“Chris Picks” December: Christmas/Winter

Here are this month’s great recommendations from staff member Christopher Jennings Penders! Click on a title to place a hold. To find previous Chris Picks just click on the “what to read” link at the bottom of this page or type “Chris Picks” into the search bar on our home page.


To celebrate the Christmas season and winter, I’ve selected Christmas and winter-related books as a theme for December. Seeing as we are in a busy time of year, I’m only choosing 4 books in December. Enjoy the holiday!

The Last Noel
by Michael Malone
This one is about two friends from divergent backgrounds growing up in the south. Noni Tilden and Kaye King grow up and become close as their lives are drawn together through many challenging times. I loved this book. The Last Noel can be a bit sappy. However, I can be such a sap sometimes and I’ll be honest here, I choked up a bit when I read the last few pages.  This is the PERFECT time to read this as the Christmas season is upon us.

by Tony Abbott
Kris Kringle, the legendary Santa Claus is brought to life in Tony Abbott’s imagining of the Santa Claus story. Though this book is written for children, it should not go unread by adults. (I’m putting on my writer’s hat now.) We should all read everything, not just as writers but as people who like to read. Don’t turn your nose up at any genre. For those of us who are avid fantasy readers, you will be happy to hear that there are goblins and elves throughout Kringle.

The Christmas Train
by David Baldacc
Tom Langdon travels from Washington DC to California. He starts out as no fan of train traveling but slowly warms to it as he crosses the country. I don’t normally read Baldacci, but this landed on my lap a few years ago, and I liked it.

by C.J. Box
I’ve read several Joe Pickett books by C.J. Box and Winterkill is a favorite. Joe’s foster daughter is kidnapped during a winter storm. He has to battle the elements to find her amid other criminal activity. This kept me on edge throughout. The Joe Pickett series is well-written all around.

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