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20 Must-Read Books For Christmas 2018 | Books To Gift This Christmas

Whether you’re looking for a book to gift or a page turner to enjoy yourself this Christmas season, here are our top picks.

#1 The Supposedly Enlightened Person’s Guide to Raising a Dog

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An overly-confident cat owner decided to adopt a rescue dog and thought it would be a piece of cake. The surprises she experienced and the stories that resulted from her encounters make for a delicious, delightful read filled with chuckles and great information for dog owners new and old alike. 

It's a perfect gift for the holidays and a snuggle around the fireplace. It can be read aloud for the entire family to enjoy and chuckle. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Linda Michaels from Hierarchy of Dog Needs

  1. Everyone knows at least one dog owner and this is the PERFECT gift for them! Funny, insightful stories that every dog owner (or potential dog owner) should read. A great stocking stuffer!

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#2 50 After 50: Reframing the Next Chapter of Your Life

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At age 50, Maria Leonard Olsen drank her way out of her 25-year marriage. She had, against advice, put all her eggs in the motherhood basket, will-fully derailing her successful law career. As teenagers, her precious children did not need her in the hands-on way they previously had. 

Her husband and she had grown apart because, among other things, they failed to nurture that important relationship. She was depressed and stuck. When she turned 50, she had the distinct feeling that she was on the downward slope of her life. Actuarially speaking, she was. So when she turned 50, her gift to herself was to go on a crusade to make the most of whatever time she had left.. She set out to do 50 new things that were significant, at least to her. 

The list spanned physical challenges, adventure travel, and lifestyle changes. Each taught her something about herself and about how she wanted to lead the next years of her life to come. This work follows the work she did to overcome addiction and trauma to accomplish those 50 new things and shows readers how to make their own action lists – whether it be joining a knitting club or hiking the Himalayas, every item has significance for each individual and speaks to her needs and desires. 

The list is the match to spark the fire that will light the years after 50. Readers will hear about Maria’s adventures and the rewards of each. Accomplishing new things, learning new skills, deepening personal and spiritual relationships, and seeking out challenges will add the spice to a life that may feel repetitive, insignificant, inauthentic, or just plain boring. 

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Contributor: Maria Olsen from MariaLeonardOlsen

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#3 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

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This is a book that makes us value what we have and inspires feelings of gratitude, friendship and generosity. It's the perfect read for a cozy evening by the Christmas tree or in anticipation of the beautiful winter holiday.  Ebenezer Scrooge's journey with his spectral visitors through Christmases past, present and future never gets old. He is ultimately transformed from an arrogant, obstinate and insensitive miser to a generous, warmhearted and caring human being. 

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Contributor: Lia Manea from Find That Perfect Gift!

#4 Only The Innocent by Rachel Abbott

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From the Contributor: The reason I am suggesting this book is that it was one of the most gripping books I have read. The book had me on the edge of my seat and I just couldn't put it down. It had me constantly guessing and questioning the characters, it had twists and turns and the ending left me surprised. 

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Contributor: Despina Pavlou from PCOS and Nutrition

#5 Slater Mountain: The Journey

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This is a fun fictional adventure for readers ages 8 and up, about teenager Bailey Mathews, her horses, family and friends. Life lessons and good horse-handling principles are woven throughout the pages of this inspiring tale, as Bailey studies a herd of wild horses, works on the family ranch, and makes a dangerous journey on horseback to save an injured family member.

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Contributor: Judy Ricketts-White from Mecate Press

#6 Slater Mountain: The Legend

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In the second book in the series, Bailey Mathews and her friend Noah Collins go on a trail ride and through dangerous circumstances, they stumble into a beautiful and forgotten canyon and find themselves trapped. They must survive and find a way home. A thread of life lessons, family values and pure enjoyment follow these amazing young heroes as they seek to protect this spiritually inspiring and ancient place. 

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Contributor: Judy Ricketts-White from Mecate Press

#7 A Pebble for Your Thoughts by Megan Murphy

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It all started with a single stone on a beach in Cape Cod, and now the Kindness Rocks Project spans the globe. Founded by Megan Murphy, the Kindness Rocks Project is based on the profound truth that one kind message at the right moment can change someone's day, their outlook, and their whole life. 

Through visual photos of inspirational Kindness Rocks and encouraging messages, A Pebble for Your Thoughts will inspire you in the same way that the Kindness Rocks Project has encouraged thousands of people worldwide. 

Learn how to cultivate compassion and connection, how to grow through hard times, and how to share kindness with others, one small pebble of kindness at a time. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Brenda Knight from Mango Media

#8 We Can Be Kind by David Friedman

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The world is changing at lightening speed, and meaningful connections are increasingly elusive. We Can Be Kind is a course in compassion from a beloved composer for Disney Films and Broadway, a Today Show regular, and a Unity Church spiritual leader. 

David Friedman, creator of the hit song We Can Be Kind, offers a powerful reminder of how we need to treat each other, from children to family to coworkers as well as strangers, neighbors, and those across the political aisle. Through story, meditation, and suggestions of kindness, Friedman encourages us to create new ways of building community. 

Using the practice of kindness, we become most fully connected, alive, and integrated. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Brenda Knight from Mango Media

#9 The Woman’s Book of Prayer by Becca Anderson

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Sitting in silence, walking meditation, using prayer beads or folding your hands every night and talking to God are all forms of prayer. If you want something different in your life, you must pray a different prayer. The Woman's Book of Prayer will show you all the ways you can pray, so you can find the methods that work for you. 

Comprised of mindfulness meditations, prayer practices and selections of sacred texts, poems and blessings, The Woman's Book of Prayer gathers words of encouragement, comfort and sustenance for women. Author Becca Anderson credits her recovery from a serious illness to the power of daily prayer. But she had to change the way she prayed and set off on an exploration of the myriad methods people use and uncovering the world's best prayers. 

The Woman's Book of Prayer shows how to change your life by changing your prayer. By carefully and consciously choosing affirming thoughts and deliberately looking for blessings at every opportunity, you will literally create a new life for yourself. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Brenda Knight from Mango Media

#10 Global Chorus by Todd E. MacLean

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A great gift for daily inspiration is Global Chorus, featuring 365 readings on the future of mankind from noteworthy contributors including environmentalists, spiritual leaders, doctors, humanitarians and more. This book has given me inspiration and hope not only as a reader, but also as a contributor. 

I was honored to share my thoughts about the impact trauma has on our brain, our relationships and our ability to handle stress. As a survivor of a physical attack, I am dedicated to finding a solution to mitigate trauma for humanity through advanced technology. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Lee Gerdes from Cereset 

#12 The Ghost of Christmas Past by Rhys Bowen

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This is a great holiday book that combines a little mystery, when there's actual ghosts, with a feel good but not cheesy ending

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Contributor: Alex DiBacco from Chasing Daisies

#13 A Merry Christmas by Louisa May Alcott

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This is a great classic Christmas book; if it doesn't get you in the spirit to have an old-school Christmas, nothing will!

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Contributor: Alex DiBacco from Chasing Daisies

#14 Loving Education by Anton Anthony

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This book is great for teachers, giving helpful hints for changing the climate of any school or classroom by adding the most important ingredient of all: Love. Based on Mr. Anthony's award-winning career as an educator and administrator, it's a great read for anyone interested in fixing our current educational crisis. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Brandy M. Miller from 40 Day Writer LLC

#15 Stretching Your Faith by Michelle Thielen

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Stretching Your Faith is an excellent book for those beginning yoga for the first time or the advanced practitioner. It is a large book, containing over 200, fully illustrated pages starting from the foundation of yoga and progressing onward to the advanced practitioner. 

It also comes with a 90 minute video, a class for each; beginner, intermediate and advanced. 

It has been changing many lives as we read testimonies of healing and more harmonious lives. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Michelle Thielen from YogaFaith

#16 Beautifully Bare, Undeniably You by Habiba Zaman

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Following a therapeutic process, the reader is guided along a path to gain a more comprehensive understanding of who they are and the factors that have contributed to their current state of being. Interwoven with powerful song lyrics, each section represents a different, yet interconnected stage along this process. 

Each section and/or chapter includes the following: a therapeutic or theoretical explanation of the given stage in the process, one or more techniques identified to help reader successfully navigate the process, and at least one vignette that represents a time in the lived experiences of one or both authors, which exemplifies either our struggle or successes during our journey. The vignettes are a raw, exposed, and vulnerable window into the human condition.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Ryan Kenna from Austin Macauley Publishers, LLC

#17 Ultimate Self-Care by Barbara Halcrow (Author)

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This book is interwoven with encouragement, compassion and hope. The author lives her talk as she brings gems of information to prompt our own self-inquiry. Barbara Halcrow's heartfelt writing will offer the reader deeper understanding, strength and even a measure of personal healing.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Ryan Kenna from Austin Macauley Publishers, LLC

#18 Quitting by Design by Dr Lynn Marie Morski

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Dr. Lynn Marie Morski knows how to address fears and prepare your health, relationships, and finances for a quit because she's been there time and again. She has quit educational pursuits, jobs, careers, relationships, political parties...you name it; she's found a way to quit it while maximizing the benefits and minimizing the challenges associated with major life changes. 

And she wants nothing more than to pass these skills along to you. With this book, Dr. Morski aims to pass on what she's learned about quitting not only from her own experiences, but also through interviews with others who have made successful quits themselves. She tackles the stigma surrounding quitting, while highlighting what a useful and necessary tool it can be in carving out a life you enjoy. 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Ryan Kenna from Austin Macauley Publishers, LLC

#19 One Teacher’s Journey by Mary Groesch

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In One Teacher's Journey, Mary Groesch describes the training and experiences that molded her into the progressive educator she was for over 30 years. Likening this journey to one where a caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly, Groesch outlines her progressive philosophy through classroom narratives. One may ask after reading the book, What would American education look like if progressive practice was the norm, rather than the traditional practice and testing culture of today? 

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Ryan Kenna from Austin Macauley Publishers, LLC

#20 Cape Cod Memories by Robert Zocca

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Cape Cod Memories is a collection of poems and photographs reflecting current memories about Cape Cod as well as memories of the author, dating from earlier times when many of the roads on the Cape were still unpaved. It is hoped that the poems and photographs will resonate with readers of all ages and help to share the fabulous beauty of Cape Cod.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Ryan Kenna from Austin Macauley Publishers, LLC

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Written by Taegan Lion