Irreverent Adventure

"The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making" by Catherynne Valente is "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" for tweens, but is also recommended for adventurous adults who like British wit.

December Romances Worth Waiting For

Below are some pre-pub picks for December romances. You can reserve your copy now, then check out my recommendation while you wait!

Modern Fables

Fairy tales for older teens and adults. Urban fantasy. Metafiction. Fables can be a hard series to categorize, but once started, it is even harder to put down. Created and written by Bill Willingham, Fables is an ongoing comic published by DC Comics' Vertigo since 2002. The overarching storyline stars reinterpreted characters from legends and folklore escaping from "The Adversary" and traveling to Earth, forming communities in New York City and upstate New York.  Within each graphic novel, readers will be introduced to characters such as Snow White, who is divorcing Prince Charming because of his infidelity, or the Big Bad Wolf, who is their community's sheriff. Crisp and witty dialogue matches the beautiful artwork, which changes depending on the mood of a particular storyline.

Kinky Friedman Live in St. Louis

On December 2, Kinky Friedman will be appearing at Off Broadway in St. Louis. Mr. Friedman is a prolific writer, musician, and 2006 gubernatorial candidate in Texas. Over the past few years Friedman has gained notoriety for his outspoken political views and his cutting sense of humor, which he delivers through his books and web-based columns.

Bittersweet and 90 Proof

"Lorraine" by Lori McKenna is full of songs that tell the sad but sweet tale of an ordinary life. Lori McKenna is a singer songwriter with an emotionally charged voice. She can be considered a folk artist, but she has a heavy twang which makes her sound country. However, some of the songs on "Lorraine" have more of a pop sound like "You Get a Love Song" and "American Revolver."

Memories Light the Corners of My Mind

With the holidays approaching, it's all about memories. As you set around the dinner table, by the time you've finished dessert, you just may have some new ones.

Flashback Film Review: "Paper Moon"

The film "Paper Moon," although produced in the 1970s, was shot in black-and-white, thus transporting viewers back to the era in which it is set, the Great Depression, and rekindling the stark emotions of the time. Audiences may be surprised to find that while the story of an orphaned child, Addie, in the Depression era might not sound like a laugh-out-loud comedy, "Paper Moon" is a wonderfully witty road movie, whose charm still holds true some 30 years later. The story begins following the death of Addie's mother, a Midwest prostitute, who has been killed in a car accident. Moses, an acquaintance of Addie's mother - which one might read between the lines to mean more - agrees to take Addie to her Aunt's home in St. Joseph, Missouri. Here, the comedy begins.  Addie and Moses team up devising scams and attempting to swindle all of whom they encounter. While Addie is ostensibly a sweet child dealing with the grief of losing a parent, Moses soon discovers that she is also a talented con artist, perhaps an even greater one than himself.

Survival Skills

Colson Whitehead's novel "Zone One" might be called a zombie novel or post-apocalyptic fiction. But even those without interest in Armageddon scenarios or the undead will enjoy this thought-provoking book. In addition to presenting a gruesome picture of the aftermath of a worldwide catastrophe, it explores the survival techniques humans use to live with one another in good times and bad.

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