Books, movies, e-books a way to escape during holidays

Cooler temperatures and falling leaves can only mean one thing -- it's holiday time, a time of family visits, food and festivities. Amidst all the happy clamor and clanking of toys, it is good to find a quiet spot away from the noise: Curl up in a blanket and enjoy a good story, gather the family to listen to an audio book or share a bowl of popcorn while watching a holiday flick.

Before the tree is trimmed, try a few of these suggested books, DVDs, CDs or e-books from the library.

Need to imagine being in the snow? Then search for hope in the Alaska wilderness in Debbie Macomber's Starry Night or listen to a heartwarming story set in the Catskill Mountains of New York in Susan Wiggs' Candlelight Christmas. Many of the books by favorite holiday authors such as Thomas Kinkade, Dorothea Benton Frank and Debbie Macomber may already have a waiting list, but there are many more authors and many more stories to be found in the library.

Not into the holiday spirit? Need a little mayhem or madness to make the season bright? Try A Christmas Hope: A Victorian Murder by Anne Perry or Bay of Fires by Tasmanian author Poppy Gee. Bay of Fires is a contemporary holiday murder mystery set half a world away.

Here are a few other tried and true tales of holiday madness: Agatha Christie's Murder for Christmas, Donald Bain's A Little Yuletide Murder: A Murder, She Wrote Mystery, James Patterson's The Christmas Wedding or Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence.

Downsized your library in favor of an e-reader? Try a few stories available through the library's 3M Cloud e-book service. There are titles by popular holiday authors such as Debbie Macomber, Sheryl Woods, Cynthia Keller, Robyn Carr, Susan Mallery, and Dorothea Benton Frank, and classic authors such as Barbara Robinson and Charles Dickens. There are also come Christmas-themed romance e-books available: Naughty and Nice: Seasonal Holiday Shorts from four authors, A Lawman's Christmas: A McKettricks of Texas Novel by Linda Lael Miller, Christmas at Harmony Hill by Ann H. Gabhart, or Merry Christmas, Cowboy by Janet Dailey.

Need a few movies to help digest Christmas sweets? Try these titles: John Denver and the Muppets Rocky Mountain Holiday, Are We There Yet?, Love's Christmas Journey, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, Wish You Were Here or Love Actually.

Or try an old holiday classic such as It's a Wonderful Life, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Carol or Christmas with the Kranks, which is based on the book Skipping Christmas by John Grisham.

Whether you are near or far, favorite holiday books and movies can bring together family, friends and even strangers. From all of us to all of you, happy reading and happy holidays.

Maria Benac is the branch manager at the St. Helena Island branch of the Beaufort County Library System at 6355 Jonathan Francis Senior Road, St. Helena.

Original story at the Island Packet