Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holiday Reads

The holidays are a great chance to curl up with a good book and catch up on some reading. Here's a selection that veers from tears that you try to hide while you're sitting in the window seat of an airplane to the sharp intake of breath and a smile from whimsy to the serious sofa shaking delight of laughter. Could be good stocking stuffers too.

Miz Lil & the Chronicles of Grace came my way from friends at Open Door Fellowship in Denver, CO. Twelve stories weave Walter Wangerin Jr.'s growing up as a boy with his growing up as an inner-city pastor. The characters from Grandpa Storck to Miz Lil are tenderly drawn but Walter's foibles less so. I came away from the book with a sense of hopelessness about the struggles of trying to do good while being human. Yet, we receive grace, unmerited favor.

Something Rotten, was a hard cover abandoned to the sale rack. It's the 4th in a continuing saga of literary detective Thursday Next as she attempts to recover her eradicated husband and save the world by winning the Swindon Super Hoop. The author, Jasper Fforde from Wales, takes his whimsical world building seriously persisting through the credits: "No penguins were killed or pianos destroyed in order to write this book. The penguin meal on page 146 and the piano incident on page 305 were merely fictional narrative devices and have no basis in fact." This book also happens to be a Powell's book store staff pick.

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex was a recommended hand-me-on from my husband and it's the most fun I've had reading a book in a long time. It's a story about aliens invading the earth and how a 10 year old girl, one cat named Pig and a fugitive Boov alien make the most of it.  Great laughter medicine. Best voice for both J.Lo, the Boov and Tip, the 10 year old girl.  Here's a sample line from J.Lo "Everybodies is always wanting to make a clone for to doing their work. If you are not wanting to do your work, why would a clone of you want to do your work."


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