Grab a book this season

Published 5:25 pm Tuesday, November 26, 2019

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Time off around the holidays and more nights indoors may mean a little extra time for reading.

Chilton/Clanton Public Library Director Bernadette Roche shared a few of her favorite Christmas titles for those looking for suggestions for a good holiday tale.

“I am very old fashioned, so the books that I like are the ones that made an impression on me and had an impact on how I think about life and people,” Roche said “The Christmas books that meant the most to me are those that taught me that people can change for the good and that forgiveness and redemption are possible. There are two Christmas books that stand out as my all-time Christmas book favorites that warmed my heart and taught me about the goodness in people. Christmas is hardly complete unless I re-visit these two stories every year.”

These two books are “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens and “The Story of the Other Wise Man” by Henry Van Dyke.

“’A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens, a Victorian era tale of the stingy Ebenezer Scrooge who is transformed by the visit of four benevolent spirits, is my all-time favorite,” Roche said. “This book warms my heart and reminds me to have faith that even the crustiest person has a heart that is worth compassion and understanding. That’s the theme behind the best and most revered Christmas books—new and old alike.”

This book is available at the Chilton/Clanton Public Library.

Roche first read “The Story of the Other Wise Man” when she was a child.

“My family was visiting my mother’s elderly aunt in Jackson, Mississippi,” Roche said. “I spied the book on my Aunt Con’s sofa table and was enchanted by the story of Artaban, a Persian Magi, who embarks on a long journey to see the newly born Christ-child.”

The main character stops several times along the way to help others. Although he never quite reaches his destination, Roche said, “The lesson is that Artaban’s life was a success because of the many people he helped along the way.”

For those looking for a more modern tale, Roche recommends the most recent in the Noel series by Richard Paul Evans — “Noel Street.”

She said this book has the same theme as “A Christmas Carol” — “that even the crustiest person has a heart that is worth compassion and understanding.”

“In ‘Noel Street,’ Elle Sheen, a single mother, falls in love with William Smith who is a Vietnam War POW who has secrets from his past,” Roche said.

“Noel Street” is available at the Chilton/Clanton Public Library.

The library is located at 100 First Street in Clanton.