2012 Holiday Gift Guide

Books make seriously awesome gifts, but you’ve got to give the right ones. Giving hardcore science fiction to someone who only reads historical romance may not go over very well. If you’re totally at a loss of what  books to give this year, I’m here to help. I’m going to skew this towards newer books, so you can be reasonably confident that your gift receiver won’t already have it, but I may make some additional suggestions as well. If it is a book I have reviewed, the title will link to the review. Hopefully everyone you need to buy for is represented here in one way or another.

Continue reading 2012 Holiday Gift Guide

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – Audiobook Thoughts (Sound Bytes)

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, narrated by Simon Prebble
Published in audio by Blackstone Audio

Synopsis:

Yeah, I’m guessing most of you actually already know the basic idea behind A Christmas Carol.

Thoughts on the story:

I don’t know you guys, I mean, whoa, Dickens sure isn’t subtle about his MORAL. But on the other hand, even in the most fun adaptations, A Christmas Carol has a very obvious MORAL, so I was less bothered than I might otherwise have been, solely because I 100% expected it. That being said, I’m not sure I actually particularly enjoyed A Christmas Carol, I think it is much more entertaining with Muppets or animated Disney characters.

Thoughts on the audio production:

Simon Prebble is great, he gives a solid performance, and I have no qualms about recommending him.

Overall:

If you’re in the mood for A Christmas Carol, you could do much worse than this version, I think overall it is a bit easier to take in audio than in print.

If you want to hear more of my thoughts about A Christmas Carol, they were the subject of the latest What’s Old is New Classics Rip.

Buy this book from:
Powells: Audio*
Indiebound: Audio*

I will be on hiatus through the end of the year, please feel free to link up any audiobook reviews during that time. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.

Source: .
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

The Night Before Christmas – Saturday Story Spotlight

Welcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, my feature where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy.

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Ted Rand
Published by North-South Books

Sometimes I underestimate Daniel. I would have thought that the length and the often complex and old-fashioned language of The Night Before Christmas would have had him squirming in his chair after just a few pages.

I was so far off, it isn’t even funny; Daniel LOVES The Night Before Christmas. We have read this so many times, now, that he knows the end of every line, and can recite the first few stanzas – not that he gets every word, of course, but most of it makes sense. I’m not sure exactly what it is, sure the Santa part is neat, but that actually seems to be his least favorite. I think it is just the whole Christmas excitement, since he is much more aware of it than he has been in the past.

Don’t be afraid to try this classic with your young children, you may just find that they love it!

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Personal copy
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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Who is Coming to Our House? – Saturday Story Spotlight

Welcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, my feature where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy.

Who is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate, illustrated by Ashely Wolff
Published by Putnam Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin

It is a special night in the barn. The animals are abuzz with excitement about the special guest who is coming ever closer. “Who is coming to our house?” they ask mouse, in wonder, “Someone, someone” he replies. So of course the animals must get ready for their special guest, sweeping the floor, lining to manger with eider, anything they can do to make the barn comfortable. Finally, of course, Mary and Joseph show up, and in the end, so does the baby Jesus.

Who is Coming to Our House? is a very cute book, an early introduction for young children to the Christmas story. Having the story come from the perspective of the animals lends an extra degree of interest for kids. Daniel yells “look, mommy!” on basically every page. This is clearly not theologically deep, but it is a good opening for parents to explain a bit about the Christmas story. I do wish the lines scanned a bit better, however. The animals are called mouse, cow, etc, but I find myself wanting to read them as THE mouse, THE cow for them to flow better.

Over all, a good religious Christmas book for young children.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Personal copy
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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D.E.A.R. – My Christmas Reading List

Do you remember D.E.A.R? At my elementary school that meant “Drop Everything And Read,” something we typically did for 10 or 15 minutes every day. Best part of my day, really. As my TBR and Library piles are battling for supremacy and trying to sneak in around the review copies who have staked out places on my calendar, I’m thinking back to the simpler days of D.E.A.R., when I believed I had time to get to any book I wanted. And that, of course, got me fantasizing about a world where I really could just Drop Everything And Read for more than just 15 minutes a day.

This is the last post you’ll see at Devourer of Books for awhile, I’m taking off posting for Christmas. I’ll be back on New Year’s Eve with my ‘best of’ list for the year. I may finish off that weekend with some resolutions, but that will depend on whether or not I feel like coming back to my computer at that point. Reviews will return January 3rd, although there may be some changes.

So what am I going to be doing if not blogging? Well, for starters I’m actually working the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, so boo to that. Plus, we will have a bunch of family in town. Somewhere in there, though, I will also be reading. And since I won’t be thinking about getting things reviewed before the end of the year, I figure that I can read pretty much whatever I want, so I started gathering some of the books I really wanted to read:

Yes, there are 23 24 books up there. Evidently I fail at reasonable goals, since this represents about a week and 1/2 I have to read – during which I will be working and have a ton people to socialize with. But still, if I could just Drop Everything And Read, these are the books I would make a point to get to.

And, if you’re curious, here is a list of the books pictures, roughly left to right (the books are piled up there in no particular order). I’ve already started reading some of these, so I’ll try to cross off what I finish as I get to it:

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
The Thirteenth Tale
by Diane Setterfield (reread)
Amberville by Tim Davys
Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy
A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate
You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon
America Pacifica by Anna North
Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotry
Galore by Michael Crummey
Kindred by Octavia Butler
Godmother by Carolyn Turgeon (reread)
Inventing George Washington by Edward G. Lengel
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah
Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love
by Andrew Schaffer
The Forever Queen by Helen Hollick
The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Late addition, not pictured:

A Thousand Rooms of Dreams and Fear by Atiq Rahimi

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