Sunday, December 13, 2015

More Holiday Advice, or At Least You Aren't Being Attacked by a Whale

Since my dealing-with-Thanksgiving tactics came a day too late, let's get a jump on Christmas.

First, survival stories. Is your family nosy? Do they disapprove of your life choices? Do they think that Don Lemon is a good reporter? Well, tell that to the guys who escaped from a Siberian gulag and then walked across the Gobi Desert and the Himalayas. Or to the guys who were attacked by a great whale.*

NPR's Book Concierge is pretty amazing. It offers the standard categories--fiction, nonfiction, etc.--but also areas like It's All Geek to Me, Rather Long, and Rather Short.

If you need a short-ish volume to read on the flight home, try this list from Maureen Corrigan. Always, always trust Maureen Corrigan. She will not steer you wrong. while her reviews are rarely out-and-out negative, if she says that a book is "just OK," you have been warned. Her story happens to include my favorite book of 2015, The Tsar of Love and Techno**, and also a few that are on my TBR list: The Mare, No Better Friend, and The Story of the Lost Child.

Ever one to put things into perspective, Sarah Vowell talked about her new book, Lafayette and the Somewhat United States, on Conan. "Do you have feet? Do you shoes? At Valley Forge, that's what we call a Merry Christmas."

And then there's this, from the author of the awesome pop culture book, Slaughterhouse 90210:

My sibling is re-posting Ted Nugent on Facebook, so some of us do indeed need your prescriptive Thanksgiving survival content, thanks.

What are all of you planning to read over the holidays?

*The movie version of In the Heart of the Sea is about to be released. It stars Chris Hemsworth, who I am thankful to for being the only funny part in that new Vacation movie. It is a terrible, terrible, NSFW, NSF People Who Like Movies, NSF People with Working Brains movie. (If you liked this movie, I only ask that you let me know so I can never, never take movie recommendations from you.)

**Anthony Marra, the author of The Tsar of Love and Techno and A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, lives about 30 minutes from me. Who is surprised that I haven't started stalking him? [raises own hand]

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