Should You Gift These Books for the Holidays?

Welcome to Scarlet Thread Sunday, the day I share something I’ve learned in the labyrinth of life.

Well, my recent labyrinth has been Christmas shopping, and I’ve gotten lost somewhere among the hedges. Yoo-hoo! Do you see me?! Somehow or other, I’ll get out of here. But in the meantime, I thought I’d share a few gifts ideas that I came across while online shopping at ThinkGeek.com (which is a really cool site, by the way). I wonder if anyone you know could use one of these books:

Cookbook cover The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook: From Lamb Stew to “Groosling”–More than 150 Recipes Inspired by the Hunger Games Trilogy by Emily Ansara Baines. Before now, I was simply worried about being able to actually kill anything with my bow and arrow that I didn’t consider how to make my prey taste good when I got it home. Now I realize what an important step I overlooked.

Babies cover Experimenting with Babies: 50 Amazing Science Projects You Can Perform on Your Kid by Shaun Gallagher. I thought that’s what YouTube was for. But apparently, there are real science experiments you can use to “test your baby’s ability to understand and interact with the world around them.” Ah, now that sounds so much better.

Hungry Zombie cover The Very Hungry Zombie: A Parody by Michael Teitelbaum. In case you’re getting tired of reading and re-reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to your kids, you can always switch over to this book. Same principle really. The zombie eats and eats and never feels full. I wonder what the punchline is, though. What is this zombie’s “leaf”?

And speaking of things you can do to your kids . . . 

Traumatize cover How to Traumatize Your Children: 7 Proven Methods to Help You Screw Up Your Kids Deliberately and With Skill by Bradley R. Hughes. I’m glad he included the subtitle, because I wouldn’t be interested if the methods weren’t proven or didn’t require skill. Actually, this book is a warning to not be those parents who totally screw up their kids. I’m personally okay with embarrassing my children, but not traumatizing them for life.

And now speaking of books . . . 

Here’s this writer’s weekly progress report for A Round of Words in 80 Days.

ROW80 Update

1. Finish YA contemporary novel, SHARING HUNTER, by completing three chapters each week. Wrote. Not enough.

2. Take Short Stories 101 course from Young Adult RWA. Took the course and wrote two short stories. They each need some editing and polish, but I plan to publish them in 2014.

3. 10 2 fiction books and 2 -1 nonfiction books. I read Scandal in the Night by Elizabeth Essex, the third in her Reckless Brides series.

Also read this round: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers, Dangerous and Unseemly by K.B. Owen, Taking Chances by S.J. Maylee, Haunted Spouse by Heather MacAllister, Real Vampires Have Curves by Gerry Bartlett, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (all fiction), and Breasts by Florence Williams and Competability: Solving Problems in Your Multi-Cat Household by Amy Shojai; and Grace-Filled Marriage by Tim Kimmel (nonfiction).

Honestly, this isn’t nearly enough progress for me this week. If I explained how much I got done on some other needed projects, maybe it wouldn’t sound so bad. Yet we have less than two weeks left in this round, and I want to get a lot more done this coming week and finish strong.

So what odd books have you seen on the shelves this holiday season? Would you like any of the books above? And how has your week gone?

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18 thoughts on “Should You Gift These Books for the Holidays?

  1. Thanks for the book list. Yes, I would consider getting EXPERIMENTING WITH BABIES for my daughter as my granddaughter is now 18 months old and seems just right for some of those experiments. In spite of the disclaimers, the fact remains you are getting writing done and reading and all else. So as the year (and round) ends, I hope you will celebrate your many achievements with a sense of joy. There’s always a gap between “I wanna” and “I did”. And keep writing SHARING HUNTER!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement! I am joyful actually. A little disappointed about the lack of progress on that one project, but I’m doing well with other projects. So it’s a even trade, I suppose.

      Have a lovely week, Beth!

  2. I think my mother used the book on traumatizing children as an instruction manual… just kidding.

    For someone that didn’t have a good week, you had a good week.

    1. I love hearing and telling stories about how my generation grew up in the 70s. Parents did a lot of things naturally back then that might seem inappropriate today (like locking the kids out of the house until dinnertime, LOL). We turned out fine, though! We’re just neurotic enough to support some therapists and have a good sense of humor. 😉

      Thanks, John!

  3. I loved your book list! LOL.

    Congrats on the short stories! That totally rocks. 😀 My writing went a lot better than I imagined it would. Good luck with your goals this week!

  4. I love those book ideas, though I’m past experimenting on my children…and they still turned out okay 🙂 Now I just work on embarrassing them (they’re teenagers so it’s my revenge 🙂

    Great week!

    1. Oh yeah, mine are teens too. When they say, “You’re embarrassing me!” I simply respond, “It’s payback for your embarrassing toddler fit in Walmart, buddy.” They don’t remember that, but I do! LOL.

      Have a wonderful week, Anne!

  5. It the cookbook would get my picky eater to eat… I’m with you on the experimenting book. There’s enough in life that might traumatize them without it coming from parents. Embarrassment, as long as it’s in good fun 🙂 I’m actually done shopping. And quite frankly a bit shocked by that fact.

    I had a light ROW week too. I doubt this coming week will be better either. As you said, it’s a busy time of year and it’s more important to embrace this time with the kiddos. Wishing you a fabulous week Julie!

    1. Ah, the picky eater. My favorite children’s book for that was The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman. We read that one A LOT. Of course, it didn’t make a difference; my youngest still mostly survives on chicken nuggets, crackers, and ketchup. *sigh*

      Yay for being done shopping. I just have a few more gifts left–nothing big. Have a lovely holiday season, Raelyn!

  6. lol Very funny! Loved those books and your anecdotes.
    It may seem like a light week (to you, not to me) but you are moving forward, right? That’s always a good direction. : )

  7. I like the zombie book – Eric Carle was huge here for a long time, and now Minecraft is, so it seems right.

    Although I’m not sure I like the idea of treating infant humans as test subjects, I can honestly say that I have always loved watching children interact with the world as they grow, and that’s one of many reasons I never sent them to school – I wasn’t willing to miss out on so much of their learning and growing!

    That last one *shudder*. I was raised in the 70s – and abused then. Humiliation and shame took many forms in my childhood, usually couched as teasing. “If I didn’t tease you, you wouldn’t know I love you,” was a common refrain from one parent.

    Only it hurt. And it still does, although I’m grown now. For a long time, I wasn’t all right, and my own children suffered the consequences of that.

    I try hard not to embarrass them, because they don’t like to be embarrassed any more than I do. I don’t hold their toddler selves against them, even in jest because, honestly, I threw plenty of tantrums when they were small, and I had the ability to express myself otherwise and a degree of power over my environment that they lacked.

    I think there’s a place in some families where everyone can be having fun. I know families who play epic pranks, and love them. Here, feelings get hurt, and, as I often say, it’s not playing if everyone isn’t having fun.

    Me, I love having a 12 year old son who will still hug me in public even though he’s almost as big as me. It could have easily gone very differently. And something about that last book makes me remember how I used to be, and feel a whole lot of things – most of all gratitude that I stopped screwing my kids up before it was too late. So, even though I reacted strongly to it, I’m glad you posted it, so I could spend a little time thinking about how far we’ve come, and how much sweeter life is these days!

    Merry, merry Christmas!

    1. Shan, I’m sorry about your difficult past and what you’ve had to overcome. Of course, there’s a vast difference between abusing or humiliating your child and the usual moments of embarrassing your teen (and, believe me, they’re easily embarrassed. I wave at them in public? Embarrassed. Go figure.). My kids do sometimes get embarrassed around me, but — as I said — never traumatized. And they absolutely know that I love them!

      Obviously, your kids know that you love them too. 🙂

      Have a lovely Christmas!

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