I'm not usually one to do holiday books. Not that I have anything against them, I don't. It's just such a busy season with reading time spread thin. This year was different, for some reason. Maybe because I didn't write over Christmas and New Years. Whatever the reason, I rather enjoyed the three, no wait, make that four, holiday stories that I read.
I'll give you a brief run down:
A Simple Gift by Karyn Witmer.
This was a large-print edition hard back. The gigantic font made reading it quick work. I would label it as women's fiction. The romantic twist was between a long-time married couple. After their daughter leaves without warning and shows up back in thier home town more than a year later with a baby, but won't speak to them, it is a struggle for the couple to keep their marriage together and regain a sense of family. The horticulturist in me liked the "simple gift" theme of a Christmas cactus, whose cuttings had been passed down by the women of this family for generation after generation as a sort of passage of acceptance.
The Christmas Thief by Marry and Carol Higgins Clark.
A cozy, entertaining mystery. Also a zip to read. An elderly lottery-winner-turned-amateur-sleuth and an elderly P.I. join forces to help solve a case involving an 80-foot blue spruce and a hidden fortune in jewels. I would rate this book PG. I plan to pass it on to my grandma. I think she'd enjoy it too.
Holidays are Murder by Charlotte Douglas:
This is a Next trade paperback and a Maggie Skerritt mystery. I liked this 40-something detective, Maggie Skerritt. She seems real. She has problems at work, and issues with family, holidays and men. Of course she solves the Florida-based murder case, and in the end she gets her love life in order too. What more could a detective ask for? Or a reader for that matter. This book now lives on my keeper shelf.
Bummer here is, this was the first holiday story I read this season and I all ready passed it on to someone else, so I can't tell you right off hand who wrote it. It was also a Next trade paper back. It was about a daughter and her dying mother's relationship, a trip to the past, via a small mountain town, and secrets long buried finally revealed.
I enjoyed each of these books, and the fairly novel concept -- for me anyway -- of reading Christmas stories in December and January. Each was made a more special experience because my mom bought the books for me three years ago when I was having pregnancy difficulties. I couldn't get them read before January of that year -- Mom also gave me many books that weren't holiday themed -- so I shelved them for when the time was right. My mom passed away a year and a half ago. I missed her like crazy this Christmas, so the time was definitely right for me to peruse these stories.
How about you? Do you read holiday-themed books? If so, does it matter what time of year you read them? Did you read any this season? Care to share a brief review? Reading these stories made me think about someday writing a Christmas manuscript of my own. Have you ever written a holiday book or short story? Do you have any plans to write one in the future?