A Literary Christmas 2018

In the Bookcase is hosting A Literary Christmas challenge and since I’ve been so neglectful of many of my other challenges this year, I wanted to try to finish on a high note.  Therefore, I’m joining!

All I have to do is to make a list of Christmas books I’d like to read and then finish as many of them as I can on or before December 31, 2018.  I should have some time off this Christmas so I have high hopes of doing well with this challenge.  Plus, I can slot in some wonderful (shorter) children’s Christmas classics, which will make it a little easier on me.

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The Christmas Child by Hesba Stretton

“Along some parts of the coast in South Wales the mountains rise abruptly from the shore, with only a narrow shingle between them and the sea.”

Miss Priscilla Parry is a farm leaseholder, the last of three generations before the farm will revert to its landlord.  She ekes out a living on the craggy, unfertile land, selling butter, cheese and mutton to manage a poor living.  Her life’s work is epitomized in her determination to make her teenage ward and niece, Rhoda, independent, so she will never be forced to marry, the biggest misfortune, in Priscilla’s eyes, that a woman could face.

When another niece dies and leaves a child, Joan, an orphan, Priscilla grudging agrees to take her in, yet in her concern that the plans for Rhoda not be compromised, she gives the child rather a lukewarm welcome and questionable care.  Little does she need another girl to worry and fret about her future.  Rhoda, however, adores young Joan, and they quickly become fast friends.  When Christmas arrives, they play a game of looking for the Christ child in their manager, but on the second Christmas Rhoda disappears and the household is thrown into mourning.  Old Nathan, the servant, is the only one to comfort Joan, as Priscilla withdraws into a cold demeanour of disappointed hopes.

However, the next Christmas, a child is discovered sleeping in the manager, a child that will bring hope, restoration and joy back into the lives of Priscilla, Joan and old Nathan, echoing the mission of that first manger child long, long ago.

This is a wonderful story of love, mistakes, forgiveness and reconciliation. Coincidentially, I found this article when searching for pictures for my blog post.  Hopefully the life of this little one will bring joy into this world as well.

View north into Cwm Llwch from Corn Du
source Wikipedia

A Bookish Christmas

Most years I receive a good number of books, but this year was slightly unusual, not because of the number of books I received, but because of the eclectic variety.  I can’t wait to start reading them.


The Present Age: On The Death of Rebellion by Søren Kierkegaard
I’m somewhat of a rebel myself, so this should be interesting …
War in Heaven by Charles Williams
Williams was a friend and contemporary of C.S. Lewis.  His novels were supposed to be peculiar, so this one will be an adventure.
Selections from the Canzoniere and Other Works by Petrarch
Suggested by Tom at Wuthering Expectations, this one just turned up under the tree!
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
I’ve been reading so many books titled Meditationslately.  I’m looking forward to Aurelius.  I think he’ll have some interesting tidbits to share
The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
I was so enthralled, yet puzzled by my read of this book that, of course, I needed the annotated edition
Buddist Scriptures
I need to read more eastern classics.  Well, at least, now and then.
Letters to Children by C.S. Lewis
Surprisingly I didn’t own this small, yet enchanting,  book.  Well, I do now.
Pastors in the Classics by Ryken, Ryken & Wilson
A book that explores the clergy in various classic novels such as The Warden,  The Canterbury Tales, The Scarlet Letter, Diary of a Country Priest, The Power and the Glory, etc.
The Intellectual Devotional by Kidder & Oppenheim
Okay this is a neat book!  Seven fields of knowledge correspond with the seven days of the week and each imparts a little information on that field.  For example, Thursday, which focuses on science, could talk about Albert Einstein, The Milgram Studies: Lesson in Obedience, Friction, etc. or Tuesday, which is literature, could talk about Moby-Dick, Postcolonialism, William Faulkner, etc.  It is sooooo interesting. 
Books not in photo:
And There Was Light by Jacques Lusseyran
Lusseyran was blinded as a young boy, but he did not let this handicap stop him and instead, at 16, organized a resistance group in France during World War II
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
It’s not on my recent TBR list, but I’ll get to it one day
On the Nature of Things by Lucretius
I’d kind of like to read Plato and Aristotle before tackle this one.
The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
What can I say?  I can’t wait to read this one!
So now I have even more reading material to keep me busy.  Luckily December has been a month for catching up, with good success, and I’ll be able to start January with almost a clean slate.

So what wonderful books did you receive this Christmas?