charleston, South Carolina. There are likeable regular characters, recipes, and, of course, a mystery to solve. Attending an English-style game bird hunt with her friend Drayton, there is a murder of the host who has been shot and his widow presses Theodosa to help solve the crime despite Theodosia’s detective boyfriend, Pete Riley, wanting her to stear clear of the investigation.

Lavendar Blue Murder can be found as an ebook and audiobook. There are more titles from the series accessible in Overdrive. Check out the full series in NoveList here. The first book in the series is Death by Darjeeling.

Coconut Layer Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke is the 25th book in the popular Hannah Swensen Mystery series, so there are many volumes to enjoy for new fans. This cozy mystery is set in Lake Eden, Minnesota. Hannah Swensen owns a bakery shop, The Cookie Jar, and finds herself solving mysteries on the side. In Coconut Layer Cake Murder, Hannah tries to go on vacation with her mother to California when her sisters’s boyfriend is suddenly a suspect in a murder case of an old high school friend. Hannah also has to move in with her old love interest, Norman Rhodes. Recipes, of course, are included!

You can see the list of the Hannah Swensen Mystery series in NoveList with your library card. The first volume in the series is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder. There are titles also available to download by Joanne Fluke from hoopla.