Plano Reads: Short and Sweet for Busy December!

For December, one of the year’s busiest months, here is a collection of short, pleasant books we recommend. If you have a few extra minutes during this holiday season, try one of these. Links to our catalog and e-library are included.

For Adults

Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou – Angelou’s beautiful, moving, and beloved poem was first read at the 2005 White House tree-lighting ceremony. It celebrates the promise of peace in the Glad Season. In this simple story, a family joins with their community-rich and poor, black and white, Christian, Muslim, and Jew-to celebrate the holidays. Print |eBook 

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green – Popular young adult author John Green published these revised essays from his podcast of the same name, including some new essays written during the height of COVID. In this first book written for an adult audience, Green shares his observations on topics ranging from Halley’s Comet, to Diet Dr Pepper, to Piggly Wiggly. Some of these essays exude John’s fears and anxieties, heightened by the pandemic, but through them all he maintains hope and positivity in the everyday. Print |eBook |Audiobook  

Choosing Sides: From Holidays to Every Day, 130 Delicious Recipes to Make the Meal by Tara Mataraza Desmond – An inspired and creative array of innovative and updated side dishes—perfect for the many holiday meals of December and January!  Print 

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman – Witty, beautifully written essays which describe the author’s lifelong love of books, reading, and language. Print 

The Gift of the Magi and Other Stories by O. Henry – The classic story of a husband and wife who search for the perfect gift for each other—with one of O. Henry’s distinctive twists at the end. Print 

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris – David Sedaris’s beloved holiday humor collection includes such favorites as the diaries of a Macy’s elf and the annals of two very competitive families, along with what to do when you’ve been locked out in a snowstorm, the puzzling Christmas traditions of other nations, and a barnyard secret Santa scheme gone awry. Print |eBook |eAudiobook |CD Book

Lady Osbaldestone’s Christmas Goose by Stephanie Laurens – Lady Therese Osbaldestone finally settles into her dower property of Hartington Manor in the village of Little Moseley in Hampshire.  Twelve days to go before Christmas, and the village flock of geese has vanished. While searching for the geese, she and her three young helpers stumble on two locals who, it is clear, are in dire need of assistance in sorting out their lives. eAudiobook 

Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O’Nan – Managing a failed seafood restaurant in a rundown New England mall just before Christmas, Manny DeLeon coordinates a challenging final shift of mutinous staff members, an effort that is complicated by his love for a waitress, a pregnant girlfriend, and an elusive holiday gift. Print 

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman – The life of the neighborhood curmudgeon is turned upside down when a boisterous family moves in next door and accidently flattens his mailbox. Print |Large Print|eBook |eAudiobook

Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders – A brilliant collection of stories from prose master George Saunders–stylistically innovative, exuberant, and wonderfully generous in spirit. Print |Large Print|eBook|eAudiobook|CD/Play 

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by David Rosenfelt – Andy tries to avoid new cases but when it involves dogs, he just can’t help himself. The Andy Carpenter mystery series are a fun, quick read. Print 

Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks – Warm, witty, quirky stories from the respected actor. “Alan Bean Plus Four,” the story of four friends determined to fly to the moon in a rocket ship built in the backyard, is especially interesting. Print|eBook|eAudiobook|Chinese


For Teens

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, edited by Stephanie Perkins –  A compilation of romantic stories by twelve gifted young adult writers, ideal for the holiday season, no matter which holiday (Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, or New Year’s Day) you celebrate. Print |eBook

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn – Dash and Lily have had a tough year since readers first watched the couple fall in love. Lily’s beloved grandfather suffered a heart attack, and his difficult road to recovery has taken a major toll on her typically sunny disposition. With only twelve days left until Christmas, Dash, Lily’s brother Langston, and their closest friends take Manhattan by storm to help Lily recapture the holiday magic of New York City in December. Print |eBook |eAudiobook  


And for Children of all Ages

Cat Tales: True Stories of Kindness and Companionship with Kitties by Aline Alexander Newman – We humans love our cats and these surprising true stories will prove our cats love us back! This collection of tales of playfulness, friendship, heroism, and inspiration is sure to touch the soul, tickle the funny bone, and inspire animal lovers everywhere to be the best kitty caretakers and companions they can be. There’s Bambi, whose owners taught her to respond to commands in American Sign Language; Millie, who loves exploring the outdoors and goes rock climbing with her owner; Leo, a rescued lion who changed the life of one South African family forever, and more. Print  

My First Book of Haiku Poems: a Picture, a Poem and a Dream: Classic Poems by Japanese Haiku Masters, translated by Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen – My First Book of Haiku Poems pairs fresh interpretations of 20 classic poems by Issa, Shiki, Basho, and other great Japanese haiku masters with stunning original paintings. Print |eBook 

Puppy Love: True Stories of Doggie Devotion by Lisa Gerry – A heartwarming collection of true stories explores themes of canine playfulness, friendship, heroism and loyalty and is complemented by uplifting National Geographic photography. Print  

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