Next up I'll finally do the year in review, but I read three more books in 2008 before closing the Christmas season.
Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews: Fun, fun, fun. Lots of Christmas cheer. Weezie Foley and (Savannah Blues and Savannah Breeze) is competing for the best window display against the trendy, stylish shop around the corner (and its pissy owners). Meanwhile, mysterious break-ins and her boyfriend's withdrawn behavior are making it tough to keep her Christmas spirit. Weezie is resigned to a rather blue Christmas when inspiration strikes--not only for the window display, but for a great gift for Daniel, a memorable (though not in the way she hopes) Christmas dinner, and a solution to the mystery at hand. This is a short, fast read with some laugh-out-loud moments along with tender Christmas cheer. It's a sweet, hilarious book with fun subplots and engaging characters.
The Shepherd, The Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog by Dave Barry: If you like Dave Barry, you'll love this story. Likewise, if you are a fan of A Christmas Story or The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, this one's for you. Equal parts nostalgia, outrageously funny moments, and heartwarming Christmas spirit, this book is set in 1960 and told by middle school student and pageant shepherd Doug. Doug has a crush on Mary, who is playing alongside a depressingly cute Joseph. Meanwhile, the family dog is not doing well. What happens next results in the most memorable Christmas pageant the Episcopal church has ever seen.
The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore: Christopher Moore brings back characters from past books in this outrageous Pine Cove Christmas story. The angel Raziel (from The Gospel According to Biff) has come to Earth to grant a child's Christmas wish. Seven-year-old Josh Barker is worried because he's pretty sure he saw Santa killed by a woman wielding a shovel. These two events converge in a parody of B movie horror that somehow manages to have abundant Christmas spirit. Moore fans will love returning to Pine Cove and visiting Raziel and Tucker Case (the pilot from Island of the Sequined Love Nun), but those offended by junior high boy humor or senseless violence might want to skip this one. A great balance of parody and heartwarming character development.