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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

Your Holiday Reading List by Fran Joyce


Whenever I think of the holidays, I think of my favorite books about the holiday season. I’m starting out with some classics and adding a few fun contemporary novels this year.

Of course, any book we’ve reviewed or recommended would make a great addition to your library and books fit neatly under a Christmas tree, or as part of Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.  

Will you be curling up with a classic or a cozy this holiday season?          


Old Christmas by Washington Irving (written before A Christmas Carol by Dickens)

 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

 Charles Dickens: Christmas Stories (Feathers Classics) – All five of Dickens’ Christmas stories in one book available in paperback or E-Book. A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life and the Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain.

 A Vintage Christmas: A Collection of Classic Stories and Poems by Louisa May Alcott

 A Visit from Saint Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore

 A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd

 Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck

 Christmas at Thompson Hall & other Christmas Stories by Anthony Trollope

 36 Candles (Chassidic Tales for the Jewish Holidays Book 2) by Libi Astaire – Astaire writes about Jewish history. These 36 stories can be shared with the entire family.

 Maulana Karenga: An Intellectual Portrait by Molefi Kete Asante – take a look at the life and philosophies of the man who created Kwanzaa and his commitment to a “dignity-affirming” life for all human beings.

 Aunt Dimity’s Christmas by Nancy Atherton – this is the fifth book in the bestselling series. What makes this series so fun is that Aunt Dimity is a ghost who communicates with her niece Lori by writing in a journal. Lori does the leg work and solves the mysteries.


 Twelve Tales A-Telling: A Modern Twist on a Holiday Classic by Randy Brown, Carol Cassada, Tracy H. Gilmore, Lark Griffing, A.K. Lawrence and J.C. Wing. Six authors have written twelve stories – one for each day of the Twelve days of Christmas, but expect the unexpected as these authors add their own spin.









Holiday Reading for Children and Young Adults by Fran Joyce

Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva - a Review by Fran Joyce