Guest Post - Focusing On Christ Amidst Holiday Frenzy
Advent Stories - What I Learned About Advent At Church

Literate Getaway - Holiday Book Ideas



I'm always thinking on ways to switch up my book review posts. So many good books, so little time. This month, I'm going to give you book gift ideas for every person on your gift-giving list. Imagine a world where everyone read at least one book a year. Let's make it happen!



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In my last Literate Getaway review post, I told you about Henri Nouwen's You Are The Beloved: Daily Meditations for Spiritual Living. Well, Blogging for Books gave me a hard copy in exchange for a review. Comment on this post or over on the Facebook link, and you'll enter for a chance to win this devotional book! I'll select a winner Friday, December 1st. 



For reader friends who participate in Advent with their children

Look! A Child's Guide to Advent and Christmas (by Laura Alary) 


This author also has a children's book for Lent and Easter, Make Room. I had it first, and then she released this one for Christmas. I love her calm, writing voice, and learn a lot about honoring Advent in the home as well. Beautiful! 



For reader friends who love pretty books and use an Advent devotional

Unwrapping the Names of Jesus: An Advent Devotional (by Asheritah Ciuciu)  9780802416728

We are doing this one as a Bible study on Wednesday nights. It's well-designed, full of facts, reflections, personal story and Advent ideas. Love!



For reader friends looking for an in-depth devotional for this time of year

31 Days of Christmas: A Devotional for Advent (The 31-Day Series) (Volume 2) (by Susan Chamberlain Shipe)  51-Sj6L6dTL._SX331_BO1 204 203 200_

I'm going to use this one as my own daily devotional this holiday season. It's full, full of information about the biblical accounts of Christ's birth. I can't wait to learn more as I prepare my heart for Christmas. 


For reader friends who wants to discuss all the ways Christianity looks different and is for everyone

That Baby in the Manger (by Anne Neuberger)  Unknown-1

This one has a Catholic bent, but it's a truly remarkable story. We should note that Jesus had dark hair and dark eyes - in his human form. Churches worldwide are full of people who didn't look like Jesus as a man, but we should all try to look Christlike in our character.


For reader friends who have a lovely collection of Christmas picture books and also relish church history

Kristoph and the First Christmas Tree (by Claudia Canaille McAdam) 

61IW7--YVPL._SX385_BO1 204 203 200_Shout out to illustrator, Dave Hill, on this one because it's such a beautiful book. The other picture books are too, but this one's an instant classic. A legendary story about how evergreen trees became part of the celebration of Christmas.




For reader friends who could use a daily devotional from a group of amazing women

A Moment to Breathe: 365 Devotions That Meet You In Your Everyday Mess (from the (in)courage community)  Unknown-5

I've read many of these online writers for years, and now they've crafted 365 devotionals in one book. I appreciate it when devotionals last for an entire year. This hard-cover book would make a fabulous gift.  


For reader friends who appreciate excellent writing and have become convinced glory happens all around them

Glory Happening: Finding The Divine In Everyday Places (by Kaitlin B. Curtice)  Unknown-7

I could have put this one in a category of nonfiction, poetry, prayer, but I chose to place it in devotional because that's how I recommend reading it. One at a time, prayerfully. I've become a BIG fan of this writer. 




For reader friends who remind you of me

Strange Journey: How Two Homesick Pilgrims Stumbled Back Into the Catholic Church (by Jessica Mesman Griffith and Jonathan Ryan)  51xRvYv6iyL._SX356_BO1 204 203 200_

Thank you to the authors for writing this book. It's messy and they are unconventional Christians. I think Jesus likes that about them. A thoughtful, informative read.


For reader friends who like memoir & Judaism

The Book of Separation: A Memoir (by Tova Mirvis)  Unknown-2

An Orthodox Jew gets a divorce from her husband and tries to decipher what parts of her old life, and faith, still fit in her new reality. I learned a ton about Orthodox Judaism, while reading a wonderful story. 


For reader friends who love a good story about family and faith

This Child of Faith: Raising A Spiritual Child in a Secular World (by Sophfronia Scott and Tain Gregory) 51rWlP8Nm0L._SX322_BO1 204 203 200_

Whew! We learn to process grief through our Christians lens, and we try to help our children develop an understanding of why bad things happen to good people. In this memoir, it all gets real when the author's son lives through the tragic events that happen at his school, Sandy Hook Elementary.



For reader friends who need a reminder you think they are a lovely friend

Never Unfriended: The Secret to Keeping and Finding Lasting Friendships (by Lisa-Jo Baker)  Unknown-3

Lisa-Jo has learned the hard way, we need girlfriends in our lives. I love this message, and she shares a ton of stories, her own and those of others. A great gift for, well, a girlfriend. 



For reader friends who love laughter &/or read anything Jen Hatmaker writes

Of Mess & Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of this Wild and Glorious Life (by Jen Hatmaker)  Unknown-4

It's everything readers have come to expect from Jen. Funny, great stories, readers weighing in on topics. I loved how forthright she was about her Christian faith in this one. 


For reader friends who are writers and in need of an encouraging mentor

Love Letters to Writers: Encouragement, Accountability, & Truth-Telling (by Andi Cumbo-Floyd) 

Unknown-6I've met Andi once and look forward to spending more time with her. She's an experienced writer who has a passion for helping other writers on her way. This book is a collection of actual letters she's shared with individuals over the years. 


For reader friends who need to remember we need the to follow their dreams

The Dream of You: Let Go of Broken Identities and Live The Life You Were Made for (by Jo Saxton)  51E1GbSO41L._SX321_BO1 204 203 200_

First of all, a beautiful woman of Nigerian descent. I wanted to meet her! Just the right amount of telling her story and encouraging readers to live their own. Inspirational!




For reader friends who are poetry readers, and enjoy a theological playground

What Will Soon Take Place: Poems (by Tania Runyon)  Unknown-8

Wow, what an honor to read this one in advance! The author imagines a modern-day interpretation of the happenings we read about in Revelation. It's creativity at its crazy best.



For reader friends who love historical fiction - and girl power

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir: A Novel (by Jennifer Ryan)  51CmvBcY+bL._SX322_BO1 204 203 200_

In a time when men ruled the world, towns all but lost their identity when they took off to war. Not in Chilbury. The women told us their story, via journal entries and letters to loved ones. A creative format. You’ll fall in love with this little English village, and the women who keep it going until their men come home.


For reader friends who enjoy twists and turns in a novel

The Space Between Words: A Novel (by Michele Phoenix)  41Q8JZpGckL._SX327_BO1 204 203 200_

A fictional account of a woman who survived the Paris Attacks. This book has everything a page-turning novel should; tragic events, surprises, travel, connection between past and present, and romance. So. Good.




 I received a copy of "Look," "That Baby in the Manger," "Kristoph & the First Christmas Tree," "This Child of Faith," and "Glory Happening" from Paraclete Press. I received a copy of "A Moment to Breathe" from Lifeway. I received a copy of "Unwrapping the Names of Jesus" from Moody Publishers. I received a copy of "The Chilbury Ladies' Choir," "The Space Between Words," Of Mess & Moxie," "Never Unfriended," The Book of Separation," and "Strange Journey," from NetGalley for the purpose of generating a review. I received a copy of "The Dream of You," "Love Letters To Writers," and "What Will Soon Take Place" from the authors for being on launch teams to help promote these books. I received a copy of "31 Days of Christmas" from the author for review.  The opinions expressed here are my own. 

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