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…books, of course! From now until Christmas, I’m going to attempt to post blogs listing good books for Christmas gifts and good reads that will enhance the true spirit of Christmas. Here are a few suggestions for each person on your “nice” list:

MEN

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Got a guy on your list who doesn’t have too much time for reading? Get Rick Bylina’s humorous book, Bathroom Reading–Short Stories for Short Visits (Volume 1) Sixty-six short stories from writer’s angst to T-Rex to aliens, zombies, squirrels, cockatiels, cows, thrillers, comedies, tragedies, and love stories with Rick’s own unique take.

Bylina’s Poem’s for a Platypus is pretty hilarious, too. untitled (13)He says: This is a book of my poetry that platypi have indicated they love. Most people don’t know that platypi love a good short poem, a saucy limerick, or a tight Haiku. They don’t care for epics because a platypi’s attention span is not that strong. Though it might seem at first glance, that this is a book of Haiku, it is not. I write what I feel, and I feel short poems most of the time that mirror the traditional Haiku style. However, there are many poems that are not in that style, because, well, that’s not what I felt at the time of the writing. Enjoy the same poems as the platypi, and you too can feel as carefree as they do, enjoying the moment, reflecting deeply, then swimming on to their next adventure.

posterFor men’s fiction (and women, too) Dan Walsh has some wonderful inspirational books. The Discovery is my favorite, but The Unfinished Gift and Remembering Christmas: A Novel are great Christmas reads for all. Walsh is the bestselling author of 9 novels, published by Revell and Guideposts, including The Unfinished Gift, The Reunion and The Dance. He has won 3 ACFW Carol Awards, 2 Selah Awards, and twice his novels have been named as finalists for RT Reviews Inspirational Novel of the Year.

Women

untitled (14)For fiction, Jordyn’s Redwood’s books are thrilling reads. In Proof, book one of the bloodline trilogy, Dr. Lilly Reeves is a young, accomplished ER physician with her whole life ahead of her. But that life instantly changes when she becomes the fifth victim of a serial rapist. Believing it’s the only way to recover her reputation and secure peace for herself, Lilly sets out to find–and punish–her assailant. Sporting a mysterious tattoo and unusually colored eyes, the rapist should be easy to identify. He even leaves what police would consider solid evidence. But when Lilly believes she has found him, DNA testing clears him as a suspect. How can she prove he is guilty, if science says he is not?

untitled (17)Deborah Raney’s, A VOW TO CHERISH was the inspiration for World Wide Pictures’ highly acclaimed film of the same title. The film won a Silver Angel, a bronze Omni Award and a Gold Special Jury Award at the WorldFest Houston International Film Festival. It is now available on video and on DVD in seven languages. Book and film continue to shed healing light on the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease for families and caregivers.

 

untitled (15)And…Silver Bells: Song of the Season Series is a one of Deborah Raney’s heartwarming Christmas reads. As Elvis croons from the radio and Christmas descends upon a small Kansas town, two people find the miracle of love. Michelle Penn has dropped out of college to work as a reporter for a tiny weekly newspaper. The boss’s son, Robert Merrick III, is quickly making her forget all about her former sweetheart, Kevin, who has shipped out to Vietnam. Rob loves the newspaper business but feels trapped working for his father. He dreams of having his own newspaper, but now that he’s met Michelle, she is what he wants most of all. Rob is forbidden by office policy to date Michelle, but if he were to quit his job, he’d have nothing to offer her. As snow blankets the town, it seems that the gifts Rob and Michelle most desire — each other — are out of reach. But then, they didn’t count on a small Christmas miracle.

*About the series: Songs of the Season™ is a line of inspirational romance fiction that overflows with seasonal cheer. Each standalone novel bears the title of a popular Christmas song from a nostalgic era.

untitled (18)And I have to recommend, A Door County Christmas: Four Romances Warm Hearts in Wisconsin’s Version of Cape Cod (Romancing America) by Becky Melby, Eileen Key, Rachael Phillips, and Cynthia Ruchti. I was born and raised in Door County and experienced quite a few of these Christmases. In this novel, peer behind the closed doors of a Wisconsin tourist town gone dormant for the winter season. Watch as the drama and romance start to heat up—just as Lola the innkeeper promised her four single friends a year ago when she gifted them with her prayers and a Christmas cactus. Will each woman find love—along with cactus blooms—as promised?

untitled (19)Can’t resist one more Christmas novel for women: Finding Father Christmas By Robin Jones Gunn In FINDING FATHER CHRISTMAS, Miranda Carson’s search for her father takes a turn she never expected when she finds herself in London with only a few feeble clues to who he might be. Unexpectedly welcomed into a family that doesn’t recognize her, and whom she’s quickly coming to love, she faces a terrible decision. Should she reveal her true identity and destroy their idyllic image of her father? Or should she carry the truth home with her to San Francisco and remain alone in this world? Whatever choice she makes during this London Christmas will forever change the future for both herself and the family she can’t bear to leave. Robin Jones Gunn brilliantly combines lyrical writing and unforgettable characters to craft a story of longing and belonging that will stay with readers long after they close the pages of this book.

untitled (20)I haven’t bought The Life of Our Lord, but I want to read it. Charles Dickens wrote The Life of Our Lord during the years 1846-1849, just about the time he was completing David Copperfield. In this charming, simple retelling of the life of Jesus Christ, adapted from the Gospel of St. Luke, Dickens hoped to teach his young children about religion and faith. Since he wrote it exclusively for his children, Dickens refused to allow publication. For eighty-five years the manuscript was guarded as a precious family secret, and it was handed down from one relative to the next. When Dickens died in 1870, it was left to his sister-in-law, Georgina Hogarth. From there it fell to Dickens’s son, Sir Henry Fielding Dickens, with the admonition that it should not be published while any child of Dickens lived. Just before the 1933 holidays, Sir Henry, then the only living child of Dickens, died, leaving his father’s manuscript to his wife and children. He also bequeathed to them the right to make the decision to publish The Life of Our Lord. By majority vote, Sir Henry’s widow and children decided to publish the book in London. In 1934, Simon & Schuster published the first American edition, which became one of the year’s biggest bestsellers.

Children

untitled (21)Julie Cantrell’s God is With Me Through the Night. In this book, furry friends reveal that even the biggest and bravest of God’s creatures feel frightened sometimes. This comforting story allows parents to build stronger bonds with their children while reminding readers of all ages that fear, loneliness, and hopelessness can be alleviated when we put our trust in God. The story ends with an easy-to-remember Bible verse that teaches children about God’s love. ‘Fear not, for I am with you’ (Isaiah 41:10).

untitled (22)Snuggle in this holiday season and offer up A Christmas Prayer by Amy Parker. In the tradition of A Night Night Prayer, this precious little child wanders through the house on a snowy Christmas night offering a prayer of thanks and blessing. The child finishes with thanks to God for the greatest Gift of all. Noting all the characters in the Nativity, this lovable little nighttime prayer book has interactive dialogue and soothing rhyme for a child to repeat as they look around their world at Christmastime. Between the soft Christmas glow of the illustrations and the smooth rhythm of the child’s prayer, A Christmas Prayer will make every parent and child want to snuggle up by the tree and offer a prayer of thanks to God for His many Christmas blessings.

Enjoy shopping! And remember, Books are the best gift!