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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Happy Holiday Reading!

I'm not a librarian and a writer for nothing. I love books. So it's only natural that I want to share the very best books with my friends and family. (That would be you!)

As I'm looking longingly at my TBR pile as the Christmas break approaches, I thought I'd share a few titles that would make excellent last minute holiday gifts for the readers in your life, or just good ones for you to cuddle up during these snowy days and nights.

One my absolute faves
First, I see that alternate realities are having a moment in both adult and YA fiction right now. I love alternate realities but nobody captured my imagination better than Michael Lawrence and his Withern Rise trilogy, beginning with A Crack in the Line. It's only available as a Kindle ebook now, but the entire trilogy is amazing and I can't recommend it enough. It tells the story of Alaric and Naia Underwood who discover alternate realities of their own lives, accidentally. Besides being a fun concept, it provides a lot of food for thought. You'll wonder about the power of your own decisions after reading this book. Seriously, do yourself a favor and look into it! These books can easily be enjoyed by teens and adults alike.

And this cover is just GORGEOUS!

It's Christmastime, so what better time to dive into a book that takes place during Christmastime, on a Christmas tree farm? Jay Asher's brand new book, What Light is an unusual and uplifting story about love, forgiveness, growth, and healing. It's a beautifully written story with moving characters in a setting you won't soon forget. Make yourself a mug of hot chocolate and curl up with this delightful book. Definitely geared toward teens, but adults can get something out of this book as well. And that cover!

This cover grabbed me first
Wandering through Barnes and Noble spending my end of the year budget for my library, I took a walk through the poetry section and my eye landed on a pink volume called The Universe of Us by Lang Leav. I liked the look of the cover and when I turned it over to see what the back said, I found this, and only this: "He and I collided like two predestined stars and in that brief moment I felt what it was like to be immortal." I was hooked! From the cover, the introduction, to the last page, this book completely blew me away. The poems look deceptively simple, but they are rich with deep emotion and raw truth. I read the library's copy and bought my own immediately. I'm not one to select a volume of poetry for my pleasure reading, but I will be coming back to this book again and again. This is another that should appeal to both teens and adults.

Another stand out is Beyond the Red by Ava Jae. The world building in this book is phenomenal. It takes place on another planet covered by scarlet red sand. There are alien beings, humans, and half bloods. Normally, that isn't my cup of tea, but this book sucked me right in from page one. It has political intrigue, action, romance, family dynamics, betrayal, and hope. I didn't expect to get sucked into the world as much as I was, which is a testament to the skill of the author. It's also the first book in a trilogy. The second book is coming out in Fall 2017. Another great crossover for teens and adults!

Finally, a book that came out this spring, Please Pardon My Dust, I'm Under Construction by Monica R. Sholar. This book is 100% pure inspiration. It details the struggles of 25 Michigan women who faced the lowest points in their lives and worked their way up to success. I love that this book doesn't define success the way our society does - fame and fortune. These women made personal goals and worked toward their own dreams. Whether those dreams were finding a way to provide for their families, start a clothing line, open a bakery, or write a book, these women share their stories to inspire and uplift us all. This is an excellent book to read before/during the new year to help motivate you to work toward your own goals this year.

I really loved each of these books and I hope at least one of them is calling out to you too. It's always fun to share the book love. If there's a title you're dying to recommend to everyone in sight, please add it in the comments. Also, if you agree with any of these recommends I've made, please say so too. I love to bond with readers over excellent books.

Happy holidays and best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2017!

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