Welcome to Capsule’s book club! We’re SO excited to bring you a new book each month to devour and savour. Whether you indulge in a few hours of luxurious alone time each Sunday, or finish your day with a chapter or two, we invite you to relax and enjoy, and if you’re so inclined, connect with fellow Capsule readers and your own family and friends to have a yarn about the book you’ve just read. We’ll be mixing up the titles we feature every month, so you’re in for an eclectic monthly journey.
This month, we’re getting into the Christmas spirit with The Little Library Christmas by Kate Young – part memoir, part cookbook, it’s a celebration of all the elements that make the festive season so special.
As someone who has been playing Christmas carols since October (yes, that is too soon), it’s safe to say that trying to bring on the Festive Feeling has started earlier this year. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of the good things that come with the Christmas season – and those good things are good food, good wine and good books. All three of these festive elements are brought together in The Little Library Christmas by Kate Young.
Part memoir, part cookbook, part literary inspiration guide, Kate’s book is a love letter to Christmas eating and drinking and the books that we associate with this season – there are excerpts from everything from Bridget Jones Diary through to A Christmas Carol. But not everyone hits November/December feeling full festive – for many people, it’s a complicated season that can bring up feelings of sadness or homesickness and that experience is given a lot of love in this book as well.
Born in Australia, Kate had always dreamed of a white Christmas but the Down Under reality of December 25 was more like cold seafood and sea swims in a baking hot Aussie summer. So she made the move to the UK in seek of that postcard-perfect Christmas experience but is very honest about the hard transition that came with feeling out of place and away from home for those first few years – and the dull sadness of homesickness that can still flare up from being away from family.
In The Little Library Christmas, Kate writes beautifully about the years where loneliness or anxiety have plagued her and how, each time, she has had to fall back in love with Christmas, both by watching classic Christmas movies – The Sound of Music watched remotely with her sister back home – and also getting into the kitchen and cooking.
The book is split into five sections, covering five different festive scenarios: Christmas food to make as gifts, food to make for Christmas parties, what to eat on Christmas Eve, the meal plan for The Big Day and then ideas for New Year’s Eve. Meals that pop up in your favourite books also feature – the infamous Una’s Turkey Curry from Bridget Jones Diary – as well as the breakfast the March sisters give away in Little Women. But Kate also writes about the first Christmas after loss – and navigating that grief both in the kitchen and at the Christmas table.
If you love Christmas, food, books and the complicated framework of human emotions, then The Little Library Christmas is the book you need to get you into the Christmas spirit as we approach yet another festive period like no other. Because if there is one great certainty we can rely on in an ever-changing world, it’s books.