Want to know what Penguins read over Christmas? We’ve asked some of our most discerning staff members to share their favourite festive reads, featuring beloved Victorian classics, stories you’ve read growing up, and even a little crime. 


Christmas with the Savages


Christmas with the Savages by Mary Clive is my top Christmas read. It follows the story of a little girl who goes to stay in a big, noisy house packed with grown ups and naughty children for Christmas, following the ups and downs of her stay. It’s like I Capture the Castle but for children. It oozes with festive spirit and is one to read while nibbling on a mince pie by a roaring fire.

Tara – Social Media, Puffin & Ladybird


The Bible


The King James Bible, an obvious but contentious choice? Even for the non-religious, revisiting the gospels at this time of year is interesting. And the King James version does have a certain lyrical cadence.

Zainab –  Email Marketing, Penguin




The Great Gatsby


Raucous parties, screaming fights, and a bittersweet ending… sounds about right for Christmas. For me, The Great Gatsby has it all, and the Penguin Classics hardback edition is beautiful, a little luxury for the holiday season.

Krissy – Digital Marketing, Penguin



A Christmas Carol.


I’m going to have to pick A Christmas Carol. It might be one that is chosen time and time again, but it is a novel where you gain something new with each read. For me it is the ultimate Christmas book and really helps me get into the spirit.

Sarah – Senior Website Editor




The Secret History

One of my all-time favourites is The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Pulitzer Prize-winning Tartt is exquisitely descriptive in this murky narrative of an esoteric Classics club, a murder and the thorny truths in between, of which slowly start to unravel against the backdrop of a sleet-covered university in Vermont. This novel always conjures the image of snow – after all, it is the perfect thing to hide a body in the woods…

Miranda – Digital Content, Penguin





I have a huge soft spot for Let it Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle and Maureen Johnson. It’s the only book I reread every year around Christmas time and you can’t help but imagine yourself running through the snow with your best friends (even if there is not a single snowflake to be seen outside).

Sanne – Social Media, Penguin




Murder for Christmas

There’s nothing quite like a golden age detective story to transport you at Christmas and they don’t get much better than Murder for Christmas. A country house murder mystery, a cast of oddball characters, an unassuming amateur sleuth and a dead body under the Christmas tree (being notoriously hard to wrap) that looks alarmingly like Father Christmas. What better way to welcome in the darkest nights of the year!

Lynsey – Marketing, Interest Brands




In our house, Christmas just wouldn’t feel right without the carols. Our trusty Ladybird Book of Carols comes out early in December and the kids and I spend many a happy afternoon yelling along to the CD, practising our vocals for the big post-lunch sing-a-long on Christmas day. Nothing gets me feeling more festive.

Julia – Digital Marketing, Cookery


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