Top 10 Books to read for the Holidays

It's hard to find time to curl up with a good book, but there's really no better time than the holidays when Christmas vacations come around, and it's just too cold to go outside.  Why not get comfortable in your favorite chair by a warm fire and lose yourself in an amazing story?

1.  Something sweet for the little readers in the house is The Cat Who Wanted to be a Reindeer from newbie author M. Gwynn.  The Cat Who..is a heartwarming tale about Sam, an adorable feline who learns that there is no better place to be than home with the ones he loves.  This story book is color-illustrated by the author and based on her very own feline furry friends.  It is a tribute to the memory of her beloved Samuel who she states was loved by everyone who ever met him.  It is available in both paperback ($9.13) and Kindle download ($1.99 Christmas special pricing) on Amazon.com. 

2.  Struggling with addiction?  From our friend, new author and musician Superstar (Kris Kancler), The First 30 Days to Serenity:  The Essential Guide to Staying Sober shares Superstar's journey on the road to recovery and how he now helps others trying to do the same.  This book is great for one's self or for a family member or friend trying to climb out of the dark world of addiction.  It's available on Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle download ($3.99). 

3.  The Hunger Games Series.  After the success of the first movie, The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins series is hot, hot, hot.  Everyone who has read her books claims they just couldn't put them down until they reached the end.  The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay are available everywhere books are sold online and in the trusty brick and morter book stores.

4.  Best-Selling Author Stephen King's 11/22/63 is a science fiction time-travel tale that takes the reader back to the time of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  (Read the review by USA Today here).  This book is available online through Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and other retail outlets.  It will keep you on the edge of your seat as all King's novels tend to do.

5.  The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice.  Yes, Ms. Rice knows vampires and now we also can see that she knows wolves, too!  This twisty tale into the psyche of Reuben, a young journalist and romantic who finds himself, through tragedy, morphing into a werewolf.  He must discover how this happened to him and why?  But first, he must find the one who bit him.  It's a real page-turner!  If you love werewolves and you love Anne Rice, this is the perfect novel for you to immerse yourself into this Christmas.  Available on Amazon.com in new and used hard-cover editions. 

6.  Eroticism and bondage took center stage in 2012 with the release of E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy.  Housewives everywhere ate this book series up like candy and discussed it in book clubs, supermarkets, and PTA meetings with their friends.  It surely spiced up a few love lives along the way.  Feeling a little dark and frisky for the holidays?  Check out the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy available on Barnes & Noble and brick and morter book stores everywhere. 

7.  Proof of Heaven.  Whatever your particular religious beliefs, Neurosurgeon Eben Alexander's story of his experiences while technically brain-dead will surely inspire something deep in your soul.  This book is newly available on Amazon.com (and other retail outlets) in hardback, paperback, audio book, and Kindle download. 

8.  Only Forward by author Michael Marshall Smith.  Smith gets into your head with this story.  "Call him Stark. If you have to. If you're lucky, you won't call him at all. Because if you do, it means you've got trouble. Big trouble. And the problem is that before Stark is done fixing something, a whole lot of other things usually get broken. Like laws and lives—and anyone who gets in the way."  Available in hardback, paperback, and Kindle Download. 

9.  Life After Death by Damien Echols.  Not exactly cheery, but biolgraphies related to real-life events rarely are, but what they are is fascinating.  Echols is one of the infamous West Memphis Three (three young men accused and convicted of murdering three 8-year old boys) who was released from death row a little over a year ago.  This book has been deemed "fascinating" by a friend who says he has followed Echols story from the beginning.

10. NW by Zadie Smith.  Her first novel in seven years doesn't miss the mark!  "Smith’s piercing new novel, her first in seven years, traces the friendship of two women who grew up in a housing project in northwest London, their lives disrupted by fateful choices and the brutal efficiency of chance. The narrative edges forward in fragments, uncovering truths about identity and money and sex with incandescent language that, for all of its formal experimentation, is intimate and searingly direct"  Available through Penguin Press.