Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Books 2010: Everything Else

I've been spotlighting some of the new Christmas books this year and while I still have a few reviews to come, here are a few more you might enjoy picking up.

Atheists Guide to ChristmasAbout the Book: What do you get an atheist for Christmas?

If you're an atheist, you don't believe in the three wise men, so this Christmas, we bring you not three, but forty-two wise men and women, bearing gifts of comedy, science, philosophy, the arts, and knowledge. What does it feel like to be born on Christmas day? How can you most effectively use lights to make your house visible from space? And where can you listen to the echoes of the Big Bang on December 25? The Atheist's Guide to Christmas answers all these questions and more:

Richard Dawkins tells an original Christmas story.
Phil Plait fact-checks the Star of Bethlehem.
Neal Pollack teaches his family a lesson on holiday spirit.
Simon Singh offers a very special scientific experiment.
Simon le Bon loses his faith (but keeps church music).
AC Grayling explains how to have a truly happy Christmas.
Plus thirty-six other brilliant, funny, free-thinking pieces perfect for anyone who doesn't think of holidays as holy days.

All author advances and royalties for The Atheist's Guide to Christmas will go to Terrence Higgins Trust

It may seem odd to you I'm highlighting this one but I actually really hoped to read it before Christmas...I'm always interested in the different ways we experience Christmas! Maybe by next year! Available now from Harper Perennial

About the Revelation of the Magi: Each Christmas, adults and children alike delight at the story of the kings from the East who followed the star to Bethlehem to offer gifts to the newborn Christ. While this familiar tale is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, another little-known version later emerged that claimed to be the eyewitness account of the wise men. This ancient manuscript has lain hidden for centuries in the vaults of the Vatican Library, but through the determined persistence of a young scholar, Brent Landau, this astonishing discovery has been translated into English for the very first time as the Revelation of the Magi.

Everything we know about the wise men is based on only a few verses from the Bible. With the Revelation of the Magi, we can now read the story from the Magi's perspective. Readers will learn of the Magi's prophecies of God's incarnation from the beginning of time, their startling visitation in the form of a star, the teachings they receive from the baby Jesus, and the wise men's joyous return to their homeland to spread the good news.

This ancient version of the Christmas story is guaranteed to astonish and delight. It will also raise larger questions of the significance and meaning of Christ's birth, and the mission to spread the good news to every corner of the globe. All the drama and intrigue of the brief description of Jesus's birth in the Bible is filled out in greater, more colorful detail, offering for the first time the complete story of these beloved characters.

Another one I hoped to get to before Christmas, I still might! Seems like a really interesting topic. Available now from HarperOne.

The Baby Bible Christmas StorybookDavid C Cook’s The Baby Bible Storybook series offers a set of interactive teaching tools for parents to use with their children, from birth to three years old. The latest addition to
this series, The Baby Bible Christmas Storybook, makes the birth of Jesus relevant for very young children through the use of colorful pictures, basic prayer and worship, and fun physical activities. It is never too early to introduce the truth of God’s Word to children, and the Christmas Storybook will enhance a child’s earliest experience of this very special family celebration.

Simple actions such as pointing to a specific facial feature or hand claps enable parents to have fun with their child while telling the Christmas story. Each story is brief and well-suited for short attention spans, and the small size of the books is perfect for little hands. Actions that accompany the story combine with simple vocabulary to make this series even more appropriate for very young children. Christmas Storybook introduces the idea of prayer and worship as part of the child’s daily life while also allowing parents to share the powerful truth of God’s Word.

Christmas Storybook would make a wonderful gift for new parents or serve as a memorable birthday or shower gift. This book would also be appropriate for use in church nurseries or church day-care facilities by creating teachable moments that
are centered around events found in the Bible.
Available now from David C. Cook

Stories Christmas HitsAbout the Book: You know these songs by heart. They're the 'greatest hits' of Christmas. But do you know the fascinating, inspirational stories behind them---who wrote them and how they came to be? In his latest book, Ace Collins reveals the stories behind the greatest hits of Christmas---all the songs you have enjoyed for generations. For example, as the story goes, jazz great Mel Torme wrote 'The Christmas Song' after visiting a friend in California, who, longing to escape California's heat for the cold winters of his New England, doodled these now-famous phrases on his spiral pad: 'Chestnuts roasting ... Jack Frost nipping ... Yuletide carols ...' Torme saw those words and one of the most famous Christmas songs of all time, first recorded by Nat King Cole, was born. Within these pages, you'll discover the origins of such famous Christmas songs as 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,' 'Winter Wonderland,' 'White Christmas,' 'Little Drummer Boy,' 'Feliz Navidad,' 'O Holy Night,' and two dozen others. Although not yet as famous as the Christmas songs of which he writes (he's working on that), Collins's many books have sold tens of thousands of copies and have become treasured family classics, read and enjoyed by young and old alike. His new book is a treasure-trove of the kind of magic that makes Christmas the beloved holiday it is. This is Ace Collins at his storytelling best ... which means it's sure to become a 'greatest hit' with your family, too. Available now from Zondervan.

sketchy santasAbout the Book: Ho, ho, huh?Who’s that excessively jolly fellow with the fake beard, shifty eyes, sweaty hands, and boozy breath? Why, it’s not just Santa but sketchy Santa! Yes, ’tis the season for awkward photos of small children posed precariously on the laps of some of the most clownish, irritable, and just plain weird-looking Santa wannabes—guys you’d give a wide berth to if you passed them on the street.
Inside this painfully hilarious collection of holiday photos, you’ll discover the pop culture history of the sketchy Santa, and how to identify sketchy Santas in shopping malls everywhere . . . making this the perfect gift for anyone who understands that "He sees you when you’re sleeping" is a deeply disturbing thought.

Other posts in this series: Christmas novellas for 2010, Christmas Mysteries, Christmas Amish Books, Christmas Romance Books.

I hope you've found some great Christmas books to read this year!


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