For all my talk about my stack of Christmas books to re-read every year, I think in recent years I must have been reading only the Maeve Binchy: this year I'm getting to all of them, and most of them are not even familiar.
Right now I'm reading the two Miss Read books (Village Christmas and The Christmas Mouse), and I am reminded that this was the trajectory of my Miss Read reading: (1) the author was recommended to me; (2) I liked the books and read a whole bunch; (3) I requested the Christmas books for my Christmas book pile; (4) I found out my mother-in-law was a Miss Read fan; (5) I never read Miss Read again.
Reading them this year, I can see why my mother-in-law liked them so much: they're just bursting with older ladies who know what's best for everyone. A chunk of each book is devoted to the rich fulfillment found in hard work, pinched criticism of others' behavior, and regular church attendance; a larger chunk is devoted to how young people have all these crazy parenting ideas that need to be firmly corrected by the grandmothers---and how very, very grateful the parents and children will be for these firm corrections in their lives.
In short, there are ways in which my late mother-in-law lives on.
The David Sedaris book is new to me this year (I got it for Christmas last year), and I found some of it perfect and some of it not at all right for me. His job as a mall elf, yes; spoof Christmas letters in which something terrible happens to a baby, no. Christmas whore, yes; Christmas morgue and Christmas TV executive, less so. But I am the same about my Augusten Burroughs book, so perhaps I will just get used to The Parts I Skim.
I would like recommendations, if you have them, for other books to read at Christmas. I think the Christmas Book Stack needs refreshing, and I'm going to the library this afternoon. So far on my list I have Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher, recommended by Nowheymama. What else?
Gift ideas for an 8-year-old, part 2 of 2 - Last week I talked about the gifts we were getting/considering for Edward, who is turning 8 next month. This week it’s Elizabeth’s turn: not “girl gifts,” ...