My Favorite Books for the Holidays

My newly organized bookshelf








Article by Wendy McCance

It’s no secret that I am obsessed with books.  My love for books began before I could even read.  I couldn’t wait to learn how to read so that I wouldn’t have to wait for someone to read me a story. First grade was a major turning point for me.  Once I learned to read, I felt powerful.  I couldn’t believe that I could go to the library, choose my own book and then read it myself.

I have always looked at reading as a sort of journal of my life.  I have books in my bookcase that go back as far as my kindergarten days.  Each book is still in perfect condition.  I prided myself on taking very good care of the books I own.

I have 5 or 6 floor to ceiling bookcases stuffed with all of the different books I have read over the years.  The bookcases are so stuffed that I have had to find new places to put books because there is no room left on any shelf.

I love being able to see the journey I have taken over the years.  Each shelf has a theme. Each theme is from a particular time period when I was engrossed in a particular subject.  I have shelves that are all about artists, architecture, design and furniture.  There is a shelf devoted to healthy living with books on vitamins, exercise, raw food, juicing etc… There are shelves on law, spirituality, self-help, memoirs and of course, if you are interested in the classics, I have a few shelves devoted to such notable writers as Hemingway, Kerouac, Salinger and Alcott.

The shelves are so diverse that at our house we joke that if you are looking for a particular type of book, just check out our library.  There are usually several books to choose from in whatever genre you are interested in.

As the kids have grown older, reading has become special to them as well.  The types of books they gravitate towards are so interesting to watch.  It is an additional way to see what they are all about.

I love that some day when I am gone, my books will still live on.  The books will hopefully be passed down through the family and shared with new generations of kids.  I like the idea that these books are a road map of what my personality is like.  What interested me and what I was thinking at that time in my life.  In some ways, the books I have held onto are better than any diary I could have written.  I feel that in many ways it is a more complete view of who I am.

As the holidays are approaching, I am excited to have a few days off where I can absorb myself in a few new books.  I already have a list of close to a dozen books I want to read.  This is the time of year when I also think about buying books as presents for the holidays.  Below, I have put together a list of some of my favorite books.  These are all books I have at home on my bookshelves and go back to on occasion to read again.  If you are looking for a good read or would like to buy a book as a gift for someone, maybe one of these books will inspire you.

Favorite Books

Children’s Books

1.  The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy, by Jeanne Birdsall

2.  The Giver, by Lois Lowry

3.  A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle

4.  The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis

5.  A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstein

6.  Linnea in Monet’s Garden, by Christina Bjork

Travel Stories

1.  The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner

2.  The Reluctant Tuscan, by Phil Doran

3.  Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert

Books on Writing

1.  Why We Write, by Meredith Maran

2.  Secrets of a Freelance Writer, by Robert W. Bly

3.  Chicken Soup: Inspiration for the Writer’s Soul, by Jack Canfield

4.  Writer’s Market 2014, by Robert Lee Brewer

5.  On Writing, by Stephen King


1.  A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway

2.  Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller

3.  Big Sur, by Jack Kerouac

4.  Henry and June, by Anais Nin

5.  The Garden of Eden, by Ernest Hemingway


1.  The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

2.  Garden Spells, by Sarah Addison Allen

3.  The Sex Lives of Cannibals, by J. Maarten Troost

4.  Playing with the Grown Ups, by Sophie Dahl


1.  Outliers, by Malcom Gladwell

2.  Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line, by Ben Hamper

3.  Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, by Anthony Bourdain

4.  The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, by Andy Warhol

I hope this list has inspired you.  What are your favorite books?  Are any of your books on this list as well?

If you are interested in any of these books, please check out Wendy’s Happiness Store where you can find these books and many other wonderful choices.

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 6 local papers online, including the Oakland Press.The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]

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