There are an incredible number of Advent books out there each year, so I thought that I would get a sense of what some of my friends are listening to so a couple of days ago I asked my Facebook friends what they recommend reading or listening to during Advent. Here are some suggestions that you might like to check out. Some of these are totally new to me and will make great resources for my own Christmas reading and listening. Enjoy!
Several people suggested the gospel stories particularly the book of Luke. I agree I try to read through these each Advent season. It beautifully anchors me in the biblical story.
Leonard Sweet and Don Pape like Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas – John Blase
Cindy Fortune Spenser recommends The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder
Sonja Naylor Andrews suggests “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” by Dr. Suess
Joy Larsen likes Lion and the Lamb by Brennan Manning.
Kevin Palau suggest Martin Luther’s Christmas Book compiled by Roland Bainton
Kurt Neilson suggests Bernard of Clairvaux’s homilies on the Song of Songs. – they can be downloaded from this site or purchased from Amazon.
Tamara West recommends Gertrud Mueller Nelson, in both To Dance With God ( family and parish observance of the church year) and Here All Dwell Free ( a Jungian-feminist analysis of classic fairy tales). You can also see a great recording with Gertrud on YouTube
My friend Paul Samuels has written a delightful children’s book Where is Christmas?
Jill Aylard Young is enjoying “Simply Wait, Cultivating Stillness in the Season of Advent” by Pamela Hawkins.
Chris Terry Nelson suggests Insurrection by Peter Rollins
Catherine Windsor recommends The Mitten by Jan Brett
David Bayne suggests “Monastery Journey to Christmas” by D’Avila-Latourrette and “Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent” by Enuma Okoro
Jane Bishop Halteman likes anything by Jan Richardson (Night Visions) or Ann Weems (Journey to Bethlehem) This last link is to a pdf download.
Last but not least don’t forget to check out the MSA Advent resources Waiting for the Light and Return to Our Senses currently available as a preAdvent special.
For music most people suggested popular carols like O Come O Come Emmanuel and Silent Night but here are a couple you may not have come across.
Downe In Yon Forrest a collection of Christmas Carols from the Middle Ages recommended by Carolyn Frye
Ancient Path Christmas is one I was given last year and really enjoyed.
Kitt M KaagapayMo wrote this original filipino rendition that is worth listening to.
Can I add The Advent Calendar, by Steven Croft? Fantastic book.
Thanks for adding this. It is not one that I am familiar with.
I also like “The Advent Conspiracy” which is less liturgical but makes a really compelling case for turning our backs on consumerism this time of year so we can focus on what’s important.
Mark thank you for this reminder. I had intended to add the Advent Conspiracy resources to this list.
Thank you for these valuable lists. A home-grown blog that my wife, Jean Andrianoff, wrote for this year that she calls “Pondering Nativity”–adventcreches.wordpress.com–reflects on advent from the perspective of some of the nativity sets we’ve collected from around the world.
Where I go for carols:
Thanks John. I think that I will need to put together an additional list with all the great resources that have been added
Fascinating lists, good stuff, and a few new finds. Thanks. The amazon links are sad, though… sigh.
Byron I agree. I am sorry for the Advent links – for some I could not find anything else. For others it was just convenient.
Did you see Brian Walsh’s review of the new Steve Bell Advent album? It is at “Empire Remixed” — very moving!
This sounds very interesting. I will check it out. Always looking for new books to add to my reading list.