The Christmas season is a time for peace on Earth, goodwill to men, and a whole lot of craziness. Between the hustle and bustle of getting to the stores, planning and going to Christmas parties, and making sure that you’ve gotten presents for everyone and their mother, it’s no wonder that sometimes we can feel a little overwhelmed. I don’t know about you, but to me, nothing cuts through the craziness of Christmas like curling up with a good book. So, if you’re looking for a good read, check out the following suggestions.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, by Barbara Robinson
The Herdmans are absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world, according to the first line of the book. They lie and steal and cheat and they’ve certainly never set foot in the church. So, how on Earth do those kids end up with in the main roles of a small town church’s Christmas pageant, and, more importantly, what is going to happen next?
Other than the Christmas story in the Bible, this is the only other book that my family absolutely has to read during the Christmas season. On Christmas Eve, we all get dressed in our best clothes, clamber into the family van, and read the book out loud on our way to the Christmas Eve service. The book is technically meant for children, but even my brothers, who are 17 and 19, get a kick out of hearing this story. As someone who has met more than a few Herdmans in life, I can assure you that this book is a great reminder that God looks at people’s hearts, rather than the outside, and that even the worst behaved people in our lives can be changed by God’s love.
The Door Within, by Wayne Thomas Batson
Aidan Thomas has never really been strong or smart or popular. His only claim to fame has been his best friend, Robby, and even that’s over, now that he’s had to move halfway across the country to take care of his sick grandfather. But, when he discovers a mysterious set of scrolls in his grandfather’s basement, he’s transported to a strange new land and sent on a quest to continue the mission of the one true King.
This is the first book in an allegorical Christian trilogy, telling the timeless tale of good and evil, light and dark, life and death; it’s vaguely reminiscent of the classic Chronicles of Narnia books, if Narnia had been written by a middle aged English teacher in central Maryland. One of the main things I liked about it was how relatable the characters were. I’ve been in a similar place to where Aidan is, both at the beginning and the end of the book, and I think it’s really cool how the character grows in that place. The book is supposedly meant for ages 8-12, but it’s really for anyone who has felt lost and alone, as it teaches the message of God’s love and sacrifice, with a little bit of fantasy and magic thrown in.
Cookie Dough or Die (A Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery) by Virginia Lowell
Olivia Greyson has had it kind of rough. She’s been though a messy divorce, she’s had to move back to her hometown, and now her entrepreneurial mentor, Clarisse Chamberlain has died. But, when Clarisse’s death seems suspicious to Olivia, she and her business partner Maddy take it upon themselves to solve her murder.
This book is a light and entertaining read. Though it’s not a Christian book, it is a clean read. There’s no bad language and no sex. The characters are a lot of fun, from Olivia, who is sarcastic and down to Earth, down to Maddy, her quirky, energetic business partner. Overall, if you’re into cozy mysteries, this might be the book for you.