January 9th, 2016

winter muse

2016 Books 1-2: NOS4R2 and Skipping Christmas

Book 1: NOS4R2.
Author: Joe Hill with illustrations by Gabriel Rodriguez, 2013.
Genre: Horror. Vampires.
Other Details: ebook. 704 pages.

Summer. Massachusetts. An old Silver Wraith with a frightening history. A story about one serial killer and his lingering, unfinished business. Anyone could be next. We're going to Christmasland ... - short synopsis from UK publisher's website.

I first read this novel just after it was published and wrote a glowing review (2013 Book 164). When our reading group was looking for a Christmas-themed novel to read over December I suggested it given the macabre setting of Christmasland. As a few members of the group did not read horror novels, a light-hearted alternative was chosen as well.

As things turned out only myself and one other had read this novel and they had appreciated it. Two others has tried and failed to engage with the story, which was a little disappointing as I felt it was an excellent work of contemporary horror.

Book 2: Skipping Christmas.
Author: John Grisham, 2001.
Genre: Comedy Drama.
Other Details: ebook. 242 pages.

Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded shops, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That's just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they'll skip the holiday altogether. Theirs will be the only house on the street without a rooftop Frosty the snowman; they won't be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash; they aren't even going to have a tree. They won't need one, because come December 25 they're setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But, as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences - and isn't half as easy as they'd imagined. - synopsis from UK publisher's website.

While not really my kind of novel, I read this as it was the alternative for our reading group for those who did not want to read the horror NOS4R2. It was a fun, if predictable tale. What amused me was that without being aware of it the idea of 'skipping Christmas' also came up in NOS4R2.
book
  • maribou

Good Home Writers; Drawing Chickens Reading; Zen Goodbye

Home, by Carson Ellis
Liked the pictures a lot more than the story. Also it reminded me that I'd eventually like to finish reading the Wildwood Chronicles.
(350)

Reading Writers Reading, by Danielle Schaub
Such a very very splendid book. Coffee-table sized, with one page a photo of some or the other Canadian writer (ranging from the even-famous-in-the-US to the totally-obscure-everywhere-including-Canada) caught in the act of talking about writing and reading -- and the facing page an essay about a page long by that writer, discussing the impact that books had on their lives. I say essay, but a few of the entries are poems or short stories. I do so love it when the books my brain demands exist do, in fact, exist, and I can find them and read them.
(351)

Thank You and Good Night, by Patrick McDonnell
A charming, sweet bedtime story from the Mutts cartoonist.
(354)

Last Night's Reading, by Kate Gavino
This is really cool - every time Gavino goes to a reading, she draws a portrait of the reader and includes a quote from what they said. I couldn't get enough of them, so I dug up her tumblr of the same name, and it is also really cool :).
(355)

Drawing the Line, edited by Priya Kuriyan
An anthology of feminist comics drawn by Indian woman that I helped Kickstart. Some of the comics were absolutely brilliant, some were a bit rough, but still meaningful; all in all, I'm so very glad to own this book.
(356, O76)

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, by Kelly Jones
Cute middle grade story, cute premise which I won't spoil because it's more fun to get the slow reveal. Not sure why I didn't love it, but I only liked it. C'est la vie.
(357)

Zen Socks, by Jon J. Muth
I so love these books about Stillwater the Panda, and this is definitely a major entry in the series. The books themselves create a zen space while you are reading them, in the way that the words and pictures and your heart combine into peaceful equanimity. It's quite glorious.
(358, O77)

Goodbye Stranger, by Rebecca Stead (ARC)
I really liked this story of friendship turning slowly (though inexorably) into love, though not quite as much as her other book that I've read. Also, because her first book was clearly a wonderful riff on Madeleine L'Engle, and the second on Louise Fitzhugh, I spent way too much time trying to figure out who this one is a riff on. Judy Blume? M.E. Kerr? I'm still not sure. But I'm glad she wrote it.
(359, O78, A9)
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