Wednesday, December 16, 2009

12 Days of Christmas Guest Post: Stacey Kade, author of The Ghost and the Goth

My Favorite Holiday Books by Stacey Kade

Thank you, Danielle, for inviting me to post here today. :)

I must confess, I don't have a particular favorite holiday-themed book. The one that always springs to mind is A Christmas Carol, but frankly, I had enough of Charles Dickens to last me a lifetime back when I was an English major. His stories are so depressing. Seriously. Don't believe me? Try Bleak House. If you can even lift it. It's 896 pages. Huge AND depressing, a terrible combination. :)

Anyway, what I do have is a particular holiday tradition. One of my favorite things to do every year around this time is to dig out my favorite books from when I was a kid. I think it's getting together with family and lots of childhood Christmas memories that send me on this wave of nostalgia. Plus, it's fun to revisit these favorite characters and settings to be transported back to my early days of reading or to learn something new.

For example, a couple of years ago, I re-read Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Though I enjoyed the whole series, this book in particular was a favorite when I was growing up. But back then, I identified with Laura, traveling with her parents on an adventure that included wolves, building log houses, and the possibility of seeing a papoose.

As an adult (most days), I read it and thought: I can't believe these two people (Ma and Pa) are younger than I am now and took two small children into the middle of nowhere to build a life out of nothing but what they could find and make for themselves. Now that's some courage and self-reliance…and I prefer my nice already-assembled house with TiVo and pizza delivery, thank you very much.

The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett is another of my favorites that I usually bring out around this time of year. If you haven't read this, you are missing out on a classic. I think it's the original nice-girl-gets-sent-to-evil-boarding-school story that you see so much of these days. But it's also about hope and faith and being kind, without being preachy. (As a minister's daughter, that last bit—no preachiness—is always important to me!)

My favorite thing, though, about this book is not the story or the beautiful illustrations in this version. It is the physical book itself. When I was younger, my family didn't have a lot of money. So, we got books wherever we could, including library book sales, where the library staff sells off damaged books or duplicates.

In the case of The Little Princess, it is damaged slightly on the spine. But it's hardcover, one of the first I ever owned, and it still has the library check-out card on the inside, which I love. It even still smells like a library book. How cool is that?

This year, in the process of unpacking my library at home, I came across a copy of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. That will be my holiday read this year...I hope. Things have been a bit crazy lately as I'm trying to finish up revisions to my draft of Princess Poltergeist. That is the sequel to my first YA novel, The Ghost and the Goth, which comes out in just a few short months. Well, six months, but they're going to go by quickly, I just know it. So, I'm going to be carrying A Wrinkle in Time with me everywhere this holiday season, reading whenever I get the chance! :)

How about you? What are your favorite books to re-read?


As an award-winning corporate copywriter, Stacey Kade has written about everything from backhoe loaders to breast pumps. But she prefers to make things up instead.

She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Greg, and three retired racing greyhounds, Joezooka (Joe), Tall Walker (Walker) and SheWearsThePants (Pansy). When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll likely find her parked in front of the television with her Roswell DVDs, staring rapturously at Jason Behr. The Ghost and the Goth is her first YA novel.

You can check out her website for more info.


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