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Friday, November 25, 2016

5 Books I Want to Read...Christmas

I keep a wish list on Goodreads called "want to read". Currently, it's up to 2547. Yeah. I also have several stacks of books tucked against walls throughout my house. Each is probably at least 3 feet high of books I haven't read yet. I periodically go through my list and purge it, but it still is not slowing down. Nor are the books that keep appearing on my Kindle. They're all still on my wish list, I just haven't gotten to them yet.

Each month I highlight 5 books I want to read. I don't set out to plan themes, but somehow patterns creep into my viewing.

How could I not choose Christmas books for the post leading into December? I love Christmas stories. I have collected them for years. I enjoy the fact that many Christmas stories are novellas and easy to read in one or two sittings. They're inspiring and joyful and always have a happy ending.

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The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury

Number one New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury delivers an instant classic with this heartwarming Christmas story about a hundred-year flood, lost love, and the beauty of enduring friendships. Molly Allen lives alone in Portland, but she left her heart back in Tennessee with a man she walked away from five years ago. They had a rare sort of love she hasn’t found since.

Ryan Kelly lives in Nashville after a broken engagement and several years on the road touring with a country music duo. He can still hear Molly’s voice encouraging him to follow his dreams; Molly, whose memory stays with him. At least he can visit The Bridge—the oldest bookstore in historic downtown Franklin—and remember the hours he and Molly once spent there.

For thirty years, Charlie and Donna Barton have run The Bridge, providing the people of middle Tennessee with coffee, conversation, and shelves of good books—even through dismal book sales and the rise of digital books. Then in May, the hundred-year flood swept through Franklin and destroyed nearly every book in the store.

Now the bank is pulling the lease on The Bridge. Despondent and without answers, Charlie considers the unthinkable. Then tragedy strikes, and suddenly, everything changes. In the face of desperate brokenness and lost opportunities, could the miracle of a second chance actually unfold?

The Bridge is a love story set against the struggle of the American bookstore, a love story you will never forget.

The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith

For readers of Richard Paul Evans and Greg Kincaid comes The 13th Gift, a heartwarming Christmas story about how a random act of kindness transformed one of the bleakest moments in a family's history into a time of strength and love.

After the unexpected death of her husband, Joanne Huist Smith had no idea how she would keep herself together and be strong for her three children--especially with the holiday season approaching. But 12 days before Christmas, presents begin appearing on her doorstep with notes from their "True Friends." As the Smiths came together to solve the mystery of who the gifts were from, they began to thaw out from their grief and come together again as a family. This true story about the power of random acts of kindness will warm the heart, a beautiful reminder of the miracles of Christmas and the gift of family during the holiday season.

The Christmas Clock by Kat Martin

Sylvia Winters just found a job and an apartment in her hometown of Dreyerville, Michigan, but she is hesitant to return. Eight years ago, she jilted her fiancé, Joe Dixon, telling him that she was moving to Chicago because small-town living was not for her. But she was lying. Syl was headed to Chicago to be treated for cervical cancer. Sadly, Joe never knew the real reason she left him. Confused and distraught, he turned to drinking to heal the pain, until he accidentally killed a man and served years in jail. Now Syl and Joe are both back in town, but it will take a miracle to bring them back into each other’s arms.Also in town is Lottie Sparks and her grandson, Teddy. Ever since Lottie’s daughter was killed in a drunk-driving accident, Lottie’s been in charge of Teddy. He appreciates her love more than she knows, so much so that the industrious eight-year-old hits up Joe’s auto body shop, so he can save enough money by Christmas to buy his grandmother a Victorian clock she adores—one that vividly reminds her of her childhood, even as the rest of her memories are slipping away with the onset of advanced Alzheimer’s.

As spring turns to summer and summer to fall, matters in the Sparks’ household take a turn for the worse. And with winter approaching, will a little hope and a big dose of Christmas magic be enough to make everything all right again?

The Snow Globe by Sheila Roberts

Discover an unforgettable holiday treasure in Sheila Roberts' heartwarming tale of love and laughter, magic and miracles, friendship and coming home...

On a blustery afternoon, Kylie Gray wanders into an antique shop and buys an enchanting snow globe. "There's a story behind that snow globe," the antique dealer tells her. The original owner, he explains, was a German toymaker who lost his wife and son right before Christmas. When the grieving widower received the handcrafted snow globe as a Christmas gift, he saw the image of a beautiful woman beneath the glass—a woman who would come into his life, mend his broken heart and bring him back to the world of the living. For years, the snow globe has passed from generation to generation, somehow always landing in the hands of a person in special need of a Christmas miracle.

Kiley could use a miracle herself. This year, all she wants for Christmas is someone to love. A hopeful shake leads her on an adventure that makes a believer out of her. When Kylie shares the story of the snow globe with her best friends—two women with problems of their own—they don't believe it. But they're about to discover that at Christmastime, sometimes the impossible becomes possible and miracles really do come true.

A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck

It’s been five years since Avery Truitt and Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom fell in love. But he broke her heart with no explanation.

Fast forward to present day, and Colin is Brighton’s most eligible bachelor now that cousin Stephen has married. When Avery’s father dies of a heart attack, she puts her life on hold and returns home to St. Simons Island, Georgia, to help Mama with the family restaurant. But Mama misses Avery’s sister Susanna, who lives four thousand miles away in Brighton Kingdom—and is expecting her first child. So Mama insists she and Avery spend the Christmas season in Brighton.

Colin and Avery are going to see each other a lot while she’s visiting. But she can’t forget the way he hurt her, and he didn’t expect his feelings to still be so strong.

Avery is torn between considering a future in Brighton and taking a coaching job in Georgia, and Colin is finally pushed to pursue what he really wants. Is it too late to convince Avery that she is his true love? And even if he does, will she make it to the chapel on Christmas Day to give him her heart?

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What about you? What books are on your "want to read/wish" list?

5 Books I want to Read is a monthly meme started by Stephanie at Layered Pages. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their wish lists look like, you can do that here: Flashlight Commentary, Layered PagesA Bookaholic SwedeThe Maiden's CourtA Literary Vacation.

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