9 Books You'll Want to Cuddle Up to This Holiday Season

Jennifer Brown Banks

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Literature changes lives.

Even before I became a professional writer, I knew this. My mom was always a big advocate for books and education. Growing up, our house was forever filled with college textbooks, medical journals, encyclopedias, autobiographies, paperbacks, cookbooks and novels.

You could typically find me between the pages of something. Somewhere. And now, with all the restrictions and safety concerns imposed by the current pandemic, cuddling up to a good book at home has even greater value.

I believe that today’s generation is really missing the magic of books! Blame it on Internet activities, electronic video games, YouTube or the cable culture…but few find this past time to be a worthwhile pursuit.

It’s unfortunate. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I actually saw a kid reading a book outside of school work.

THE BENEFITS OF READING

Books are powerful. They heal. They inform. They help us to understand ourselves and the world in which we live a little better.

But, don’t just take my word on it. Here’s what Healthline.com reports as reading-related benefits:

“ Improves brain connectivity

Increases your vocabulary and comprehension

empowers you to empathize with other people

aids in sleep readiness

reduces stress

lowers blood pressure and heart rate

fights depression symptoms

prevents cognitive decline as you age

contributes to a longer life

It adds further, "It’s especially important for children to read as much as possible because the effects of reading are cumulative. However, it’s never too late to begin taking advantage of the many physical and psychological benefits waiting for you in the pages of a good book.”

So, whether your goal is to improve, escape, or increase your knowledge base, you’ll find something here amid this listing to enhance your personal library.

9 BOOKS YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY GIVE A LOOK THIS WINTER

1. THE MARTHA RULE

By: Martha Stewart

I’m a big Martha Stewart fan. If you’ve followed any of my previous blog posts, I‘m sure this comes as no surprise. If not, there’s no time like the present to read up! Anyway…she is the epitome of elegance and excellence, in my opinion. So I couldn’t wait to throw back the covers of this book and get insider’s tips on growing and managing a successful business. And as usual, this diva delivers!

She shares 10 crucial tips for today’s entrepreneur that you’d be wise to heed. They include lessons on: the relevance and role of passion, identifying the big idea, building an A-team, and sound moneymaking strategies.

2. WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE

By: Harold Kushner

Who among us has not had some tragedy occur that left us with grief and unanswered questions? Whether it’s the loss of a loved one; health challenges; or a painful break up or divorce. Grief is universal.

This best seller takes those plaguing doubts, guilt feelings, and challenging issues, and strives to make sense of it through the eyes of a wise Rabbi, who has also dealt with this in his own life through the illness of a child.

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3. IMPACT (PERSONAL PORTRAITS OF ACTIVISM)

Edited by: Michelle Duster & Trina Sotira

In this age of social activism, this is a timely read. This collection of thought-provoking, stirring, engaging essays and poetry (from writers across the country) will inspire you, inform you and give you a broader perspective of justice in its myriad forms. You’ll find over 40 contributors to this popular anthology. Prepare to laugh, cry, relate, reflect, react...and perhaps even become a change agent.

4. YOUR BEST LIFE NOW

By: Joel Osteen

There’s a reason why this popular TV pastor has such a massive "flock." He's an eloquent speaker and author. In former years, Barbara Walters chose him for her prestigious annual "10 Most Interesting People" round-up. In this book, Osteen imparts 7 steps to maximizing your potential and living with more purpose and peace. It's an easy read enhanced by great quotes, anecdotes, and thought provoking questions. Discover what the "buzz" is about.

5. ACT LIKE A LADY, THINK LIKE A MAN

By: Steve Harvey

When I first learned that the famous “king of comedy” and talk show host had penned a book on dating and relationships, I thought that this in itself was pretty hilarious! After all, what type of credentials would lend to his credibility? Not to mention, giving advice to the lovelorn is a serious matter. Not everybody should approach it (“kids don’t try this at home”)!

You get my drift? But I must admit, I must give him his props. I was pleasantly surprised. He dispenses sage advice that instructs women that if they want to be treated better to stop “lowering the bar”. He also lets us know that “every man has a plan” with regards to dating and mating. Overall, the book is definitely worth the price of admission. Pick it up!

6. HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU

By: Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo

This popular relationship guide serves as a reality check for many women. It decodes the double talk of “Mars” inhabitants and helps women see their actions with greater clarity. More than likely, you’ll find a few of the characters you’ve dated amidst the many scenarios!

7. SIMPLE ABUNDANCE

By: Sara Ban Breathnach

Oh my God! I love this book! I received it many moons ago from my friend Carol, and it still feeds my soul and spirit with meditations, affirmations and inspiration fo today's woman. It addresses every issue under the sun for females of all ages and backgrounds, from self- love, to spirituality, to creating a home that's a haven, to life balance. It's a must read.

8. SATAN, I'M TAKING BACK MY HEALTH!

By: Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? You'll find answers and healing here. Chapters include: You are what you eat, vegetarianism, Lifestyle and habits, and What does God say? In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Health is the greatest wealth."

9. THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE

By: Rick Warren

There's no surprise why this book created such a buzz when it was initially released, and topped the best seller's list for many months after----it's spiritual, it's practical, it's life impacting. It will make you take personal inventory. Read it and be transformed.

Pair your book choice with a glass of Merlot or a steamy cup of hot chocolate for a wonderful way to wind down and relax this winter.

You can find these titles at Amazon.com or your local library.

#nbholidaycheer

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Veteran freelance writer, award-winning blogger, thought leader, herbal tea enthusiast. My mission is to entertain, engage and inform readers with articles that are interesting, enriching and diverse.

Chicago, IL
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