Christmas Comforts: Tom Ellen + Phaedra Patrick

Our Christmas Comforts blog series continues as we are joined by authors Tom Ellen (All About Us) and Phaedra Patrick (The Secrets of Sunshine)! Tom and Phaedra share their alternative festive reads which are perfect if you are looking for belly-aching laughs or heartwarming fiction!


Tom Ellen recommends…

When the Professor Got Stuck in the Snow by Dan Rhodes. I have a bit of a thing for books set in wintery climates (favourites include The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin and Explorers of the New Century by Magnus Mills). But in the end, I’ve plumped for this novel by Dan Rhodes, as it’s genuinely one of the funniest books I’ve ever read.

The premise is simple: the renowned biologist Professor Richard Dawkins is en route to give a lecture in a small English town, when a blizzard hits, forcing him to stay with a kindly local vicar. Rhodes’ writing is so playfully brilliant, toggling seamlessly between puerile hilarity, scathing satire and deep philosophical debate. There are plenty of lines and setpieces that will have you laughing out loud, and it contains one of the best literary twists ever, to boot. A superbly funny – and strange – wintery gem.


Phaedra Patrick recommends…

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison-Allen. This gorgeous novel is a long-time favourite of mine and perfect for wintry evenings reading around the fire. The story welcomes you to the world of the Waverley sisters, Claire and Sydney, who live in North Carolina. Each resident of the small town of Bascom has a peculiar gift, including caterer Claire’s talent for creating delicious dishes that have a mesmerising effect on anyone who eats them. When she falls for a stranger in town, her new neighbour Tyler,  things get even more magical. Full of warmth, humour and intrigue, this is a warm hug of a book that’s ideal for the chilly months ahead.


Huge thanks to Tom Ellen and Phaedra Patrick for sharing! Have you ready of the books recommended in today’s Christmas Comforts post? Tweet us and let us know! And to read the other Christmas Comfort blog posts, click here.

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