Thursday, November 10, 2016

Holding The Line

"At this time of year our thoughts turn to gift-giving. Which four books would you buy for a person of type X?"

I wrote a blog full of Steinbeck, Kafka, Morrison, Atwood, Heller and angry despair yesterday, after the heartbreak of Tuesday night. I couldn't see my way clear to thinking about suitable Christmas presents for Auntie Morag or Wee Hamish.

Then last night, I realised that three books I had already bought and stashed away in the spare room for my real nieces and nephews this Christmas are essential stories.

1. The Day The Crayons Quit. by Drew Daywalt. (Ages 3-7) A great empathy primer and an introduction to the power of organised labour to bring about change.

2. Mother Bruce, by Ryan T Higgins. (Ages 5-8) An unconventional family (Mummy is a male bear and the kids are geese) full of love and laughter. Genuine out-loud laughs.

3. The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin. (Ages 0-3) A parent's wish for a new life - full of love, unbounded dreams and deep kindness.

4. I'm going to add Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, which I'll be tucking in a stocking or two this December. If you haven't read it, it's a brilliant, clarifying and readable account of contemporary American justice, with a lightbulb-moment analogy I won't spoil.


Art Taylor said...

Good stuff here, Catriona. I've been reading everyone's posts this week but have been slow to comment--much else distracting, as I'm sure is the case with many people, of course. But appreciated these recommendations--both the lightness of the first three and then the last one for different reasons too.

Cathy Ace said...

Thanks for this post, Catriona - excellent choices :-)

Unknown said...

A ray of light... thanks Catriona.

colleen said...

Thanks for these reviews! I have just finished, How to Cook a Moose by Kate Christensen and loved the story and the recipes. Not crime I know, but maybe a crime not to try it?

Susan C Shea said...

Makes me wish I still had little ones to shop for. Maybe I need the crayon book myself these days!

Ann in Rochester said...

Catriona my love, thanks for this list. It's hard for me to contemplate anything other than the debacle of Tuesday too. I do have a dear book to add to your list. It's called The Book With No Puctures by B. J. Novak, possibly the best ever for a pre-schooler I had the pleasure of reading it to my grandson Connor last month. He assures me it is the best book ever written. But then he hasn't read one of yours yet. Xox