22 November 2013

This Girl's Wish List 2013

Many a night was spent sprawled out on my family's living room coiled rag rug dog-earring pages from the annual Sears Christmas Wish Book.  That puppy by the time good ole' St. Nick made it's trek to our Christmas Tree, was in tatters, with the Barbie/Star Wars pages blurred unrecognizable by sticky little frantic fingers. Like most Canadian children, my brother and I set our lists and future play happiness from what we discovered in that tome of wonder. The Big Guy and Sears must have had quite the partnership, I wonder who received the royalties, Santa or Sears? Either way, hands down, it was a win-win.


Now that I am grown, less in mind than in body (forever 8 at heart) I wish I could flip through an adult version of the Wish Book and obviously (NOT booze, but good guess) tag my books for the coming year. Once completed would then leave the book lying haphazardly in the path (draped over his face while sleeping should do the trick) of a certain gift buying husband. Like Sears and Santa, a win win for our family too. With the internet and the ability to shop, gift, share, wish, harass and ship any single thing you could desire the Wish Book has become a child-hood tangible memory. With the memory looping in my head like an earworm, I can't help but post my Wish Book List and maybe influence a certain hubby and even yourself. You too must have a list and or have a list you need to buy for.

Is it necessary for me to qualify why this is on my reading list?  The Ocean At The End Of The Lane is by Neil Gaiman. Although I have yet to explore his highly acclaimed Sandman graphic novel series (one of my many skeletons in the closet) I am a huge fan of his novels. American Gods, coming first to mind is an exploration into the workings of religion and it's place in current times. American Gods is the baby that Twin Peaks and Fifth Business would have procreated. Weird, full of allegories and am hoping when I read The Ocean At The End of The Lane I it too takes me into a world that wraps me in mysticism.

I purchased Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell for my Mom the year it came out, leaving it with her in a Mexican, sea-side RV park never to see again. I regret to this day not reading it before gifting it to her. Of all the books on my little list it is this one that I expect to cherish the most. Not the smartest knife in the draw at times, it is only this past year that I figured out that I really, really like space opera and really, really, really like books about magic. Funny how you don't know a person, especially when that person is yourself.


I don't know about you, but there is nothing like a six- hundred page historical account to make you feel all cosy inside. Having pined after and yet to squeeze the time in to read Paris 1919:  Six Months that Changed the World, I feel I am now significantly rested and ready to take on both. Plus, when done, I have the perfect books to press summer flowers in. Margaret MacMillan, renowned history prof, dives into the melee that is pre-war Europe trying to uncover and properly express the quagmire that resulted in WWI, the war that to this day, shapes our world for the better and the worse in her new book The War That Ended Peace. I cannot wait.


Trilogies are a bitch. Reading one, results in reading book two which results in reading book three. A scientific law, trilogies are one of the Laws of Physics or Thermodynamics or is it Gravity, quantified as a force of nature. It takes effort and commitment from readers, making us all impatient weirdos waiting for the next book to be published. With MaddAddam out, I find myself reluctantly ready. Atwood's trilogy is not a funny romp, it paints quite the disturbing post-apocalyptic future with chapters of violence that haunts me today. I am not really selling this, am I? My point is while this may not be the best book to read during the holidays, it is a triumph of a series, one that captures the brilliance that is Margaret Atwood.


Finally, Allegiant, the third (see what I mean, force of nature) in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth is here and apparently has raised quite a bit of hullabaloo. Being on a self-enforced library-only policy, I haven't been able to add this to my collection and thus am hoping to receive it as a gift. Dripping with heart-ache, first love drama that seems to accompany most YA (young adult) novels, The Divergent series takes the drama of teen-land, and places it firmly in an authoritarian future in which humanity is defined not by blood but factions. If you liked The Hunger Games, read this series, you will find a more original theme, controlled with better writing and tighter editing.