Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A Yuletide Reading List

The days grow short, the nights grow long, and one thinks about curling up near the hearth with tea, seasonal munchies and a good book or three.  Here's a list of my favorite reading materials for this festive time of the year when we are all thinking about light, community and feasting. Some of these books are out of print, but they can sometimes be found in used book shops online, and they are, very often, happy campers in your local library.

The Oxford Book of Days,
Bonnie Blackburn and Leofranc Holford-Strevens

Echoes of Magic: A Study of Seasonal Festivals through the Ages,
C.A. Burland

Ancient Ways: Reclaiming Pagan Traditions
Pauline and Dan Campanelli

Wheel of the Year: Living the Magical Life
Pauline and Dan Campanelli

The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice,
Carolyn McVickar Edwards

Kindling the Celtic Spirit,
Mara Freeman

A Calendar of Festivals, Traditional Celebrations, Songs, Seasonal Recipes and Things to Make,
Marian Green

The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals As Solar Observatories,
John L. Heilbron

Celebrate the Solstice: Honoring the Earth's Seasonal Rhythms through Festival and Ceremony,
Richard Heinberg

Celestially Auspicious Occasions: Seasons, Cycles & Celebrations,
Donna Henes

Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain
Ronald Hutton

The Winter Solstice
Ellen Jackson

The Dance of Time: The Origins of the Calendar: A Miscellany of History and Myth, Religion and Astronomy, Festivals and Feast Days,
Michael Judge

The Solstice Evergreen: History, Folklore and Origins of the Christmas Tree,
Sheryl Karas

Perpetual Almanack of Folklore
Charles Kightly

Sacred Celebrations: A Sourcebook
Glennie Kindred

Celebrations Of Light : A Year of Holidays Around the World
Nancy Luenn and Mark Bender (Illustrator)

The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Traditions of Christmas,
John Matthews and Caitlin Matthews

Christmas in Ritual and Tradition
Clement A. Miles

Yule: A Celebration of Light and Warmth (Holiday Series),
Dorothy Morrison

The Battle for Christmas
Stephen Nissenbaum

Sacred Origins of Profound Things: The Stories Behind The Rites and Rituals of The World's Religions,
Charles Panati

The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice,
Wendy Pfeffer
and Jesse Reisch

Pagan Christmas: The Plants, Spirits, and Rituals at the Origins of Yuletide,
Christian Rätsch and Claudia Müller-Ebeling

All Around the Year, Holidays and Celebrations in American Life,
Jack Santino

Circle Round: Raising Children in the Goddess Tradition,
Starhawk, Anne Hill and Diane Baker

Keeping Christmas: Yuletide Traditions In Norway And The New Land
Kathleen Stokker

When Santa Was A Shaman: Ancient Origins of Santa Claus & the Christmas Tree,
Tony van Renterghem

The Fires of Yule: A Keltelven Guide for Celebrating the Winter Solstice,
Montague Whitsel

At least three of Dolores Stewart Riccio's Circle novels involve Yuletide and I shall be reading them again this year.  Last, but certainly not least, the holiday interval would not be complete without rereading Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising sequence in its entirety: Over Sea, Under Stone, The Dark is Rising, Greenwitch, The Grey King and Silver on the Tree.


Mystic Meandering said...

What an incredible list! I see more than a few that peek my fancy. And your photo is just magical and mesmerizing. :)

Rowan said...

Now this is my kind of reading list! Some of the titles I already have but many are new to me so I shall investigate them. Susan Cooper's 'The Dark is Rising' books are wonderful aren't they? I, too, must reread the whole thing.

Karen Hall said...

What a wonderful reading list - some are old friends and some are new to me.

I see many happy hours ahead.

Jennifer said...

It's funny, just the other day I was thinking about reading The Dark is Rising series when I was around 12. I remember that I loved it, but that's all I remember.

There is a copy of the whole sequence in one book on order at the store where I work....I plan to buy it and rediscover it all over again!

Great list! Thank you!

Kameshwari said...

I always look forward to your reading lists. Just reading this list brings a sense of the season and inspiration for picking just one book for the season.

I like that Rowan has already read some on this list. Does anyone have any favorites from this list?

kerrdelune said...

My word, they are all terrific books, but I do like the Oxford Book of Days and Richard Heinberg's book on solstice celebrations.

Anonymous said...

Cate; I meant to write a comment re your wonderful photo but then got stuck with that wild and long reading list.
Having some 100+ books shed all over the house (I am buying English books when visiting UK or when friends visit me) I can't say I know any of your list but I also can say I would DEARLY love to find some new friends amongst those titles...
Thanks anyway for the lovely, lovely and imaginative, inspiring and magique post!
Kiki (living in France)

Flaneuse said...

Great list! I have several titles on it, and several more on my shortlist to acquire.

I'd love to see a similar list from you about music of the season!

Joining you in celebrating yuletide,
~Flaneuse in DC