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December’s Stories and Poems

Written by Rachael Norris, 7th December 2021

Winter is beginning to set in, but while the days are getting shorter and colder, December’s selection of Stories and Poems can help to provide some inner warmth and comfort for the soul. As an early present, December’s pack features an additional prose piece and poem to the usual five stories and extracts and five poems.

Families feature in all of this month’s chosen prose pieces, ranging from those with solid bonds to ones with more fractured relationships, as well as friends who have become family to one another. This time of year can often bring about nostalgia and remembrance of old traditions, and these opportunities can provide a chance to share new perspectives and ideas with those who have different ways and experiences of the world. These ways of understanding others can also provide a gift of knowing ourselves better, and it’s these themes that can be explored, along with some seasonal magic.

December’s stories and extracts are:

Uncle Vanya (Act 1) by Anton Chekhov

A Country Christmas (extract from My Antonia) by Willa Cather

‘Winter Oak’ by Yuri Nagibin

‘A Christmas Memory’ by Truman Capote

‘Fuel for the Fire’ by Carol Shields

A Merry Christmas (extract from Little Women) by Louisa May Alcott

This month’s poetry picks provide space for quiet, calm and contemplation – all things that sometimes feel that they are lacking in the run-up to a busy and sometimes stressful festive period. Along the way, there are questions and surprises, which hopefully give us the opportunity to learn and develop. On the other side, there’s also an insight into when life is moving faster than we might like it to, and what being so busy can lead us to miss out on.

‘At the Fishhouses’ by Elizabeth Bishop

A Soldier’s Tale (from Book 4, The Prelude) by William Wordsworth

‘Reconciliation’ by Jónína Kirton

‘December Stillness’ by Siegfried Sassoon

‘Christmas Light’ by May Sarton

‘Party Night’ by U.A. Fanthorpe

If you're a Reader Leader head to the Online Community Hub to download this month's selection.

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