Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Book Giving

by Julie Coulter Bellon

Christmas is two weeks away from today. Can you believe it? I’m almost done with my Christmas shopping, but I still have a few more things to do, including buying some books for my children and friends. (Most of them already have my new book, All's Fair, so I'm branching out now. ) As a reader and an author, I love to buy books, especially books that I’ve read and enjoyed myself. With the economy such as it is, books can be practical and inexpensive, yet something that can be enjoyed over and over. So today I thought I would tell you some of the books I’ve read and will be buying for gifts this year, or ones that I hope to see under the tree, in case you needed some ideas for people on your Christmas list.

Abinadi by H.B. Moore—One of the most thought provoking books I’ve read this year. What if Abinadi was really a young man with a wife and family and everything to lose?

The Host by Stephenie Meyer—I’m not usually a fan of this sort of book, but the story was complex and had me hooked until the end. It's about the human race being taken over and the aliens inhabiting their bodies. But what if there was a resistance?

Royal Target by Traci Hunter Abramson—Not her usual sort of book, this one was more weighted to the romance side, but it still had a great deal of suspense. It's about CIA agent Janessa Rogers who is guarding the Meridian Royal Family (that includes two eligible bachelors) from assassination attempts. Fun, flirty, and filled with twists and turns to the plot. A way to travel to far off lands and not leave your living room!

Fool Me Twice by Stephanie Black—Loved the thriller aspect to this novel. Creepy, twisty, and fun to read. All Megan has to do is pretend to be her twin Kristen and take care of a dying woman. But the woman's house becomes one of illusion where anyone can lose their true self. Or their life. Of course there was no kissing in this one, but Stephanie promised me that there would be a kiss or two in her next book.

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull—my ten year old son and I just started this series this past summer and we have loved it! Mystical creatures in a hidden refuge that is under attack by an evil organization. Even I couldn’t wait to find out what happened and we are just started the third book in this series.

Candy Shop Wars by Brandon Mull—this was the first book I’d read of Mr. Mull’s and we read it for our Bellon Family Summer Book Club. Candy with magical side effects, adults looking for a magical hidden treasure using kids, and no way to know for sure whom is really trustworthy. Again, something my fifth grader absolutely loved.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan—My twelve year old son does not share my love of reading, but this series captivated him and he can’t seem to stop reading it. It's about a twelve year old boy who discovers that he is descended from a Greek God and he starts on a journey with a satyr and a daughter of Athena to catch a thief who has stolen Zeus' master bolt.

Fields of Home by Rachel Ann Nunes—this is by far one of Rachel’s best books. It is emotionally gripping as one woman deals with present consequences of past choices.

Far World Water Keep by J. Scott Savage—I haven’t read this one yet, but it’s gotten some great reviews from kids and adults alike and I think my boys will like it.

And just in case any of Santa’s elves are reading this blog or perhaps, Santa himself, here is a list of books that I would love to see with my name on it under the tree:

The Ruby by Jennie Hansen—I have loved her Bracelet series and can’t wait to read the last installment of it. Charlie Mae has been told all her life that Mormons are wicked, yet her father's cruelty pushes her toward finding out the truth. Another action packed story in the series.

Above and Beyond by Betsy Brannon Green—I think this is Betsy’s best series yet, the first book being Hazardous Duty. I can’t wait to read this one because the first had a cliffhanger ending. Savannah is trying to help a young lady escape from her father, but her father happens to be the criminal mastermind who has hurt Savannah and her family in the past. It's a complicated web for Savannah as she enlists the services of her former flame, Major Christopher Dane.

Isabelle Webb Legend of the Jewel by N.C. Allen—I read Nancy’s earlier books and this one looks as intriguing as those did. It is about Pinkerton spy Isabelle Webb who failed in her attempt to prevent the asssassination of Abraham Lincoln. She goes to India for some needed time off and comes across another deadly plot.

Shadow of the Crown by Jeri Gilchrist—I have heard that this one is especially good, set in Denmark, and I can’t wait to read it. Teira is trying to find out more about her grandfather who was part of the resistance movement during the occupation of Denmark in World War II, but somehow his involvement seems to be coming back on his family. The closer Teira gets in uncovering her grandfather's past, the more dangerous her life seems to become.

Her Good Name by Josi Kilpack—I heard this one is something you can’t put down because identity theft is such a real problem in our society today and Ms. Kilpack puts together a riveting story with it. Chrissy is having an identity crisis. As a single woman and convert to the Church, she has always managed to find her place in life-- at least until someone else begins using her credit cards, her bank account, and, most important, her name. Now the real Chrissy must prove her innocence against a growing pile of collection notices and unpaid bills. But with no job, no money, a warrant for her arrest, and a closet full of high- heeled shoes, a girl can only get so far.

Servant to a King by Sariah S. Wilson—I have only read a small sample of Sariah’s work, but I definitely want to read more! This story is told from the perspective of the Lamanite princess who was offered to Ammon to be his bride and subsequently refused. What happens when she believes Ammon is a spy and then she is offered to another man for his wife?

The Santa Letters by Stacy Gooch Andersen—I’ve heard nothing but good about this book and would like to read it for myself. It seems particularly pertinent given the season. William Jensen is killed by a drunk driver on Christmas Eve and it leaves his family in turmoil for Christmas. Only six year old McKenna still believes in the magic of Christmas and it seems to come to life when letters from Santa begin to arrive.

Freshman for President by Ally Condie—Looks like a fun and fresh perspective on politics after a particularly turbulent year in the real world. Fifteen- year- old Milo J. Wright and his best friend, Eden, are crazy to even consider participating in the election for President of the United States of America, aren't they? Never mind that Milo is twenty years too young. Never mind the fact that he'll have to balance the election with school, his lawn- mowing job, soccer practice, and trying to understand girls. There are times in life when you just have to go for something, no matter how impossible.

Of course for a book addict like me, I've had to shorten my list considerably. What have you read this year that you would recommend?


At 12/11/2008 2:55 PM, Blogger Stephanie Humphreys said...

I just finished Clair M. Poulson's book Don't Cry Wolf. It is exciting and action packed.

At 12/11/2008 7:17 PM, Blogger Lucy said...

Great list! I have read several of these books and enjoyed them all, including yours Julie. Another one that is at the top of my list is Freefall by Traci Hunter Abramson.

At 12/12/2008 12:01 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Julie, I'm so honored to see my book on your list! Thank you!

I'm currently reading Jeri Gilchrist's Shadow of the Crown and enjoying it.

At 12/12/2008 10:24 AM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

I've read most of these books (one too many times to count :) and the others are on my Christmas list. Thanks for the recommendation! I just finished reading THE RUBY--excellent story!


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