Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ready for Christmas? Check out these Books

I know...Thanksgiving is in a few days, but Christmas is one month away. That's where these books come in. Each is a beautiful hard bound book with slip jacket that would make a wonderful gift for a reader in your life. In addition, if you're struggling to get into the holiday spirit, these books will jump-start that for you. So grab a mug of hot chocolate, cider or tea, your favorite blanket and one of these books. I enjoyed each of them for very different reasons...

In Remembering Christmas, Dan Walsh is back with a Christmas novella that shows he can write emotion as well as Nicholas Sparks. Dan is one of my favorite authors right now because his stories have a nostalgic feel mixed with a light touch of romance and a smattering of real life. In Remembering Christmas, the reader steps back to the winter of 1980. Some of the author's illusions to the way life was back then had me smiling and dreaming -- especially the reference to gas that hovered around $1.00. A son, Rick Denton, returns home with extreme reluctance to help his mom when his stepfather has a medical emergency. He takes over their shop -- ironically, a Christian bookstore -- when he has no idea of the products.

He is in dire need of assistance and finds that in the pretty and kind-hearted Andrea. Over the course of the Christmas Season Rick has to make some decisions about who he is and who he wants to be. And when the author adds a twist that alters all of Rick's assumptions about his past, he has some soul-searching to do.

This book is an easy-read -- for the most part. There were times that the questions Rick confronted made me take a look at my life and how I would respond. So put on Bing Crosby's White Christmas, grab a mug of hot chocolate and dive into a novel that will put you in the Christmas spirit.

Suzanne Woods Fisher brings a different Christmas story in A Lancaster County Christmas. Jaime and C. J. Fitzpatrick began their married life as most couples do--in love and looking forward to a bright future together. But four years later they've drifted apart and are almost ready to call it quits.

Mattie Riehl was hoping to give her husband Sol the Christmas gift they have both longed for--news that a baby was on the way. But as usual, she is disappointed. The holidays bring an acute awareness to Mattie that her dream of a big family isn't likely to become a reality.

Then a winter storm raging outside blows the Fitzpatricks into the Riehl home--and into a much slower pace of life. Can these two couples from different worlds help each other understand the true meaning of love this Christmas?

In The Christmas Shoppe, Melody Carlson brings us a story of hope. The small town of Parrish Springs is not ready for Matilda Honeycutt. A strange older woman with scraggly gray hair and jewelry that jangles as she walks, Matilda is certainly not the most likely person to buy the old Barton Building on the town's quaint main street. When it becomes apparent that her new shop doesn't fit the expectations of Parrish Springs residents, a brouhaha erupts. After all, Christmas is approaching, and the last thing the town needs is a junky shop run by someone who looks and acts like a gypsy. But as townsfolk venture into the strange store, they discover that old memories can bring new life and healing. This is a sweet story that will fill you with warmth and get you ready for the miracles of the holiday season.

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