Top Ten Books I Want to See Under My Christmas Tree

I'm linking up to share the top ten books that I want to find under my Christmas tree this year. | NewberyandBeyond.com
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This post is part of the Top Ten Tuesday meme by The Broke and the Bookish.

I’ve already received a couple of books from my Christmas wish list (thank you, Secret Santa!), but there are always plenty more I’d like to add to my shelf. Here is this year’s edition of the ten books I want to find under my Christmas tree.

  1. All Clear. You guys know how I feel about this book. I have a copy of Blackout, so I really need the second book in the duology.
  2. Texts from Jane Eyre. This book is hilarious. It would cheer me up when I’m having a rough day and need something easy to read.
  3. The Year of Living Danishly. This sounds so fascinating!
  4. The rest of the Septimus Heap series. I’ve acquired copies of the first three books in the series. I know I want to re-read it in the future, and one day introduce the series to my children, so I need a complete set.
  5. The Complete Stories of Dorothy L. Sayers. I haven’t read any Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries (crazy, right??), so why not just get them all at once?
  6. Neverwhere. I’ve been wanting to read this Neil Gaiman story for a long time.
  7. Pioneer Girl. I think it would be really interesting to read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s autobiography–this time written for adults.
  8. Black Dove, White Raven. I loved Code Name Verity, and this book has been on my TBR list for a long time.
  9. Accidental Saints. To someone who spent a fair amount of time reading about non-traditional Christianity this year, this book sounds super interesting.
  10. The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Because of course.

What books are you hoping to receive this holiday season? Let me know in the comments!

22 Ways to Support Women with Your Christmas Shopping

Do you want to support women around the world with your Christmas shopping? Here are some ideas. | NewberyandBeyond.com
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It’s that time of year! Every year I update my list of ways you can support women around the world with your Christmas shopping. I’ve used a few of these websites for my Christmas shopping over the years (and as gift requests for myself), and I hope this list will inspire you to do the same!

I have a great passion for people around the world who have been harmed by human trafficking, especially women. It is very easy for women in poor or war-torn countries (and even in affluent countries like the United States) to fall through the cracks and be forced into slave labor.

One of the most important ways we can help prevent human trafficking and provide an escape for those who have already suffered through it is by supporting these women’s new businesses. In this post, I’ve collected some of the websites that (to the best of my knowledge) sell products that are created by women around the world and give the profits back to the women to provide for their families and support the growth of their small businesses. I’m not affiliated in any way with any of these websites; I just want to support these awesome women!

If you’re looking to do some Christmas shopping, start with these websites. I will update this post over the next month with any sales or special offers, in case you’re a deal shopper like me–none of these discounts will cause less money to be given to the women creating the products. I’ve also included some of my favorite organizations that promote justice and healing for victims of human trafficking or protect women’s rights, in case you’d just like to donate.

Buy your Christmas presents here and support women who are making a better life for themselves and their families:

Sudara
This company specializes in Punjammies, which are super comfortable, beautiful lounge pants. All their clothing is made by women in India who have escaped sex slavery. (I got a pair of these for Christmas two years ago, and still I wear them almost every day when I get home from work. They are so comfortable and cute, and they have pockets!)

Preemptive Love Coalition
I absolutely love this company! They sell soaps (for men and women) that are made by refugees who fled from ISIS. This business helps them rebuild their lives and support themselves in a new country. (Order soon if you want to give these as Christmas gifts–the soaps ship from the Middle East.)

Picture Birmingham
A blogger that I follow takes gorgeous photos and turns them into prints, postcards, calendars, and notecards. 100% of the profits are donated to The Wellhouse, a ministry that provides support to victims of human trafficking in Alabama.

Her Future Coalition
This jewelry, formerly sold as Made By Survivors, is made and sold by survivors of human trafficking. These women and children are given counseling, education, and vocational training to help them create a new way of life.

Better Life Bags
Custom or ready-to-purchase bags. These bags are handmade by women in Detroit, mostly first-generation immigrants, who are unable to find jobs elsewhere.

Ten Thousand Villages
Jewelry, kitchen items, and home accents. The items are made and sold by artisans in Egypt, India, and many other countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

Naja
This lingerie company employs mostly single mothers or female heads of household in the United States and pays them above-market wages and benefits. The company also employs women in the slums of Colombia and helps them receive the education they need.

Amania Africa
This program trains women in five different African nations to sew and manage their finances, and allows them to sell their handicrafts on this website.

Global Goods Partners
Jewelry, accessories, gifts, home items, and toys.  These products are handmade by women in South America, Asia, and Africa.

Mulxiply
Gorgeous jewelry and accessories, made by at-risk women in Nepal.

Good Paper
These hilarious cards are made by women who escaped sex trafficking in the Philippines and by young adult orphans in Rwanda. I’d love to receive one of these cards for Christmas/birthday/no particular reason, and I bet you know someone who would like them, too.

Sari Bari
Beautiful, handmade bags, blankets, and clothing made from upcycled saris. These are made by Indian women who were rescued from the sex trade. (I recently purchased one of these bags, and it is lovely! It’s colorful and fun and sturdy enough for me to take to work every day.)

Malia Designs
Handbags, wallets, and accessories. Cambodia is a dangerous place for women, and these items are made by Cambodian women who are at risk. The company also donates some of its profits to anti-trafficking organizations.

My Sister
These T-shirts, hoodies, and accessories are ethically sourced and environmentally friendly. At least 10% of of proceeds go toward organizations that care for victims of human trafficking, and the company also helps provide jobs for these women.

Thistle Farms
This residential program helps women in the United States who have been victims of trafficking, prostitution, or addiction. They produce lotions, soaps, candles, lip balm, and other bath and body products.

Women’s Peace Coalition
Jewelry, accessories, and home accents made by female artisans around the world. The Coalition supports women’s business enterprises in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Haiti.

Prosperity Candle
This candle company employs female refugees in North America and Haiti. The hand-poured candles give these women a chance to create a new life in the U.S.

SERVV
Jewelry, clothing, kitchen, decor, chocolates, and snacks. This retailer’s artisans come from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and even the United States. (I have previously purchased Christmas gifts on this website, and they were beautiful! I was very pleased with the quality and variety of gifts on this site.)

Global Girlfriend
Clothing, accessories, jewelry, gifts, and more. Products are made by women, and profits go to help send a girl to school (not a given in many places around the world).

MarketPlace India
This program helps around 500 Indian women learn to produce women’s clothing and manage their own business. Their items include dresses, skirts, tops, jackets, pants, and more.

Causebox
If you love subscription boxes (me too!) and want to be continually informed about amazing companies that are run by or support women in need around the world, this is for you. (One of these days, I’ll get one myself!)

Amazon Smile
If you absolutely must do some shopping through Amazon (I get it), don’t forget to shop through Amazon Smile. They will donate a small percentage of your purchase to the charity of your choice.

If you just want to donate:

International Rescue Committee
I’m always looking for a way to help refugees–they are such a vulnerable population, and the refugee crisis isn’t going away anytime soon. IRC works to help refugees restart their lives, providing food, water, shelter, and education to those who need it. (IRC has replaced my former favorite, UNHCR, because a higher percentage of the money they receive goes directly to funding their programs rather than toward other costs.) You can help too by donating here.

International Justice Mission
IJM is an organization that I support as often as I can. IJM employs lawyers, case workers, counselors, after care workers, and other professionals in countries around the world in order to fight human trafficking, forced labor, denied citizenship for certain people groups, and many other types of injustice. They work hard to rescue those who are enslaved, and they also work to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Invisible Girl Project
Millions of girls in India and China are never given a chance to live because of the prevalence of gendercide and infanticide, and many more are trafficked because of the dearth of females in these cultures. Give girls a chance by donating here.

(P.S. I loved this similar list by Sarah Bessey on gifts to empower women. She has listed some of the same companies that I love, as well as some I’ve never heard of.)

I hope this list inspires you to support women who are daring to make something good out of their lives!  Do you have any other ways that you fight human trafficking or support women around the world?

Christmas in April!

These lovely collections of Christmas short stories are both worth reading and will brighten your holiday season. | Book reviews by NewberyandBeyond.com
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I did actually read both of these lovely Christmas short story collections over Christmas break, which should tell you exactly how long it can take me to review the books I read. Despite the fact that Christmas is now several months away, I hope this post will inspire you to pick up these collections in anticipation!

Miracle

As always, I’ll read anything Connie Willis writes! This book consists of a wide variety of fun Christmas short stories. Willis is very familiar with Christmas stories from It’s a Wonderful Life to the nativity, and she creates imaginative retellings and original stories, many of which have her signature SFF spin. Connie Willis discusses in the introduction how much she enjoys Christmas stories, and that shines through in each tale in this collection.

Rating: Pretty Darn Good

The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries

I absolutely loved this huge collection of mysteries! I read a few almost every day in December; they just feel so festive. There are short stories from famous authors (of course Agatha Christie is represented here) and lesser-known authors alike, and the mysteries are organized by category, so whether you want something pulpy, something scary, something funny, or something traditional, there are stories here for you. If you are at all interested in mysteries and the Christmas holiday, I highly suggest picking up this book.

Rating: Re-read Worthy

Ten Books I’d Like to See Under My Christmas Tree This Year

Linking up with Broke & Bookish to share my top ten books I'm thankful for. | NewberyandBeyond.com
I’m linking up with the Broke and Bookish for today’s Top Ten Tuesday post!

I’ve already received a couple of awesome books for Christmas (thanks, Secret Santa!), but there are always more books I’d love to receive. Here are just a few I’d like to see under my Christmas tree this year.

1. The Year of Living Danishly. This book sounds so fun! And sadly my library doesn’t have a copy of it.

2. Refuse to Do Nothing. This book on ending modern-day slavery has been on my TBR list for a couple years now, and unfortunately my library doesn’t have a copy! I want to have a copy of my own.

3. Hyperbole and a Half. I’ve already read this book, and it is hilarious! I want to be able to read this book anytime I need a pick-me-up.

4. The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run. Another book that just sounds hilarious. I need more of those books in my life.

5. The Cardamom Trail. My husband and I got obsessed with The Great British Baking Show this year, and we fell in love with Chetna’s baking style. If I had this book, I could probably convince my husband to do some baking with me!

6. I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla. As someone who wants to adopt someday, this book on interracial adoption is a must read.

7. Quiet Power. I’ve read Susan Cain’s original book and enjoyed it a lot. I want to add this one to my stack of books!

8. The Princess Problem. I loved this book! I want to have my own copy for when I have children.

9. The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries. I’ve been reading my library’s copy of this book, and I loooove it! (You know how much I’m into mysteries.) I really want my own copy so I can reread my favorites every December.

10. Eleanor Roosevelt: You Learn by Living. Eleanor Roosevelt is my role model! I’ve read a lot about her, but I’d love to read a book that she wrote.

What books do you want to see under your Christmas tree this year?

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