This is a Good Book Thanksgiving: You’re Gonna Need a Break Today

For those of you lucky enough to live somewhere where this holiday doesn’t happen, count your blessings.  I vaguely remember my family’s Thanksgivings before I got old enough to escape–lots of booze, leftover turkey, and yelling with football playing in the background–which I escaped by going into my bedroom, a book in one hand and pumpkin pie in the other.  For those of you stuck with it, tune out the relatives and get a good book.  

47 thoughts on “This is a Good Book Thanksgiving: You’re Gonna Need a Break Today

  1. I’m trying a new to me author, Juliana Gray, and her book is “A Most Extraordinary Pursuit.” I’m not sure yet if it is a mystery or a romance but the writing is terrific.

    For dessert, I have the newest Charley Davidson paranormal, “The Trouble with Twelfth Grave” by Darynda Jones. Charley’s the Grim Reaper and her sweetie is the son of the Lord of Hell. There are cosmic complications.

  2. As a child my job was to pluck the pin feathers off Ye Olde Bird. I think that’s my first memory of Thanksgiving.
    There was a discussion earlier this week about chapter titles. Well low and behold yesterday I started reading a book that the chapters start with a date and a timeline. Coincidence, I don’t think so. Anyway the book is An Innocent Client by Scott Pratt about a criminal defense attorney, his work, family and other characters. I’ll see how it plays out.

  3. I read ‘The Lark’, a book for adults by E. Nesbit – I didn’t know she’d written any adult books. No magic, but a cosy read and I’m always interested in the social history you pick up – it was published in 1922 and involves people recovering from the First World War and the spread of suburban London. Two very sheltered young girls suddenly have to make their way in the world, and also bring a deserted house and garden back to life.

    Unfortunately, the story loses its way – the original serial format is very obvious. But her voice is fun – as it is in stories like ‘Five Children and It’.

    1. I loved Five Children and It when I was a child and I still like E. Nesbit’s books. When I was 12, in the spring of 1964, we got to visit Europe including England and Scotland. I was so thrilled to ride in a train with compartments with sliding doors and getting to taste ginger beer (too strong for me) among other amazing experiences. I loved reading all of the English children’s books where the children had adventures, especially with ponies or on boats. I wish I could remember all of the authors I read then.

      1. Arthur Ransome? (‘Swallows and Amazons’) There were loads of pony ones: the Pullein-Thompson sisters and Pat Smythe, for example. ‘The Borrowers’ by Mary Norton. Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series. C. S. Lewis’s Narnia books. Elinor M. Brent-Dyer’s Chalet School books. Alan Garner (adventures with magic).

        1. I do have all of the Swallows and Amazons books in my the collection of children’s books that I treasure. I read a large number of Enid Blyton, including the Mallory Tower series which were a revelation to me. You have a several authors I don’t know and will look for. I was also fond of Noel Streatfeild when I was younger.

          The book I would love to find again had a boy named Tarquin in it and it may have taken place in Cornwall or ? I remember that the children (4 or 5 of them around ages 9 to 13 maybe) had ponies and got up at night to chase mysterious strangers who might have been smugglers? I remember the paperback cover but not the title or author. I know I read it more than once and it was a great adventure.

          Thanks for the ideas to chase down.

          1. Can’t help with Tarquin: sorry. I’m sure there are loads more I’ve forgotten. I liked historicals, too: ‘Towers in the Mist’ by Elizabeth Goudge being my favourite. I read it when I was twelve, and it made me want to go to Oxford. It came as a shock, later, to realize as a woman I couldn’t apply to Christchurch (where the story’s set) or any other of the famous old colleges. Also loved Rosemary Sutcliffe and Geoffrey Trease.

  4. We’ve imported Black Friday here, so I did my necessity shopping today. I’m reading Positive Psychology by Bridget Grenville-Cleave. It’s a really good primer on the theory, with a lot of application for self improvement.

    It’s helping me get a grasp because I may use it as my theory underpinning my research.

    1. Oh, good luck.
      I’ve always spent the holidays with people who didn’t approve of me (that would be my family, the Republicans), so I feel your pain. Concentrate on dessert and don’t say, “For Christ’s sake, Nixon was guilty, there were tapes.”

      ETA: I was just thinking this comment over and realized that although my mom is in a nursing home and doesn’t communicate very well any more, and my dad is gone, my brother is keeping up my dad’s tradition of yelling at me when I disagree with him. He does it half laughing because my brother is a good guy, really one of the best men I know, but sixty-some years in, he still shakes his head whenever he says, “My sister.” So we argue and then say, “I love you” and hug when we say good-bye. It probably helps that we live 600 miles apart. I am grateful for my Wapakoneta family. We agree on nothing except loving each other.

      1. One of my favorite memories of my grandmother was asking her if I could bring a friend for Thanksgiving, and btw, she’s gay, do you mind? My grandma laughed and said, honey, my best friend in high school was a lesbian, why should I care? She died last year at 96, and I do miss her and my Papa, particularly today. Coolest grandparents ever.
        (I inherited a small bust of Reagan in clownface from them. Unfortunately, it seems far less ironic these days.)

      2. My brother calls me Mad Sis. And tries to insult me by saying I’m a Guardian reader. I don’t like to mention that he’s a Daily Mail reader.

        1. Oh, well, hell. It was such a nice thought. Did somebody complain afterward? The hell with them, they’re on the wrong side of history.

  5. For those of us who only have great memories of Thanksgiving or whose awful memories became even greater family stories, I say Happy Thanksgiving.

    I’m making the Brussel sprouts, my sister did her pies last night, my BIL is grumbling in the kitchen (I heard him when my sister and I were talking on the phone), the bird is in the oven and my nieces are splitting their time between complaining on their phones and running down to find out if everything’s ready. But we like Thanksgiving so much in our family that my BIL does a practice run a few weeks early for my nieces’ friends to come over and eat and he can test out new recipes.

    So, no escape reading today.

    And thank God for Donald Trump- because if there are politics at the table, we’re all in it together.

    But it’s more likely to be my aunt still surprised that the rest of us like Brussel sprouts.

    So happy Thanksgiving.

  6. I just finished reading a book a friend recommended to me: Julie and Romeo, by Jeanne Ray (2000). It is fabulous. Funny and a love story…about 60 year olds! Huzzah! Highly, highly recommended.

    1. I enjoyed that book. As a 60 year old, I enjoy the thought that it isn’t too late to find someone to love. And a funny book is always a good find.

      On the strength of that book, I tried some of Ray’s earlier titles which I also liked, although perhaps a little less.

  7. Oh, and I’m on my own, so I’m hanging out with my cats, making Cornish hens instead of turkey, and doing a bit of reading in between writing and jewelry making.

    1. Me, too. And I’ve lost my phone so I can’t even call my family. They’ll just have to yell at each other. (Mollie and I will catch up next week. If Uber worked up here, I’d be having dinner there, but I like the holidays alone so this is good. It’s PEACEFUL and for that I am thankful.)

  8. I finally read Wild Ride and have been chuckling and turning it over in my mind.

    I love the impression (probably solely in my mind) that Jenny and Bob agreed to have their protagonists run parallel instead of intertwined (like Agnes and Shane intertwined). The result is very satisfying. Ethan can move from suffering to hope to strategy and action to a good place. Mab can grow from self-isolating misfit and artist to happy to open to / member of a group. The brother/sister relationship works far more satisfactorily than a romantic pairing would.

    I’m sorry I didn’t read Wild Ride sooner. Looking back, I think I was influenced by reviews. I suspect that some of them confused Wild Ride with Wild Night (which I haven’t read yet).

    Anyway, thanks for another great book!

    1. Bob and I decided that because we were coming very close to killing each other, and because everybody on our book tour described us as fighting like a brother and sister. Write what you know. I can’t tell you how many times I said, “Are you trying to make me kill you?” on the last book tour.

  9. On my way over to my sister’s house I was rereading Miss Wonderful by Loretta Chase. It was a great antidote to the holiday schedule of public transit!

  10. I re-read Unseen Academicals last week because any time I see Pratchett in the library I have to re-read it, no matter how many times I already have.

    I also read Paul Krugman’s End This Depression Now, which was well-written and thought provoking, and surprisingly quick reading. If you’re at all interested in economics I’d highly recommend it.

  11. Well I ended up crying in my bedroom while the others ate. A mixture of being ill for the last 8 weeks, tired (Haven’t slept well in a while – I wheeze all the time) and my sons riding me about being conflicted about what to do when my daughter opened the apple cider and it started fizzing everywhere. I’d just cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal, mostly all by myself over the last two days. When I complained I was told I was their mother and they would rag on me because of that. Then, because he can’t deal with emotions one of the twins (the boys) used the eff word about a million times. So I used it three of four times to show he wasn’t shocking me. I sat a moment. Decided I didn’t want to have dinner with these assholes (Including my soon to be ex) and went to my room.

    I cried. But mostly from sheer exhaustion, I think. And also because I raised asshole boys who are going to have a hard time with the new generation of women who are smarter than I.

    It’s all over now and lots of leftovers for making my favorite sandwich.

    Also I am listening to Hog Father which I had not read before. The problem is you have to pay attention so it’s hard to Christmas shop or play games while listening.

    1. Kate: Oops; I didn’t separate the sorry sentence from the intro to the link sentence. I’m not laughing at your pain, I’m laughing at the jokes.

      Maybe this was obvious, but I think sometimes I’m too terse.

      In addition, in an attempt to be clearer, I think that as our children get older, they are in environments we have not much control over and as much as we’d like them to be a certain way, they are making their own choices all along the way.

      Is this actually any clearer or did I make it worse?

    2. In my experience, kids are usually nicer to non-family than they are to family. In this case, this is not a shot at Mollie, who’s wonderful everywhere, but from my experience teaching.
      And if your boys really are awful, some significant others will kick them into gear. Not your circus, not your monkeys.

    3. Oh, Kate, that sucks. I’m sorry. Boys ARE jerks, but aren’t always. I hope yours outgrow it!
      Next year, make your own plans and make them do their own damn dinner. Jerks. Unless they aren’t by then.

      And feel better! Being sick sucks!

    4. Sorry about your day, Kate. Not fun.

      I had a neighbour once, a fellow mom, who said to me: “There are days I want to run away so I read apartment ads. But I don’t worry about it. The day I start calling the ads, then I’ll worry.”

      It was funny and a good reminder that we all have hard days and need a break. Good for you for slipping off to your room & taking care of yourself in a hard moment. The hard days do pass and the good days come, but meanwhile taking breaks helps. Hope the rest of your holiday weekend goes better.

      1. An option. Or make them cook. If you are really lucky each kid has a couple of foods they love so much they would rather cook than do without.

        On a separate note, our family agrees on politics and doesn’t get along. I would rather have loving Republicans (and I’m fighting this government at work and in my off hours so I don’t say this lightly.)

  12. Binge reading Hailey Edward’s Black Dog and Gemini series, and thoroughly enjoying myself.
    Had a lovely Thanksgiving with just the 4 of us and a pre-cooked meal we ordered in. My husband reheated it, it was yummy but I didn’t stuff myself, and my kids had macncheese and pigs in a blanket and nobody cared. Blissful.

    1. And I’m coming back, late, because argggh. I got knee deep into the second book of the third protagonist in the series, and if it wasn’t on the kindle, it’d be up against the wall. Our perfectly likable, funny heroine wolf shifter is up against it, dealing valiantly with a broken heart, doing her best to lead her newly formed pack because her alphas are off dealing with other issues, and trying to save the world. Ok, I’m good with that. Except she got thrown under a large metaphoric bus at the end of the last book, and now she’s in making a Huge Mistake involving a Big Bad, and in both cases, it is because the previous protagonists are withholding information from her. She’s acting in perfectly good faithI, and the characters I’ve invested large number of books in are treating her like absolute assholes, and I can’t even. So annoyed. I was really enjoying these characters!

  13. Thanksgiving growing up was one of those where the family gathered and then promptly started fighting. As an adult I rarely celebrate the holiday, brings back too many really bad memories. My husband and I usually have steak or pork loin and just enjoy the quiet.

    Haven’t read anything really good lately but making notes from the posts here.


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