Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Good Book for Christmas

Posted December 20, 2007

What's a good book for Christmas?

My sisters Miriam and Stephanie always give me good books as gifts.  So I am looking forward to some quiet reading time over the holidays.

What will you be reading?  What books are you giving as gifts this year?

You might want to tune in to Quail Ridge Books & Music owner and Raleigh Hall of Fame inductee Nancy Olsen on WRAL's Noon News today.  She will talk about some of the best books this season.

A childhood friend Sarah Colton has written a book about the turbulent times of the late 1960's when she was a student at St. Mary's in Raleigh.  It's called "68 Split" and I would highly recommend it.  Nancy Olsen has it in stock at Quail Ridge. 

My parents ran an independent book store in Morganton.  Christmas at our house was Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew.  My parents enjoyed historical novels, gardening books and Southern folklore publications.

By the way, thanks for your wonderful Christmas away from home ideas.  jungleairforce takes the prize.  Congrats!  If you'll send me your address at I will put a CD in the mail for you.


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  • WardofTheState Dec 21, 2007

    John Grisham's "Skipping Christmas" is a must-read. It chronicles the story of an up-scale couple who, after learning that their only child will not be home for Christmas, decide to opt out of the holiday. No cards, no parties, no decorations. The reactions of their neighbors and friends is what keeps the story moving along. It's a quick read and a different take on traditional values.

  • Tango4 Dec 21, 2007

    I'm hoping for the "Chronicles of Narnia" from my teenage son. I have read C.S.Lewis but never those.

  • jetset Dec 21, 2007

    There is a short story by Truman Capote called "A Christmas Memory" that is great. A TV movie starring Geraldine Page was made based on this short story. A great "short" read. You can even do a google search and read it online if you choose!

  • ArkAngels Dec 20, 2007

    The book I chose to give my best friend for Christmas is "Our Vanishing Americana: A North Carolina Portrait" by Mike Lassiter. She and I are always talking about places around NC that we remember growing up and some of those are vanishing quicker than we like to admit.

    This book has photos of places all over NC and the stories behind them all. This book was a great find and will be a perfect gift for her. And yes I got one for myself as well.

  • jungleairforce Dec 20, 2007

    Right now, I am reading The Red Suit Diaries Volume 2 by Ed Butchart. You can find it in most Halmark Stores. I read Volume 1 last Christmas. It is about a retired Marine who ends up becoming Santa Claus at Stone Mountain Park. He has an organization called FODAC, Friends of Disabled Adults and Children, that repairs wheelchairs and other equipment for the disabled and donates it to them for free. His website is called The Real Thing Santa. The books tell about his Santa Claus Ministry, the love for his God and his Wife and his love for the Children. It is a very good story. Tom Brokaw did a report on him back in the '90s and called him the Real Thing. I am also reading the history of the real St. Nicholas and how he evolved in to Santa Claus. It is another good book. I told my wife that when I grow up, I want to be Santa Claus. I love children and seeing them happy. I just have not grown up yet. I love being a kid. Thanks Bill for choosing my post on Christmas Places.

  • tennispro Dec 20, 2007

    The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank is so good!Everyone will love it. You can read it in one night!!

  • carolinamissy Dec 20, 2007

    I really want to read the new Nicholas Sparks The Choice. I love all of his books.

  • Snoopy Gal Dec 20, 2007

    Oops - sorry about the misspelling - it should say "Schulz and Peanuts." Charles Schultz was the talented creator of the Peanuts comic strip.

  • Snoopy Gal Dec 20, 2007

    I just bought "Shultz and Peanuts" by David Michaelis - this is the biography of Charles Shultz that recently came out. I have always been a huge Peanuts fan and it sounds like this will be a very interesting book to read - provide a lot of insite into a very private, but talented man.

  • wilfhh29 Dec 20, 2007

    I was considering buying the Moravian Christmas in the South by Nancy Smith Thomas for my mother. When I went to Quail Ridge, however, I found a better book for her--North Carolina Then & Now by Kevin Adams. Before I wrapped the book, my son (age 5) and I looked through it and enjoyed seeing the pictures. Adams has found the sites where old NC pictures were taken and showed what the sites look like today. It was amazing to see how some things have changed.

    I am very glad that I chose to go to Quail Ridge to look at the books rather than buy them online. I could not have found a better book for my mother.




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