(Icelandic for “The book flood of Christmas”)
Jólabókaflóð celebrates the annual flood of new books in Iceland occurring in the months before Christmas every year. During the festive season, gifts are opened on Christmas Eve and, by tradition, everyone reads the books they have been given straight away, often while drinking hot chocolate or alcohol-free Christmas ale called jólabland.
From my blog post on Read It Forward –
The Books 36 Authors Are Giving Their Friends This Holiday
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Hats off to Iceland for having a holiday that revolves around book giving. I think we need to adopt this holiday immediately. (Or at least make it a part of those we already celebrate.) There’s nothing like receiving a book from someone who loved it. Book recommendations are also a gift. Especially when they come at just the right time. Last summer I was on an unusually tight deadline, writing what felt like 24/7 for months. My brain was fried. I needed something to read. Something to escape into that wouldn’t result in a hangover. Something entirely different from what I write.
A close friend recommended The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, a series about a professional wizard/detective in Chicago. It’s filled with magic and supernatural creatures and a police department that deals with “special investigations.” I’ve enjoyed paranormal, time travel, and magical realism on occasion; it’s just not my usual go-to genre. But my friend’s eyes lit up. Her voice rang with the kind of passion a writer hopes to ignite and a reader hopes to feel.
I started on book one that night. I read during what passed for lunch and in those spare moments and evenings when I needed a break from my own work. The action and the magical world are finely drawn, but as a writer and reader, for me, it’s always about the characters. I fell in love with Jim Butcher’s flippant, flawed yet heroic, Harry Dresden on page one of that first book. My love grew. All these months later I’m trying not to finish the fifteenth, and final, book in the series. I’m going to miss Harry and his friends and allies horribly. I’ll even miss his enemies.
I realized as I read the series that if you subtract the magic and all the really cool supernatural details, he and I are both writing about the bonds of friendship that get us through the toughest times. With a distinctly light touch. If we were celebrating Jólabókaflóð, and I really think we should, I would gift a loved one with the entire Dresden Files series. If we’re allowed to tweak the tradition to include book recommendations, then this is my gift to you with all best wishes for a wonderful holiday season.”
—Wendy Wax, author of A Bella Flora Christmas