This one's really different. Since elizabethd lent it to me when we met in August I've found other bloggers who also rave about this series. Mitford is a small town in North Carolina (I think) and it's just a chronicle of the life of the town, told through the life and encounters of its Anglican vicar. It's an astonishingly well-crafted book, which combines optimism and seeing the best in people, with real-life problems and a lack of saccharine! I've never encountered a book which tells the Christian life like it is without going a bit soppy or unrealistic before. Well done this author! I should think that anyone who is reasonably sympathetic to a Christian outlook would really enjoy this series.
This one is still on order from Amazon, as you can see. Denise, from A Bun Can Dance, recommended it - look, the title almost includes her blog name! So far, then, I've got one practical book, one Christian-type novel and one to come which looks at the simple, spiritual life without any specific religious content (if I've got that right).
So here is my recommendation to you, well in advance of Christmas, because it would be too late to start it in December! In fact, this reminds me that I promised I'd lend it to my friend B this month...Once again, this is a second hand Amazon purchace. I saw the book mentioned in another one I was reading, a few years ago. This is how it bills itself:
Basically, it's about separating what you and the family WANT/NEED from Christmas, from what other people and the media tell you that you SHOULD be doing. Have a read:It's a very useful book on many levels. The authors really work on getting you to discover what it is that makes Christmas most important for you and yours (and they recognise that this will vary for each person). They then help you to separate what you think you SHOULD be doing from what you could actually do to make Christmas what you want it to be. Have I explained that well? Not sure. Anyway, they look at the causes of Christmas problems, like consumerism and family rows, and the causes of Christmas joy, like time to rest as a family and the development of family traditions. It's good. What was good in it for me would probably be different to what will work for you - it's that kind of book.
If you have any more book recommendations, do let me know, and if you know any of these books, please let me know what you think of them, too!