Picks and Pans Review: A Christmas Treasury

updated 12/20/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/20/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

edited by Jack Newcombe

Newcombe, a journalist and editor, says in his introduction that writing about Christmas "should offer surprises, a few personal gaps and idiosyncrasies, the fullness one hoped for and familiarity enough to engage one's memory of Christmases past." This book has almost 100 stories, essays, memoirs and poems about everyone's favorite holiday. Among the six dozen writers represented are Charles Dickens, Truman Capote (with his tearjerking A Christmas Memory), Willa Cather, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, James Joyce and E.B. White. James Thurber lists among the people who send him Christmas cards: "the young woman who cured my hiccoughs at Dave Chasen's in 1939 (she twisted the little finger of my left hand and made me say Garbo backward)." This is a wonderful book to be read out loud on a cold December night. (Viking, $19.95)

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