Reading is alive and thriving…

I live in Phoenix and drive my own car to get to the places I need to, it takes way too long from where I live to get to most places riding the bus (to get to school I would have to change buses at least three times). That being said, I don’t spend a lot of time observing people on their commutes to work (cursing at taillights does not count) but I just got back from a trip to Washington DC where I rode the Metro to most places. I have to admit I was amazed at the number of individuals reading books or ebooks while riding the train. I loved it!

I have figured out a downside to people reading ebooks on their various devices, I can’t tell what they are reading! I am nosy. I admit it, I want to know what others are reading. Are they reading a heavy tome to impress others or are they reading a fun mystery? I want to know these things! And I can’t do it without being obvious that I am reading over their shoulders. So those of you who ride public transportation regularly, how do you figure out what others are reading? Or do you even care and I am only nosy one out there?

Christmas Festivities

I know I usually post today and I am scheduled to post my books-to-movie report on The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, however, I have been having so much fun with my family that I didn’t get it finished in time so I will post is later this week but tomorrow the regular reviews will be posted. I hope you all had a great time this holiday season and were on Santa’s nice list.

Books as Christmas Gifts

When I was growing up I had one aunt who always gave me a book for special occasions, I knew that come my birthday or Christmas a wrapped book would be coming in the mail for me (she was in the military and lived overseas for most of my younger years).  I would eagerly await the arrival of the wrapped book, sometimes early sometimes late but always right around the occasion. This aunt became my “Book Aunt”, she introduced me to such great books as The Chronicles of Narnia, A Wrinkle in Time, and Jane Eyre. When I got older she introduced me to Johanna Lindsey, Julia Quinn and she furthered my collection of Georgette Heyers.

Now that I am an aunt, I find myself getting books for my nephews and niece. They are all still young and unable to read for themselves yet, but I get them book for every special occasion, essentially becoming the Book Aunt. It is amazing how excited I get to share the books I loved as a child with them.  This year especially has become a book giving year, I have autographed copied of the latest thriller for my father and father-in-law, one of my favorite YAs of 2010 for my best friend and a gift card for my hubby to purchase books that he wants.

I admit that there is some trepidation with giving books, are they going to like it? Will they hate a book that I love and be afraid to tell me the truth? Or, even worse, am I so far off the mark from their tastes that they would never read this book in a million years?

But, there is something about giving something that I hope will bring them hours of pleasure that gets me excited! This is the second Christmas that I have my Kindle and I find myself asking for gift cards to Amazon so I can get the books I want on it.  My in-laws don’t understand how big my love of books is and think that a gift card isn’t as exciting as opening a present on Christmas morning, I have tried to explain to them that the knowledge that the money is there for me to use when I find that next book that I can’t live without is great!

So what about you? Do you give books as Christmas gifts? Do you like to receive books as gifts?

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham Review

Imagine skipping Christmas, just for one year! No Christmas tree, no cards, no parties, no tree. Now, meet the Kranks in Skipping Christmas by John Grisham. Mr. Luther Krank is a cranky and penny pinching accountant at a prestigious firm. Mrs. Nora Krank, a loving mother to Blair, and a volunteer for numerous associations. Now, Blair Krank, a happy Peace Corp volunteer, heading for the deep jungles of Peru for a year.

With Blair leaving for a year, Mr. Krank convinces his wife to skip Christmas, just for one year. They deal with neighbors, television reporters and friends who don’t exactly agree with this. Mr. Krank looks through his receipts and finds that last year the spent roughly $6,500.00 on Christmas. He points out that if they skipped Christmas and went on a cruise instead, his wife would save a lot of headache. She wouldn’t have to send out cards, buy gifts for people she doesn’t even like, and she wouldn’t have to try and give away the fruit cake that she hates so much. John Grisham does a fabulous job of making you rethink the whole idea of Christmas. Skipping Christmas definatley has a lot of Christmas spirit in it, even with the Kranks trying to get away with giving nothing, and receiving nothing.

I have to say, I like the thought of skipping Christmas. I know my husband would really like it, but being the parents of three children, the oldest of which is 5, it’s hard to do away with it. I am the “Grinch” of my family! For Christmas one year, my mom gave me a grinch backpack. It is still my favorite bag to carry through the holidays! I don’t like to spend money! I’m not creative when it comes to gifts or decorations! I don’t like to decorate, because it means I have to take them back down and put them away in less then a month. To give you a clue, we got our first Christmas tree EVER last year. My husband and I have been married for 8 years now. Yeah, we don’t do holidays. But, as my kids get older, the more we both enjoy Christmas morning and seeing the excitement in my 19 year old sister’s eyes, and my kids’ eyes. We have so many traditions that my mom started when we were young, and we still continue with them, even though she passed away 3 years ago. Once you put aside all the craziness of the holiday, and concentrate on what Christmas is all about, and seeing your kids get so into it, it’s hard not to enjoy it. Maybe, some day, my husband and I will go on a cruise instead of celebrating Christmas, but for now, we’ll enjoy the hectic holiday with our wonderful family.

You can read an excerpt here.

Rating:

Title: Skipping Christmas

Author: John Grisham

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 208

ISBN:978-0440422976

Publisher: Bantam

Release Date: October 2010

Available for purchase: Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble

Reviewer: Jocee