Country Christmas Album(Berkley Boulevard Books)

Well, okay - it's not an album in the musical sense, but rather a book kind of album. Its pages are filled with a variety of warm, fuzzy and moving holiday memories from 39 Opry stars.

"Not all of the stories are happy," notes the book's editor, Joe Layden, in the introduction. "Some are poignant, some are sad, some are endearingly odd and some are humorous." There's Bill Anderson, going through a divorce, tucking his girls - 4 and 8 years old - into bed in the motherless home, reading them 'Twas The Night Before Christmas. Heart heavy with guilt because of his marital breakup and its effects on the girls, Bill notices a smile on the face of the youngest, Jenni. "Daddy, Terri and I are so lucky," she says. When Bill asks why, she responds, "Because we have two houses where we're loved." Notes Bill, "It was probably the best Christmas present I ever got."

Brad Paisley relates a touching story about his Christmas in a hospital, Dolly Parton describes a very special Tennessee Christmas and Reba McEntire explains why she still believes in Santa Claus. And Lorrie Morgan tells how her father, singer George, made Christmas so special in their home.

Warm and wonderful Yuletide stories from the world of country music make this grand ole volume a perfect Christmas gift.

-Gerry Wood

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