Sunday, November 18, 2012

Christmas Book Voting Time!

Now that Friendsgiving is over...time to start thinking about Christmas book club meeting!  We can vote like we did last year, I'm setting up a poll in the sidebar - everyone choose your top 3 picks.  Here's the list of books we had last time around...any others that peeps want to add?

The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore
'Twas the night (okay, more like the week) before Christmas, and all through the tiny community of Pine Cove, California, people are busy buying, wrapping, packing, and generally getting into the holiday spirit.

But not everybody is feeling the joy. Little Joshua Barker is in desperate need of a holiday miracle. No, he's not on his deathbed; no, his dog hasn't run away from home. But Josh is sure that he saw Santa take a shovel to the head, and now the seven-year-old has only one prayer: Please, Santa, come back from the dead.

But hold on! There's an angel waiting in the wings. (Wings, get it?) It's none other than the Archangel Raziel come to Earth seeking a small child with a wish that needs granting. Unfortunately, our angel's not sporting the brightest halo in the bunch, and before you can say "Kris Kringle," he's botched his sacred mission and sent the residents of Pine Cove headlong into Christmas chaos, culminating in the most hilarious and horrifying holiday party the town has ever seen.

Move over, Charles Dickens -- it's Christopher Moore time.

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
Will Stanton discovers on the Midwinter Day that is his 11th birthday, that he is no mere boy. He is the Sign-Seeker, last of the immortal Old Ones, destined to battle the powers of evil that trouble the land. His task is monumental: he must find and guard the six great Signs of the Light, which, when joined, will create a force strong enough to match and perhaps overcome that of the Dark. Embarking on this endeavor is dangerous as well as deeply rewarding; Will must work within a continuum of time and space much broader than he ever imagined.  And for the twelve days of Christmas, while the Dark is rising, life for Will is full of wonder, terror, and delight.

Susan Cooper, in her five-title Dark Is Rising sequence, creates a world where the conflict between good and evil reaches epic proportions. She ranks with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien in her ability to deliver a moral vision in the context of breathtaking adventure.

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
For those dreading the holiday season, bestseller Sedaris (When You Are Engulfed in Flames) makes life a little easier with this re-release of his uproarious essay collection, newly expanded from the original 1997 edition. Sedaris gets the most mileage out of Christmas, from his stint as a Macy's elf in "Santaland Diaries," to comparing American and Dutch holiday traditions in "Six to Eight Black Men." In "Jesus Shaves," Sedaris recalls a French class in which students try to explain to each other, in broken French, the concept of Easter: "On the Easter we be sad because somebody makes Jesus dead today." This updated version includes "The Monster Mash," poached from When You Are Engulfed, in which Sedaris spends Halloween at the morgue; and "The Cow and the Turkey," a new story featuring the Secret Santa woes of barnyard animals. Longtime fans will be happy to have all Sedaris's holiday stories in one volume, and those who've managed to miss the literary funny-man couldn't get a better gift.  

Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
What do a Christmas Eve snowstorm, 14 perky cheerleaders, a Waffle House, and a guy covered in tin foil have in common? Answer: these romantic holiday stories. Through an interconnected cast of characters set in one small Southern town, each author reveals a serendipitous night in the life of a particular teen. In Johnson's Jubilee Express, level-headed Jubilee experiences a traumatic day during which her parents get arrested, her train gets stuck in the snow, and she breaks up with her boyfriend, but in the end finds a new love. Green deftly portrays the teen male perspective with humor and wit in his Cheertastic Christmas Miracle, which starts with an urgent quest for cheerleaders and ends with an eye-opening experience of finding true love right before one's eyes. In Myracle's Patron Saint of Pigs, while agonizing over the pain of a recent breakup, Addie learns about herself and gains respect for relationships at the same time. Johnson’s playfulness, Green’s banter, and Myracle’s sincerity mesh well here, resulting in a collection that is imbued with optimism and warmth. The plotting is tight, and each end loosed by one author is tied up by another like a bright Christmas bow. Tender without being mushy, these carefully crafted stories of believable teen love will leave readers warm inside for the holidays.

The Box of Delights by John Masefield
Strange things begin to happen the minute young Kay Harker boards the train to go home for Christmas and finds himself under observation by two very shifty-looking characters. Arriving at his destination, the boy is immediately accosted by a bright-eyed old man with a mysterious message: “The wolves are running.” Soon danger is everywhere, as a gang of criminals headed by the notorious wizard Abner Brown and his witch wife Sylvia Daisy Pouncer gets to work. What does Abner Brown want? The magic box that the old man has entrusted to Kay, which allows him to travel freely not only in space but in time, too. The gang will stop at nothing to carry out their plan, even kidnapping Kay’s friend, the tough little Maria Jones, and threatening to cancel Christmas celebrations altogether. But with the help of his allies, including an intrepid mouse, a squadron of Roman soldiers, the legendary Herne the Hunter, and the inventor of the Box of Delights himself, Kay just may be able rescue his friend, foil Abner Brown’s plot, and save Christmas, too. 

The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans
This inspiring holiday tale tells the touching story of a widow and the young family who moves in with her, and the ways in which they discover together the first gift of Christmas and what the holiday is really all about. Written by the author as a token of affection for his daughters, The Christmas Box has captured the hearts and minds of over a million readers.

 The story relates how a young couple, Richard (who narrates) and Keri, accept a position to care for a lonely widow, Mary Parkin, in her spacious Victorian mansion. As Christmas draws near, Mary becomes anxious about Richard's obsession with success and his failure to make time for his family. She urges him to reconsider his priorities, but he is always too busy to heed her advice. It is only when Mary is on her deathbed and her secret sorrow is revealed through the letter-laden Christmas box of the title that Richard realizes what she has been trying to tell him.


Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

So far, Holidays on Ice is winning - I re-opened the poll but it closes tomorrow nite so get ur votes in!

Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

Okay, come check out the tiebreaker vote online! Cast your vote ASAP so we can order some books and schedule our Christmas funtimes :)

Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

Hey gals! Looks like Holidays on Ice won the tiebreaker! Also, Erin Marshall's joining us for the first time - woot woot!

Now, when do we wanna meet? Weekend of the 15th or weekend of the 22nd? If neither work we can always look into doing a weekday. Thoughts?

erin said...

i'm so excited to finally join you ladies! i can do the weekend of the 15th and friday the 21st, but i'm leaving town on the 22nd. weekdays often work for me too, except wednesdays.

joni said...

Aw man - my weekends are filling up quickly. I would like to do a weekday - but it really doesn't matter, I'll show up when you tell me to.

Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

Okay, I'm it looks like we're tied again with 6 votes total...strange. Should we just go with Holidays on Ice since it was the original weiner?

Also, Rachel is joining us too - yay!

Katie said...

Sooooooooooooo I'm finally (almost) done with the semester so I'd like to read something for fun before next semester :) I've got nothin' planned so I can do whenever

Charlotte said...

I'll be gone the 15th but I can do the 14th. I'm free the whole weekend of the 22nd. I'd rather go a weekend than during the week because work kind of drains me but if we need to do a week night I'm ok with it.

Rachael said...

Yay books! I'm good with whatever book is chosen. I'm available any day between the 14th and 21st whether it is weekday or weekend. No more classes after next week and no family Christmas stuff until the 22nd.

Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

Okay, it looks like the 14th and the 21st are frontrunners for meeting date. Lyndsey, do either of these days work for you? Also, Joni, just wanted to double check since you said your weekends are filling up - do you have either of these Fridays free?

Lyhall said...

The 14th would work best for me. Kyle and I are driving home on the 21st.

Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

Okay, so the 14th - AKA this Friday looks to be the frontrunner. Can everyone do this? Is it too soon?

FYI - I own the book and it's as short as my fingerspan and 166 pgs.

ALSO - If peeps want to bring Xmas cookies we can do a mini-exchange (I'll supply the boxes - and 1 or 2 types of cookies depending on how ambitious I feel). No pressure to bring cookies...only if you want to!

Charlotte said...

14th works for me. What time and where? You might get brownies instead of cookies from me. It depends how much time I have.

Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

How about 7:30 at my place (1266 E. Cobblefield Ct.)?