Tuesday, December 05, 2006

One Very Cool Book

I've gushed before about how much I love Holly Lisle's novel Talyn. It is a masterpiece of world building, writing, and storytelling, and remains the #1 book on my keeper shelf. Let's put it this way: if I were into shrines, I'd build one around this novel.

I wanted to do something a little different for the holidays, so I'm going to borrow the theme from The Twelve Days of Christmas and do it with books instead of birds, pipers, ladies dancing and golden rings. As in, "For the first very cool book of December, PBW gave to me: Talyn by Holly Lisle."

Okay, so the words don't exactly fit the tune. Listen, be grateful I didn't make this a podcast. People pay me not to sing.

For a chance to win today's giveaway, in comments to this post tell us the name of your favorite winter holiday song (or if you don't celebrate a holiday this month, just throw your name in the hat) by midnight EST on December 5, 2006. I'll draw one name from everyone who participates and send the winner an unsigned mass market edition of Talyn by Holly Lisle. Giveaway open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.

I also have eleven more copies of Talyn to give away in the days ahead, along with some other very cool novels and holiday surprises, so stop in if you get the chance.


  1. Anonymous11:54 PM

    My favorite is probably Winter Wonderland. It's so perky it just has to make you happy.

  2. I love Jingle Bell Rock.

    It's Christmasy without the wretched sombre overtones of other carols.

  3. Leise rieselt der Schnee (Softly Falls the Snow)

    Yep, a German one. Winter and Christmas songs are childhood memories and I didn't have English back then. :)

    Sheila, did you check on the Friday post for my reply to the German translation question? I found that one a bit late because first blogger and then my brain had been acting up. ;)

  4. Anonymous12:21 AM

    The Christmas Canon (both versions) by Trans Siberian Orchestra

  5. Anonymous1:05 AM

    The little drummer boy... because I always sing along even though I can't sing.

  6. Ella Fitzgerald's version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

  7. Anonymous1:24 AM

    Little Drummer Boy, I think. December is the only time of year I miss being in a choir. :D

  8. The Christmas Song (aka : Chestnuts roasting on an open fire)
    Walkin in a Winter Wonderland
    I'll be home for Christmas
    White Christmas

    These have to be among my favorites.

  9. Anonymous1:53 AM

    Well, down under where I am, it isn't winter, so I'll go with Little Drummer Boy.

  10. White Christmas by Bing Crosby. An oldy, but a goody. :)

  11. Anonymous2:28 AM

    It's a tie between "Fairy Tale of New York" and "Hanukkah u Hug Tov" - one's a grown-up choice, and one's a flashback to being 12 :)

  12. White Christmas - Bing Crosby
    All I Want for Christmas - Mariah Carey

  13. Baby It's Cold Outside with Frank Sinatra...such a cute song with a slightly jazzy feel ;)


  14. It's a toss up between two classics for me: Baby, It's Cold Outside and Let It Snow.

  15. White Christmas.

    Anything Christmasy by Burl Ives. (We're playing his stuff constantly at the moment... including a kids CD that has The Lollopop Tree on it. My oldest is driving me nuts cause it is stuck in his head.)

    Where are you Christmas? (Faith Hill I think?)

  16. Anonymous4:13 AM


    So many to choose from...:

    I saw Three Ships by Nat King Cole

    God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Bing Crosby

    Stop The Cavalry by Jona Lewie

    Gaudette by Steeleye Span

    In The Bleak Midwinter by Bert Jansch

    Mary's Boy Child by Harry Belafonte

    Little Drummer Boy by Vera Lynn



  17. My favorite is OH HOLY NIGHT.

  18. The witch's chant, though to be fair, it works for any Sabbat.

  19. Anonymous5:12 AM

    O Holy Night.

    It still brings me to tears and gives me chills when I hear it.

  20. Anonymous5:13 AM

    Oops. The last post was me. Sorry.


  21. December by Kenny Loggins

  22. I like "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" -- my favorite version is sung by Suzy Boggus.

    Two songs I am seriously tired of hearing?

    Feliz Navidad (I CAN NOT get this out of my head once I hear it) and I'll Be Home For Christmas (a beautiful song with a lovely sentiment -- but after the first three hundred times I've heard it this year, I'm pretty much all done).

  23. "What Child is This?" - you probably could guess that.
    "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen."
    "Away in a Manger"
    "I Heard the Bells."

  24. Anonymous7:21 AM

    Silent Night from John Denver and the Muppets...I love how they tell the story of the song before they sing.

    Julie Anne

  25. Oh, wow, what a very Merry Christmas!!! My favorite is The Gift, the song about Maria and the first nightingale song.

  26. Winter Wonderland.

    Soothing and happy.

  27. Anonymous8:02 AM

    So many! I love Christmas as much as I love Easter... um!!! Breath of Heaven, Amy Grant; Oh Holy Night; anything Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmasy; and I don't know the name of it but this awesome song about Joseph and the baby Jesus. :)

  28. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

    ties with

    Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

  29. O Holy Night is my favorite holiday classic. For something newer, Bryan Adams' Christmas Time.

  30. I really love 'Holy Night', but we rarely hear it in the UK. So, my choice would be Slade's Merry Christmas Everybody!

  31. The Little Drummer Boy, Go Tell It On The Mountain, and the Muppets rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

  32. So many great ones meantioned above, but I think my favorite is "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas" by Shirely Temple.

  33. Anonymous9:00 AM

    Oh, Christmas songs. Since I'm a grumpy grinch for most of the season, I have to dig for what brightens my holidays. I'd say hands down 'White Christmas' by Bing Crosby. The movie too. I've already seen it and it did bring a smile to my sour face. I also like 'O Holy Night'. I think that's the name...you know the one where the 'stars are brightly shining'.

    Karen, the lurker

  34. There are too many good ones, but I think that "It's A Holly, Jolly Christmas", by Burl Ives, is a favorite. It was in the animated Christmas story, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. (Did you know that the Rudolph story is over 40 years old? and it is still shown on TV every year!)

  35. "Carol of the Bells" is my all-time favorite.

  36. Silver Bells is my favorite this year. The song talks about the city being dressed up and all the snow, it has me missing Iowa because this is my first winter in Virginia and I've been told not to expect snow.

    Of course I also find The 12 Pains of Christmas a delightful song but only if the radio station doesn't play it every day of December.

  37. I'm totally unoriginal - Jingle Bell Rock. It's like the embodiment of a *merry* song for, and Christmas is all about merry things :)

  38. Anonymous9:31 AM

    I've always liked Jingle Bell Rock. For the last couple of years I've really enjoyed the Sufjan Stevens Christmas albums -- there are 42 songs in all, I think. There are classics plus some new songs (new to me, at least) so it's a nice change from the stuff you hear over and over all season long.

    Oh, and I don't want to be in the drawing. I already have and love a copy of Talyn.

  39. Happy Christmas (War is Over)- John Lennon. Don't tell anyone.

  40. Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt! Even though the song is so not what I believe Christmas is about, Ijust love the tune.

  41. Winter Wonderland.

    I'm a Southern girl who despises snow, and I have very little use for ice when it's not safely contained in a refrigeration system, but Winter Wonderland never fails to make me smile.

  42. Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives
    Christmas in Dixie by Alabama

  43. Anonymous10:02 AM

    For some reason, I always get excited for Christmas when I hear:Do They Know It's Christmas? by Band Aid. I guess I'm a sucker for the '80s.

  44. Amy Grant's Grown Up Christmas List... because I think it's especially appropriate. Honestly, I don't think there's a Christmas song or carol that I don't like...unless it's Dominic the Donkey! Ick!

  45. I like Oh Holy Night--a classic. For fun songs, I love any of Elvis' holiday stuff.

  46. Do You Hear What I Hear?
    Oh Holy Night
    What Child Is This?

    I think Let It Snow is cute, too.

  47. Anonymous10:34 AM

    Carol of the Bells is my very favorite "get in the spirit" carol.

    What I didn't know was that the melody is of Ukraine origin.

    Cathy C-R

  48. "Hark, The Herald Angel Sings" --the one they sing at the end of the Charlie Brown Christmas special.

  49. Anonymous10:45 AM

    "White Christmas", Bing Crosby's version.

    I live in South Florida. I suffer from perpetual hope. Futile, I know, but we're allowed to delude ourselves anyway so why not make its angst ridiculous?

  50. O Holy Night.

    But I suggest you run far away if I attempt to hit the high note. ;)

  51. I don't celebrate Christmas myself, but I went to a Catholic school till I was 16 and we used to go carolling every December! My favourite carol was "Gloria", for how lovely the chorus (Glo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ri-aa) sounded when we sang it. :) Other than that, "O come all ye faithful" always makes me stop what I'm doing and close my eyes to enjoy the music. I don't have a favourite "version" of it, the song itself brings the magic.

    (I'm really hoping to win a copy of Talyn.. like I said in a comment on the previous post, I loaned my lovely hardcover to a "friend" who has disappeared with it. Woe is me!)

  52. Wow. How to choose a favorite Christmas song... Is it fair to say that Handel's Messiah is one of my favorites? The whole thing, actually, not just the Hallelujah Chorus. I also remember a song the chorale at my college did, a version of "O Magnum Mysterium" that was so good I cried.

  53. Little Drummer Boy is my favorite. Especially when performed with a doumbek instead of a anachronistic snare. Simple lovely.


  54. Carol of the bells - I love it! :)

    What an awesome holiday give-away. :)

  55. Anonymous11:50 AM

    to the tune of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman"

    "The restroom door said gentleman
    so I just walked inside
    I took two steps and realized
    I'd been taken for a ride
    I heard high voices turned and saw
    the place was occupied
    by two nuns, three old ladies and a nurse
    what could be worse?
    than two nuns, three old ladies and a nurse"...

    I think it's on an album called Twisted Christmas or somesuch. I had it in high school and it's still the tune I can't get out of my head whenever the Christmas season rolls around...

  56. Anonymous11:56 AM

    What Child Is This, hands down.

  57. Anonymous11:57 AM

    I adore Feliz Navidad, especially the version sung by Celine Dion. It's just so upbeat, and yet not cheesy.

  58. The Little Drummer Boy - it's been my favorite since I was a kid and first heard it.


  59. I love "The Little Drummer Boy." Always have.

    And one obligatory vote for "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel." :-)

  60. Anonymous12:23 PM

    Little Drummer Boy has to be the all time fav....ba-rummpapumpum.....

  61. Anonymous12:24 PM

    Lately it's been "Skating" (Vince Guaraldi Trio, A Charlie Brown Christmas), although other tunes from the compilation are running through my mind due to holiday music rehearsals.

  62. *Sigh* Ya'll make me want to dig out my Christmas CD's and put the tree up (don't tell Larissa I'm way behind)

    We went to Target this morning and they had the BEST Santa and bell ringers doing carols *doubesigh*

    anyway....Christmas in Dixie is one of my faves too. GEorge STrait's Christmas Cookies is cute too but my fave CD has to be by Jewel

  63. Oh! Oh!

    Do They Know It's Christmas is beautiful as a (relative) newcomer on the scene. My real favorites are:

    Come on Ring those Bells (Evie)

    One Small Child (when our church worship team leads it.)

    I just ordered a copy of Talyn through my bookstore, but I know folks I'd love to give a copy to!

  64. Anonymous12:56 PM

    The Twelve Days of Christmas, or any funny variation such as The Redneck Twelve Days of Christmas by Jeff Foxworthy or the Twelve Pains of Christmas.

  65. Anonymous12:57 PM

    It's gotta be "Silent Night." ^_^

    Thanks so much for all the wonderful contests and giveaways you send to us! :D

  66. My favorite Christmas song has always been 'O Holy Night,' even though I'm a stout agnostic. I'm a singer and an actress though, so I love it for the way it sounds--especially when they get to the 'fall on your knees' bit. Hearing it live by a good chorus is just incredible.

    -Lauren Raven

  67. I like Silent Night. I have fond memories of midnight mass where the congregation sings Silent Night and passes a flame from candle to candle until the whole congregation is each holding a lit candle. Very pretty.

  68. Anonymous1:35 PM

    "Carol of the Bells"

    I love reading the comments on your give-aways.

  69. My favorite is Joy to the World.

  70. I'm conflicted. There are so many good songs, and they, like the "Muppet Christmas Carol" (an annual tradition in our house), bring the holidays alive.

    That said, I'll pick one: the David Bowie / Bing Crosby duet of "Peace on Earth"/"Little Drummer Boy". The video is especially amusing, with the very young Bowie with his crooked teeth and tiny piehole, singing alongside Der Bingle. One wonders what Crosby was thinking about this.

  71. I live in New Zealand so we're coming into our summer holidays. Cliff Richard does a great song: "We're all going on a summer holiday..."

  72. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  73. Little St. Nick, by the Beach Boys, and Sleigh Ride by the Ventures. My dad used to always play them for me when I was little. ^_^

  74. For pure heart and soul O Holy Night always gets ya right in the place where sougs should.
    But for pure laughs and fun... Grandma Got Run Over by A Reindeer is one I simply adore.

    *crosses fingers*
    (wicked grin)


  75. Now the lot of you got me curious about some of these songs. Is there a website with notes and texts?

  76. Anonymous4:25 PM

    Carols of the Bells.

    A friend recently sent me the mp3, and I love it.


  77. "What Child Is This," because I'm a sucker for anything in a minor chord, and Greensleeves gives me chills.

    Like "Santa Baby," too, for its utter perversity.

  78. Anonymous5:09 PM

    What Child is This is one of my favorites. It's classic and one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard.

    Crystal B.

  79. The Christmas Song by Mel Torme and Bob Wells is THE best holiday song ever written, bar none.

  80. I can't resist playing, especially since nobody mentioned
    "Christmas Don't be Late" by Alvin and the Chipmunks.

  81. I have to agree: Jingle Bell Rock.

  82. I like I'll be home for Christmas, Jingle Bell Rock, And the Little Drummer Boy

  83. (Just to be different...) I love "Little Toy Trains" by Roger Miller. It brings back a lot of childhood memories.

  84. Mary, Did you know, Kenny Rogers and Wynona version.

    and oh man, are you giving away a copy of Plague of Memory? I'm not the soul selling or giving an arm up type, but if I were, this would be the book I'd bargain for.

  85. Anonymous9:43 PM

    Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer

  86. Anonymous9:44 PM

    O Tannenbaum or Silent Night (In German) - lived in Germany for 4 yours and grew the love the German carols some of which I only know the German names.

    Marie in RI

  87. Christmas in Sarajevo by the TransSiberian Orchestra. Love that song.

  88. Anonymous10:22 PM

    Am I late? I can never figure out the time difference. *blush* Sorry!

    I don't celebrate Christmas, so I'm just throwing my name into the name. :) Thanks, PBW!

  89. Anonymous11:08 PM

    Holy Toledo, look at all these cool songs. Thanks to everyone for joining in.

    Gabriele wrote: Sheila, did you check on the Friday post for my reply to the German translation question? I found that one a bit late because first blogger and then my brain had been acting up.

    Just saw it (I'm still catching up on comments), and thank you for the translation. I will put it to good use. :)

    Now the lot of you got me curious about some of these songs. Is there a website with notes and texts?

    For lyrics to most of the classics, try Rawlin Blake's Traditional Christmas Carols page. Neil Pond wrote a good article on the background of ten of the songs most popular in America here. There's also a web site here with scans of the songs and illustrations from a vintage book titled "Christmas Carols New and Old", which was apparently published in 1871 and influenced what became considered to be traditional carols.

    Shiloh wrote: ...and oh man, are you giving away a copy of Plague of Memory? I'm not the soul selling or giving an arm up type, but if I were, this would be the book I'd bargain for.

    Quit it, you're making my head inflate. Yes, I'm planning to give away *at least* a galley copy and cover flat of Plague of Memory, but if I can wheedle them out of my editor, some ARCs or early print copies.

    Crys wrote: Am I late? I can never figure out the time difference.

    You're right on time -- and we still have an hour to go from the time I post this comment, if anyone else wants to jump in.

    Bill, I remember watching Bowie and Bing perform that song together when it was first aired; I think it was Bing's last Christmas show before he passed away. The whole time I watched I kept thinking, "Ziggy Stardust is harmonizing with Father O'Malley; now I know the Apocalypse is nigh."

    My favorite traditional Christmas carol is O Holy Night, but I'm also partial to Carol of the Bells, which my daughter plays beautifully on the xylophone.