Issue of December 19, 2010

Because we are heading into the final week of the Christmas holiday  and because we know that things are getting hectic for you, we went all out in making sure that this issue would be a particularly fine one. So settle back and enjoy this week’s new columns which, we hope, give you some relaxation along with good reading.

With Christmas only days away now your shopping should be mostly done. But if you are waiting to see what the last in the Booklovers’ and Readers’ Gift Guide series has, wait no more. Lauren Roberts completed it in time to begin her holiday dinner shopping and her own celebration preparations, and wishes you a Merry Christmas!

As a lifelong fan of Sports Illustrated Pete Croatto nearly fell over himself accepting when he was contacted about reviewing two new books from them. But the thrill melted into a lukewarm puddle upon receeiving them. They are not bad, he says, and and there is certainly good but his overall reaction? See for yourself in (Un)Welcome Surprises.

Being grateful at this time of the year usually refers to gifts, relationships, work, and other in-the-moment things. David G. Mitchell reminds us that gratitude for past times and past sacrifices of others, especially the ultimate one, is one worth offering as well in Never to Forget.

Why do people visit writers’ homes?  What do they hope to find there? Lev Raphael reviews a witty memoir/travelogue that takes us into famous and not-so-famous writers homes across the country, with surprising results. Even better, he gets to chat with the entertaining and erudite young author who makes her own home in the world of books in Writers’ Homes, Readers’ Castles?

A book that must read based solely on the cover? Yes, says Gillian Polack, and to make her unusual venture interesting (to BibllioBuffet readers) she decided to write down “my thoughts as and when they happen” as she read her way through the book in Reading a Book in Twenty-Four Hours: The Greyfriar.

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