When people ask what it was like to have Christmas in the middle of Summer in Chile, I point out that Christmas Eve was the best time to go to the beach. Two reasons: it was beautiful weather (true any day around Christmas); the beach was deserted other than the occasional tourist. Why? Because Chileans are much worse procrastinators than Americans when it comes to Christmas shopping: they are all crammed into the stores !
That said, this year I find I am almost as bad. I shall be mailing my mother’s present tomorrow (Christmas Eve). None the less, recently I have bought both musical and literary items which would make great gifts.
In case some of you have Chilean tendencies and are still thinking about what you might buy, here are some of the gifts I bought, either for myself or others.
During the past 12 months, we have had two blogs (Lindsey Stirling: No Ordinary Violinist by Dominik Young and Lindsey Stirling: Moon Trance by Dominik Young) on Lindsey Stirling, who is an excellent violinist. Both of these predate her Compact Disc, so of course they do not mention that she recently put out said CD, simply titled “Lindsey Stirling,” with 12 cuts including the above mentioned Moon Trance
See her web site for more information (or just go to Amazon and buy it, as I did). I have enjoyed it immensely.
I recently blogged on Máiréad Nesbitt, the violinist for Celtic Woman (see Máiréad Nesbitt: Not Lindsey Stirling by Gary Lee). Looking at the group’s web site ( http://www.celticwoman.com/ ), I was pleased to discover that they had a Christmas CD out, entitled “Home for Christmas.” Once again, I went to Amazon for my purchase, also picking up their CD of lullabies, since I have a 19-month grandson.
As my readers know, music is not the only thing I am interested in. Recently I reviewed a new book by Rachel Coles, entitled Pazuzu’s Girl (see Pazuzu’s Girl, A New Book by Rachel Coles, reviewed by Gary Lee). I highly recommend this book for a fantasy lover who does not mind some interesting mythology included into their reading. I so enjoyed the book that I bought a copy of What Fears Become, which is the annual anthology of a magazine that the author has published in. She also has some stuff published for the Kindle which I shall order soon.
I also recently blogged about John Rowland’s first novel, Cry from a Silent Planet. Once again, I think this would be an excellent purchase. My only regret is that he has not yet finished the second book in his trilogy … I am looking forward to it.
Another book I included in my Amazon order was The Siren Depths by Martha Wells. It is the third book in a trilogy about the Raksura (see The Books of the Raksura for more information on the Raksura trilogy) which I have been eagerly following. Martha is a great local author and was one of the teachers at the writer’s workshop, I went to back in July. I am pleased to say that I have met her repeatedly at ArmadilloCon. She is always a joy to talk to, and I highly recommend any of her 11 published novels.
Another author I have recently added to my reading list is Roberta Whinery Ley. Robi is someone I have known for a few years now, and I have always enjoyed her tales. Last month, I spent an hour as her rapt student, trying to learn to be a better storyteller myself, at the Fall 2012 District 25 Toastmasters Conference (as recounted in my blog Communicator, Storyteller, Actor). And I have recently been reading several of her works, notably Terror by Night and Arrows by Day. Once again, these can be obtained from Amazon, either in dover-back or for the Kindle. In my case, I bought them straight from the author, who was kind enough to autograph them for me.
Last, but certainly not least, my readers know that I am a great fan of Bohemia Journal. So a few weeks ago, I went to
and bought 7 copies of the December issue for friends and family. At 60 color glossy pages, our latest issue is an impressive work, and should be a great gift for anyone who likes poetry, artwork/photography, or stories. Of course, I might be just a tad prejudiced since one of the short stories is mine!
May you have a Merrie Christmas, and if you are still trying to figure out what to buy, I hope you will find some useful suggestions above.