On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me... four novels, three short stories, two pounds of coffee, and classics underneath the tree... Cheesy, I know. But really? Who wouldn't love that? Now that December is upon us and Christmas trees glitter while fireplaces crackle, it is the perfect time to curl up with a book. As a career book worm, I have compiled my list of four non-holiday must reads for this season.  

First Up, Harper Lee's novel "Go Set a Watchman." Contrary to all the hate articles out there, this work is a gem. Set aside your preconceived notions and embrace this parting gift Lee gives to the literary world. Journey with Scout into the struggle of family, racial conflict, and social issues. This work profoundly speaks to the struggle of many in the South during the civil rights movement. 

My next choice is a coming of age novel by one of my favorites, Cormac McCarthy. In "All the Pretty Horses" McCarthy invites the reader into the adventure of two boys who just want to ranch in a world where ranching is fading into the mist. I really can't rave enough about this novel that quickly found a place in my heart. Written in his signature style, peppered with poetic musings, this is a must read for any heart captivated by the call of wide open spaces. 

For the poet at heart, I recommend Mary Oliver's latest work "Felicity." I began reading Oliver this year after listening to this interview. She carries an obvious influence from the beloved Rumi and won over my soul quickly. This short collection of poems on love, spirituality, and nature is perfect for a daily dose of poetry.  

Last but not least, I will be reading J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" this December with my creative writing class. I did not intend for this novel to work it's way onto my list, but my class had other ideas, tackling the first novel over fall break and requesting this to be our Christmas reading. Few things makes a teacher's heart happy like students asking to read novels. I will stop bragging now, but really, they're grand. 

There you are friends! I would love to know what you are reading this month. 

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