This week’s issue is unusual in that you’ll find the contributors have written all over the map. From somber to thoughtful, hilarious to poignant, each review or essay or story offers a thoughtful, take on the issues of family, relationships, self-perception and holiday expectations.
With Christmas rapidly approaching, the time for shopping is coming to a close. Lauren Roberts’s list of links to literary gifts, the final in her 2009 series, draws to a close with more shopping suggestions (though you’d better hurry), in Shopping—the Final Week.
Nicki Leone recently found herself facing a startling and disturbing reminder of the worst terrorist incident in our country when, while listening to a playlist on her new iPod, her own voice came at her with “an earlier, younger and grieving version” of herself trying to talk about books in the aftermath of 9/11 in Voice from the Past . . . My Own.
Mark Bastable returns to BiblioBuffet with a hilarious short story designed to put the snark in your Christmas and a smile on your face in Granny Vents. You tell us whether you want this granny in your life.
Lindsay Champion’s most recently read memoir had an unusual aspect: it wasn’t written by the memoirist but by her daughter because the subject was not only unable to read or write but died eight years before the book was published. And though the daughter’s eyes and experiences may have overlaid her mother’s perceptions, the lesson taken away by both writer and reviewer is that strengths are to be shared and the rest . . . well, the rest may not much matter. Read about it in My Mother’s Story.
Dystopian novels are becoming an increasingly popular subgenre in the young adult market where adults are also often seeking them out. They’re not new—books like Brave New World and Animal Farm also fit the description—but these new books offer the opportunity to simultaneously wallow in the terribleness of today’s world and feel uplifted by the idea that it, painful as it is, can be better than the novel’s world. Or so says Lauren Baratz-Logsted in Ah, Dystopia! (And don’t forget: you have the opportunity to win a copy of each of Lauren Baratz-Logsted’s first four books in her Sisters 8 series. These are for readers ages 6-10.)
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa to all!