AS I WAS SAYING. . .
CHRISTMAS SHOPAHOLIC by Sophie Kinsella (Dial). A full-length Kinsella, 400+ pages. It's all about Christmas, and all about her character Becky Bloomwood (as she was—Becky …
AS I WAS SAYING. . .
CHRISTMAS SHOPAHOLIC by Sophie Kinsella (Dial). A full-length Kinsella, 400+ pages. It's all about Christmas, and all about her character Becky Bloomwood (as she was—Becky Brandon, now, married and a mother), and it's very much a family novel—not only Becky's little family but her big and increasingly complicated original one, who are gathering for Christmas in London.
LOUIS LAMOUR'S LOST TREASURES, Vol. 2 with Beau L'Amour (Bantam). A handsome big book, mostly but not only for fans of this author, or of fiction of the American “wild west.” Or—of writing, in general. Louis L'Amour (he died in 1989) wasn't a cowboy or a gunslinger—what he was, was a writer, to the bone, and this is more than 500 big pages of a big writer's real-life work—not all in the American West, or even America—his thoughts about it, his drafts and revisions, including some complete passages and stories and some failures and blind alleys. He's a charming and thoughtful guy, doing work that can be fascinating to talk about and to eavesdrop on. Beau L'Amour is his son and executor.
A MRS. MIRACLE CHRISTMAS by Debbie Macomber (Ballantine).
OWL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS by Donna Andrews (Minotaur).
Two Christmas stalwarts, both of them announcing their intentions clearly with their titles, and both living up to them beautifully. The column hasn't covered every single one of either author's books but we've never known either to disappoint. The Andrews is a standard-format slightly comic mystery in her Meg Langslow series. The Macomber just needs no introduction beyond the title; it is, as always with this author in this season, a compact hardcover at just $20.
A CUP OF HOLIDAY FEAR: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander (St. Martin's). A “rack-size” paperback, and a full-length mystery novel—the tenth in this cozy series. It would not only fit in a stocking hanging with care, it'd be a decent place to start a good series, if you haven't. It's a good mystery, and the food—well, it isn't like having it in baking pans before you, but wonderfully described—it'll make you hungry.
AND TWO BEAUTIFUL PRODUCTIONS—YOU'LL KNOW WHICH GOES TO WHOM. . .
DOWNTON ABBEY: THE OFFICIAL FILM COMPANION by Emma Marriott (St. Martin's).
THE MAKING OF OUTLANDER (THE SERIES): THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO SEASONS THREE & FOUR by Tara Bennet (Delacorte).
The Downton Abbey book ($30) follows more than one companion volume related more directly to the series, and lives up to them; full color on every page. The Outlander ($50) is every bit as rich, and bigger—needs a shelf space a full inch deeper and taller—or, just demands a coffee table. Both generous, intelligent books, with real insights into the production of these tremendously popular screen stories.
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