Reader's Exchange

...And a squirrel in a live oak tree

I have elected not to heed the holiday gift suggestions from major advertisers (i.e., buy everyone on your shopping list a car, big-screen TV, or smartphone.) 

But here's a prime reading tip for you or for a guest who arrives at your house having already finished all his/her bestsellers while languishing in airports.  Stef Penney's The Tenderness of Wolves is a wonderful find.  Penney's forthcoming The Invisible Ones is due out in January.  When reviewers find an author's second novel "mesmerizing" but still harken fondly back to the first novel, you know you have to get your hands on the earlier one--now.

The Tenderness of Wolves--Costa Award winner for 2006--represents wide appeal: a crime to solve, a historical, adventurous setting (1867 in Canada's Northern Territory); and the sort of accomplished prose and characterization that prompts you to pester your true love with "let me just read you a couple of lines."

And speaking of your true love, please consider my local interpretation of a classic holiday song.  For each traditional gift, I spotted a modern equivalent in our library catalog.  The Twelve Days of Christmas don't begin until December 25, but don't wait to come by or log on to enjoy your library:   

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to meChristmas tree made of books
Twelve drummers drumming
CD: Global Drum Project

Eleven pipers piping
Nonfiction book:  Highlander: The History of the Legendary Highland Soldier (or, Ultimate Guide to Plumbing: Complete Projects for the Home)

Ten lords a-leaping
DVD:  BBC Series The Tudors

Nine ladies dancing
Nonfiction book:  American Rose...The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee

Eight maids a-milking
Fiction book:  Moo: A Novel by Jane Smiley

Seven swans a-swimming
Fiction book or CD audio:  The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

Six geese a-laying
Children's book: Spinster Goose: Twisted Rhymes for Naughty Children

Five golden rings
Nonfiction:  The Green Bride Guide: How to Create an Earth-Friendly Wedding on any Budget

Four calling birds
Children's book:  Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

Three French hens
Nonfiction:  Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes

Two turtle doves
Fiction book:  Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

And a partridge in a pear tree
Library database:  Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia

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