Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Gift of Holiday Reading

Books are always a good holiday gift. The smell of a brand new book - the anticipation when opening a book cover for the first time – books are truly the gift that keeps on giving. Here are some recommendations for new books to give this holiday season that are truly in the holiday spirit.

Knit the Season by Kate Jacobs. This novel is a heart-warming sequel to the Friday Night Knitting Club and offers more information about Georgia, founder of the Walker and Daughter Knitting Shop. If you want a book about friendship, love and the holiday season this is a good choice. If you are giving it to a knitter, this is a perfect choice

Tinsel: A Search for America’s Christmas Present by Hank Stuever takes a look at what Christmas has become in several selected American communities. On his way to describing what is now a “half-trillion-dollar holiday” and how this compares to the ancient rituals where it started, Stuever finds warmth, incredible excess, commerciality and humor. A very seasonal read.

Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson picks up where Three Cups of Tea left off as we follow Mr. Mortenson in his continuing quest to establish schools for girls in Afghanistan. Surely Mortensen’s goal to spread education and peace on earth is in the spirit of the holidays.

And finally, two books on a similar theme….gratitude. Whether Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance or Oprah Winfrey on her TV show originated the gratitude journal, it is a tool that has become popular. And now the whole concept of gratitude and what an appreciation of life’s blessings can bring is capturing the attention of even more authors.

The Gift of Thanks: Roots and Rituals of Gratitude by Margaret Visser presents an in depth study of what it means for humanity to be truly thankful. Publisher’s Weekly calls Vissner’s title a “delightful and graceful gift of a book, for which any fortunate recipient will be thankful.”

Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons have written Living Life as a Thank You: The Transformative Power of Daily Gratitude. Living as if each day is a thank-you can help transform fear into courage, anger into forgiveness, isolation into belonging. There is even a chapter entitled “Ways to Stay Thankful in Difficult Times” – certainly a timely thought. Meg



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