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Chapter 43 - Just In Time For Christmas

I don't know about you but I start making Christmas lists early. We are past the days of children or even grandchildren (except for 1) having specific wishes for presents. Dave and I have found that checks seem to be the right size for most of our family members and, to be fair, it does lessen the wrapping and mailing process considerably. Yeah, so writing checks for Christmas is good for the environment! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Anyway, the Christmas list I'm talking about is books that come out right before Christmas which I am interested in and feel compelled to buy or otherwise get my hands on. I have to admit, I may have at some time in the past, bought myself books, wrapped them, put them under the tree and told Dave they are from him. Hey, we are both happy when this happens!

Here are some books which have made my list this year.

The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon - The story takes place in Maine in 1789 when a man is found in the frozen Kennebec River. Midwife Martha Ballard is summoned to take a look at the body. As a midwife and healer she is well aware of what goes on behind closed doors in the community. A few months back, Martha became aware of an alleged rape which was committed by a pillar of the town who just happens to be the man frozen in the river. So the story and mystery begin. Sounds like a great book for an El Nino winter!

The Other Mothers by Katherine Faulkner - A young nanny is found dead and new mother Tash sees the incident as a way to launch her career as a freelance journalist. She also is looking to make friends with the other mothers in her son's playgroup. As she gets accepted in their group of fine townhouses, cocktails, and privilege she finds that there is more to "the other mothers" than what meets the eye.

Welcome Home, Stranger by Kate Christensen - Summoned home after the death of her mother, environmental journalist, Rachel has shunned her working class New England family for years. As she deals with her mother's estate and sometimes funny, sometimes sad, siblings, Rachel comes to terms with her past and the sorrow she still seems to carry.

We Must Not Think of Ourselves by Lauren Grodstein - This is a World War II story but one which I had no knowledge of. In the Warsaw ghetto in 1940, Adam Paskow, an imprisoned Jew, is approached by a man asking him to join a group of archivists who are working to preserve the truth of what is happening. The book is based on a testimony gathering project with the code name Oneg Shabbat. I'm thinking your favorite historical fiction reader would love this!

The Kingdom of Sweets by Erika Johansen - This is a retelling of The Nutcracker with Clara, her sister Natasha, and an evil godfather Herr Drosselmeyer. This is a fantasy with strong notes of good, evil, and how far someone would go to protect those they love. Sounds perfect for Christmas!

November 1942: An Intimate History of the Turning Point of World War II by Peter Englund - As you know I am a big fan of history and historical fiction both. Englund's book starts out at the beginning of the month when it looked quite probable that the Axis powers would win the war. His narrative includes voices from the writings of soldiers as well as ordinary citizens. The perfect read for your history buff friend!

Anything on your Christmas list as either a gift to someone else or yourself? Please share!


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