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Great Books for Holiday and Winter Seasons for Enjoyment and Relaxation
The larger percentage of the world does not read per se, that is true. I feel sure many of my friends here do, since they write. Do writers not love to read? Isn't that a prerequisite for good writing?
Assuming most writer do love to read, this article covers reading for relaxation and mood setting for holidays and winter season when many if not most of us are less active, otherwise. (Unless we are writing!)
Today, perhaps like me, your life is all about joy and relaxation and taking advantage of books to help provide that.
Watership Down to True Crime
For many years, even as an adult, I started reading certain children books as soon as the weather turned nippy. It was part of my get in the mood for holiday traditions! I owned a book shop and had thousands to read, which I did.
Customers would talk about certain authors thinking I knew them all, so I felt to be honest I had to have some knowledge on these authors so I could talk confidently about them. Of course, I will be more honest with you than I was with them. I did not like Stephen King nor Danielle Steele, and yes, true, very best sellers at this time.
Lavyrle Spencer was a much better writer than Danielle I thought. Danielle always made me feel sorry for her that she always had to look in the mirror and see how beautiful she was! Come on, you can get it across in better ways than that. I have to admit, many liked her and I certainly would not put her down when it meant money in my pocket. Give the customer what they want, by all means.
So I read many books and authors I did not like just to be able to discuss them with my customers. For some reason customers seemed to think I had read every book I sold! Not so...but I did read many in every category. This way I could discuss science fiction and western as easily as romance novels. I learned to love such a variety. Science Fiction was one of my hardest to get started on until one of my customers recommended Watership Down. It was a fantasy book and I absolutely loved it. Hard to believe I would go all the way to being hooked on True Crime but although I do not read those today I spent a few years reading all I could of them. They make you look at these sweet people around you a little bit closer.
It is thought that reading works better and faster than other methods we use to calm our nerves such as listening to music, going for a walk or drinking calming drinks, such as teas.
Reading Proven Number One Relaxation Method
Psychologists say that because the human mind must concentrate on reading that the distraction of being moved into a literary world eases the tensions in muscles and the heart. Great to know, huh?
According to cognitive neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis, one group tested had stress levels and heart rate increased through a range of tests and exercises before then being tested with a variety of traditional methods of relaxation.
Reading worked best, reducing stress levels by 68 per cent. We only need to read silently for six minutes to slow down the heart rate and ease tension in our muscles and did in fact lower stress levels.
Little House on the Prairie Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder are a favorite at Christmas, even for adults.
The Long Winter Little House on the Prairie
I owned the whole Little House series and although I may pass over the first couple books, having read them so many times (those being more child like), I would time the others to weather and holidays. To have the snows, blizzards and great feast that Caroline Ingalls, (Laura's mother) could make from a blackbird or one can of oysters, if she had to.
These readings had to fall right at holiday time! To read these books while seeing snow fall outside my window was pure magic.
I would wish for every little child to get to know Laura and her family by her writings. As much as I loved "Little House on the Prairie" TV series, the books were so much better. Also, you are reading the truth, instead of little stories made up after the fact of the books, just for TV.
My sister-in-law, I found out, would read these too, for the same reason. I am sure there are many more of us out there.
We loved trying the recipes that Ma Ingalls would make. (Although we had to pass on the blackbirds.)
Years later discussing this with my older brother and getting him interested he found out for us that there are Little House cookbooks out there! How great is that? Probably right at your local library. Just in time for our comfort food, right before Christmas!
Robbie Branscum books are great reads for teens and adults in the Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn style.
Huck Finn - Tom Sawyer Like
Maybe you like the same type book as Little House on the Prairie but just not these, especially the guys. Me and Jim Luke is a great book and a favorite of my husbands. He introduced me to the author Robbie Branscum and we loved all her books.
'Me is ten-year-old Sammy John, living in the Arkansas hills with his grandparents since Pa died and Ma went off with a city man; Jim Luke is Sammy's uncle. Their discovery of a body in a hollow tree brings them smack up against the dreaded Klan in a final hair-raising (and pants-wetting) encounter. Shoot fire! It's powerfully earthy and powerfully fetching.' (KIRKUS REVIEW)
Some of hers reminds one of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. More great books to read. I am sure children get into new things as time progresses but I don't see why they would not still love these children of the past and their wonderful stories. Regardless, we adults can. These are books you want to own and keep.
Start a family tradition and at holiday and winter seasons is the perfect time to begin. Luckily, there are still the grandchildren.
Reading With Your Children or Grandchildren
Maybe because my husband and I both loved to read both of our children loved to read, too. Still, I wish today that I had read with them and built some memories from that. Of course I read to them until they learned to read but that happened so quickly and only looking back lets me know what it could have been.
I can just imagine sharing that pleasure they received from their books at that early age. It really is just a small window of opportunity where we can read with them and I encourage parents and grandparents to take advantage there. Buy them books as soon as they can start reading and have a super time reading those books with them. Share the thrill of the story, the laughter and the love. The discussions and joy that would have brought!
Books in Winter
Do you read winter or seasonal books that bring you happiness or contentment around the holidays?
Christmas Book Ideas
Here are just a few ideas if you are looking for something great to read. Some are classic but maybe you have only seen the cartoon or movie. There is nothing like the book! You can put it down and pick it up at leisure too. Don't take a pill for holiday stress...read a book!
1. The Noel Diary by Richard Paul Evans
2. A Christmas Treasure is a collection of classic stories and poems that commemorate the yuletide season. Illustrated with the work of Arthur Rackham, Mary Cowles Clark, Alice Ercle Hunt, the book features the full texts of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol and L. Frank Baum’s The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, as well as stories by Louisa May Alcott, Lucretia Hale, Harriet Beecher Stowe, L. M. Montgomery, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, O. Henry, and William Dean Howells.
3. The Christmas Train by David Baldacci
4. The Christmas Mystery by James Patterson
5. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
6. The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans
7. The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman
8. Winter Storms - Winter Stroll - Winter Solstice - Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand
9. Christmas Jars by Jason F. Wright
10. The Christmas Town by Donna VanLiere
For my Christian friends also check out christianbook.com. Fantastic reads!
Relaxation Music Also a 3 hour Christmas instrumental!
3 Hours Christmas Music
© 2017 Jackie Lynnley