From the Beacon: Grant Christmas wishes with books

Whether you're an avid reader or just like to pick up a heartwarming story around the holidays, there's a Yuletide page-turner for you at the Beaufort County Public Library System.

Reading is perfect for airport layovers, passenger-seat reading and especially for stocking stuffers. If you're looking for the latest Christmas-themed best-seller, an inspiring holiday story or even a quick read with holiday cheer, here are a few suggestions to get you in the spirit:

Well-known radio personality Garrison Keillor brings his "Prairie Home Companion"-style humor to the bookshelves with "A Christmas Blizzard." This holiday novel's comedy begins when a Hawaii-bound traveler is stranded by a blizzard in his North Dakota hometown.

"Wishin' and Hopin': A Christmas Story" by Wally Lamb is a chip off the old "Best Christmas Pageant Ever" block. The setting for this holiday tale is 1964 blue-collar Connecticut where fifth-grader Felix worries he's the cause of Sister Dymphna's downward spiral into mental breakdown. When it's time to cast the school's Christmas pageant, several students duke it out over who gets to play Mary.

Also out this season are "The Christmas Cookie Club" by Ann Pearlman, "Knit the Season" by Kate Jacobs, "You Better Not Cry" by Augesten Burroughs and "The Gift" by Cecelia Ahern.

If you need a little inspiration, you can unwrap a new appreciation for unexpected blessings, the joy of giving and the value of relationships old and new in these next inspiring stories.

"The Christmas Sweater" by Glenn Beck gives new meaning to all of those Christmas sweaters, socks and fruit cakes you begrudgingly accepted over the years. You might not agree with Beck's politics or his media presence but this Christmas story will give you a greater understanding of the man behind the mic.

Giving back, even in the smallest of ways, is the theme for Jason F. Wright's "Christmas Jars." The story begins as a newspaper reporter tracks a lead on the appearance of "Christmas Jars," glass jars filled with coins and bills anonymously left for people in need. Fans of Nicholas Sparks, Richard Paul Evans, Mitch Albom and Angela Hunt will want to grab this title. Once you read it, pick up the sequel, "Christmas Jars Reunion," just released this October.

Rounding out the list of notable inspirational stories this season are "The Christmas List" by Richard Paul Evans, "A Simple Christmas" by Mike Huckabee, "An Amish Christmas" by Beth Wiseman and "The Perfect Christmas" by Debbie Macomber.

Amid all of the characteristic hustle and bustle of the season you may be hard-pressed to find time to read a lengthy novel. For those on the go, "Auggie Wren's Christmas Story" by Paul Auster and "Matchless: A Christmas Story" by Gregory Maguire are short adult fiction holiday novellas you can enjoy in less than 30 minutes.