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Thursday, December 16, 2010

THE UN-CHRISTMAS BOOK

Here at booksBnimble we have this great Christmas book to sell and it suddenly came to my attention (via a very intelligent friend) that Christmas books can have a bad name. I knew what she meant. It suddenly occurred to me that I'm just like her: I would never read a Christmas book!

A week before Christmas generally finds me at my Scroogiest. I hate the traffic, I hate the crowds, I hate the carols blaring in the restaurants, in the stores, on the beaches, on the landing grounds, in the fields...

When I was in Whole Foods the other day, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was blasting from the speakers and not one, but two sets of Santa-capped carolers were strolling around singing “Jingle Bells.” When the customers started joining in right in my ear, I thought the top of my head was going to come off.

So why am I selling a Christmas book? Well! While it happens that O LITTLE TOWN OF BELLINGHAM, or OLTOB, as it’s affectionately known at booksBnimble, does happen to be about a pregnant virgin, and does occur in December, it's far from the mindless treacle that you possibly imagine Christmas books to be, in which miracles occur and good things happen to good people. It has a slyness to it, a street smart savvy, a discerning sagacity, an understanding of the human condition that is not predicated on the old saw that says Christmas brings out the best in people. Rather, it asks the question: What would happen if a miracle seemed about to occur in the twenty-First Century? Everyone, it answers, would try to get in on the action. In short, the virgin would go viral.

Oh, cynical! You're probably thinking. But not so. Because it also asks the question, “And then what?”

Your average Christmas book has the texture and flavor of butterscotch pudding, wouldn’t you say? This one achieves something more like the delicate layering of a lemon meringue pie: First a froth of wit and wordmanship; under that, a rich filling that’s almost naughty in its tartness. And under that,  the crust--a solid literary foundation.

Not precisely “inspirational” in the sense that probably makes us Scrooges shudder. Nonetheless, after a relaxing read, I no longer feel as if the top of my head might come off.

I know you intellectuals are giving your sweeties ereaders for Christmas. Who isn’t? Why not also give them this bit of literary Excedrin as a stocking stuffer? O LITTLE TOWN OF BELLINGHAM. Only $4.99 at  www.booksBnimble.com, in all formats, or at Amazon. The commercial break is now over and we return to regulr programming.