Happy Holidays! Picture taken at the Christmas tree in the Castro.
When Christmas carols were within earshot last night on the street, it occurred to me that readers have their traditions too. With just a week left in 2012, and Christmas celebrations and festivities descending upon me, I doubt I will get to all these books but I’ll share the list anyway.
Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski. Hilary Wainwright, poet and intellectual, is enduring a grim wartime Christmas at his stiflingly suburban mother’s house when a Frenchman, Pierre, turns up to give him news of the small son that he had to leave in occupied France. After the war, Hilary returns to a blasted and impoverished France in order to trace the child.
Dickens at Christmas by Charles Dickens. It is said that Charles Dickens invented Christmas, and within these pages you’ll certainly find all the elements of a quintessential traditional Christmas brought to vivid life. Nuff said.
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. This is the story of Hig, his dog Jasper, and his plane, as they discover life after the end of the world. Since the end of the world didn’t happen, I can now put this book back on my list.
Hawthorn & Child by Keith Ridgway. A few people have recommended this book to me. This is a detective novel in which the mysteries of people’s lives threaten to overshadow mysteries born of criminal activity. The crime that gives the novel its initial momentum fades away like the half-glimpsed vintage car, never to reappear.
The Lighthouse by Alison Moore. A debut novel from a high-achieving independent publisher, The Lighthouse has surprised some observers with its place on the Man Booker Prize shortlist. Disquieting, deceptive, crafted with a sly and measured expertise, Alison Moore’s story could certainly deliver a masterclass in slow-burn storytelling to those splashier literary celebs who take more pains over a pyrotechnic paragraph than a watertight plot.