Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday Break Reading Challenge - Activity #8

Holiday Break Reading Challenge

For today's activity we are supposed to think about books that have Christmas as an important part of the story, post the cover and the synopsis.

My favorite Christmas story this year is actually one I posted about yesterday (Dec 23rd) – Two Tickets To The Christmas Ball by Donita K. Paul.

I really loved this book so much that I think it deserves mentioning again.  Here is Goodreads summary:

Can mysterious matchmaking booksellers bring two lonely hearts together in time for Christmas?
In a sleepy, snow-covered city, Cora Crowder is busy preparing for the holiday season. Searching for a perfect gift, a fortuitous trip to Warner, Werner, and Wizbotterdad's (a most unusual bookshop) leads to an unexpected encounter with co-worker Simon Derrick and the surprise discovery of a ticket for a truly one-of-a-kind Christmas Ball.

Every year, the matchmaking booksellers of the Sage Street bookshop host an enchanting, old-fashioned Christmas Ball for the romantic matches they've decided to bring together.

This year, will Simon and Cora discover a perfect chemistry in their opposite personalities and shared faith? Or will the matchmakers' best laid plans end up ruining everything this holiday?  

My review can be found here.

Another good book with Christmas in the story is Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.   My review can be found here.

I also just finished Anne Perry's A Christmas Odyssey.  I'm a big mystery fan. Anne Perry is one of my favorite historical mystery authors.  For the last several years she has published Christmas novellas featuring some of the minor characters from her Thomas & Charlotte Pitt and Hester & William Monk Series.

Goodreads description:
In her beloved Christmas novels, Anne Perry brings readers both the authentic Victorian charm and the nail-biting suspense that have made her Thomas Pitt and William Monk tales bestsellers for a generation. Though rife with intrigue, these special seasonal stories beam with the blessed light of the holiday.
Ten days before Christmas, as an icy wind cuts through London, wealthy James Wentworth feels not joy but grief. His reckless son, Lucien, has been lured into a deadly world of drugs and wild passion. Wentworth’s only hope, he believes, is his old friend Henry Rathbone, who volunteers to search for the prodigal son. Rathbone knows nothing of the sensation-obsessed underworld where Lucien now dwells, but he acquires two unexpected new companions who do: Squeaky Robinson, a reformed brothel-keeper who now works in Hester Monk’s medical clinic, and Crow, a mysterious slum doctor who turns no one away, however undeserving.
Slowly this odd trio gathers clues—about Lucien’s mad infatuation with a beautiful woman named Sadie, and about Shadwell, the ruthless man who owns her and, like the Devil, never lets go of one of his own. Rathbone, Squeaky, and Crow even welcome into their little band a most valuable recruit: young Bessie, a teenager whose courage holds fast even in the depths of the slum. And so they set forth on their odyssey into London’s dark streets, on a mission whose outcome they cannot begin to guess.
Anne Perry’s novels are supreme masterpieces of suspense, and A Christmas Odyssey ranks with the very best. The days leading up to Christmas may prove to be fraught with challenges, but ’tis the season for comfort and joy and miracles.  

Look for my review of this book soon.

And finally, I am currently reading Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop, edited by Otto Penzler.
Product description from Amazon:

Each year, for the past seventeen years, Otto Penzler, owner of the legendary Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, has commissioned an original story by a leading mystery writer. The requirements were that it be a mystery/ crime/suspense story, that it be set during the Christmas season, and that at least some of the action must take place in The Mysterious Bookshop. These stories were then produced as pamphlets, 1,000 copies, and given to customers of the bookstore as a Christmas present.

Now, all of these stories have been collected in one volume—Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop. Some of the tales are humorous, others suspenseful, and still others mystifying. This charming one-of-a-kind collection is a perfect Christmas gift, appropriate for all ages and tastes.

Contributors include:
Charles Ardai
Lisa Atkinson
George Baxt
Lawrence Block
Mary Higgins Clark
Thomas H. Cook
Ron Goulart
Jeremiah Healy
Edward D. Hoch
Rupert Holmes
Andrew Klavan
Michael Malone
Ed McBain
Anne Perry
S. J. Rozan
Jonathan Santlofer
Donald E. Westlake

I'm enjoying this book so much that I have this urge to fly to New York and visit the shop. (It really does exist.)  I checked this out from the library, but if anyone is looking for a last minute Christmas gift for me (or even a Happy New Year present) this would be at the top of my list.

So far my reading during this holiday break has included a number of holiday stories. It was something I needed this year. I had hoped to read The Spider's Gift: a Ukrainian Christmas Story by Erik Kimmel, but I'm still on the hold list at the library.  

I already have my post Christmas read lined up: The Diva Cooks a Goose by Krista Davis, which I won from Bookends, LLC during the 12 Days of Bookmas. I understand this book takes place just after Christmas so the time should be just right. I follow Ms. Davis on a couple of blogs that she contributes too, but this will be my first time reading one of her books. I've heard great things about her series.  Look for a review soon.

Want to see what other Christmas stories people are reading? Hop on over to Holiday Reading Challenge Activity #8

No comments: