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5 holiday reads and films you can’t miss

These free picks are guaranteed to make your holidays jolly!

Did you know you can access a myriad of free books and films through your University of Leeds Library account? By logging in to Overdrive and BFI Player using your University credentials, you unlock a world of entertainment – all at no cost to you.

If you’re searching for the ideal book or film to cosy up with under a warm blanket by the crackling fire, scroll down for some delightful suggestions to make your holiday season even more delightful!

A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

The tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, who embodies a miserly soul, indifferent to family, companionship, affection, and the essence of Christmas itself.  However, on a fateful Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by three specters: the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. These encounters deeply resonate within him, prompting a profound and lasting transformation.

A Christmas classic, Dickens’ work infuses the holiday season with a heartfelt warmth and emotional depth that has endured across generations. Read A Christmas Carol on Overdrive.

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – M. R. James

Need some spine-tingling tales to amp up the chills during a cozy evening by the fire with your family? Look no further than the works of M.R. James, a medieval scholar with a knack for eerie storytelling.

This season, get ready to huddle up and immerse yourself in tales that are bound to send shivers down your spine and keep you spellbound until the very end. Read Ghost Stories of an Antiquary on Overdrive.

This Winter – Alice Oseman

Get ready for a gripping novella featuring your favorite characters from Alice Oseman's beloved Solitaire novel and the Heartstopper graphic novel series – now hitting the screens on Netflix!

Tori Spring and her brother Charlie are at the heart of this story, facing a holiday season that's not all tinsel and joy.

Tori's determined to keep her mind off the rough patch she's been through lately with Charlie, steering clear of all the sadness. Just for Christmas, she's shutting it all out. Listen to the audiobook version of This Winter on Overdrive.

Fanny and Alexander – Ingmar Bergman

Step into the enchanting world of Ingmar Bergman's heartwarming film set in early 20th-century Sweden. Through the eyes of a young boy, experience the joyous holiday season, woven into Bergman's rich storytelling.

This special film combines a five-part miniseries into one, embracing the warmth and magic of the holidays. Ranked at joint 129th in the 2022 Sight and Sound Great Films of All Time poll, it's a heartfelt celebration of family, love, and the festive spirit. Watch Fanny and Alexander on BFI player.

Christmas Story – Alan Sidi (BFI film)

Leeds filmmaker Alan Sidi captured a typical 1950s Christmas for an affluent family. Gifts greeted a girl on her bed, Santa's deliveries adorned the tree, and despite meat rationing, a festive turkey feast ensued with party hats and champagne.

Set in an immigrant household, Sidi’s work beautifully illustrates the joy of embracing Christmas traditions despite varying religious backgrounds. Watch Christmas Story on BFI player.

As you seek the perfect tale to nestle into your festive season, let these curated suggestions add an extra touch of magic to your winter break. Embrace the warmth of these creative treasures, enhancing your holiday season with joy, reflection, and a sprinkle of cinematic and literary charm.