Tag Archives: Christmas

Books of the Week #27

The Shadow of the Cross: Imprisonment by Dmitry Yakhovsky

1243, near Carcassonne, France

Shrouded in darkness is the history of a time of terror. A time when people lived in fear, were divided, conquered and enslaved. The state was the church, and the church was the law; when justice was the tool of the self-seeking, and when imprisonment and poverty weren’t enough to satisfy the enemy’s appetites…

Featuring the stunning artwork of Dmitry Yakhovsky, this debut graphic novel is a bold undertaking. The novel is a complex and visually inspiring epic based in history, and will thrill with its masterful depth of imagery.

https://books2read.com/u/mla0zA

Tomten Saves Christmas: A Swedish Christmas Tale by Linda Liebrand

This gorgeous Nordic tale, in the tradition of Astrid Lindgren’s Tomten Tales and Ulf Stark’s The Yule Tomte and the Little Rabbits, will have readers of all ages believing in the magic of Christmas. This is one to pull out every year and treasure!

Grumpy old Farm Tomten just wants to stay at home and avoid the terrible Christmas celebrations altogether. His cousin, Yule Tomten, is up to his ears in Christmas presents and thousands of children waiting. With just two more days till Christmas, will an invite for Christmas coffee be enough to melt Farm Tomten’s grumpy heart so they can save Christmas together?

If you’re looking for a fun, Scandinavian Christmas tale with crunching snow, red cottages and the traditional Swedish character of the farm gnome, or tomten, you’ve found the right book. Tomten Saves Christmas will bring a smile to kids, young and old, and it reminds us that it’s never too late to change your old ways, with a little Christmas magic and the company of a good friend.

https://books2read.com/u/m2rGkj

Oranges for Christmas: A Berlin Wall Escape Novel by Margarita Morris

The war is over but the fight for freedom has only just begun.

Berlin. August 1961. The Cold War. When the Berlin Wall brutally divides East from West, Sabine is separated from her beloved brother, Dieter. Escape to the West is the only option if the family is to be reunited. But the Wall is guarded by soldiers operating a shoot to kill policy. And Sabine finds herself at the mercy of the Stasi and their brutal interrogation techniques. She must fight to escape. She must fight to survive.

Separated from his family by the Berlin Wall, Dieter teams up with a rebel group determined to rescue their loved ones from East Berlin. They have a plan. But it’s a dangerous mission, beset with difficulties at every turn. Who can they really trust? Who is friend or foe?

Shortlisted for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, if you like authentic historical details, tenacious characters, and stories of hope in the face of tyranny, then you’ll love Margarita Morris’ emotional page-turner.

https://books2read.com/u/bM9j1B

A House in the Mountains: The Women Who Liberated Italy from Fascism by Caroline Moorehead

The extraordinary story of the courageous women who spearheaded the Italian Resistance during the Second World War

In the late summer of 1943, when Italy changed sides in the War and the Germans – now their enemies – occupied the north of the country, an Italian Resistance was born. Ada, Frida, Silvia and Bianca were four young Piedmontese women who joined the Resistance, living clandestinely in the mountains surrounding Turin. They were not alone. Between 1943 and 1945, as the Allies battled their way north, thousands of men and women throughout occupied Italy rose up and fought to liberate their country from the German invaders and their Fascist collaborators.

The bloody civil war that ensued across the country pitted neighbour against neighbour, and brought out the best and worst in Italian society. The courage shown by the partisans was exemplary, and eventually bound them together as a coherent fighting force. The women’s contribution was invaluable – they fought, carried messages and weapons, provided safe houses, laid mines and took prisoners. Ada’s house deep in the mountains became a meeting place and refuge for many of them.

The death rattle of Mussolini’s two decades of Fascist rule – with its corruption, greed and anti-Semitism was unrelentingly violent, but for the partisan women it was also a time of camaraderie and equality, pride and optimism. They had proved, to themselves and to the world, what resolve, tenacity and, above all, exceptional courage could achieve.

https://books2read.com/u/mKxnwv

The Christmas Thief (A Baba Treasure Chest story Book 1) by Ronesa Aveela

Seven-year-old Christopher is determined he is going to catch the Winter Monster who steals food from his family’s porch every Christmas. What he discovers instead is the meaning of sharing.

The Christmas Thief is a short story and coloring book. In the tradition of family togetherness, Baba Treasure Chest stories are geared toward the entire family: Adults reading stories to children, children and adults working together on coloring pages. Print copy contains activities and coloring pages.

https://books2read.com/u/m2rwJ7

Books of the Week #26

Rise: Life Lessons in Speaking Out, Standing Tall & Leading the Way by Gina Miller

Gina Miller came to prominence when she brought one of the most significant constitutional cases ever to be heard in the British Supreme Court. Gina successfully challenged the UK government’s authority to trigger Article 50 – the formal notification to leave the European Union – without parliamentary approval. For standing up for what she believed was right, Miller became the target of not just racist and sexist verbal abuse, but physical threats to her and her family.

One question she kept being asked was how could she keep going at the cost of so much pain and aggravation? To her the answer was obvious: she’d been doing it all her life.
In Rise, Gina Miller draws on a lifetime of fighting injustice and looks at the moments that made her; the trauma, failures and successes that gave her the confidence in her voice, the ability to know how to use it and the strength not to let others diminish it, even when it came at incredible cost. To those who say one person cannot make a difference, this memoir demonstrates irrefutably how you can.

https://books2read.com/u/brVkN7

Black Sea by Caroline Eden

The next best thing to actually travelling with Caroline Eden – a warm, erudite and greedy guide – is to read her. This is my kind of book. ‘ Diana Henry ‘A wonderfully inspiring book about a magical part of the world’ Viv Groskop, author of The Anna Karenina Fix ‘Part travelogue, part recipe book, this is a love letter to “the sea that welcomes strangers”, soaked in colour, history, myth and the flavours of many cultures. ‘ Nick Hunt author of Where the Wild Winds Are This is the tale of a journey between three great cities – Odessa, built on a dream by Catherine the Great, through Istanbul, the fulcrum balancing Europe and Asia and on to tough, stoic, lyrical Trabzon. With a nose for a good recipe and an ear for an extraordinary story, Caroline Eden travels from Odessa to Bessarabia, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey’s Black Sea region, exploring interconnecting culinary cultures. From the Jewish table of Odessa, to meeting the last fisherwoman of Bulgaria and charting the legacies of the White Russian émigrés in Istanbul, Caroline gives readers a unique insight into a part of the world that is both shaded by darkness and illuminated by light. Meticulously researched and documenting unprecedented meetings with remarkable individuals, Black Sea is like no other piece of travel writing. Packed with rich photography and sumptuous food, this biography of a region, its people and its recipes truly breaks new ground.

https://books2read.com/u/4NQ2LJ

Norwegian Christmas – Foods & Traditions: Dinners – Desserts – Cookies – Traditions – Songs – Lores (About Norway Book 1) by Henrik H. Koch

Norwegian Christmas – Foods & Traditions Dinners – Desserts – Cookies – Traditions – Songs – Lores. The book contains two sections:#Part 1: Norwegian History, Tradition and Customs#Part 2: Norwegian Christmas Dinners, Desserts and Cookies

In this book, Mr. Koch has worked on collecting his favorite Christmas Dishes and Christmas Cookies from Norway.This book covers the context, history, reason and meaning behind the Norwegian Christmas Traditions. In depth explanations are given throughout this book with illustrations and pictures. The book shows you how to cook up Amazing Dinners to impress Family and Friends.

This book also contains sections – Some Norwegian Christmas Words Translated- Norwegian Folklore – In Viking times: Converting from Norse Heathendom to Christendom- Covering the time from the 1st Sunday in Advent until New Years Eve, including, Advent Traditions and Rituals, Norwegian Christmas, Little Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve, 25th to 30th and New Year’s Eve, as well as.- Christmas Songs and Common Norwegian words cross-translated.

https://books2read.com/u/4XZ9Ng

A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time (Magic Tree House: Merlin Missions Book 16) by Mary Pope Osborne

Jack and Annie are ready for their next fantasy adventure in the bestselling middle-grade series—the Magic Tree House!

Jack and Annie’s mission from Merlin the Magician? To help the famous writer Charles Dickens! In a magical whirl, the brother and sister are whisked back in time to Victorian England and the foggy streets of London.

There, Jack and Annie discover that Charles Dickens has everything he could possibly want. How can they help him? It is not until Mr. Dickens rescues them from being thrown in jail that they discover his secret past and the sad memories that haunt him. They will need all their magic—and help from three ghosts—to keep the great writer from ruining his life!

Mary Pope Osborne mixes magic, humor, history, a little spookiness, and a lot of heart to create this tale, which celebrates the joys of writing—something she knows a lot about, thanks to millions of readers all over the world!

This is the perfect book for boys and girls about to see the classic play A Christmas Carol.

https://books2read.com/u/4DEd7A

Boston: A Sam Smith Mystery (The Sam Smith Mystery Series Book 14) by Hannah Howe

Welsh detective Samantha Smith is on her travels…

“Morgan Brooks is a fine man,” Alan said, “a great psychologist and my mentor. He’s invited us to spend Christmas with him and his family. Should we accept?” Of course, I said, “Yes.”

And so, I met Morgan Brooks in snowy Boston, on my first trip to America. I also met Amelia, his celebrity chef wife and Madison, his somewhat reticent daughter. Furthermore, I encountered Dexter Trask, a businessman, a megalomaniac, the self-styled ‘King of Boston’.

The holiday started well. Then the first body appeared, a young man murdered in the woods. That murder led to a kidnapping and further murders. The clues pointed in one direction.

However, did the truth lie in that direction? With the aid of Gabe, Morgan’s friend and neighbour, and a fellow private detective, I wandered through the snow-kissed maze.
And the solution? That surprised everyone.

Boston, ten days in a winter wonderland, ten days that confirmed that people are multi-faceted, multi-layered, and that everyone has at least one skeleton ready to fall out of their closet.

https://books2read.com/u/meBMQz

Books of the Week #25

The Christmas Wish (Wish Series) by Lori Evert (Author), Per Breiehagen (Illustrator)

This New York Times bestselling Nordic tale in the tradition of The Snowman, The Polar Express, and the many books of Jan Brett will have readers of all ages believing in the magic of Christmas. This is one to pull out every year and savor!

Long ago, a brave little girl named Anja wanted to be one of Santa’s elves. So she leaves a note for her family and helps her elderly neighbor prepare for the holiday, then she straps on her skis, and heads out into the snowy landscape. From a red bird to a polar bear to a reindeer, a menagerie of winter animals help Anja make her way to Santa. A generous trim-size, matte cover, extraordinary photographs, and foiled title make this a special book for the holiday season.

https://books2read.com/u/bPRB77

The Little Book of the Icelanders at Christmas by Alda Sigmundsdóttir (Author), Megan Herbert (Illustrator)

Christmas in Iceland is special. Ask any Icelander and they will tell you. It is a time of year when everything pulsates with vibrant activity, and the nation delights in those festive traditions that make them a tribe. Music is all around, friends gather, restaurants are filled with people partaking of festive Yuletide offerings, authors are out and about reading from their new works. Everything pulsates with a vibrant, happy energy. There is even a word for the gleeful excitement one feels when waiting for Christmas—jólaskap, literally “Christmas mood”.

In this book, Alda Sigmundsdóttir invites you on a journey of Iceland’s magical Yuletide season, all the way to New Year’s Eve, and beyond. You will learn about the special foods, traditions and customs that makes Christmas in Iceland so special, and meet a colourful cast of characters that are such an integral part of the Yule. In her inimitable style, and using examples from her own life, Alda gives you not only the modern version of Christmas, but also the historical and cultural background to many of that traditions that are still observed today.

https://books2read.com/u/bQaY9v

The French for Christmas by Fiona Valpy

Evie used to LOVE Christmas, but this year she can’t wait for the tinsel and presents to be a distant memory.

When her best friends offer the use of their cottage in the beautiful French countryside, Evie jumps at the chance. With her soon-to-be-ex-husband, celebrity chef Will Brooke, plastered over the news with his latest ‘love interest’, leaving the country seems like the perfect plan.
Armed with her French grandmother’s tattered notebook of recipes, Evie is determined to ignore Christmas altogether and bake herself back to happiness.

And when Evie meets her next-door neighbour – the très gorgeous doctor Didier she finds a very willing taste-tester. But is it possible that he could be interested in more than just her Tarte Tatin?

With snow falling, a special Réveillon dinner and a little Christmas magic in the air, could Didier even be the one to thaw Evie’s heart? Or will a visit from the ghost of Christmas past change everything?

https://books2read.com/u/b5QV0O

Shooting at the Stars: The Christmas Truce of 1914 by John Hendrix

Shooting at the Stars is the moving story of a young British soldier on the front lines during World War I who experiences an unforgettable Christmas Eve. In a letter home to his mother, he describes how, despite fierce fighting earlier from both sides, Allied and German soldiers ceased firing and came together on the battlefield to celebrate the holiday. They sang carols, exchanged gifts, and even lit Christmas trees. But as the holiday came to a close, they returned to their separate trenches to await orders for the war to begin again.John Hendrix wonderfully brings this story to life, interweaving fact and fiction along with his detailed illustrations and hand-lettered text. His story celebrates the humanity and kindness that can persist even during the darkest periods of our history. Back matter includes a glossary, additional information about World War I and the Christmas Truce and its aftermath, and an archival photograph taken during the Truce.

https://books2read.com/u/3yvjrB

The Miracle Stork (A Baba Treasure Chest story Book 2) by Ronesa Aveela

Rada knows little about her Bulgarian heritage because her family doesn’t practice their customs. That changes when her grandmother comes to visit. On a trip to the zoo, Rada discovers more than animals. She learns that diversity is not something to be ashamed of. Her grandmother tells her about the traditions of their ancestors and the meaning of the martenitsi that she makes every spring.

The Miracle Stork is a story about creating and maintaining traditions and customs to embrace who you are.

In the tradition of family togetherness, Baba Treasure Chest stories are geared toward the entire family: Adults reading stories to children, families participating in activities, and children working together on coloring pages. Print edition contains coloring pages.

https://books2read.com/u/brVke7