Thursday, December 23, 2010
Happy Holiday to You - Judith Arnold
Giving gifts to others is delightful, of course. Hunting down—or stumbling upon—the perfect gift for a loved one is gratifying, and witnessing the recipient’s joy when he or she opens the gift is a thrill. Being on the receiving end is fun, too. Sometimes the gift-givers get it right and give you something that captures your personality or satisfies a yearning. Or at least makes you smile.
However, I’m the only female in a family full of boys, and the odds of any of them guessing exactly what I want are pretty slim. They generally know they won’t go wrong by giving me some high-quality chocolate, but even I have a limit of how much Godiva I can handle. Jewelry? My husband is quite generous, but he says, “Since it’s so expensive, you really ought to pick it out yourself. I’d hate to spend all that money on a bracelet you don’t like.” Grooming items? Forget it. None of my boys—husband or sons—would be caught dead browsing in the perfume department.
Music? My sons have given me CD’s by artists I’d never listened to before, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised and happy to add these new musicians to my list of favorites. But unless I hint loudly (“I’d love that Alison Krauss-Robert Plant CD, in case you were wondering...”), they won’t give me the album I’ve been dreaming of.
And here is my holiday advice for you: get yourself a book. Get yourself several. Give yourself the gift of hours of reading pleasure. Give yourself a trip to another era or another country. Give yourself some new fictional friends to learn about and fall in love with.
Cry Uncle is a comic caper about an architect running from a hit man, a bartender trying to gain permanent custody of his orphaned niece, and the marriage of convenience they enter into so the architect can hide her identity and the bartender can present himself as a proper, stable married man. The book was optioned for a movie when it came out (alas, as with the vast majority of film options, no movie was ever made) and received a 4½-star rave review from Romantic Times.
Safe Harbor is a lyrical story about two childhood friends whose families summered on Block Island, and whose friendship is torn asunder when first one and then the other experience trauma and tragedy. Years later, they both wind up back on Block Island, hoping to heal and in the process learning to trust and to love again. This book was a RITA Award finalist when it originally came out.
So indulge yourself. Give yourself the gift you want. Hint for the chocolate, the jewelry, the music, the perfume—and get yourself some wonderful books. Happy holidays!
Judith Arnold is the author of more than eighty-five books. You can learn more about her and find easy links to her e-books at her website, http://www.juditharnold.com/.