Thursday, November 19, 2015

Seasonal Books Just In: Joy to the Worlds, Time to Get Ready

Joy to the WorldsJoy to the Worlds
by M. Chance, J. Southard, R. Oak, G. Clemans

What do you get when you mix mystery and speculative fiction, then toss in the holidays for good measure? A mobster Santa, genetic hanky-panky, Victorian villages, time-travelling detectives, Krampus, eerie bell spirits, and more–this collection of short cross-genre fiction is the perfect counterpoint to traditional holiday reading!
This is a review book for SFFaudio, which is unusual considering it is a print version.

I'm a sucker for Christmas mysteries and when you add scifi and fantasy to the mix, then I'm on board. I haven't heard of any of the four authors who contribute two stories each to this book. I've only read the first two stories but really enjoyed them. One featured a detective in the Wild Hunt and the other teen-age workers in a Victorian tourist village in the dystopian future. Both were imaginative and entertaining.

Time to Get Ready: An Advent, Christmas Reader to Wake Your SoulTime to Get Ready: An Advent, Christmas Reader to Wake Your Soul
by Mark Villano

For many Christians, Advent and Christmas have simply become just another time of year, albeit more frenetic. It is for them that Mark Villano has written Time to Get Ready. He opens up the scriptures, themes, and liturgical traditions of these holy seasons to better appreciate their meaning. He reveals the life-changing mystery of Christ, the invitations of grace all around us. Consider this book a daily retreat, a time to let go of the activity and noise of life and simply listen. It will become a cherished companion for many as they prepare spiritually for Christmas and beyond.
It's been a long time since Advent and Christmas have been just another time of year for me. I cherish Advent's reminder to slow down, be present in the moment and remember the wonder and mystery of the Incarnation of Christ.

This book may be directed at Advent newbies, but it doesn't feel that way to me. It's simple enough to provide my annual reminder about the point of Advent. It's also deep enough that I don't feel as if it is a primer. I especially appreciate the scripture flowing around and through each entry. There's a grounding in daily life but always with the context of Scripture, liturgy and tradition.

I've really enjoyed sampling this book and will be reading it this year for Advent.

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