Shopping’s done, wrapping’s done, parties are done, school is done, cards are almost done (they’ll be a few days late, but I’ve come to terms with it.  Please have your obligatory-reciprocal card ready to send to me.)

About this time every year, I actually start to enjoy Christmas, when I can finally sit down, draw breath, and take it all in.  The tree, the lights, the decor–it’s all so much prettier when my to-do list is completed.  I’ve now reached the point of the season where I have to concede, as I do every year, that Christmas is actually a pretty good idea.  I have to concede, in fact, that I absolutely love it.

And the best part?  Now that my evenings will no longer be spent standing in line at Costco (I’ll miss you, hot dog/soda combo), I’m thinking-hoping-praying that I may just have a little time at night for, well,  you-know-what: a good book.  (Sorry, hon.)

And I mean a good book.  That’s where you come in.  Can you recommend something fabulous for me to read this winter break?  I’ve read several books over the last several months and every one of them was so blase, I can’t remember any of the titles.  Maybe I’m just getting mush-minded in my middle age, but so little seems to grip me anymore.  I know there’s moving and memorable books out there, I just can’t seem to track them down.  I’m looking for something of the Thousand Splendid Suns/History of Love/Atonement variety: epoch, sweeping, romantic, heartbreaking, and above all, beautifully written.  My reading time is so limited these days, I want to make sure I spend it wisely.  Will you help me?  I will act on any recommendation you give, with one condition:  that whatever you suggest is more literary than this blog.  I’m thinking that won’t be a problem.

In return for your book recommendation, may I share a last minute music recommendation?  I’ve never been a big MoTab fan, but I came across this today and for five minutes it took me out of my kitchen into another world.  Finally, an underrepresented Christmas carol sung the way it should be.  Grab a tissue and enjoy.  And have a merry, merry Christmas.