Pick of the Month, December 2008


Silks by Dick Francis and Felix Francis, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, $25.95

A barrister/amateur jockey is stalked by a sadistic killer in an effort to force him to lose a murder case. In this second collaboration with his son, they have another winner. I am looking forward to many more novels by them.


2008 Christmas with Southern Living: Great Recipes - Easy Entertaining - Festive Decorations - Gift Ideas, Oxmoor House, $20.95

This beautiful guide offers tip from original door decorations to an unusual advent garland. The 140 recipes are easy to follow and tempting - Pasta and Greens Torte, Collards with Bacon and Onions, Whipped Cream Caramel Cake.


Angels Among Us by Leena Lane, illustrated by Elena Baboni, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, $17.00, ages 5-10

Stories of angels continue to fascinate young and old. This book is a collection of 12 stories of angels as they appear to Moses, Mary, and other mortals.

Specialty/Small Press

William B. Eerdmans Publisher was founded in 1910 and initially specialized in theological works. Now it published a wide variety of nonfiction and fiction and nonfiction for young readers. Among its critically acclaimed books is the novel Secrets of the House of Delgado by Gloria D. Miklowitz


Devastating floods hit Iowa in June and July, 2008, impacting most of the state. Many people are still homeless and living in shelters. To them, this will be a bleak Christmas. Cedar Rapids was particularly hard it, it excellent central library of more than 200,000 books a total loss. It will take two to three years before a new library is built, and FEMA aid provides no money for replacing books. Author Ed Gorman has volunteered to help raise funds for the library, a project proposed by Mystery Cat Books (112 32nd St. SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403, Phone 319-363-2179). The bookstore agreed to be delivery site for contributions. They need donations of books in good condition. If sending a check, make it out to “Friends of the Cedar Rapids Library.” List of agencies seeking much needed donations to flood victims can be found at www.flood2008.iowa.gov


Ten Best Christmas Films (in alphabetic order)

The Bishop’s Wife (1947), Gary Grant & Loretta Young         It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), James Steward & Donna Reed

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)                                        Miracle on 34th Street (1947), Maureen O’Hara

A Christmas Carol (1951), Alestair Sim                                  The Polar Express (2004), Tom Hanks

A Christmas Story (1983), Peter Billingsley                            Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Margaret O’Brien & Judy Garland

Home Alone (1990), Macaulay Culkin                                     White Christmas (1954), Bing Crosby

Others suggested: Christmas Cottage (2007), Peter O’Toole   Ladybirds’ Christmas (2003)

Home Alone2: Lost in New York (1992), Macaulay Culkin      Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer: The Movie (1998)

Shurik at age 4 with his father, mother, paternal grandmother, and sister Johanna Elvine on farm in Vatsla, Saue Parish.


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Manor house (Friedrichshof) in Saue Parish, early classical architecture, built in 1786. www.manor.ee