Christmas Stories from Everyman’s Library

I bought this pretty book of Christmas Stories from Everyman’s Library last year, but it was after Christmas passed. So now I’m enjoying a story here and there when I have the time for something brief in between planning next week’s party, writing cards, and finding last minute presents.
It is filled with stories, from well known authors, such as these:
  • The Story of The Goblins Who Stole a Sexton by Charles Dickens
  • The Night Before Christmas by Nikolai Gogol
  • The Blue Carbuncle by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Christmas at Thompson Hall by Anthony Trollope
  • Where Love is, God is by Leo Tolstoy
  • Vanka by Anton Chekhov
  • The Burglar’s Christmas by Willa Cather
  • A Chapparal Christmas Gift by O. Henry
  • Reginald’s Christmas Revel by Saki (H. H. Munro)
  • Christmas by Vladimir Nabakov
  • Dancing Dan’s Christmas by Damon Runyon
  • Bella Fleace Gave a Party by Evelyn Waugh
  • Green Holly by Elizabeth Bowen
  • Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor by John Cheever
  • A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
  • The Carol Sing by John Updike
  • Christmas Fugue by Muriel Spark
  • The Loudest Voice by Grace Paley
  • The Turkey Season by Alice Munro
  • Creche by Richard Ford
I have just finished The Night Before Christmas by Nikolai Gogol, a bizarre short story about the devil stealing the moon on the last day before Christmas arrived. He sets off much chaos in a small town and its inhabitants, almost crushed under their self-serving ways, until he is vanquished by the noble blacksmith. 
“Still more swiftly in the remaining time of night did the devil race home with the blacksmith. Vakula instantly found himself by his cottage. Just then the cock crowed. ‘Hold on!’ he cried, snatching the devil by the tail as he was about to run away.’Wait, friend, that’s not all – I haven’t thanked you yet.’ Here, seizing a switch, he measured him out three strokes, and the poor devil broke into a run like a muzhik who has just been given a roasting by an assessor. And so, instead of deceiving, seducing , and duping others, the enemy of the human race was duped himself. After which, Vakula went into the front hall, burrowed under the hay and slept until dinnertime.”
It is a rather convoluted story, in my opinion, but any time the devil is trumped, the story works for me.
Have you any suggestions of the next one I should read? They all lay before me like so many unopened presents…
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12 thoughts on “Christmas Stories from Everyman’s Library”

  1. That's how I felt when I saw it someone's (whose? I wish I could now give credit!) blog last year. Even though the holiday past, I had to buy it. Perhaps there's still time for you to put it on your list?

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  2. I'll have to find this Gogol story. I'm a big fan of his, though not really a fan of Christmas stories.

    Thanks, by the way, for spurring me on to finally read Norwegian Wood. It's one that's gotten better for me since I finished it. I just watched the movie last night so I'll be working on my review of that today. You can skip the movie, in my opinion.

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  3. What a perfect book to read right now! So many of these titles tempt me, including, but not limited to: Where Love is, God is by Leo Tolstoy, Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor by John Cheever, The Burglar's Christmas by Willa Cather, Christmas Fugue by Muriel Spark….

    How will you choose what to read next?!

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  4. What a wonderful assortment of authors! (And a propos of nothing, have I told how much I love it that it is snowing on your blog? Always snowing? Might be the closest I come to a white Christmas. 🙂

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  5. What an incredible sounding collection!! And it looks so gorgeous too! I LOVE A Christmas Memory by Capote. I have a beautiful edition of it and it has to be my all time favorite Christmas story and just one of my favorite stories in general. Hope you enjoy these 🙂

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  6. Recently I just received Everyman's Library The Horse Stories and it also has a bunch of fantastic writers in it.

    I'm glad to see A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote is there on the list. It's my favorite short story ever! (and not just favorite Christmas story) Highly recommend that one. I might get myself the book now 🙂

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  7. I love this whole series of books – they are so gorgeous! I'm also a Willa Cather fan – I don't thnk she is capable of writing a dull sentence. So I would always recommend anything of hers.

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