December 2009

Reading Recommendations · Holiday Books

Brighten up your holidays with one of these new books from our collection! The list includes nonfiction, fiction and books for kids and teens!

Entertaining & Food

Kids in the Holiday Kitchen: Making, Baking, Giving

Jessica Strand
These kid-friendly cooking and craft projects include easy-to-make dinners, snacks, ornaments, and gift ideas.

The Great Christmas Cookie Swap Cookbook: 60 Large-batch Recipes to Bake and Share

Hosting a cookie swap is a great way to celebrate the holidays. Dazzle your friends and family with one of the yummy recipes in this collection from the folks at Good Housekeeping.

Christmas Gifts from the Kitchen

Georgeanne Brennan
Instead of heading out to the mall, why not make some homemade goodies this year? Brennan's suggestions are organized into five sections: cookies; cakes, bars, and breads; candies and confections, savory treats; and preserved delights.

Christmas with Southern Living

Mouthwatering recipes and creative ideas for decorating and entertaining from the editors of Southern Living magazine.

Nigella Christmas: Food, Family, Friends, Festivities

Nigella Lawson
Take some of the stress out of the holidays with Nigella's "reliable easy-to-follow recipes and reassuring advice about planning and cooking ahead."

Cookie Craft Christmas: Dozens of Decorating Ideas for a Sweet Holiday

Valerie Peterson
Peterson offers readers step-by-step directions for creating these elaborately-decorated cookies.

The Jewish Princess Feasts & Festivals

Georgie Tarn
The authors of the Jewish Princess Cookbook return with a collection of recipes for holidays such as Chanukkah, Purim, Passover, and Rosh Hashanah.

Christmas Cookies: 50 Recipes to Treasure for the Holiday Season

Lisa B. Zwirn
Sure, we all have our tried and true cookie recipes but it’s always fun to look for new favorites, right?! Zwirn’s new book also includes child-friendly recipes, storage suggestions, and tips for hosting a cookie swap/decorating party.
Cover of The All-American Christmas Cookbook: Family Favorites from Every State

The All-American Christmas Cookbook: Family Favorites from Every State

A state-by-state tour of holiday recipes, from Amish Christmas Caramel Corn to Christmas Pea Salad to Williamsburg Wassail.

The Christmas table: Recipes and Crafts to Create Your Own Holiday Tradition

Diane Morgan
In addition to plenty of suggestions for hosting a festive holiday feast, Morgan shares her twelve planning tips of Christmas, recipes for leftovers, and ideas for food gifts that can be made in the kitchen.

Christmas with Paula Deen: Recipes and Stories from My Favorite Holiday

Paula Deen
Food Network host Paula Deen shows you how to prepare tasty dishes and celebrate the holidays with southern flair. Deen’s faithful followers will also appreciate the family photographs and anecdotes sprinkled throughout the text.
Cover of The Pastry Queen Christmas: Big-Hearted Holiday Entertaining, Texas Style

The Pastry Queen Christmas: Big-Hearted Holiday Entertaining, Texas Style

Rebecca Rather
A bakery owner shares recipes “reflecting her made-with-love-from scratch philosophy and the tastes of small town Texas.” Recipes are organized by occasion (“Holiday Open House,” “Ranch Barn Brunch,” “Edible Gifts,” etc.) and include a splendid variety of possibilities, including Cornbread Dressing, Hot Mocha Cakes, Mustard Baked Ham, Old Fashioned Egg Nog, and Cheese Crispies.

Seriously Simple Holidays: Recipes and Ideas to Celebrate the Season

Diane Worthington
Between cooking, shopping, and entertaining, getting ready for the holidays can be overwhelming. Diane Worthington has plenty of useful suggestions for taking the stress out of your holiday preparations.

Hometown Recipes for the Holidays

A collection of over 250 “cherished family recipes” from the readers of American Profile magazine.
Cover of Healthy Hedonist Holidays: A Year of Multicultural, Vegetarian-friendly Holiday Feasts

Healthy Hedonist Holidays: A Year of Multicultural, Vegetarian-friendly Holiday Feasts

Myra Kornfeld
Kornfeld’s “flexitarian” menus are designed to take the struggle out of accommodating the dietary preferences of your dinner table guests. The menus include recipes to appeal to just about everyone—from vegetarians to carnivores to those who are allergic to dairy products or nuts.

I’m Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas

Marcel Desaulniers
Tons of recipes for chocolate dessert that will dazzle your guests!

Fruits of the Harvest: Recipes to Celebrate Kwanzaa and Other Holidays

Eric V. Copage
Discover the roles that food and fellowship play in the celebration of Kwanzaa and other holidays to people of African descent.

Arts & Crafts

Interweave Presents Knitted Gifts: Irresistible Projects to Make and Give

Ann Budd
Lots of fun gift ideas (including some for your four-legged friends!) for both the novice and expert knitter. Most are relatively simple projects that can be completed in a fairly short period of time.

A Very Beaded Christmas: 46 Projects That Glitter, Twinkle & Shine

Terry Taylor
Quick and easy projects--including wreaths, cards, and gift bags--to add some sparkle to the holidays.

Home-made Christmas: With 35 Beautiful Easy-to-Make Projects

Tessa Evelegh
Beginning crafters will find plenty of gift ideas in this collection. Lots of full-color, step-by-step instructions and technique tips guide you along the way.

FamilyFun Homemade Holidays: 150 Festive Crafts, Recipes, Gifts & Parties

The editors of FamilyFun magazine make it easy for you to get the whole family involved in preparing for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa!

Best of Christmas Ideas

"Whether you love a traditional approach or like to mix it up from year to year," the folks at Better Homes and Gardens have you covered with decorating suggestions and gift ideas.

Christmas With Artful Offerings: Delicious Cookie-Cutter Designs for Quilting, Sewing and Punchneedle

Karina Hittle
Hittle offers readers projects inspired by Christmas cookie shapes.

Tree Top Decorations: 25 Dazzling Ideas for Angels, Stars, Ribbons, and More

Emma Hardy
Why not make your own tree topper this year? Emma Hardy’s new book contains 25 different projects, all supported with detailed, step-by-step instructions.

Papercrafts for Christmas: Making Cards and Decorations

Judy Balchin
Eighteen quick and easy projects for crafters who want to make their own Christmas tree decoration, cards, or table decorations. Templates are also included.
Cover of Holiday Paper Crafts from Japan: 17 Easy Projects to Brighten Your Holiday Season - Inspired by Traditional Japanese Washi Paper

Holiday Paper Crafts from Japan: 17 Easy Projects to Brighten Your Holiday Season - Inspired by Traditional Japanese Washi Paper

Robertta A. Uhl
Washi, a colorful printed paper used by many Japanese crafters, is used to spectacular effect in this collection of holiday project ideas.

Simply Sparkling Christmas Beading

Dorothy Wood
Beginner and experienced beaders are sure to find something that captures their fancy in this new book from Wood (Quick and Clever Beading). How about a ribbon gift bag? Or a string of pompom lights?


The Christmas List

Richard Paul Evans
A real-estate magnate is afforded the chance to read his own obituary before he dies. The Christmas season is time to make amends in this yuletide story of redemption.

Yule Be Mine

Lori Foster
The bestselling Ohio native and Northern Kentucky resident offers four delightful tales of love and romance during the Christmas season.

Home in Time for Christmas

Heather Graham
A Revolutionary War hero is whisked from a British gallows to the 21st century, where he runs into (literally) artist Melody Tarleton on an icy road. A magical tale of love during the holiday.

Home for Christmas

Andrew Greeley
Serving in combat in Iraq, Petey Pat Kane is killed by a suicide bomber. But he gets a second chance at life and love through a spiritual awakening.

Christmas Cake

J. Lynne Hinton
At work on a cake cookbook, four friends of Hope Springs, North Carolina embark on a cross-country journey of mercy and compassion to discover the most inspirational and loving Christmas ever!


Linda Howard
As an ice storm gathers, a soldier on leave treks out to the countryside to check on the safety of a woman who does not want to see him. With armed intruders spotted in her house, the soldier initiates a rescue in a tense and chilly holiday thriller.

Knit the Season

Kate Jacobs
In this yuletide knitting novel, Dakota spends Christmas with her Gran in Scotland, where cherished memories of Dakota�s mother are shared. A warm holiday story of family and friends.

The Memory Quilt

T. J. Jakes
Widowed Lela faces a lonely Christmas, but through a bible study group, and the inspiration of the Virgin Mary, Lela finds a spiritual path through the yuletide season.

A Christmas Blizzard

Garrison Keillor
Stranded by a North Dakota blizzard, a wealthy, but unhappy, traveler undergoes a Scrooge-like spiritual rehabilitation in a holiday fable from the esteemed Minnesota storyteller.

Decked With Folly

Kate Kingsbury
At the Pennyfoot Hotel, in Edwardian England, a Christmas curse seems accountable after a body s found in the duck pond. Holiday murder is afoot in this yuletide cozy.

Wishin� and Hopin�

Wally Lamb
It�s 1964 in small-town Connecticut, where 5th-grader Felix Funicello (cousin of Annette) is waiting, somewhat guiltily, for Christmas. A charming evocation of Christmas in the mid-1960s.

The Perfect Christmas

Debbie Macomber
Cassie Beaumont consults a professional matchmaker to find her the perfect man, but she falls in love a less-than-ideal guy in a holiday love story full of seasonal fun.

A Rumpole Christmas

John Mortimer
The holdiday collection from the late John Mortimer features the gruff, droll barrister, beloved by all. A Christmas treat for Rumpole�s legion of fans.

The Christmas Cookie Club

Ann Pearlman
Each December in Ann Arbor, a dozen women friends gather with 13 dozen cookies (one is for charity) to celebrate another year of their friendship during the holiday season.

Lakeshore Christmas

Susan Wiggs
As director of the annual holiday pageant, Christmas on Willow Lake is extra special for librarian Maureen Davenport. However, she might require a storybook Christmas miracle to achieve her dream production.

An Amish Christmas: December in Lancaster County

A trio of authors provide lovely and heartwarming novellas concerning Amish life during the Christmas season, in this moving and inspirational collection.

Books for Kids

The Christmas Baby

Marion Dane Bauer
Joseph asks innkeeper after innkeeper to no avail, until he reaches a group of barnyard animals who happily make room. Joseph's refrain is echoed by angels and heard by shepherds and kings, who gather to peer at the child who �smiled at the world with God's own smile.� The final pages shift to the birth of a modern infant whose family gathers around its crib. Ages 2-5

Snow Bugs: A Wintery Pop-up Book

David Carter
This next installment of the wildly popular Bugs series captures what everyone loves about chilly weather! From snowflakes and ski lifts to hot chocolate and snow angels, this new title is a perfect way to stay warm during the cold days of winter! All Ages

The Christmas Book: How to Have the Best Christmas Ever

Juliana Foster
A collection of advice, lore, and tips to get you ready for Christmas- includes gift ideas, super sneaky gift hiding spots, and ideas for wrapping. Get the stories behind some traditions as well as jokes, trivia, and spoof thank-you letters! Ages 10+

On This Special Night

claire Freedman
Not sure what to get your parents? Wondering where your presents are hidden? Those topics, plus gift wrap ideas, and the stories behind Christmas traditions can be found in this silly handbook for ages 10+

The Christmas Genie

Dan Gutman
It's the last day of school before Christmas vacation and Alex, Chase, and the rest of Mrs. Walter's fifth-grade class couldn't wish more for that final bell to ring. But the day takes a crazy turn when a mysterious meteorite crashes through their classroom window and a genie (named Bob) pops out! He grants the students a collective wish as reward for his release. There�s just one hitch�they have only an hour to decide what that wish will be (Bob is cranky after being cooped up for thirteen million light years). Be careful what you wish for! Ages 9-11

If You Take a Mouse to the Movies: A Special Christmas Edition

Laura Numeroff
Taking a mouse to the movies can lead to letting him do other things, such as making a snowman, listening to Christmas carols, and decorating the Christmas tree. The creators of the best-selling If You Give series have brought their stories, recipes, songs, games, and activities to this deluxe edition. Ages 3+

Merry Christmas, Splat

Rob Scotton
The high-strung but well-meaning Splat, from Splat the Cat and Love, Splat, returns with a special request for Santa Claus. Splat wonders if he's been a good enough cat this year to deserve a really big present. Just to make sure, he offers some last-minute help to his mom, in typical Splat fashion, of course! Ages 3-7
Cover of The Lump of Coal

The Lump of Coal

Lemony Snicket
We’ll leave it to Mr. Snicket himself to describe his latest book: “This is a story about a lump of coal who can think, talk, and move itself around. Is there a more charming holiday tale to behold? Probably, but Lemony Snicket has not written one.”

The Christmas Magic

Lauren Thompson
Far, far North, Santa�s whiskers begin to tingle, which means that Christmas magic will soon arrive. Readers see the white-haired gent taking care of the pre-Christmas chores: grooming the reindeer, repairing his extra warm socks, cleaning the sleigh, and selecting the perfect gift for each girl and boy. When all is ready, the magic comes and Santa flies off to share it with the world. Ages 5-8

The Sound of Kwanzaa

Dimitrea Tokunbo
Lively verse and colorful illustrations guide you through the seven principles of this festive holiday. Come close, gather round, and discover what Kwanzaa is all about! All ages.

Books for Teens

Cover of Mistletoe: Four Holiday Stories

Mistletoe: Four Holiday Stories

Hailey Abbott, Melissa De la Cruz, Aimee Friedman, Nina Malkin
These four short stories about love during the holidays will warm you up on a chilly night!


Kate Brian
While her parents are on vacation, Lila Beckwith plans to throw the Christmas party of the year. That is until her little brother and his best friend run away to save Santa from global warming. It's up to Lila and her ex-boyfriend to find the two before her parents get home.

Holiday Princess

Meg Cabot
Looking for the best gift suggestions, fashion tips, party ideas, recipes and craft ideas for this holiday season? Look no further! Princess Mia has the complete guide to help make the most of your holiday season.

Last Christmas: The Private Prequel

Kate Brian
Arianna Osgood should be in Vermont with her boyfriend but she is stranded at Easton with Thomas Pearson. And someone is watching them…
Cover of Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances

Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances

John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle
Three short stories from young adult writers about the heartbreaks and joys romance can bring during a Christmas Eve snowstorm in a small town.

French Kissmas

Cathy Hapka
While spending the winter holidays in Paris participating in a promotional video for the S.A.S.S. program, Nicole Larson fights her feelings for Luc, the boy she met during her semester abroad the year before.

Secret Santa

Sabrina James
Secret Santa gifts and a winter dance populate this tale of romantic mishaps and mistaken identities.
Cover of Magna Claus, Honor, Loyalty, Tinsel. The Blade of Kringle

Magna Claus, Honor, Loyalty, Tinsel. The Blade of Kringle

Nathaniel Marunas
When a disgruntled elf creates an army of evil teddies, Santa breaks out his ancient samurai swords to save Christmas.

Listen for the Fig Tree

Sharon Bell Mathis
During her first celebration of Kwanzaa, a sixteen-year-old girl finds the strength to deal with her troubled mother and her own blindness.

Understanding Jewish Holidays and Customs: Historical and Contemporary

Sol Scharfstein
A historical and contemporary overview of customs and ceremonies as practiced by Jews from Biblical times to the present, discussing the changes that have taken place through the centuries.

A Few More Titles Worth a Look

Chrismukkah: Everything You Need to Know to Celebrate the Hybrid Holiday

Ron Gompertz
This amusing guide from the man behind the Chrismukkah website has everything the interfaith family needs to celebrate the holidays--including recipes ("Fa La La Latkes"), decorations (menorahments and dreidel wreaths), games, and songs.

You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas

Augesten Burroughs
Known for his two bestselling memoirs, Running with Scissors and A Wolf at the Table, Augusten Burroughs remembers Christmases past and present in this funny yet poignant holiday collection.

I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas: Gifts, Decorations, and Recipes That Use Less and Mean More

Anna Getty
This new book from environmental advocate Getty is packed with practical suggestions for reducing your carbon footprint and saving money this holiday season.
Cover of A Greener Christmas

A Greener Christmas

“Food and lifestyle maven” Sheherazade Goldsmith offers ideas for hand-crafted gifts and cards, natural decorations for your home, and traditional recipes that use ingredients from local farms.

Green Christmas: How to Have a Joyous, Eco-Friendly Holiday Season

Jennifer Basye Sander
Easy, affordable ways to celebrate the holidays in an environment-friendly fashion.

Kitschmasland!: Christmas Decor from the 1950s to the 1970s

Travis Smith
Retro enthusiasts will enjoy Smith’s lavishly illustrated chronicle of the highs and lows of Christmas decor.

The Curious World of Christmas: Celebrating All That Is Weird, Wonderful, and Festive

Niall Edworthy
An eclectic collection of “anecdotes, customs, tips, and recipes” about holiday traditions. A great choice for a trivia buff.
Cover of Holiday Hero: A Man’s Manual for Holiday Lighting

Holiday Hero: A Man’s Manual for Holiday Lighting

Brad Finkle
Make your house the envy of your neighbors with this handy little guide from the owner of an outdoor decorating business. Finkle starts with the basics and then walks you through the planning and installation stages. And, in case you’re stuck for ideas, he also offers 12 different decorating schemes!

A Family Christmas

Caroline Kennedy
Through her research for this anthology, which includes poems, carols, short fiction, letters (including one from a five-year-old Caroline to Santa), and scriptural passages, Kennedy “learned about the history of Christmas in America, the layers of meaning and experience, and the powerful and often conflicting emotions that are wound up in the holiday.”

How to Spell Chanukah: 18 Writers on 8 Nights of Lights

Emily Franklin
“From the hilarious to the snarky, the poignant to the poetic, this collection proves there are as many ways to spell Chanukah as there are ways to celebrate it.”
Need more suggestions? Contact your local library and a reference librarian will be happy to assist you.