Christmas Books at the Library

It’s that time of year again, time for Christmas carols, Christmas movies and, of course, Christmas stories.  Many of the choices for favorite Christmas tales were children’s books. The ones that we grew up with and came to really represent the holidays.


Of course, there were exceptions to this, with A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens making the list of almost the entire staff, and a sprinkling of tales of romance and suspense finishing off the list. So without further ado, our favorite book choices for the holidays.


Image result for holiday in deathHoliday in Death by J.D. Robb

Starting with a darker choice, we have a holiday themed crime novel, with a Santa-costumed killer.

Called to a domestic dispute, Eve is shocked to discover a woman tied to the bed, covered in make-up, wearing a stick-on tattoo and a partridge in a pear tree figure in her hair, strangled to death. Video footage reveals she had let a man dressed as Santa into her flat just before she died, and the hunt for the killer takes on a sinister new edge as Eve realizes he is counting down the twelve days to Christmas.

Available: Smithville


Image result for polar express book coverThe Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

The power of believing brings magic in this lovely Christmas story.

This enchanting book tells the story of a little boy who believes in Santa Claus even though his friends say that he does not exist. Because of his faith, he is taken on a magical journey to the North Pole aboard the Polar Express, where he is given a very special gift: a beautiful bell that only rings for those who still believe.

Available: Smithville


Image result for how the grinch stole christmasHow the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

Chosen as a wonderful holiday read by multiple staff members, its hard to resist this tale of the Grinch learning the true meaning of Christmas.

The Grinch, whose heart is two sizes too small, hates Who-ville’s holiday celebrations, and plans to steal all the presents to prevent Christmas from coming. To his amazement, Christmas comes anyway, and the Grinch learns a little something in the process.

Available: Caistorville and Smithville


Image result for Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke MooreTwas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore

Actually a poem, this lyrical account of hearing Santa on Christmas night has been adapted many times by different illustrators, many with pictures that rival the beauty of the words. In the end it is the poem that carries the day, with most readers knowing large portions well enough to recite from memory. Readings are sure to bring visions of sugar plums to your dreams.

Available: Caistorville, Smithville and Wellandport


Image result for the lion the witch and the wardrobe book coverThe Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

This is not wholly a Christmas book, but it takes place in the snowy Christmas season and features a visit from Santa Claus. It is also delightful to read this, or any, time of year.

Deep in the bewitched land of Narnia, the adventure begins.

They opened a door and entered a world–Narnia–the land beyond the wardrobe, the secret country known only to Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. Lucy is the first to stumble through the back of the enormous wardrobe in the professor’s mysterious old country house, discovering the magic world beyond. At first, no one believes her. But soon Edmund, Peter and Susan, too, discover the magic and meet Aslan, the Great Lion, for themselves. And in the blink of an eye, they are changed forever.

Available: Caistorville, Smithville and Wellandport


Image result for all through the night brockmannAll Through the Night by Suzanne Brockmann 

Part of the best-selling troubleshooter series comes a story of charming and uplifting story of wedding planning, Christmas mayhem and happily ever after at last.

It’s Christmastime in Boston, and this year the silver bells will be wedding bells as FBI agent Jules Cassidy ties the knot with the man of his dreams, Hollywood heartthrob Robin Chadwick.

The pair plan a quiet, intimate ceremony, to be witnessed by family and close friends from the FBI, SEAL Team Sixteen, and Troubleshooters, Incorporated, including Sam Starrett and Alyssa Locke. But the holiday season brings more to the happy couple than they expect, and suddenly the wedding is poised to unravel in chaos.

But nothing will stop Jules and Robin from getting their happy ending, because along with a guest list featuring the most elite counter-terrorism force in the world, they have their own secret weapon–true love.

Available: Smithville and Wellandport


Image result for a christmas carol by charles dickens book coverA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

The most popular Christmas story among staff, A Christmas Carol was often cited as the book that is re-read each year for the holidays. It was first published in 1843 but its story still resonates with readers today. The audio book is also just lovely for listening as a family.

The imaginative and entertaining tale relates Ebenezer Scrooge’s eerie encounters with a series of spectral visitors. Journeying with them through Christmases past, present, and future, he is ultimately transformed from an arrogant, obstinate, and insensitive miser to a generous, warmhearted, and caring human being. Written by one of England’s greatest and most popular novelists, A Christmas Carol has come to epitomize the true meaning of Christmas. A Christmas Carol, has long since become one of the most beloved stories in the English language. As much a part of the holiday season as holly, mistletoe, and evergreen wreaths, this perennial favorite continues to delight new readers and rekindle thoughts of charity and goodwill.

Available: Smithville, Audio download

Two Hanukkah Stories from Overdrive!

Cover of Oskar and the Eight BlessingsOskar and the Eight Blessings by Tanya Simon

A refugee seeking sanctuary from the horrors of Kristallnacht, Oskar arrives by ship in New York City with only a photograph and an address for an aunt he has never met. It is both the seventh day of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve, 1938. As Oskar walks the length of Manhattan, from the Battery to his new home in the north of the city, he passes experiences the city’s many holiday sights, and encounters it various residents. Each offers Oskar a small act of kindness, welcoming him to the city and helping him on his way to a new life in the new world. Check it out!


Cover of The Miracle JarThe Miracle Jar by Audrey Penn

Sophie and her brother are excited by the arrival of Hanukkah, and they happily clean the cottage and shine the Menorah as their gift to the family. But when their mother shares her worry that they do not have enough cooking oil to last the eight days of Hanukkah, Father tells them the story behind the holiday celebration and the miracle of the oil. Inspired by the story, the family creates their own Miracle Jar and watches the oil disappear as they enjoy the special food that each day brings. The family’s hope and faith is confirmed when a last wipe with a cloth produces just enough oil to enjoy the eighth day’s treat.

In this heartwarming story told by bestselling author Audrey Penn, the flicker of the Menorah candles links past to present, and the miracle of the oil transcends the ages and reminds readers of the spirit of Hanukkah and the continuing possibility of miracles. Check it out!

Happy Holidays Everyone!