This is not the year to get everything you want. This is the year to appreciate everything you have. These incredible stories of hope, love and faith will inspire you to stay focused on the abundance that is already present in your life. Reading is the gift to fill this holiday season. 

The Midnight Library
By Matt Haig

Nora Seed faces a life-and-death decision. Her dreams have been shattered repeatedly. Family disappeared. Friends long gone. There is nothing left to live for — or so she thinks. One night Nora enters the Midnight Library. Her sweet childhood school librarian, Mrs. Elm, greets her as if no time has passed at all. Each book in this cavernous room is filled with the life Nora could have had, her alternate universes. An Olympic swimmer, rock star or simply falling in love. While disappointment overwhelmed her in the present, every missed opportunity could have led to happiness. As Nora faces the ups and downs of her past decisions she accepts the challenge to find her best life. It is never too late to appreciate what you may have had in your hand all along. 

Love Your Life
By Sophie Kinsella

Ava believes in true love. While her friends in London obsess over swiping in the latest dating app, she knows her soulmate is out there waiting to meet her. Ava joins a weeklong writing retreat in a charming Italian monastery. She is determined to focus on her novel and soak up the delicious food and sunshine. The attendees do not use their real names, nor do they talk about their home life. Ava falls madly in love with a fellow attendee named Dutch. As soon as they begin to explore what life is like outside their little bubble, all the things Ava feared come crashing down. Along with her quirky friends and devious dog, Harold, this high-strung young woman will take you on the perfect laugh-out-loud romantic adventure.

A Borrowed Life
By Kerry Anne King

Mrs. Elizabeth Lightsey has been the pastor’s wife for the majority of her adult life. As a young girl from a troubled home, she was happy to attract the attention of Thomas. When this handsome man of the church proposed, she envisioned a respectable life filled with the love of an entire congregation. Through the years it became impossible to know who the real Liz was any more. When Thomas unexpectedly dies, Liz is more relieved than sad. Thomas’ verbal abuse had worn her down for the last 26 years. Liz tries to repair her relationship with Abigail, the daughter she regrets was molded in Thomas’s eyes. She is determined to do whatever it takes to rediscover her passions through the community theater, new friends and throwing her mattress to the curb. At almost 50 years old, it’s finally time to find faith in herself.

A Knock at Midnight
By Brittany K. Barnett

Brittany K. Barnett is an American heroine. Those of us who are unaware of her mission and the widespread atrocities she is up against will be shocked by the horrors within the system. Brittany grew up in the South. Her family didn’t have much, but was filled with love and support even when times were tough. As a law student at SMU, Brittany dove deeply into cases of wrongful incarceration and draconian judicial structures that left thousands serving life sentences with no parole. She met with prisoners and their families fighting for them as if they were her own. This corporate lawyer worked pro bono every moment she could squeeze out of her day to fight for freedom and second chances. Brittany’s words of hope will remain with you long after the final page.

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