The Library Girl Recommends // Advent-Christmas Reading Part 2

Last week, I made a little list of some of my favorite picture books for the Advent-Christmas season... today I bring you some not picture books that hit the spot for me this time of year. Here we go!

A Child's Christmas in Wales
If all you know of Dylan Thomas is "Do not go gentle into that good night", you're missing out. Originally recorded for radio, Thomas' piece captures a family's Christmas festivities from the perspective of a boy, familial warts and magic and snow fights and all. I have a copy that has a few illustrations by the glorious Trina Schart Hyman, and its wonderful.

Aiunindale - Silmarillion
I know this is not a Christmas story in the slightest, but please let me make an argument for why I love the creation story of Tolkien's great legendarium at this season.
At this season in the church year, we look to the incarnation of Christ. Somehow, we are supposed to try to wrap our puny human brains around the concept of the Creator of Worlds, God Himself, growing as a tiny fetus in a virgin womb, and being flesh-born. Just. Like. Us. Understanding this Mystery is not easily done -- if it is done at all. I find that reading fantasy has a unique power to strengthen my imagination, so that believing such Impossibilities is a little more possible.
It is very hard for me to read the story of how Ilúvatar created Eä, Arda and everything within through the song of the Ainur without weeping, for in its myth, I see reflected the Story we tell as Christians year-in and year-out, the great story of creation-fall-redemption that shapes our lives. And if that's not what Christmas is about... then I don't know what to tell you.

The Irrational Season 

This Advent season especially, this book has been helpful to me. Part of Madeleine L'Engle's Crosswick Journals, The Irrational Season contains her personal reflections on each season of the church year, starting, of course, with Advent. Like with The Aiunindale I discussed above, if you want to approach Christmas from a big picture perspective, L'Engle gets it. She always gets it. I love her.

And there we have it with my little list! I hope you'll go out and give at least one a try this Christmas! Merry Christmas and Happy Reading!


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