Saturday, January 5, 2013

Christmas Books

Each year from Thanksgiving to New Year's I read only books that are Christmas themed.  A personal tradition I started some years ago and continue to love. I rarely read a Christmas book any other time of year.

I read 11 books this year... 2 or 3 were Novellas... 2 were collections of Novellas.. all were good... some better than others. :-)

Here is a run down of what I read and a very short review of each.

 Blue Christmas by Diane Moody

This is book 1 of the Moody Blue Trilogy

Hannah is a college senior working late on Christmas Eve and having a full blown pity party when a customer invites her to a Christmas Eve service.  As a result Hannah meets Jason McKenzie, the lead singer of her favorite band and her teen idol. Life gets complicated and surreal as Hannah tries to mesh normal life with the world of celebrity.

A Victorian Christmas (Anthology) by Catherine Palmer

4 Novellas about love and joy at Christmas: A Victorian Christmas Quilt, A Victorian Christmas Tea, The Victorian Christmas Cottage and A Victorian Christmas Keepsake. Each one a delightful and lovely read.

Christmas Under Western Skies: A Prairie Family Christmas / A Cowboy's Christmas  by Anna Schmidt and Linda Ford

2 in one... Both wonderful Historic Fiction set in the American West. Both books center on someone determined to just pass through, but who learns that God has other plans.

One Imperfect Christmas by Myra Johnson

I admit that this one was a bit of a downer at times, but worth reading. Natalie is facing a horrific Christmas. Her beloved mother has been an invalid for a year as a result of a stroke and no one seems to believe she will recover. Natalie is determined she will.. she has to!  Her obsession is costing her everything... her job, family, faith, life. Natalie is determined to make this Christmas one of miracles no matter what it takes!

Christmas at Barncastle by Susan Paige Davis, Darlene Franklin, Janelle Mowery, Lynette Sowell

This is part of the Romancing America series and contains 4 stories in one book.

Each story centers around a lovely bed-and-breakfast called Barncastle Inn in Vermont.  Their specialty is a week at Christmas in whatever time and theme you want.  Made me want to go visit.  While the stories are stand alones, they all center around the same location and characters reoccur from story to story. Very fun read!

The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson

I don't believe I have ever not liked a book by Carlson and her Christmas Stories are my favorites.  This one is no exception.  It is quirky and fun and takes a hard look at human nature and skepticism in light of God's love and forgiveness.

Home for the Holidays by Christine Lynxwiler

A Christmas Novella

Last year I read Lynxwiler's novella My True Love Gave to Me. It is still one of my favorite Christmas reads. So i looked forward to this one and was not the least bit disappointed. In Home, Lauren realizes her life long friendship with Jeffrey is no longer a friendship where she is concerned.  But alas, he is searching for the perfect wife and Lauren knows she is not it. So off she goes to St. Louis to provide Jeffrey with the break he needs to find that wife and the space Lauren needs to soothe her heart.

All I Have to Give: A Christmas Love Story by Melody Carlson

If you have ever read The Gift of the Magi, then this book will ring familiar. But please don't let that keep you from reading! Anna and Michael have been trying to have a baby for years and are both facing the reality that the day will never come.  Each strives to give the other the perfect Christmas and along the way both make wrong judgment calls about each other. Fortunately love covers a multitude of sin and this Christmas there is an abundance of love surrounding them.

A Biltmore Christmas by Diane Ashley, Sylvia Barnes, Rhonda Gibson, Jeri Odell

This is part of the Romancing America series and contains 4 stories in one book.

Set back in time shortly after Biltmore was constructed, each story focuses on the grand house and a set of orphaned sisters seeking a new life there.  In each case, they find that new life but not in the way they expected. Wonderful stories about an age in our country where the barriers of Class and Status were being challenged.

A Simple Amish Christmas by Vannetta Chapman

I enjoy Amish fiction and have just recently discovered Chapman's writings.  Annie Weaver left her Amish roots with full intention of returning one day. But one day came later than she had planned. Now a trained nurse, Annie is called to return home and care for her father after an accident.  Is she home for good? Will she join the church.. find a husband.. return to the life waiting for her? And how will she use her skills among a people who see it as prideful?  Her Simple Amish Christmas is not as Simple as she thought it would be.

Bah, Humbug!  by Heather Horrocks

A Romantic Comedy Novella

This was probably the most fun read of all the books this season. Too cute! Lexi Anderson is a single mom who has her own television show and has been touted as the next Martha Stewart. So she finds it ironic when she moves next door to Scrooge. No sign of Christmas anywhere! And to add insult to injury, he is the author of her favorite series of books!  What's a girl to do? In Lexi's case, step in and save the man from himself and bring Christmas and love back into his life.

There are my Christmas reads from the 2012 season. If you read Christmas throughout the year, then grab one of these and read away. You won't be disappointed!  Or start saving them up for the 2013 Christmas season and start a Christmas books only tradition like me!  I already have some in my closet and loaded on my Kindle for next year!

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