Let’s Talk Bookish: Holiday Books

Hello! I’m visiting some family right now and we’re getting to spend the last few days of Hannukah with them, which is really nice. There’s also a ton of snow where we’re visiting, which is really fun. My dog is especially excited about it, and she’s having so much fun in the snow!! Anyways, I’m excited for this week’s LTB topic, so let’s get into the post!

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly bookish meme created by Rukky @ Eternity Books and has been hosted by me since April of 2022! Each Friday, there is a discussion topic for bloggers to write about. This week’s topic is holiday books.

Christmas books and movies dominate the media during the winter season, but Christmas isn’t the only holiday being celebrated. Do you like reading holiday books at all? Have you ever read a holiday book about another religion? What about a holiday book not set during the winter season? If you’re religious but don’t celebrate Christmas, do you feel represented in the holiday media?

I like reading holiday books. I like watching holiday movies. And when I say holiday, I really mean Christmas. Because that’s the majority of whats out there.

The first non-Christmas holiday book that comes to mind is the Matzah Ball, by Jean Meltzer. It’s a really great book, and Jean Meltzer is a fantastic author. It’s a romance novel about a Jewish author who writes Christmas novels, and it’s a festive and unique Hanukkah story!

It’s really nice to have a fun and festive romance set around Hanukkah. When I read it last year during Hanukkah it made me feel represented in a way I don’t usually feel around the holidays.

And while there are definitely some fantastic, non-Christmas holiday books out there, Christmas novels like Dash and Lily Book of Dares, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan are much more common. (Although the Dash and Lily series does have some interesting Jewish roots).

As a Jewish person I’m always looking to read books about Jews, particularly ones who I can relate to. What’s so special about The Matzah Ball is that it’s not only written about Jewish characters, but the characters’ judaism is a part of their lives and their celebrations.

It’s just so refreshing to see your culture, and your holiday being celebrated, and it really brings in some more holiday spirit.

But what about holidays not in Winter? That feels even more rare. The reason why Hanukkah is so well known, so commercialized, is because of how close it is to Christmas. So while Hanukkah isn’t anywhere close to the biggest and most important Jewish holiday, if you’re going to read a Jewish holiday book, it’s probably going to be about Hanukkah, not Purim or Rosh Hashanah or anything outside of winter.

It’s important that publishers are seeking out a diverse range of holiday stories. We need to hold publishers responsible for their selections of books, because everyone deserves to be represented, and to see themselves and their cultures represented in fiction.

Publishers should be working to publish books that represent many cultures, and should be publishing them throughout the year. This is important for people feeling represented, and it also helps others become exposed to more holidays, and more cultures!

This week’s posts:

Raji @ Worlds Unlike Our Own | Kathryn @ Kathryn Books | Elli @ Ace Reader | Hannah @ Hannah’s Library | Fives @ Down the Rabbit Hole | Kristina @ Books and Dachshunds | Laura @ Life Love Read

Thanks so much to everyone who participated, and don’t forget to go and discover some new blogs! If I missed your post, let me know in the comments so I can add it up here! And, if you don’t want your post linked up here, or you want your blog linked differently just let me know.

Do you like reading holiday books? Have you read any non-Christmas holiday books? What responsibilities do you think publishers have in terms of holiday diversity? Chat with me in the comments below!

9 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: Holiday Books

  1. I mostly avoid Xmas books, because I too am Jewish. In fact, I avoid most books with any religion in them, even Judaism! I mean, okay to have books about Jews, but I don’t like books that preach the religion. Plus, as you said, most books that talk about any Jewish holiday usually talk about Hanukkah. That said… Rabbi Irene Schneider has published three Rabbi Aviva Cohen mystery novels and she’s working on a fourth one. Chanuka Guilt, Unleavened Dead, and Yom Killer. They’re fun, but I mostly read them because her husband (also a rabbi) was at rabbinical school with my sister (yes, also a rabbi) and they’re all friends! Killah Megillah is coming out this next year, we hope!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy (late) Hannukah!!

      When I do read Christmas books, or watch Christmas movies, they’re never really religious, just festive, like White Christmas. And that’s true for pretty much all holiday books I read, Jewish ones included!

      And those mystery novels sound super fun; I love the names of them!! That’s really neat that your sister knows the author’s husband!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. https://books-and-dachshunds.com/lets-talk-bookish-%e2%9e%99-holiday-books/ here’s mine!

    Even if we don’t have snow this year, it’s still winter cold for us – so let’s say a warm christmas where we’d be able to go swimming would be so wierd 😅

    Aah yes, I see what you means sadly :/ as Christmas gets most of the hype, so does everything around it.. shame we don’t see the other holidays in the warmer weather.
    I recently saw « Eight nights of flirting » that’s also about Hannukkah.. the other one I had in mind escaped me 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your post- I’ve added the link 🙂

      And thank you for participating!! It’s definitely too bad that holidays at other times of the year don’t get much attention.

      Liked by 1 person

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