Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Bookish Kind of Christmas!

Merry Christmas!  We're still celebrating in the Margocs household, in the midst of the Twelve Days of Christmas.  The tree, nativity, and Santa collection will remain in place until January 6th, when they'll get replaced by a bevy of snowmen to lessen the blow of the post-holiday letdown.

But back to Christmas Day--and the bevy of books left behind by Santa, as well as gifted under the tree!  Here's what the jolly old elf left for our enjoyment:
The Gift of the MagiThe Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, so beautifully illustrated by P.J. Lynch that my teen daughter was "oooh-ing" before she even read the text--which she did read, before the end of Christmas Day.  A true classic.

Garrison Keillor's A Christmas Blizzard had me rolling with laughter, especially reading half-page-long sentences.  I'm going to have to ask a North Dakotan friend of mine if this is really how the natives converse--and if it is, it will make it that much funnier.  A predictable ending, but a funny, unpredictable way of getting there.  A talking wolf, undercover FBI-agent-cousin, vital organs in a plastic bag, and a touch of Dickens-style second-chances--interested yet?

A Christmas Blizzard: A NovelA just-for-fun book that Santa left behind was a "Prep & Landing" sound button book.  Couldn't find a picture of it, but if you're not familiar with the Prep & Landing Christmas movies, here's a link to the website:  Santa also left a copy of The Phantom Tollbooth , a 1961 book that seems to be enjoying a resurgence.  Who can resist a search for Rhyme and Reason, with a watchdog named Tock? The Phantom Tollbooth  
The 50 Funniest American Writers*: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to The OnionUnder the tree, there were more books to be found!  For high school senior daughter, there was Adam Borowitz's new release--signed to her, by the author, courtesy of Oblong Books, an independent bookstore in New York.  It's his collection of the 50 funniest American authors and samples of their work; what's interesting is that many of the authors are not those widely viewed as humorous.  I can't wait 'til she's done, so I can take a crack at it.  I bought it after hearing him speak with Evan Smith on PBS' "Overheard":
There Is No Long Distance Now: Very Short StoriesShe also got a book by Naomi Shihab Nye entitled There is No Long Distance Now, which I thought was apt, since she's about to go off to college in a few months.  And since she's now braved APUSH (that's Advanced Placement United States History for you non-high school parents/kids) and AP Government, I thought she might enjoy a graphic novel based on government intrigue: The Homeland Directive

WonderstruckDon't worry, my middle school son didn't get left out of the book fest!  He got his own copy of Wonderstruck, which he's been pining for since it was published.  This is Selznick's work, incorporating some of the same techniques from The Invention of Hugo Cabret.  My son also got Anya's Ghost  by Vera Brosgol, a graphic novel which he promptly read and pronounced good, but sad.  Anya's Ghost

As always, we have PLENTY to read around here....hope we get enough time in 2012 to put a dent in our reading piles!  Happy New Year to you and yours, and here's to great reading in 2012!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Grad school semester is done--more time to read!

I turned in the last of my assignments yesterday, and applied for my internship today.  All that is left to prepare for spring semester is to have my internship approved, add that class, and make my final payment.  In the meantime, here are the books on my current to-read pile.  Wish me luck--I've got baking to get done, too!
Brain Jack

Out of My MindA Tale Dark and GrimmLeviathan