Saturday, December 17, 2011

Let It Snow IV

I did not make a pilgrimage to the mall or any book stores today; I had to run to the market to do my weekly shopping. I didn't have a lot to buy other than staples; during November I made up a lot of double batches of things to freeze for December dinners. I also try to keep meals fun and uncomplicated during the holidays because there's enough to do without slaving for hours in the kitchen. I've done the traditional big dinners in the past and they're exhausting; I'd rather spend my time with my family than chained to the stove.

Tonight we're having Caesar salad (from a kit), pepperoni pizza (my homemade crust + ready-made jar sauce + mini pepperonis + pre-grated mozzarella cheese.) The meal takes only about fifteen minutes to whip together, which will help if my guy gets home late (he works in retail, so I never know when I'm going to see him.) I'm also going to try a spin on a simple prosciutto bread recipe from the December issue of Food Network Magazine; instead of the plain prosciutto in the recipe, I'm using slices of prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella, and adding some Italian herbs.

You might not think of shopping for books when you run by to the grocery store, but most do have a small section. Mine has an entire aisle of reads, mostly bestsellers but some less-hyped titles, too. That was where I found a copy of this Lynn Kurland novel that I haven't read, so that's going right to the top of the holiday TBR. My store also carries a couple of shelves of discounted cookbooks, which is where I found a neat gift for one of my cookie monster friends.

The grocery store offers a lot of other gifts that go with the books for readers on your shopping list: coffee mugs, all sorts of hot beverage mixes, cookies, candies, and other things to nibble on while curled up with a great read. For hard-to-buy-for friends who enjoy cooking, look in the magazine section for a food magazine or small pamphlet-type cookbook with a recipe you think they'd enjoy, collect all the non-perishable ingredients for the recipe (or as an alternative, a specialty tool they'll need to prepare it), and put everything in a reusable shopping bag. Tie a bow on the handles and you're done.

Today I'm adding to the Let It Snow tote a trade paperback copy of my Christmas inspirational novel Home for the Holidays, a new snowflake mug, and a week's supply of Nestle's Hot Cocoa mix with mini-marshmallows. The mystery item for today is something I've mentioned in this post that is not a book.

If you'd like a chance to win this giveaway, in comments to this post tell us what is your favorite holiday-themed novel (or if you can't think of one, just toss your name in the hat.) I will draw one name at random from everyone who participates by commenting on this or any of my other Let It Snow giveaway posts from now until midnight EST on Wednesday, December 21, 2011, and send the winner the tote with all the contents. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.

42 comments:

  1. I loved both "Call Me Mrs. Miracle" and "The Perfect Christmas" by Debbie Macomber. They were fun, light and romantic.

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  2. Most of what I read is fantasy or science fiction, so there's not much that is centered around an actual holiday. I can sort-of recall a few romance novels off-hand, but more that I know I read some that featured Christmas and a few fuzzy details than I really remember them as actual novels or novellas. I'm just going to have to throw my name into the hat for this one.

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  3. It's hard to choose a favorite because all holiday-themed books touch my heart. They are so heartwarming but some of the ones I like are A Christmas Carol and First Love Cookie Club by Lori Wilde. I need to include a paranormal holiday-themed book in my readings :)

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  4. Holiday themed books? I tend to avoid those though I'm sure I've read a few. But I can't think of any right now, so please, throw my name in the hat!

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  5. How organised you are! Sadly our food stores do not carry English reading books. DH said it is a blessing, as I do not get tempted into buying. I do like your idea of a cookbook bag gift. I have a friend who would be delighted to receive one. I will have to have a shop around some of the English stores in Cyprus.


    Enjoy your festive days!

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  6. I love the cookbook bag idea too! I need to get more creative with things like that.

    No Christmas novel. I couple of anthologies, but that's it.

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  7. I haven't read many holiday themed books. That's something I need to change.

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  8. A Christmas Carol. :-) It's been my favourite since I was a small child.

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  9. GayLee10:57 AM

    It isn't a novel but an illustrated children's book that we read as a family every year - Santa Calls, by William Joyce. The illustrations are fabulous with an almost steampunk flair, and the story if full of sibing love, adventure, a struggle against evil and the goodness of Christmas.

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  10. Anne V.12:35 PM

    My new favorite? One that was written by my writer's group friend from the Texas Mountain Trail Writers. She was at the rough draft stage, but the story was strong and sweet and her characters were so much in love.

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  11. I don't necessarily have any favorite holiday-themed books, but wanted to comment about finding books in unusual places ...

    "Found" my very first Rachel Lee in a drug store book bin. I discovered my very first Linda Howard in a grocery store check-out line. Purchased my very first Suzanne Brockmann in a tiny gift store at an airport.

    Some of my best reading in the late 80s/90s came from books not found in actual bookstores!

    — Bonz

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  12. Not entering but just had to say I read Home for the Holidays after a long boycott of Christian fiction and it made me want to read more of it. Somebody is in for a heartwarming read!

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  13. My favourite Christmas-themed book is a collection of short stories by Connie Willis, Miracle and Other Christmas Stories. As for Christmas novels, I like that famous one by Dickens and read it about every second or third December.

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  14. Nicole1:41 PM

    Tossing my name in the hat...I can't say I'm a big fan of holiday themed books, but Grace Burrowes had a good one: Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish.

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  15. I haven't read any Christmas themed books yet. But my favorite Christmas movie is Elf.

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  16. Keita Haruka3:15 PM

    I'm not much for christmas themed books. I only have one: a christmas/werewolf themed anthology that I only picked up because I love werewolves, and because Rob Thurman contributed to it.

    I really like the recipe/ingredients idea. I must try that as an anytime gift for my partner. He loves cooking from scratch - and using me as a culinary guinnea pig. :p

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  17. One of my favorite holiday stories is Nancy Warren's "Nutcracker Sweet."

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  18. Hmm... not familiar with many Christmas themed novels, but I always loved Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and Dr. Suess's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" Classic favorites.

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  19. I love the Christmas-themed short contemporaries!

    Karen P

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  20. "A Season of Miracles" by Marilyn Pappano. Made into a TV movie too.

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  21. For me it is A Christmas Carol. So apt and great.

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  22. A Christmas Note was delightful and special.

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  23. Tammy S9:59 PM

    I'm just tossing my name in the hat tonight.

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  24. Enchanted Season with the sweet Nalini Singh novella.

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  25. can't think of one right now but am on the hunt for agood one this year. And i must say your grocery store has more books than my walmart does lol.

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  26. Tossing my name into the hat. :)

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  27. Shannon D.9:11 AM

    When it comes to holiday-themed novels, do cookbooks count? I read those cover-to-cover!

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  28. I've always been a huge fan of A Christmas Carol. I know it's not current, but it still rocks. :)

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  29. Well so far my favorite Christmas theme novel was an Anthology, The Heart of Christmas. I loved Courtney Milan's story. =)

    pattepoilue(at)gmail(dot)com

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  30. My very favorite Christmas-themed read is an old Harlequin American romance titled Cole in My Stocking by Jule McBride. I laughed my way through that one & still re-read it occasionally.

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  31. TaKiesha Smith8:55 PM

    I love all the Harlquinn ones quick and christmasesy :-)

    Kiesha

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  32. Oh, hot chocolate. Yum. Five years in Australia with the hot summer Christmases and I still want hot chocolate all the time in December. :)

    I don't read a lot of holiday-themed romances - more because I don't have a chance to get my hands on them than anything else. So here I am tossing my name in for this one.

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  33. Fran Kane4:43 AM

    I really enjoyed Christine Feehan's book Twilight Before Christmas, the 2nd book in her Drake Sisters series. Apart from that, it has to be A Christmas Carol - classic.

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  34. It's not exactly a novel, but I really like O. Henry's "Gift of the Magi."

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  35. The short holiday mysteries by Anne Perry

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  36. Helen9:47 AM

    The Bite Before Christmas had a number of cute short stories in it. I wouldn't call it my favorite but nothing else is coming to mind right now!

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  37. Athena W.6:15 PM

    Hmmm...I tend to avoid holiday themed books, but there was this one book by John Grisham if only I could remember it! Grrr...

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  38. LaurieF10:16 PM

    It's not a novel but I have to go with the short story "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry. It packs a punch and always makes me cry. So much love packed into a small package.

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  39. I'm tossing my name into the hat, thanks!

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  40. I don't have any holiday-themed favorites, per se, but if I looked at this question very deeply, much like you would do in an English class (look for the hidden meaning!), I'm going to infer that heart-warming novels are acceptable because what are holiday-themed books but heartwarming. With that in mind, I would have to choose To the Moon and Back by Jill Mansell. I absolutely adore and recommend ti to everyone. A widow finds love again, without unloving her first husband first. Make sense? Doesn't matter. Just go read it.

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  41. I don't think I've read more than one holiday themed story, so I'm just tossing my name in the hat.

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