Marcia Allen, Technical Services and Collections Manager
It’s become an annual ritual to await new holiday titles from favorite authors. This year’s offerings include more than the usual output and a wide variety of subject matter as well. For your holiday reading you might consider some of the latest in new fiction titles.
“The Mountain between Us” by Cindy Myers gives us a small Colorado community with shaky finances. The village of Eureka has made some bad investments which have devastated its balance sheet. There are other more personal problems, too, like those of young, single mother-to-be Maggie, who is torn between parental decisions. If that’s not enough local drama, a terrible winter storm, which leaves some folks stranded, ravages the community just in time for Christmas. What are the townsfolk to do? Can they organize rescue efforts, despite the many obstacles? Try this tale of generosity and understanding to find out.
Looking for lighthearted humor? “Duck the Halls” (no misspelling there) by Donna Andrews is another in a sought-after series that has made the “New York Times” bestseller list. The intrepid Meg is perplexed by a prank that has left a cage full of agitated skunks in her church’s choir loft just before the annual concert. And that’s not the only victimized church. Another in the community has become the unexpected home for a very large flock of ducks. While these nasty surprises are a problem, the death of an older gentleman during a church fire intensifies the crime wave. Meg and friends will have to sort this out before the Christmas programs become fiascos.
How about a period historical for your holiday reading? Author William W. Johnstone has created a tale of courage in his latest novel, “A Big Sky Christmas.” The story takes place in the waning years of the 19th century when a group of pioneers joins together in Kansas City, headed for the Montana Territory. The trouble is, they are departing late in the year, and they have little awareness of the storms, the harsh trail, or the hostile human forces that await them. When all seems hopeless, two hardened frontiersmen intervene to raise this group’s chance of survival.
But what if you’re a science fiction fan? Not to worry! Hank Davis, editor of “A Cosmic Christmas 2 You” has assembled a wildly varied collection you’ll love. Sure, these are tales of Christmas, buy they take place in unusual settings (think space stations, etc.) and involve remarkable characters (think robots, etc.). For one example, Sarah A. Hoyt, noted creator of urban fantasies, has projected her own unique spin on holiday moments. Not to be missed.
How about some holiday crime? Here’s a treasury you won’t want to pass. Assembled by Otto Penzler, ”The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries” boasts some of the more recognized author names you’d ever locate in one volume. To give you just a hint of the richness of the contents, you’ll locate tales by Arthur Conan Doyle, Sara Paretsky, Isaac Asimov and Mary Higgins Clark. Hardened crime stories, warm cozies, detective adventures—all can be found within these pages. Some will be familiar to you, but others will offer all new exposures to crime fiction.
Some readers love those stories that have recipes within the pages, and “A Catered Christmas Cookie Exchange” by Isis Crawford is no exception. Here you can find directions for delightful holiday treats, in addition to a puzzling murder mystery. Investigating sisters Libbie and Bernie have yet another crime to solve when cooking hopeful Millie Piedmont dies suspiciously en route to a cookie competition, and her mouth-watering baked treats have disappeared. Despite the good natured cookie competition in the community, it becomes clear that someone is out to win at any cost. Lively, humorous fare.
Cindy Woodsmall’s “The Dawn of Christmas” is an uplifting tale for the many who fancy inspirational fiction. After Sadie’s wedding hopes were dashed by the inappropriate behavior of her would-be groom, she found happiness in a career working with missions. Now, however, her family has demanded her return home. Meanwhile, embittered Levi has avoided women because of his own hurtful experience. But fate has it that the two will meet and learn that they share many of the same hopes. Could Christmas season be the start of a new life for the two?
Fortunately, there are several other new holiday titles that will also soon be available for eager readers. Be sure to browse the library website for your new holiday reading.