As the holidays come barreling towards us, I first want to point you toward my entry last year on good Christmas books. I haven’t started my annual rereads yet, but I need to get on that. It doesn’t feel like Christmas to me until I’ve read a few Connie Willis short stories.
But if you don’t want to create an entire holiday reading plan, here a few other things that have come up lately that relate to some of my past posts.
Remember when I raved about The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson? And said that I wasn’t sure whether it was going to be part of a series? It is! The second book, The Crown of Embers, is out now and it might be even better. I’m not going to go into any detail, since talking about this one would spoil the first one, but I loved it and it reminded me a lot of Bitterblue. The only downside is that it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger–Elisa’s story is clearly going to be a trilogy.
Now remember when I, and everyone else in the world, raved about Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn? I recently read one of the books she wrote before that, Sharp Objects, and it was equally compelling and creepy. In fact, if anything I felt even ickier after reading that one. So if you liked Gone Girl and want to read a disturbing mystery novel, Sharp Objects is perfect. (Also, we get a surprising number of Google hits on things like “gone girl linda holmes hugged the book.” So for the record, future Google searchers, I feel confident that she hugged the book at the point where Amy’s journal ends, and that next section of the book starts. Is that clear without being too spoiler-y?)
One of the best things about seeing the last Twilight movie in the theater (oh yes, I did), was that they showed about 10 different awesome previews. My sister was thrilled about the Catching Fire trailer, but I was most excited about City of Bones. I’ve already explained how much I like those books and, at least in the previews, it seemed like they had the look of everything right. I am too old to recognize any of the teenagers playing the leads in the movie, but I am excited about the parental-level casting. Aidan Turner, who was a vampire in the Being Human series (the BBC one, not the Scyfy remake), is Luke and Jonathan Rhys Myers is absolutely perfect as evil, creepy Valentine.
Finally, if you’re not already reading Tomato Nation, well, I don’t see what you’re even doing on the Internet. But just in case, one of the recent entries in her advice column, the Vine, asked readers for book suggestions for preteen/teenage readers. The comments on the entry are great, reminding me of YA books I loved and introducing me to some new ones. The comments to Anna’s recent Sunshine post included some discussion about what ages that book would be appropriate–the comments on that Vine post might provide some other great options.
I’m way ahead of you on this; just finished reading “Miracle” and “Newsletter” from her Miracle and Other Christmas Stories , and am currently in the middle of “Epiphany”.
Also, I mentioned last year how Willis’ list of favorite holiday stories introduced me to Damon Runyon (who is most well-known, at least by me, for writing “Guys and Dolls”) and his awesome Christmas story “Dancing Dan’s Christmas,” which is available online:
I also just made Rebecca watch my favorite Christmas-themed move, Go.
Go! I hope she liked it. That one should definitely be on the annual Christmas list.
She really did! But I kept having to assure her that everything ends fine and she didn’t believe me until the end. I forgot how stressful it is to watch the first time.