Monthly Archives: November 2011

Staff Picks – Holy Holidays

Holy Holidays: The Catholic Origins of Celebration by Greg Tobin

Note the subtitle: “the Catholic origins…” While this book goes through the Catholic year, beginning with Christmas—the birth of Jesus Christ—it does not stop with the ways Catholics observe the particular holy days. The author has done extensive research and brings together the rituals and beliefs from a variety of religions, ethnicities, and nationalities to explain how the standard holidays have come to be celebrated today.

Find out the conflict between the Julian and Gregorian calendars – how did Pope Gregory win? Learn the words to “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and the religious symbolism attached to this popular song. St. Valentine and St. Patrick were real people – read their stories. Ash Wednesday originated in the sixth century A.D.; the same ritual is performed today. St. Scholastica is the patron of autistic children. Easter is the Catholic holy day most filled with joy, but it has a variety of popular observations, many of which do have a religious connection. Summer holidays, including July 4, are discussed, side by side with special saint days. Thanksgiving has some religious traits – what are they? North American Saints are named in an Appendix.

This hand-sized paperback is found in the Adult NonFiction stacks with the call number 263.9 Tobin. Enjoy this book, crammed with information, written in a very easy style – it will open your eyes to many interesting topics.

Recommended by: Paula at Main

Staff Picks – Skipping Christmas

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

My friend recommended this book to me. I’ll be thanking her. It’s a curious tale from an unusual source.

Author John Grisham is well-known for his complicated, heart-pounding tales of corruption and spies and escape, so this short novel is a departure from his usual fare, the subject being our most commercial holiday.

Luther and Nora Krank’s only daughter, 23-year-old Blair, has joined the Peace Corps just two months before Christmas. The Kranks traditionally participate in all aspects of this winter season, from sending cards to hosting elaborate parties. Their most intensive participation involves decorating the house and yard to be part of a neighborhood/street competition.

But this year Blair is away, and Luther, an accountant, starts looking at all the money they spent last year at Christmas — $6,100! So he decides that he and Nora should just not do Christmas this year. Instead, they’ll take a cruise, which costs only half of what they normally spend at this time of year

Oops – did I imply earlier that the usual John Grisham took a break also? Nay! Pick this up from the Fiction shelves, the Large Print collection, or the paperbacks, and enjoy. It’s a sweet read!

Recommended by: Paula at Main

Find this book in our catalog!

Staff Picks – Amish Novelists

It seems like a lot of our patrons are really interested in the Amish fiction novels lately. We will often get people asking us to recommend another Amish-writing author after they have read the extent of their favorite author’s collection. To help with that, here is a list of some of the authors of this genre that we have in our collection.

Thanks to Amy S. at main for providing this list!

If you have any other author suggestions, just leave a comment and share them with us!