SPONSORED: “Great Reads” is a regular roundup of books that the Orange County Public Library System thinks you should peruse that month.

No matter what shape your December celebrations, the astronomical phenomenon of winter solstice brings with a feeling of new beginnings, a sense of adventure and possibilities. Books provide this experience each time you crack their cover…or swipe your e-book. Here’s a selection of books befitting the season – all available through your library.


Winter at the Beach
By Sheila Roberts

Perfect for fans of the series as well as newcomers alike, Sheila Roberts’s second Moonlight Harbor tale proves that the holidays can be spent anywhere… even at the beach! When Jenna Jones has the idea to host the Seaside with Santa festival at her beachside motel, she never thought it would result in a terrible rainstorm knocking out the power and trapping all her guests indoors. How will Jenna manage to spread holiday cheer when everything seems to be going against her?  Readers will find that at Moonlight Harbor, anything is possible!



The Winter Soldier
By Daniel Mason

Physician turned internationally acclaimed author Daniel Mason returns with The Winter Soldier, the perfect gift for his many fans!  The tale follows Lucius, a young medical student living in 1914 Vienna who is suddenly thrown into the tumultuous turmoil of World War I.  While learning the ropes of his first assignment, he happens to cross the path of an enigmatic nurse named Sister Margarate. Little does Lucius know, however, that this encounter will change the course of his life, as well as the lives of many others, forever onward.




Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker
By Gregory Maguire

In the Tchaikovsky’s ballet, Drosselmeier, a toymaker and Klara’s godfather, is a supporting character.  Maguire (Wicked) carves out a backstory for Drosselmeier where he rightly takes center stage. His beginnings are quite Grimm: A parentless child, he’s found and raised in the forest by an older couple.  When a trauma causes him to flee his foster home, his adventures begin in true. As Drosselmeier’s story unfurls, we begin to see the emergence of the mystical and peculiar character we’ve only caught glimpses of.




The Snow Child
By Eowyn Ivey

Ivey introduces us to Mabel and Jack. Both quietly disconsolate and stuck running a floundering Alaskan homestead in the 1920s. It’s taken its toll on their marriage and all but sapped their hope.  One cold and snowy night, the two decide to make a snowman – only a little girl of snow begins to take shape. What happens next upends their lives and the lives of those around them.





Miracle on 34th Street: A Storybook Edition of the Christmas Classic
By Valentine Davies
Adapted by Susanna Leonard Hill

Adapted for the first time in picture book format, this classic story will get anyone in the holiday spirit. Little Susan does not believe in Santa Claus but when meets Kris Kringle she begins to believe that he might just be real. This is the perfect choice to connect with our inner child during this holiday season while getting a refresher on the importance of generosity and imagination.




Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day: Sweet and Decadent Baking for every occasion
By Zoe Francois and Jeff Hertzberg, M.D.

One of the best parts of holidays is spending time with family. This cookbook offers a collection of 100 artisan breads for any holiday occasion from braided challah to panettone. The authors adapt traditional recipes with the use of refrigerated doughs that only require five minutes of prep time. This approach will ensure that bakers spend less time in the kitchen while still ending with delicious breads that will be sure to impress.








Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of Bungalower.com

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