Holiday Listens from P.D. James & Willie Nelson | Audio in Advance October 2016 | Stephanie’s Picks

AChristmasCarol__1470854952_98826Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol. Brilliance. ISBN 9781531865139. Read by Tim Curry.
This version of Dickens’s classic, masterfully narrated by Tim Curry, was available for a limited time last year, and now it’s back. A Christmas Carol has constantly been in print since its original publication in 1849, and has been adapted for stage, television, film, and opera. The story opens on a bleak and cold Christmas Eve as Ebenezer Scrooge is closing up his office for the day. As the story progresses and Christmas morning approaches, Scrooge encounters the unforgettable characters that make this story a classic: Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and, of course, the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come.

Dunn, Matt. A Christmas Day at the Office. Brilliance. ISBN 9781531836900. Read by James Clamp.
With her new billionaire boss in town, Sophie’s determined to swap the guys with no jobs she meets on Tinder for her very own Steve Jobs. A ring in his pocket and dressed to kill, Calum’s planning to get down on one knee. Though if Mia doesn’t say yes, he’s not sure he’ll ever get back up. Julie’s got a surprise for Mark—though it’s something she’s not even sure she wants. Meanwhile, Mark’s got another choice to make: the love of his life, or the opportunity of a lifetime? With his job on the line, and the ex who broke his heart back on the scene, Nathan’s day is becoming a nightmare. But he’s about to meet the woman of his dreams. This year’s office Christmas party should be a night to remember—but for five of Seek Software’s employees, it might be one they’d sooner forget.

41_Mqk_IJtL__1470855006_86351James, P.D. The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories. Books on Tape. ISBN 9781524708085. Reader TBA.
In these four previously uncollected stories, the newly appointed Sgt. Dalgliesh is drawn into a case that is “pure Agatha Christie”; a “pedantic, respectable, censorious” clerk’s secret taste for pornography is only the first reason he finds for not coming forward as a witness to a murder; a best-selling crime novelist describes the crime she herself was involved in 50 years earlier; and Dalgliesh’s godfather implores him to reinvestigate a notorious murder.

Meier, Leslie, Lee Hollis, & Barbara Ross. Eggnog Murder. Dreamscape. ISBN 9781520031781. Reader TBA.
In Meier’s “Eggnog Murder,” a gift-wrapped bottle of eggnog proves to be a killer concoction for a Tinker’s Cove local, and all Lucy Stone wants for Christmas is to find the murdering mixologist who’s stirring up trouble. In Hollis’s “Death by Eggnog,” food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell has never cared much for Bar Harbor’s grouchy town librarian, Agatha Farnsworth. But after the Scroogy senior has a fatal―and suspicious―allergic reaction to supposedly non-dairy eggnog, it’s up to Hayley to ladle out some justice. And in Ross’s “Nogged Off,” Julia Snowden’s tenant Imogen Geinkes seems to be jinxed. Her poorly named “Killer Eggnog” gives all her co-workers food poisoning at the holiday party. Now Julia has to get moving to catch the cold-hearted culprit.

{4A935208_8457_4F0C_A0E7_A8BD69535E34}Img400__1470855114_79430Nelson, Willie with David Ritz. Pretty Paper: A Christmas Tale. Books on Tape. ISBN 9781524708306. Read by W. Brown.
It’s the early sixties and Willie Nelson is down and out, barely eking out a living as a singer-songwriter. The week before Christmas, he spots a legless man on a cart, selling wares in front of Leonard’s Department Store in Fort Worth, TX. The humble figure, Vernon Clay, piques Willie’s curiosity, but Vernon is stubbornly private and—despite Willie’s charming queries—has no interest in telling his story. Willie is tenacious, though, and he eventually learns that Vernon is a fellow musician, a fine guitarist and singer. When Vernon disappears, he leaves behind only a diary, which tells an epic tale of life-altering tragedies, broken hearts, and crooked record men, not to mention backroad honky-tonks, down-home cooking, and country songwriting genius. Deeply moved and spurred on by Vernon’s pages, Willie aims to give the man one last shot at redemption and a chance to embody the holiday spirit.

Stephanie Klose About Stephanie Klose

Stephanie Klose (, @sklose on Twitter) is Media Editor, Library Journal.