Episode 111: Holidays

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Introduction

Welcome, everyone, to Books and Beverages! This week we are discussing Holidays! We love to celebrate, and take any opportunity to do so; and in this episode we look at all kinds of holidays and an associated book or two. We will all learn about new holidays and some new books – exploration and celebration is always fun!

We are the Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange, and we support all types of libraries. This is our book group podcast, where we discuss different genres of books each week, while we all sit in our comfy chairs and drink our beverages. And you are, of course, an important part of this book group. So if you do not already have a nice beverage please go get one, so you can join the experience.

Who is joining our reading group this week? This week we welcome back frequent book group guest Ariel Krist, from Great River Library System!

 

Beverages

We have guests, we have our genre. We just need our beverages. Fortunately, we all came prepared with something to sip while we talk about our books. Each week we like to connect the theme of our books with our beverages. Each beverage will have a recipe or a link on our episode page, so you can try them yourself!  Obviously, feel free to sip your coffee as you listen, or any other beverage you enjoy. Just join us in celebrating books, and discussing books!

Hot chocolate (2)

This week we have so many fun holidays to explore, as we wrap up the year here, that we cannot settle on just one to celebrate with a beverage. It’s really cold outside, and there are lots of great holidays at this time of the year; so we are all drinking hot chocolate! (A few of us might have some peppermint schnapps added, to give it a little extra flavor for our book discussion. You decide for yourself how you want to enjoy your hot chocolate, or other nice warm beverage!)

 

Books Discussed

Reading about holidays is a great way to explore new cultures, to add to your current celebrations, and to just general enjoy finding enjoying yourself with the fun of holidays! (Not all the holidays are positive and fun; but all are times to set aside your daily routine and to focus on some new ideas.) We are going to share a book suggestion for each of these holidays, with a variety of genres and age ranges represented, and all will be on our website in case you cannot take notes right now. We love to celebrate, and we love to read books; and this was so fun to assemble to this week’s discussion!

 

  • New Year’s Eve/Day

A Long Way Down, by Nick Hornby

Any book that opens with its four main characters accidentally choosing the same roof to jump from on New Year’s Eve is a book that really ought to be read every New Year’s Eve, possibly out loud as a new kind of holiday tradition. And since it’s a book by Nick Hornby, it’s also hilarious and satisfyingly plotted, as these people decide to postpone their suicide and the story unfolds unexpectedly from there. Read this any time you think your New Year’s experience is subpar; you’ll feel better.

 

  • Mardi Gras

Cake on a Hot Tin Roof (A Piece of Cake Mystery #2) by Jacklyn Brady

Pastry chef Rita Lucero’s Mardi Gras party turns funereal when one of her guests is found dead after a public fight with her uncle-leaving Rita no choice but to find the real killer and clear her uncle’s name…

 

  • Saint Valentine’s Day

Plum Lovin’ (Stephanie Plum #12.5)  by Janet Evanovich

Mysterious men have a way of showing up in Stephanie Plum’s apartment. When the shadowy Diesel appears, he has a task for Stephanie–and he’s not taking no for an answer. Annie Hart is a “relationship expert” who is wanted for armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Stephanie needs to find her, fast. Diesel knows where she is. So they make a deal: He’ll help her get Annie if Stephanie plays matchmaker to several of Annie’s most difficult clients. But someone wants to find Annie even more than Diesel and Stephanie. Someone with a nasty temper. And someone with “unmentionable” skills. Does Diesel know more than he’s saying about Annie Hart? Does Diesel have secrets he’s keeping from Stephanie and the two men in her life–Ranger and Morelli? With Stephanie Plum in over her head, things are sure to get a little dicey and a little explosive, Jersey style!

 

 

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Because They Marched By: Russell Freedman

 

Fifty years ago well-known civil rights leaders came together with other lesser known but key individuals in Selma, Alabama. Events leading to breaking down the barriers to voting rights for African Americans are detailed through strong images and moving, well-documented narrative

 

 

  • Groundhog Day (2 February in United States and Canada)

 

 

  • Darwin Day (12 February) Commemorates the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin to highlight Darwin’s contribution to science and to promote science in general.

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach

The best-selling author of Stiff and Bonk explores the irresistibly strange universe of space travel and life without gravity.

Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? have sex? smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour?

To answer these questions, space agencies set up all manner of quizzical and startlingly bizarre space simulations. As Mary Roach discovers, it’s possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA’s new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.

 

 

  • Presidents Day (Third Monday in February in United States; U.S. federal holiday). Honors the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln, by David Herbert Donald

A masterful work by Pulitzer Prize–winning author David Herbert Donald, Lincoln is a stunning portrait of Abraham Lincoln’s life and presidency.

Donald brilliantly depicts Lincoln’s gradual ascent from humble beginnings in rural Kentucky to the ever-expanding political circles in Illinois, and finally to the presidency of a country divided by civil war. Donald goes beyond biography, illuminating the gradual development of Lincoln’s character, chronicling his tremendous capacity for evolution and growth, thus illustrating what made it possible for a man so inexperienced and so unprepared for the presidency to become a great moral leader. In the most troubled of times, here was a man who led the country out of slavery and preserved a shattered Union—in short, one of the greatest presidents this country has ever seen.

 

 

  • Chinese New Year

Bringing In the New Year Board book by Grace Lin

In a brightly colored board book, perfect  for the youngest child, Newbery Honoree Grace Lin tells the tale of a Chinese American family as they prepare for the Lunar New Year. Each family member lends a hand as they sweep out the dust of the old year, hang decorations, and make dumplings. Then it’s time to celebrate. There will be fireworks and lion dancers, shining lanterns, and a great, long dragon parade at the end!

 

  • Casimir Pulaski Day is a local holiday officially observed in Chicago, Illinois on the first Monday of every March

Casimir Pulaski: Soldier on Horseback by David R. Collins

Casimir lived a short but active life–he was only fifteen when he took on Russian troops that attempted to conquer his homeland in the mid-1700s. When the invasion of Poland became inevitable several years later, he went to America to help the Colonists fight for their freedom from the dominating British monarchy. Young Casimir helped develop new cavalry units and fighting techniques, and eventually was recognized as one of the most important officers of the American Revolution. George Washington once said that Casimir was a true hero because he indiscriminately risked his life in the name of democracy. This biographical account of a young man’s struggle for freedom and liberty for all people is an admirable example of the democratic spirit.

 

  • Saint Patrick’s Day

How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill

From the fall of Rome to the rise of Charlemagne – the “dark ages” – learning, scholarship, and culture disappeared from the European continent. The great heritage of western civilization – from the Greek and Roman classics to Jewish and Christian works – would have been utterly lost were it not for the holy men and women of unconquered Ireland.

In this delightful and illuminating look into a crucial but little-known “hinge” of history, Thomas Cahill takes us to the “island of saints and scholars, ” the Ireland of St. Patrick and the Book of Kells. Here, far from the barbarian despoliation of the continent, monks and scribes laboriously, lovingly, even playfully preserved the west’s written treasures. With the return of stability in Europe, these Irish scholars were instrumental in spreading learning. Thus the Irish not only were conservators of civilization, but became shapers of the medieval mind, putting their unique stamp on western culture.

 

 

 

  • Holi

Here Comes Holi: The Festival of Colors, by Meenal Atul Pandya

Holi, one of the most colorful festivals celebrated through out India to welcome spring, is associated with many stories and tales. The story of Prahlad is, however, the most closely linked mythological story about Holi.

Here Comes Holi: The Festival of Colors is the story of a young prince Prahlad and his evil father King Hirnakasypu. The story as told to a boy in modern India, brings out the fun and festivity of Holi with its mythical significance.

 

 

  • Purim (Sometimes called the Festival of Lots; Deliverance of Jews in Persia from Haman)

The Mystery Bear: A Purim Story  by Leone Adelson

When Little Bear wakes up from hibernation and goes off in search of something to eat, the smells of a delicious feast draw him to a nearby house. The people inside are having a wonderful time and are delighted to welcome the stranger in a bear costume—after all, it’s Purim, when lots of people dress up! Little Itzik suspects that the stranger might actually be a real bear, but everyone else is having too much fun to pay attention to his warnings. The comical story and Naomi Howland’s bright, jolly illustrations capture the noisy and cheerful spirit of a favorite holiday,

 

 

  • April Fools’ Day

April Fool Dead (Death On Demand #13) by Carolyn G. Hart

Annie Darling, owner of Death on Demand Mystery Bookstore, Broward’s Rock Island, South Carolina, is planning a book signing for mystery writer Emma Clyde, but several of her promotions are sabotaged by a prankster. Then a teacher and one of her students are murdered, and the boneheaded police chief considers Annie a suspect. To clear herself, Annie sets out to solve the crimes, with help from her husband, Max.

 

  • Easter

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore

Verily, the story Biff has to tell is a miraculous one, filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes. Even the considerable wiles and devotion of the Savior’s pal may not be enough to divert Joshua from his tragic destiny. But there’s no one who loves Josh more—except maybe “Maggie,” Mary of Magdala—and Biff isn’t about to let his extraordinary pal suffer and ascend without a fight.

 

 

  • First Contact Day (5 April) (Day Vulcans establish first contact with humanity)

Star Trek: Discovery: Desperate Hours (Book #1 of Star Trek: Discovery ) by David Mack

An all-original novel based upon the explosive new series on CBS All Access

Aboard the Starship Shenzhou, Lieutenant Michael Burnham, a human woman raised and educated among Vulcans, is promoted to acting first officer. But if she wants to keep the job, she must prove to Captain Philippa Georgiou that she deserves to have it.

She gets her chance when the Shenzhou must protect a Federation colony that is under attack by an ancient alien vessel that has surfaced from the deepest fathoms of the planet’s dark, uncharted sea.

As the menace from this mysterious vessel grows stronger, Starfleet declares the colony expendable in the name of halting the threat. To save thousands of innocent lives, Burnham must infiltrate the alien ship. But to do so, she needs to face the truth of her troubled past, and seek the aid of a man she has tried to avoid her entire life—until now.

 

 

  • Patriot’s Day (Third Monday in April in Massachusetts and Maine, United States)

Paul Revere’s Ride  by David Hackett Fischer

In Paul Revere’s Ride, David Hackett Fischer has created an exciting narrative that offers new insight into the coming of the American Revolution. From research in British and American archives, the author unravels a plot that no novelist would dare invent – a true story of high drama and deep suspense, of old-fashioned heroes and unvarnished villains, of a beautiful American spy who betrayed her aristocratic British husband, of violent mobs and marching armies, of brave men dying on their doorsteps, of high courage, desperate fear, and the destiny of nations.

 

 

 

  • Earth Day (22 April) Celebrated in many countries as a day to cherish nature

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

“UNLESS someone like you…cares a whole awful lot…nothing is going to get better…It’s not.” Long before saving the earth became a global concern, Dr. Seuss, speaking through his character the Lorax, warned against mindless progress and the danger it posed to the earth’s natural beauty. His classic cautionary tale is now available in an irresistible mini-edition, perfect for backpack or briefcase, for Arbor Day, Earth Day, and every day.

 

  • Star Wars Day (4 May) “May the Fourth be with you”

The Princess Diarist, by Carrie Fisher

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a teenager with an all-consuming crush on her costar, Harrison Ford.

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes.  Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.

 

 

  • Cinco de Mayo (5 May in Mexico)

Marco’s Cinco de Mayo  Lisa Bullard

Marco loves the food, parades, and the fun of Cinco de Mayo. This year he’s one of the dancers. As he listens to the mariachi music, Marco thinks of the brave Mexicans at the first Cinco de Mayo. Find out the different things people do to celebrate this holiday!

 

  • Ramadan

It’s Ramadan, Curious George Board book  by H. A. Rey

It’s the first day of Ramadan, and George is celebrating with his friend Kareem and his family. George helps Kareem with his first fast and joins in the evening celebration of tasting treats and enjoying a special meal. Then, George helps make gift baskets to donate to the needy, and watches for the crescent moon with the man in the yellow hat. Finally George joins in the Eid festivities to mark the end of his very first Ramadan.
This playful tabbed board book, with a foil-stamped cover, makes a great holiday gift for all fans of Curious George—those who celebrate Ramadan, and those who are learning about it for the first time!

 

  • Mother’s Day

On the Night You Were Born, by Nancy Tillman

Now available in a board book edition, this special newborn story has become a classic for baby showers and Mother’s Day. Animals everywhere rejoice in the wonder of a new baby and Tillman’s rich, beautiful illustrations are the perfect complement to the heart-warming sentiment of a lifetime of love a parent feels for their child

 

 

  • Memorial Day

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and of course, the character Tim O’Brien who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three. They battle the enemy (or maybe more the idea of the enemy), and occasionally each other. In their relationships we see their isolation and loneliness, their rage and fear. They miss their families, their girlfriends and buddies; they miss the lives they left back home. Yet they find sympathy and kindness for strangers (the old man who leads them unscathed through the mine field, the girl who grieves while she dances), and love for each other, because in Vietnam they are the only family they have. We hear the voices of the men and build images upon their dialogue. The way they tell stories about others, we hear them telling stories about themselves.

 

 

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Seconds before Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together, this dynamic pair began a journey through space aided by a galaxyful of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed, ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian (formerly Tricia McMillan), Zaphod’s girlfriend, whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; and Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he’s bought over the years.

Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? For all the answers, stick your thumb to the stars!

 

 

  • Flag Day (14 June in the United States, 2 May in Poland)

Capture the Flag (Silver Jaguar Society Mysteries #1)

by Kate Messner

Three kids get caught up in an adventure of historic proportions!

Anna, José, and Henry are complete strangers with more in common than they realize. Snowed in together at a chaotic Washington D.C. airport, they encounter a mysterious tattooed man, a flamboyant politician, and a rambunctious poodle named for an ancient king. Even stranger, news stations everywhere have announced that the famous flag that inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner” has been stolen! Anna, certain that the culprits must be snowed in too, recruits Henry and José to help catch the thieves and bring them to justice.

But when accusations start flying, they soon realize there’s more than justice at stake. As the snow starts clearing, Anna, José, and Henry find themselves in a race against time (and the weather!) to prevent the loss of an American treasure.

 

  • Juneteenth (19 June) Official holiday in 14 states that commemorates the abolition of slavery in Texas (unofficial in 5 other US states)

Juneteenth  by Ralph Ellison

From Ralph Ellison–author of the classic novel of African-American experience, Invisible Man–the long-awaited second novel. Here is the master of American vernacular–the rhythms of jazz and gospel and ordinary speech–at the height of his powers, telling a powerful, evocative tale of a prodigal of the twentieth century.

Shot on the Senate floor by a young Black man, a dying racist senator summons an elderly Black Baptist minister from Oklahoma to his side for a remarkable dialogue that reveals the deeply buried secrets of their shared past and the tragedy that reunites them.

 

  • Father’s Day in the United States is on the third Sunday of June. It celebrates the contribution that fathers and father figures make for their children’s lives.

Me and My Dad!, by Alison Ritchie

Little Bear’s dad is simply the best! He wakes up his cub with a tickle on the nose and a kiss. Then the two spend a wonderful day together exploring, splashing through rain, and swimming in the river. At the end of the day, they snuggle together under the stars.

 

 

  • 4th of July

Independence Day, by Richard Ford

The Pulitzer-Prize Winning novel for 1996.In this visionary sequel to The Sportswriter, Richard Ford deepens his portrait of one of the most unforgettable characters in American fiction, and in so doing gives us an indelible portrait of America.Frank Bascombe, in the aftermath of his divorce and the ruin of his career, has entered an “Existence Period,” selling real estate in Haddam, New Jersey, and mastering the high-wire act of normalcy. But over one Fourth of July weekend, Frank is called into sudden, bewildering engagement with life.Independence Day is a moving, peerlessly funny odyssey through America and through the layered consciousness of one of its most compelling literary incarnations, conducted by a novelist of astonishing empathy and perception.

 

 

  • Labor Day or Labour Day (First Monday in September in the United States (federal holiday), and Canada, where it is known as Labour Day. Many European and South American countries however, celebrate Labour Day on 1 May)

Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job — any job — can be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, she worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing-home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She lived in trailer parks and crumbling residential motels. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly “unskilled,” that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort. She also learned that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you int to live indoors.

Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity — a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival. Read it for the smoldering clarity of Ehrenreich’s perspective and for a rare view of how “prosperity” looks from the bottom. You will never see anything — from a motel bathroom to a restaurant meal — in quite the same way again.

 

 

  • Halloween

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

A fast-moving, eerie…tale set on Halloween night. Eight costumed boys running to meet their friend Pipkin at the haunted house outside town encounter instead the huge and cadaverous Mr. Moundshroud. As Pipkin scrambles to join them, he is swept away by a dark Something, and Moundshroud leads the boys on the tail of a kite through time and space to search the past for their friend and the meaning of Halloween. After witnessing a funeral procession in ancient Egypt, cavemen discovering fire, Druid rites, the persecution of witches in the Dark Ages, and the gargoyles of Notre Dame, they catch up with the elusive Pipkin in the catacombs of Mexico, where each boy gives one year from the end of his life to save Pipkin’s.

 

 

  • Diwali (is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated every year in autumn in the northern hemisphere)

 

Diwali  by Nancy Dickmann

Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is celebrated for five days with various activities and food. Read about Diwali in this title that explains the significance of each day’s events and the meaning of this special holiday.

 

 

  • Guy Fawkes Night Day (5 November) In memory of the failed Gunpowder Plot by Guy Fawkes Celebrated in Great Britain and other countries of the commonwealth

Remember, Remember: A Cultural History of Guy Fawkes Day by J.A. Sharpe

In the early hours of November 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes, an English Catholic who had served with the Spanish army in Flanders, was discovered in a storeroom under the Palace of Westminster–and with him, thirty-six barrels of gunpowder earmarked to obliterate England’s royal family, top officials, and members of Parliament gathered for Parliament’s opening day. Had it succeeded, this Gunpowder Plot–a Catholic conspiracy against the recently crowned Protestant King James I and his government–English history would have been shaped by a terrorist act of unprecedented proportions.

Today Guy Fawkes–whose name has long stood for the conspiracy–is among the most notorious figures in English history; and Bonfire Night, observed every November 5th to memorialize the narrowly foiled Gunpowder Plot, is one of the country’s most festive occasions. Why has the memory of this act of treason and terrorism persisted for 400 years? In Remember, Remember James Sharpe takes us back to 1605 and teases apart the tangled web of religion and politics that gave rise to the plot. And, with considerable wit, he shows how celebration of that fateful night, and the representation of Guy Fawkes, has changed over the centuries.

 

 

  • Veteran’s Day Remembrance Day (11 November in Canada and other commonwealth nations)

The Junior Officers’ Reading Club: Killing Time and Fighting Wars by Patrick Hennessey

Hailed as a classic of war writing in the U.K., The Junior Officers’ Reading Club is a revelatory first-hand account of a young enlistee’s profound coming of age. Attempting to stave off the tedium and pressures of army life in the Iraqi desert by losing themselves in the dusty paperbacks on the transit-camp bookshelves, Hennessey and a handful of his pals from military academy form the Junior Officers’ Reading Club. By the time he reaches Afghanistan and the rest of the club are scattered across the Middle East, they are no longer cheerfully overconfident young recruits, hungering for action and glory. Hennessey captures how boys grow into men amid the frenetic, sometimes exhilarating violence, frequent boredom, and almost overwhelming responsibilities that frame a soldier’s experience and the way we fight today.

 

 

 

  • Thanksgiving

 

The Thanksgiving Visitor by Truman Capote

Another masterpiece by the great American writer, Truman Capote, is brought to an audience of all ages. Buddy and his closest friend, his eccentric elderly cousin, Miss Sook–the memorable characters from Capote’s A Christmas Memory–love preparing their old country house for Thanksgiving. But this year, there’s trouble in the air. Full color illustrations.

 

 

  • Winter solstice

Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America, by Margot Adler

Almost thirty years since its original publication, Drawing Down the Moon continues to be the only detailed history of the burgeoning but still widely misunderstood Neo- Pagan subculture. Margot Adler attended ritual gatherings and interviewed a diverse, colorful gallery of people across the United States, people who find inspiration in ancient deities, nature, myth, even science fiction. In this new edition featuring an updated resource guide of newsletters, journals, books, groups, and festivals, Margot Adler takes a fascinating and honest look at the religious experiences, beliefs, and lifestyles of modern America’s Pagan groups.

 

 

  • Festivus is both a parody and a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 as an alternative to the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season.

 

Festivus! The Book: A Complete Guide to the Holiday for the Rest of Us, by Mark R. Nelson

A humorous guide to the wackiest holiday introduced to modern society. Festivus! The Book is an up-to-date complete reference for anyone who celebrates Festivus or plans to join the fun. Learn all about the traditions of a Seinfeld-based Festivus and witness the nuances of the original Festivus, as celebrated by the O’Keefe family. See first-hand how Festivus is celebrated by others and receive plenty of advice and tips to aid in your own Festivus party plans.

What foods should be prepared? Is meatloaf preferred? Should you organize a wrestling match with your father? Are you too feeble for wrestling? What about arm wrestling or even thumb wrestling? How should you Air your Grievances? Maybe this is an opportunity to complain about Grandma’s clicking dentures… You’ll find great answers to all these questions, and more.

 

 

  • Hanukkah (Also spelled: Chanukah; the Festival of Lights or the Feast of Dedication)

Happy Hanukkah, Corduroy, by Don Freeman

Corduroy’s having a Hanukkah party for all of his friends. First they light the menorah, then they eat yummy potato pancakes. After they open presents, there’s time for a game of dreidel. Introduce little boys and girls to all of the Hanukkah traditions with Corduroy, one of the most beloved children’s books characters for the past five decades.

The Story of Hanukkah  by David A. Adler

No celebration of Hanukkah would be complete without recounting the events of more than two thousand years ago that the holiday commemorates. In a simple yet dramatic text and vibrant paintings, the story of the courageous Maccabees and the miracle that took place in the Temple in Jerusalem is retold. For readers who want to continue the festivities, a recipe for latkes and directions for playing dreidel are included.

 

  • Christmas

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

David Sedaris’s beloved holiday collection is new again with six more pieces, including a never before published story. Along with such favorites as the diaries of a Macy’s elf and the annals of two very competitive families, are Sedaris’s tales of tardy trick-or-treaters (Us and Them); the difficulties of explaining the Easter Bunny to the French (Jesus Shaves); what to do when you’ve been locked out in a snowstorm (Let It Snow); the puzzling Christmas traditions of other nations (Six to Eight Black Men); what Halloween at the medical examiner’s looks like (The Monster Mash); and a barnyard secret Santa scheme gone awry

 

  • Kwanzaa

Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story by Angela Shelf Medearis,

In an African village live seven brothers who make life miserable with their constant fighting. When their father dies, he leaves an unusual will: by sundown, the brothers must make gold out of seven spools of thread or they will be turned out as beggars.

 

 

 

Conclusion

Thank you so much for joining us for this discussion! We will be back next Tuesday with another genre, more book group hosts, and all kinds of books to share and discuss. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you don’t miss a single episode! And if you want to hear more about the work we do in libraries – which is surprisingly fun! – subscribe to our podcast Linking Our Libraries.

Bring your book ideas, bring your beverages, and join us back here for more book discussion next Tuesday!

 

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