Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Book Recommendations

Hi people!

At least some of you probably figured that I would do a book haul post sometime during 12DOC; I mean… it's me.  I love books.  They're amazing.  
So, I come to you today with some book recommendations.  I know, lots of the bloggers in the linkup have done book recommendations, but I've got some that nobody else has done.  I think. It's hard to keep up with everyone's posts when I'm scrambling to post something every day, plus company over the weekend, and Christmas so close.  But anyway, I shall get on to the good part of this post: books!!!

What Child is This

Not everyone is lucky at Christmas. Some people would call 16-year-old Liz Kitchell and her family truly fortunate, but it doesn't feel that way to her. It seems that only a miracle can give 8-year-old Katie her holiday wish. She wants a family, something she does not have as a foster child. As for 17-year-old Matt, he too is in a foster home and is finally letting himself feel a sense of belonging. When he allows himself to do a good deed for Katie, he doesn't realize what would happen. Is the spirit of Christmas strong enough to grant the impossible? 

I really liked What Child is This, the storyline was really sweet and I liked the characters.  Well, except for Mr. and Mrs. Kitchell. ;P  Unfortunately, there wasn't much in it about the Christmas story.

A Simple Christmas Wish

Rachel Milligan is caring for her seven-year-old niece, Holly, at her home in Chicago when she receives devastating news: Holly's parents have been killed in a plane crash. Because Rachel is Holly's only known relative, she assumes that she will be her beloved niece's guardian. However, custody is awarded to Lydia, a distant aunt who happens to be Amish. Just a week before Christmas, Rachel takes Holly to the Amish community in the hopes of persuading Aunt Lydia to relinquish custody. Instead, Lydia sets out to teach Holly to live according to the Amish way. As family secrets emerge and old wounds are healed, Rachel realizes that she will do whatever it takes to ensure that Holly has the loving family she needs.
Combining an Amish family saga with the anticipation of Christmas cheer and the promise of a budding romance, this newest Christmas story from beloved author Melody Carlson is sure to please.

This story starts out really sad.  Poor Holly didn't really know what was going on.  
Aunt Lydia frustrated me.  But, since she was keeping the main character from getting custody of Holly, of course I felt that way. ;)  Though there are Amish in the book, I wouldn't call it an Amish book.  More like... a half-and-half. ;)

Beyond the Horizon

Eliana longs to see the world beyond the mountains that tower above Salzburg, Austria, but knows that dream will never see such adventure- and neither will she.
Surrounded by a world of cruelty, she lives for the weekly visits of Aron, a boy she met on one of her rambles through the countryside.
But as the years pass and she begins to grow older, a new and unwelcome world is opened up to her.
On a fateful night at a party she vowed she’d never attend, she comes face to face with a shocking truth.
As the world around her teeters on the brink of war, Eliana struggles to figure out just where her loyalty lies; a decision that will drastically change the course of her life. Will she ever be free to see what lies beyond the horizon?

I loved this book. :D Read my review here.

The Christmas Shoes

Robert Layton is a wealthy attorney who seems to have everything and yet nothing at all. Somewhere along the way, Robert has lost sight of what is truly important in life and has become a workaholic who never spends time with his family. His long-suffering wife has decided that she's had enough, and is planning to file for a divorce after the holidays. Robert isn't quite sure that he is ready for his marriage to end, but neither does he seem to understand what he needs to do to save it.
Across town, the Andrews family live very simply on mechanic, Jack's modest salary, but they have a whole lot of love in their household. Everything changes for them though, when Jack's wife, Maggie is diagnosed with cancer and only given a short time to live. As the holidays approach, Maggie's condition begins to deteriorate rapidly, leaving little question that this will be her last Christmas with her beloved husband and her children, Nathan and Rachel. When everyone in Nathan's class at school share their fondest holiday memories, Nathan is particularly moved by his teacher's story of a special pair of shoes she received as a little girl.
On Christmas Eve, Robert half-heartedly goes shopping for his family, and chances to meet a little boy who is desperately trying to purchase a fancy pair of shoes for his mom, so she will look pretty when she meets Jesus. The boy doesn't have enough money, and when he turns pleading eyes on Robert, it awakens something within him that makes him realize everything he's been missing and changes his life in a profound and lasting way.
This book.... ugh. It's so good. But it's SO SAD. It's based off of the song "The Christmas Shoes", so those of you who have heard the song know what happens. It's... yeah. Sad. Very sad. *sniffs*
I shall attach the song at the end of this post.

Ok, now I'll share a couple of children's books. :)

Punchinello and the Most Marvelous Gift

With the Maker-Day Festival fast approaching, Punchinello wants to do something really big for Eli, the woodcarver. But everyone else he meets in Wemmicksville is also trying to make the best contribution to the festival.
Hans believes that his seven-layer chocolate cherry truffle cake with double butter-cream frosting will be the best part, but Violet is sure her bountiful bouquet will come out on top. Lucia knows her vocal solo will make the day, and Dr. Marvel is eager to show off his magnificent Marvellaphony-organoni. What can Punchinello do?
When all of Wemmicksville gathers for the unveiling of the cake and the bouquet and Lucia's solo, Punchinello accidentally destroys the cake, the bouquet, and the Marvellaphony-organoni! What could have been a disaster results in the marvelous gift, and the people of Wemmicksville realize that Maker-Day is not about a cake or a bouquet-it's all about Eli.

This is one of my very favorites. Whenever given the choice of what book to have Daddy read to us, Kordell and I would always pick this. It's an allegory, and I love the illustrations. :D Our family actually still quotes the book sometimes: "Marvellaphony-organoni".
What is the Marvellaphony-organoni? Funny you should ask...

Punchinello helping Dr. Marvel play the Marvellaphoni-organoni

The Crippled Lamb

Because Joshua the Lamb was different, he often felt left out-like on the wintry night when he was left behind in a Bethlehem stable. This touching tale helps kids see that even if they're different, God has a unique plan for their lives.

This book is really sweet.  Poor Joshua, rejected by all, played an important role in the Christmas story. <3

Well, people, that's it for today!  Have you read any of these?


  1. These all look like great Christmas books. I have read "A Simple Christmas Wish" and "Beyond the Horizon". :)
    I haven't read"The Christmas Shoes" and I hadn't heard the song until just now, but I did see the movie several years ago and it was so sad!
    Thanks for the recommendations, Kaitlyn! :)

  2. I will have to look up "What Child is This?" as it sounds like one I would enjoy. Thanks for sharing these books.

  3. These all look like really good books! Thanks for all the recommendations Kaitlyn!

  4. Beyond the Horizon is the only book I've read here, but they all sound great!! :D *goes to find them on Goodreads*


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