Issue of December 18, 2011

We wish all of our readers a peaceful, calm, and safe holiday season; nothing is worth your health and peace of mind. Therefore, we encourage you to make time for yourself, and live only up to your expectations.

Only a few more days of holiday shopping remain, and Lauren Roberts shares her final selections of gifts—this time in the price category of $1,000 to near infinity. Join her for the final version of the Literary Gift Guide, Part 5.

For many people, the holiday season means shopping or decorations. For Nicki Leone, it means comfort food, and along with her visiting mom she has been dipping into cookbooks and old family recipes. The result? Food plus Sauerkraut-Inspired Memories.

Bookmarks follow the seasons too, and this week Lauren Roberts re-visits one of the most exquisite of her collection, a marvelous silk beauty used an advertising/memorial device in Compliments of the Season.

There’s a new kid on the JA block: Jane Austen Made Me Do It, an entertaining anthology of new stories inspired by the famed author’s life and work. Lev Raphael reviews it and interviews the witty editor, a well-known Austen blogger in A Jane Austen Christmas.

There’s lots of discussion about the evolution of books and the e-book in particular. But what do you suppose might have happened to bedtime reading before the last revolution—the one from which the modern day codex is derived—took place? Elizabeth Creith fantasizes, then gives thanks for today’s versions in Midnight Rambles.

Holidays mean get-togethers with challenging family members who provoke “a roll of the eyes, a sigh, and a groan” rather than best wishes. Katherine Hauswirth finds company in the month of crazy in two books, a novel and a memoir that show “how perhaps in many families there is some silver lining alongside the lunatic fringe” in The Crazy Streak.

That favorite Christmas poem, The Night Before Christmas has taken a bit of a twist in Lauren Roberts’ hands becoming with Santa and his “reindeer” making an appearance in ‘Twas That Night Before Christmas.

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