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Season's Readings

(Librarian Selected)

The Annotated Christmas Carol
by Dickens, Charles

9780393051582Charles Dickens; John Leech (Illustrator); Michael Patrick Hearn (Editor)The Annotated Christmas Carol: A Christmas Carol in ProseWhat would Christmas be without A Christmas Carol? Charles Dickens's famous ghost story is as much a part of the season as plum pudding and mistletoe, and Michael Patrick Hearn, the celebrated annotator of The Wizard of Oz and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, has prepared this sumptuous, thoroughly annotated edition, which has already become the definitive edition of our century. Initially published by Norton in 2004, this is the first edition to combine the original story with Dickens's Public Reading text, published to coincide with his 1867-68 American tour, which has not been reprinted in nearly a century. Included are rare photographs as well as the original Leech wood engravings and hand-colored etchings, supplemented by other contemporary illustrations by George Cruikshank, Gustave Dor#65533;, John Tenniel, and "Phiz." The Annotated Christmas Carol will be a literary feast for the whole family for generations. - Description from Syndetics

Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas
by Collins, Ace; Hansen, Clint

9780310248804025986248802Ace CollinsStories Behind the Great Traditions of ChristmasThe cheer of a crackling hearth fire. Colorful cards from friends and loved ones. An evergreen tree festooned with ornaments. The golden traditions of Christmas--gifts, wreaths, stockings, carols, mistletoe, and more--infuse our celebration of the season with meaning and glowing memories. And, in ways you may not realize, they point us to the birth of Christ. Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas reveals the people, places, and events that shaped the best-loved customs of this merriest of holidays. Here are spiritual insights, true-life tales, and captivating legends to intrigue you and your family and bring new luster and depth to your celebration of Jesus' birth. Discover how * after eighteen centuries of all but ignoring the event, churches began to open the door for believers to commemorate Jesus' incarnation. * the evergreen tree, once a central theme in the worship practices of pagan cultures, came to represent the everlasting love of God. * the magi's three gifts--gold, frankincense, and myrrh--are filled with spiritual symbolism. The traditions of Christmas lend beauty, awe, and hope to the holiday, causing people all over the world to anticipate it with joy. The stories in this book will warm your heart as you rediscover the true and eternal significance of Christmas. - Description from Syndetics

America's Favorite Holidays: Candid Histories
by Forbes, Bruce David

9780520284722Bruce David ForbesAmerica's Favorite Holidays: Candid HistoriesAmerica's Favorite Holidays explores how five of America's culturally important holidays--Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, and Thanksgiving--came to be what they are today, seasonal and religious celebrations heavily influenced by modern popular culture. Deftly distilling information from a wide range of sources, Bruce David Forbes reveals often-surprising answers to questions about each holiday's traditions. Was Christmas always as commercialized as it is today? Is Thanksgiving a religious or secular holiday? When did we begin trick-or-treating on Halloween? Appealing and insightful, America's Favorite Holidays satisfies our curiosity about the origins of our holidays and the fascinating ways in which religion and culture mix. - Description from Syndetics

Nutcracker Nation: How an Old World Ballet Became a Christmas Tradition
by Fisher, Jennifer

9780300097467Jennifer FisherNutcracker Nation: How an Old World Ballet Became a Christmas Tradition in the New WorldThe Nutcracker is the most popular ballet in the world, adopted and adapted by hundreds of communities across the United States and Canada every Christmas season. In this volume, Jennifer Fisher offers insights into the Nutcracker phenomenon, examining it as a dance scholar and critic, a former participant, an observer of popular culture and an interviewer of those who dance, present and watch the beloved ballet. 1892 through its emigration to North America in the mid-20th century to the many later productions. She notes that after it was choreographed by another Russian immigrant to the New World, George Balanchine, the ballet began to thrive and variegate: Hawaiians added hula, Canadians added hockey, Mark Morris set it in the swinging sixties, and Donald Byrd placed it in Harlem. The dance world underestimates The Nutcracker at its peril, Fisher suggests, because the ballet is one of its most powerfully resonant traditions. After starting life as a Russian ballet based on a German tale about a little girl's imagination, The Nutcracker has become a way for Americans to tell a story about their communal values and themselves. - Description from Syndetics

Twelve Days of Christmas: A Novel
by Macomber, Debbie

9780553391732Debbie MacomberTwelve Days of ChristmasNEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * Continuing in a festive annual tradition, Debbie Macomber returns with a new original holiday novel full of romance and cheer--and the magical prospect of finding love in the most unexpected places.   Friendly and bubbly, Julia Padden likes nearly everyone, but her standoffish neighbor, Cain Maddox, presents a particular challenge. No matter how hard she's tried to be nice, Cain rudely rebuffs her at every turn, preferring to keep to himself. But when Julia catches Cain stealing her newspaper from the lobby of their apartment building, that's the last straw. She's going to break through Cain's Scrooge-like exterior the only way she knows how: by killing him with kindness.   To track her progress, Julia starts a blog called The Twelve Days of Christmas. Her first attempts to humanize Cain are far from successful. Julia brings him homemade Christmas treats and the disagreeable grinch won't even accept them. Meanwhile, Julie's blog becomes an online sensation, as an astonishing number of people start following her adventures. Julia continues to find ways to express kindness and, little by little, chips away at Cain's gruff fa#65533;ade to reveal the caring man underneath. Unbelievably, Julia feels herself falling for Cain--and she suspects that he may be falling for her as well. But as the popularity of her blog continues to grow, Julia must decide if telling Cain the truth about having chronicled their relationship to the rest of the world is worth risking their chance at love. - Description from Syndetics

In Search of Snow: A Novel
by Urrea, Luis Alberto

9780816520152Luis Alberto UrreaIn Search of SnowIn the hot Arizona desert of the late 1950s, Mike McGurk comes of age in one big, riotous gush. Trapped pumping gas at a desolate roadstop, he yearns for things he has never known: love, hope, and the soft, white calmness of snow. Mike's world is filled with a menagerie of quirky characters, who cope with the weight of their unfulfilled dreams with bravado, humor, and violence. Mike trades snappy insults with his macho father, Texaco Turk McGurk, a moustachioed amateur boxer and self-proclaimed war hero who is unable to talk about love. Mike lusts after Lily, his seductive, poem-writing cousin. He cowers before and then confronts the vicious Ramses, grandson of Mr. Sneezy, the wisecracking Apache. And he is rescued by his best friend, Bobo, who delivers him into the care of the loving and generous Mama and Papa Garcia. In Search of Snow is an explosive coming-of-age adventure, full of hilarious episodes and still, poignant moments. Like a blue-collar Don Quixote, Mike must blow up his windmills before he can set off to find the things he lacks, especially the snow that will temper the passion he has just set aflame. - Description from Syndetics

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