Monday, December 23, 2013

Reading Lists - Twelve Days of Christmas - Nonfiction
Christmas Bells are Ringing 
selected by Sara and John E. Brewton
Enjoy a delightful anthology of poetry for the holiday season, from quaint and traditional poems to modern verses, reverent poems to holiday jingles.

Christmas Everywhere by Elizabeth Hough Sechrist
Sechrist compiled the Christmas customs of many lands in the 1930s. Learn about traditions is Palestine, Mexico, Serbia, Holland, France, England, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Switzerland, Romania, Italy, Asia, Australia, South America, and more! The section on the United States covers Southerners, New Englanders, Shakers, Pennsylvania Dutch, Hawaiians, and others.

Christmas in Plains by Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter's Georgia hometown has been the one constant in his life, and he pays tribute to it with Christmas in Plains, a collection of holiday memories from his childhood through his Navy days, his time as Georgia governor and U.S. president, and his very active retirement.

Everything Christmas by David Bordon and Tim Winters
In this book, you’ll find your favorite classic Christmas stories and a few new ones destined to join them. You’ll discover the most delectable holiday recipes, enjoy the words to treasured hymns and carols, be encouraged by inspirational Christmas poems, and find renewed joy in the Nativity story. From decoration ideas to Christmas trivia and humor – it’s all here!

The Everything Christmas Book
You can make eggnog and dozens of other classic Christmas recipes, as well as wonderful gifts from the kitchen. There are party ideas, stories and poems, customs and traditions, gift ideas, and a history of Christmas around the world. Plus a complete look at 20th Century American Christmases—from ads that ran in the 1940s to Harry Reasoner's 1968 essay "What Christ Looked Like."

A Foxfire Christmas edited by Eliot Wigginton
This book of recollections celebrates the holiday traditions of Appalachian families as passed from one generation to the next. The memories shared here are from a simpler time, when gifts were fewer but perhaps more precious, and holiday tables were laden with traditional favorites. The book includes instructions for recreating many of the ornaments, toys, and recipes that make up so many family traditions, from Chicken and Dumplings to Black Walnut Cake, and from candy pulls to corn husk dolls and hand-whittled toy cars.

The Holly and the Ivy by Barbara Segall
Written by a botanist, The Holly and the Ivy celebrates the legends and customs associated with these age-old plants of Christmas. Each page is decorated with ivy garlands or holly sprigs that encircle bits of yuletide lore.

Norman Rockwell’s Christmas Book
This book collects stories, poems, carols, and recollections of Christmas by world-famous authors, such as Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Hans Christian Andersen, and Lewis Carroll. It is illustrated with 120 of Norman Rockwell’s timeless images, including children sleigh-riding, families caroling, and Santa preparing for his big night. Round out your old-fashioned Christmas with dinner recipes from Fannie Merritt Farmer's 1896 cooking tome.

Old Christmas by Washington Irving
Old Christmas is an enchanting series of stories about Yuletide celebrations in 19th century England. Spend Christmas Eve coaching through the countryside where Irving meets his old traveling companion Frank Bracebridge, who invites him to attend Christmas Day festivities at his father's country estate. The descriptions of the village, church services, Christmas games and the amazing feast are delightful. These stories first appeared in Irving's "Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon" in the early 1800s.

An Old-time Christmas by Helen Steiner Rice & Virginia J. Ruehlmann
Enjoy poems, histories of such traditions as kissing under the mistletoe, and craft projects illustrated with vintage Victorian postcards. Be inspired to think more deeply about what Christmas means to you!

Sleigh Rides, Jingle Bells, and Silent Nights by Ronald D. Langford (new!)
Santa Claus, singing cowboys, love, hymns, satire, snow, Bing and Dean and Frank, fictional reindeer and warbling chipmunks: American Christmas music! Ronald reconciles the sacred and the profane in an easy narrative that both cherishes and illuminates the vast contradictions that adhere to December 25th in the U.S.A.!

The Victorian Christmas Book by Antony & Peter Miall
Diaries, novels, poems, letters, and magazines of the period contribute to a comprehensive survey of the customs, traditions, and flavor of Christmas in Victorian England, while greeting cards, toys, cartoons, advertisements, and engravings provide visual delight.

If you're looking for even more Christmas books:

Most of these books can be found in 398.2, along with many Christmas with Southern Living annuals and books about Christmas around the world.

Looking for holiday recipes? Visit 641.568.

Feeling crafty? You’ll find lots of project ideas in 745.5941.

Need the music or lyrics to your favorite carol? Find them in 782.28.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Reading Lists - Twelve Days of Christmas - Christian Fiction 2
The Modern Magi by Carol Lynn Pearson
In a fable about the true meaning of gift giving and sacrifice, waitress Annabelle Perkins dreams of traveling to Bethlehem and bringing a gift to the birthplace of Jesus.

Naomi’s Christmas by Marta Perry
In the weeks before Christmas, Naomi Esch's father announces that he is remarrying and needs the house to himself. In this Amish story, Naomi is left with an uncertain future, but one that holds a surprising miracle.

Once upon a Christmas by Lauraine Snelling and Lenora Worth
Two heartwarming Christian romances appear together in this volume. In Snelling’s "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year," a walk in the park leads to romance for a single father. In Worth’s "'Twas the Week Before Christmas," a beautiful socialite is hired by her grandmother to perform a task involving a handsome man.

One Shenandoah Winter by T. Davis Bunn
Connie Wilkes, the assistant mayor of a small rural town in the Shenandoah Valley, is forced to cope with matters beyond her control when the town's new doctor shows little interest in staying and her beloved uncle, who insists on living in an isolated mountain cabin, becomes desperately ill. Though it doesn’t take place in the Shenandoah Valley, you will also like Bunn’s Tidings of Comfort and Joy.

A Plain and Simple Christmas by Amy Clipston
Anna Mae was shunned by her family four years ago when she left her Amish community to marry a non-Amish man in Baltimore. She arrives back in Lancaster County for Christmas. Is it too late for a miracle? She's determined to follow God's will regardless of the outcome.

Sarah’s Song by Karen Kingsbury
Having learned tough lessons from a lifetime of wrong choices, Sarah attempts to intervene when a troubled young woman compromises herself during the Christmas season. For another holiday tale by bestselling Kingsbury, also try Gideon’s Gift.

Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon
Having pursued intellectual matters all of his life, Father Tim discovers the joys of working with his hands when he discovers a worn-out nativity scene and begins to restore it. For further Christmases in Mitford, try Esther’s Gift and The Mitford Snowmen.

Tidings of Peace by Tracie Peterson
Bestselling Peterson presents four Christmas love stories from World War II. Moving from the home front to the front line, each story features brave men and women trying to find meaning—and love—during the uncertainties of war. The unique Christmas settings will put you in the spirit of the season, showing the miracles and mercy so often found during this time of celebrating Jesus' birth.

Unwrapping Christmas by Lori Copeland
With only the best of intentions, Rose masterminds a spectacular Christmas for her family, crowding out their true enjoyment of the holy season. When she's forced to slow down—-in a most unexpected way—-God provides her with the opportunity to discover the real meaning of giving

White Christmas Pie by Wanda E. Brunstetter
In this bittersweet holiday romance set in Amish country, Will Henderson, a young man tortured by his past, meets Karen Yoder, a young woman looking for answers as they both become involved with a desperate father searching for his son.

Zanna’s Gift by Scott Richards
When the Pullman family lost their eldest son to an unexpected illness just before Christmas, it was devastating to all of them, but especially to four-year-old Suzanna. Her brother never saw the Christmas drawing Zanna had made for him that year. This is the story of that gift, and how it inspired the Pullman family to keep alive the spirit of  love, imagination, and hope for generations to come.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Reading Lists - Twelve Days of Christmas - General Fiction 2

A Hamptons Christmas by James Brady
Christmas in the Hamptons would not be complete without traditional holiday trimmings, Steven Spielberg's children dressed as elves, and a little girl's plot to spend Christmas Eve with her heroine, Martha Stewart.

An Irish County Christmas by Patrick Taylor
Disappointed to learn that his sweetheart will not be joining him for a first holiday season in a rural Irish community, doctor Barry Laverty busies himself by caring for his patients and struggling to outmaneuver the manipulations of a newly arrived quack physician.

The Last Noel by Michael Malone
On Christmas Eve, 1963, Noni Tilden and Kaye King—one from a prominent white family, the other from a poor black family—begin a friendship that lasts through four decades of change in their small North Carolina town.

Our Simple Gifts by Owen Parry
Parry offers a heartwarming array of Civil War holiday stories, from a Union officer struggling home through a Christmas Eve snowstorm to a freed slave choosing between revenge and his longing to be a better man than his former owner to an immigrant private who plans a startling yuletide surprise for his comrades.

The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog by Dave Barry
Delighted to be playing the part of a shepherd in the local Christmas pageant at St. John's Episcopal Church, Doug Barnes is suddenly confronted by a host of problems, including the misbehavior of his fellow shepherds and the illness of the family dog.

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
In this charmingly funny story by the bestselling Grisham, Luther and Nora Krank have decided to set sail on a Caribbean cruise on December 25th and skip Christmas. They are about to discover that their decision brings enormous consequences—and isn't half as easy as they imagined.

This Year it Will be Different by Maeve Binchy
Binchy brings us the magic and spirit of Christmas in 15 stories filled with her trademark wit, charm, and storytelling genius. Instead of nostalgia, Binchy evokes contemporary life; instead of Christmas homilies, she offers truth; and instead of sugarplums, she brings us the nourishment of holidays that precipitate change, growth, and new beginnings.

Wishin’ and Hopin’ by Wally Lamb
A holiday novella set in the fictional town of Three Rivers, Connecticut focuses on a feisty parochial school fifth grader named Felix Funicello as Christmas approaches in 1964, then looks forward from the past to the present to measure what America has gained and what it has lost.

Without a Backward Glance by Kate Veitch
Abandoned by their mother on Christmas Eve 1967, the four McDonald children--Deborah, Robert, James, and Meredith--grow up with questions about the past, but as their father progresses into dementia and James encounters their mother again after nearly forty years, old wounds are reopened and individual secrets come to light.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Reading Lists - Twelve Days of Christmas - Romance 2
An O’Brien Family Christmas by Sherryl Woods 
While celebrating the holidays in Dublin, Ireland, the O'Briens are in an uproar over matriarch Nell's rekindled romance with an old flame, while playboy Matthew O'Brien must convince Laila Riley, an older woman burned by love, to take a chance on him. You may also want to try A Chesapeake Shores Christmas.

An Outlaw’s Christmas by Linda Lael Miller 
Sawyer McKettrick goes to Texas to seek a job as marshal. He injured in a blinding snowstorm and ends up in the arms of Piper St James. As they wait out the storm, the handsome loner has Piper remembering long-ago dreams of marriage and motherhood. Also look for The Christmas Brides. 

The Promise in a Kiss by Stephanie Laurens 
As Helena prepares to enter London society, determined to marry the most eligible bachelor, Sebastian, Duke of Ives, she discovers that he is the same enigmatic Englishman who changed her life with one incredible kiss on a Christmas Eve long ago.

The Secret Life of Mrs. Claus by Carly Alexander
Last year, Olivia Todd was onstage in New York with the other fabulous Rockettes; this year, a broken ankle sends her home to Baltimore, where the only gig available is playing Mrs. Claus at a department store. Her ex-boyfriend has trashed Olivia's reputation all over town by making her the subject of a “fictional” TV show about a bad-news girlfriend named Olivia—and it's called The Nutcracker. So now her only Christmas wish is a second chance, and with a little help from her seventh-grade sweetheart—plus some of that wonderful Christmas magic—who knows?

Silver Bells by Luanne Rice
Troubled by haunting memories of the past, a rugged Christmas tree farmer from Nova Scotia and a reclusive young librarian from New York City come together amid the holiday magic of a glittering city.

Sleigh Belles by Beth Albright (new!)
This fun southern chick lit series continues as reporter Dallas Dubois is charged with taking over when the director of the Tuscaloosa children's Christmas play falls ill. Everyone is shocked—especially Cal Hollingsworth, who still remembers her as the Ice Queen from high school. When long-lost family members reenter her life, Dallas's icy veneer begins to melt,  and with Cal by her side, she soon realizes that it's what's under all the hair spray that counts. 

Starry Night by Debbie Macomber (new!)
Carrie Slayton, need to score an interview with Finn Dalton, the notoriously reclusive author, to launch her career. It is the holidays, but her career is at stake, so she forsakes her family celebrations and flies out to snowy Alaska. When she finally finds Finn, she’s soon torn between pursuing the story of a lifetime and following her heart. I can’t think of another author who’s written as many Christmas stories as Macomber. If you like this one, you can also read The Christmas Basket, The Snow Bride, When Christmas Comes, There’s Something about Christmas, Christmas Letters, The Snow Bride, 1225 Christmas Tree Lane, and Call Me Mrs. Miracle!

The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap by Donna Kauffman, Kate Angell, and Kimberly Kinkaid
Three friends try to find the right man before the season, and the Christmas cookie exchange, is over.

Tidings of Great Joy by Sandra Brown
At a Christmas Eve party, levelheaded architect Ria Lavender becomes dazzled by champagne, snow, and charming mayoral candidate Taylor MacKensie, and they impulsively spend the night together. Two months later, realizing she's pregnant, Ria demands that Taylor marry her. But what she intends will be a marriage in name only escalates into much more as the two begin sharing a house and, inevitably, a bed. Then tragedy strikes, threatening their tenuous union and leading to some new realizations about love.

Twas the Night after Christmas by Sabrina Jeffries
Summoned to visit the seriously ill mother from whom he has been estranged most of his life, Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont, learns that Camilla, his mother's beautiful companion, has tricked him to orchestrate a holiday reconciliation that progresses with conciliatory steps on both sides at the same time Pierce finds himself falling for Camilla.

Upon a Winter’s Night by Karen Harper (new!)
As Christmas approaches, Amish woman Lydia Brand begins to search for answers about her biological parents, but her pursuit of the truth has left her only with hints of a dark secret—and threats from an unseen adversary. While she does her best to stave off advances from her parents' preferred suitor, Lydia discovers that her heart truly belongs to her friend Josh Yoder.

What Happens at Christmas by Victoria Alexander
Hiring actors to pose as her "conventional" family to secure a proposal from a dashing prince, Camille, Lady Lydingham, finds her plans going awry when a man from her past crashes her party, determined to win her hand as well. You’ll also enjoy Alexander’s His Mistress by Christmas.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Reading Lists - Twelve Days of Christmas - Mystery 3
Shakespeare’s Christmas by Charlaine Harris
While attending her sister's wedding the cleaning lady and karate expert, Lily Bard of Arkansas, investigates an unsolved kidnapping which occurred eight years earlier. It seems both the child and the kidnapper are in town.

Silent Night by Robert B. Parker (new!)
It's December in Boston, and Spenser is busy planning the menu for Christmas dinner when he's confronted in his office by a young boy named Slide. Homeless and alone, Slide has found refuge with an organization named Street Business, which gives shelter and seeks job opportunities for the homeless and lost. Slide's mentor is being threatened, and Street Business is in danger of losing its tenuous foothold in the community, turning Slide and many others like him back on the street.

The Snow White Christmas Cookie by David Handler
A blizzard-marked first Dorset Christmas for Des Mitry is overshadowed by the drug-related death of Mitch's neighbor, a shoplifting Kylie, and a mail thief whose activities are linked to a prescription drug gang.

Spirit of Steamboat by Craig Johnson (new!)
A holiday entry in the best-selling series finds Sheriff Walt Longmire making the acquaintance of a scarred young woman who raises questions about his predecessor while imparting the story of a tragic car accident during a blizzard that marked Walt's first year as sheriff.

The Spy Who Came for Christmas by David Morrell
As holiday celebrations take place in Santa Fe, Agent Paul Kagan is on the run with a baby the Russian mafia wants to destroy and turns to a mother and her young son for help during a violent night where they all must work together to keep the child safe from harm.

A Stillness in Bethlehem by Jane Haddam
Arriving in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, to witness the town's nativity play, FBI agent Gregor Demarkian and his friend, Father Tibor Kasparian, find their vacation plans postponed by murder most foul.

Sugar Cookie Murder by Joanna Fluke
During the Christmas party at Lake Eden's community center, Hannah Swensen stumbles upon a murder when Martin Dubinski's new wife, a former Las Vegas showgirl, is found dead with Hannah's mother's silver cake knife buried in her cleavage.

The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen
While serving as an assistant to the hostess of a large Christmas house party in Tiddleton-under-Lovey, Georgie gets the attention of her retired detective grandfather after dead bodies begin showing up.

Twelve Drummers Drumming by C.C. Benison
Father Tom Christmas—recent widower and now single father—is the new vicar of the English village of Thornford Regis. He soon realizes that the idyllic village is not the refuge he'd hoped for when the 19-year-old daughter of the choir director is murdered and one of his parishioners appears to be the killer. This series first has been followed by Eleven Pipers Piping and Ten Lords A-Leaping, which came out this month.

Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich
A holiday adventure finds Stephanie Plum struggling to remove an intruder from her apartment and falling for a mysterious newcomer.

Voices by Arnaldur Indriðason
The Christmas rush is at its peak in a grand Reykjavík hotel when Inspector Erlendur is called in to investigate a murder. The hotel Santa has been stabbed to death, and Erlendur and his fellow detectives find no shortage of suspects between the hotel staff and the international travelers staying for the holidays.

When Elves Attack by Tim Dorsey
Thrill killer and Sunshine State historian Serge A. Storms, the endearing psychopath, delivers his special brand of Christmas cheer. More outrageous than Santa Claus in a Speedo, this book serves up a Yuletide feast of "pure gonzo humor.” For fans of hilarious crime fiction black comedy.