The holidays are a time for family and friends to gather, eat, open gifts and celebrate together. With winter break just around the corner at Lakes Area schools, it’s also a great time to open a book, check out a new movie or keep the kids busy with some creative crafts.
Librarians have plenty of suggestions, whether you’re in a holiday mood, looking for a mystery or want to bury yourself in the latest hot reads.
Commerce Township Library Director Connie Ozinga said she is seeing a trend with books that are blending the “tech world” into the theme and story lines. At the adult level, some books seem to be flying off the shelf. “Our new world of technology is truly reflected in the world of fiction,” Ozinga said. Three such books that have been popular at the library are: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, Ready Player One by Ernest Kline, and Reamde: A Novel by Neil Stephenson.
Ozinga said Kline’s book takes place in the real world and the world of the online video game, Second Life. Stephenson is “a well thought of contemporary writer,” she said. “All of a sudden, technology is in our novels. “Ready Player One has won a ton of awards. If you need a book for a younger man who is into tech, these are great books for a guy.” Sarah Hatter, of Milford Township, works in the adult services section and suggested a few books, including: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, and Wild – From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed.
Denise Harris-Fiems, White Lake Township Library, said the library
has several holiday-themed suggestions, including: Candy Cane Murder
by Joanne Fluke, Knit The Season: A Friday Night Knitting Club Novel by Kate Jacobs, White Christmas Pie by Wanda Brunstetter, Together for Christmas by Lisa Plumley, and 1225 Christmas Tree Lane by Debbie Macomber.
While classics don’t change, new illustrations to some holiday tales may be found each year. Many Christmas stories also are available in most e-book collections, as well as titles about Hanukkah, Winter Solstice and Kwanzaa.
Craft related books, such as See and Knit Holidays, Heart-Felt Holidays, and Hand-Knit Holidays, are other suggestions for people who are handy with knitting needs or other craftwork. The library also is a great spot to pick up a holiday related cookbook to simmer through the season.
Most libraries have an area set up featuring holiday themed reads, and several authors have put together Christmas related books featuring their main character. Heather Wittrup, who works the youth desk at the Milford Township Public Library, said the Scaredy Squirrel series, written and illustrated by Melanie Watt, features the adventures of “a neurotic squirrel,” as developing readers can discover in Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Christmas: A Safety Guide for Scaredie’s Escapade. Dewey’s Christmas also is on the shelf for younger audiences.
For a popular “tweener” series, Wittrup suggested checking out Big
Nate by Lincoln Peirce, who has four regular books and graphic novels. For teens gobbling up books faster than they can be checked out, Wittrup said the Divergent series by Veronica Roth has been popular. However, keeping the most popular books on the shelf is as much a challenge for librarians as keeping the pantry stocked for parents of voracious teen readers.
Recommended reading lists are released by local libraries throughout
the year. Staff at the Wixom Public Library offered the following complete list of titles for the holidays, which includes something for all ages and genres.
Good Gift Books:
The LEGO Book
The LEGO Ideas Book
Sesame Street: A Celebration: 40 Years of Life on Sesame Street.
Popular Series for Kids:
Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce
The Warriors series by Erin Hunter
The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers
Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor.
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Last Christmas by Kate Brian
Starry, Starry Night by Lurlene McDaniel.