Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Here are a few extra Best Bets to finish your Holiday shopping.
No diatribe, no clever phrasing, Just suggestions for Holiday-themed Gift Books (the good list) and people on your list that jumped on the 50 Shades of Grey bandwagon (the very naughty list). For more lists check out the last two weeks posts.
Have a blessed holiday season, hold your loved ones close, and please, please either read to them or with them. It is there you will find the hearth to keep you warm and light your way.

  Christmas Gift Books
 Being Santa Claus:What I Learned About the True Meaning of Christmas 
by Sal Lizard, Jonathan Lane
Truth told, the Literary Bookie was a mall Santa one year but fades in comparison to this hand core Kris Kringle. 20 year veteran Sal Lizard (what a great alias for Santa, right?) tell us the funny and emotional tales of his years in the big chair. For him being Santa is year round state of mind. After you you read this, Virgina, you will finally believe.
(Little Brown)
Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
Dear is the darker side of working the Enchanted Village. Reading Sedaris’s take on his year as an elf at Macy’s elf has become an annual tradition (as is reading Dicken's A Christmas Carol but I digress) You get Halloween and Easter stories in the lot but his fictionalized memoirs of the Christmas season is worth the scratch. This new edition also includes 6 tales previously unpublished. (the bookie might have to buy it again just for that and donate the other copy to a charity...ALWAYS a good idea!)
Scared of Santa: Scenes of Terror in Toyland 
by Denise Joyce and Nancy Watkins 
I think the reason that the film A Christmas Story has become so popular is the dream sequence of getting your picture taken with the Man in Red (OK, that and the pole scene). The almost always traumatic event is captured in found photographs making for a hilarious stocking stuffer. Relive the horrors of your past or the fresh ones you just subjected your young'uns to.
(Abrams/Harry M)
Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Book: The Definitive Guide to Getting Your Ugly On  
by Brian Miller, Adam Paulson, Kevin Wool, Glenn Gontha
One of the two party themes I've always wanted to do is the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party (The other is a Christmas in August party). Here is the guide book to throwing your own event. It is also a Rogue's Gallery of hideous weaving with sic names like  Scarf Face, Wreath Witherspoon, and Ryan Treecrest. Join team ugly and get your ug on!
A Christmas Home by Greg Kincaid
 A little bit of Christmas Cheese but just the thing for the dog lover with a hankering for inspirational romance. A dog named Christmas bounds his troubled owner Todd to Laura, a woman with disabilities that Christmas is trained to help. The cliff looms in this book too causing people to abandon dogs at Todd's shelter, then his funding falls through and he has to find homes for his wards by New Years. Sniff. Sniff. (yes, even the bookie can squeak a tear)

McCray, hero of A Dog Named Christmas, is now twenty-four years old and working at a local animal shelter, where he meets and quickly becomes best friends with Laura, a young volunteer. Laura, like Todd, has disabilities of her own, but her struggles are more physical than developmental. Their friendship is sealed when Todd—with the help of his trusted companion, the tenacious Labrador retriever named Christmas—trains a beautiful dog named Gracie to help Laura with the day-to-day life tasks that are difficult for her.
            Life seems good for Todd, but all is not well in his hometown. Struggling families unable to make ends meet are abandoning more and more dogs, and the shelter is swelling to capacity.  The local government is struggling to meet its obligations too, and in early December, on the cusp of another holiday season, Todd’s boss delivers the bad news.  Due to funding problems, the shelter will close its doors before the end of the year.  But what will happen to all the animals?
   As the Christmas holiday approaches, Todd has limited time to find homes for all the dogs. Not to mention that he needs to secure a new job and figure out what to do when his friendship with Laura takes an unexpected romantic turn. All this seems overwhelming unless you’ve got a loving family, dedicated friends, and a couple of very special dogs behind you. In which case, nothing is impossible.

Christmas Parade by Sandra Boynton
Biddy BOOM, Biddy BOOM, Biddy BOOM! As noisy as a child's Christmas present with a fresh pack of batteries this new classic from the master of drawing funny animals. Its a parade so this book should be read loud and boisterous, kiddos encouraged to join in the fracas. Big plus, the little ones learn animals and musical instruments. This is one book you will be asked to read again and again until you are compelled to hide it away for a while

50 Shades of Christmas
(Clarkson Potter)
Fifty Shades of Chicken by F L Fowler
Dripping Thighs,  Bacon-Bound Wings, Spatchcock Chicken, Learning-to-Truss-You Chicken, Mustard-Spanked Chicken, you get the picture. Not just the titles get the S&M treatment, even the descriptions are written in a saucy manner."This isn’t just about getting me hot till my juices run clear, and then a little rest. There’s pulling, jerking, stuffing, trussing." Part spoof joke gift for the E.L. James fan on your list and part recipe book with legitimately decent recipes, this twisted documentation of the education of  Miss Chicken is sure to be the hit of your office party (if its a family gathering, keep it on the hush-hush)
(Cleis Press)
Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire 
edited by Mitzi Szereto
 Where this might not hold up well to critics of sword and socery fiction or for that fact fans of erotic writing, it will prove a hoot for fans of Game of Thrones AND 50 Shades of Grey. Kings and Queens, knights and princesses, even mystical beings; they all get their groove on in this collection of overheated romances. You will crack a smile when the narrative switches from conventional storytelling to the erotic. Naughty fun for the Dungeon and Dragons crowd.

(St. Martin's)
Jane Eyre Laid Bare by Eve Sinclair
I'm with you, I'm am so sick of the the latest trend of mash-up novels, books that combine polar opposte styles together (example, Pride Prejudice and Zombies) Her we have a lierary classic getting the 50 Shades treatment. Again, give this book as more of a novelty than as a legitimate read. Brontë's writing was steamy and passionate enough before but wowzie, this version of Jane's seuxal education under the hands of Mr. Rodchester, I mean Rochester will make you blush.
Story of O by Pauline Réage
You can actually find a free version of this novel online if you choose. If you really liked 50 Shades of Grey then its time to stop reading glorified fan fiction and real the real thing. Once banned, this tale of the willful debasement of a young Parisian beauty who wants nothing more than to be a slave to her lover, sets the standard that all erotic literature must be measured by. E.L. James may have broken all kinds of records for the sale of trade paperbacks but her writing fades when compared to a master.
(Penguin Classics)
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Here's where it began, the novel as the grand taboo. Less whip me, beat me, make me give bad presents, more unbridled passion that reads from the page with such honesty that the controversial novel is considered one of the most significant literary works of its time. Anybody have a cigarette?


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