For a lot of us, this is a very special time of year. My family celebrates Christmas; others celebrate different holidays this month that are equally meaningful to them - Eid al-adha on December 8th, Chanukah starting the 21st, the Winter Solstice on the 22nd, Kwanzaa on the 26th...
The holidays can be as stressful as they are wonderful, and this year is going to be particularly tough, what with the recession and trying to celebrate on a budget. And for the families who have loved ones far away, the festivities will be bittersweet.
Lately, I find myself thinking a lot about one Christmas in particular: the one when I was 16 years old. Sixteen: not quite a grown-up but not a boy anymore. I had just bought my own first car and I was responsible for all the expenses - gas, insurance, repairs - but I was still kid enough to want "fun stuff" at Christmas. The country was going through a recession then, just as it is now, and money was very tight; my siblings and I didn't expect too much in terms of presents. But still...
I remember my initial reaction when I saw that the only present under the tree for me was 2 new car tires! After the initial disappointment, I realized what that gift actually meant. My tires were bald; my dad didn't want me to have an accident; my safety was more important to him than anything. Now that I am a lot older and (I hope) a little wiser, I appreciate the thoughtfulness of that gift more than ever. Looking back on those Christmas tires just provides more proof that the memories that matter don't have to do with material things. We devote a lot of time to shopping at this time of year, but long after the "stuff" is gone, the intangible things are what stay with us through the years and make us smile.
I bet many of you have similar stories, of a "lean" holiday that nonetheless gave you some of the most special memories of all. We would love it if you would share them. Please take a few minutes out of your day and think back to previous holidays... then click here to share one of your stories with the PBS family!
Historical Fiction... Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a brilliantly realistic journey back to an era of Chinese history that is as deeply moving as it is sorrowful. With the period detail and deep resonance of Memoirs of a Geisha, this lyrical and emotionally charged novel delves into one of the most mysterious of human relationships: female friendship.
|Paranormal Romance... Just Like Heaven...What do you do when you find a stranger in your closet, particularly when she's surprised that you can even see her -- and she can disappear and reappear at whim? What if she then tells you that her body is actually in a coma on the other side of town?|
|Biographies and Memoirs... A gripping memoir that reads like a political thriller--a heartrending account in the face of extreme deprivation and the courage with which one family faced its fate, Stolen Lives is an unforgettable story of one woman's journey to freedom.|
|Mysteries and Thrillers... Special Circumstances...Introducing an electrifying new voice in legal fiction--in a phenomenal thriller unlike anything you've read before...Debut author Sheldon Siegel bursts into the legal arena with a riveting courtroom drama, exposing the world of big-time law firms and lawyers in a sharp-witted, wonderfully sardonic page-turner of a novel...|
Fantasy... Carpe Demon: The Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom...Lots of women put their careers aside once the kids come along. Kate Connor, for instance, hadn't hunted a demon in ages, when one crashed into the Connor house, intent on killing her. Now Kate has to clean up the mess in her kitchen, dispose of a dead demon, and pull together a dinner party...
New Local Chapter Leaders!
If you want to be a Local Chapter Leader for PBS, you just need to have a PBS NIckname, a viewable public profile, and some organizational skills...check the Local Chapter Leaders Forum List of Official Chapters to see if your area already has a local Chapter. If not, and you want to do this, just contact us. There are no formal guidelines for being a Chapter Leader. All of the information is in the Local Chapter Leader Discussion Forum topic.
MEMBER OF THE MONTH
"Manny" is well-known to anyone who frequents the forums. She's "a girl, dammit" - as her blinkie says. We have been getting nominations for Chris for a long time. Some of the nominating comments:
"...Highly intelligent with an off the wall sense of humor and a good heart, this gal is always interesting and fun to follow..."
"She's always very nice to everyone. Oh, and she writes letters and sends them snail mail on homemade stationary to several people. She's one cool chick!"
"She is consistently kind and levelheaded, and always helpful when possible...."
"Chris has helped many members with her image tutorial. She's always kind and helpful ... She hosts fun swaps! She's thoughtful, writing notes to members on her handmade paper, sending surprise books and hot cocoa and just an all-around nice person! She makes PBS a great place to hang out!"
Dear Librarian-I love Printable Postage! Can't believe I ever did without it. My printer ran out of ink though and I had already downloaded the wrapper with postage - couldn't print it. I have put new cartridges in my printer - will I be re-charged when I reprint the wrapper? - Nervous in Newton
Nope! You won't be re-charged. If you ever need to reprint a wrapper for any reason, just start over by clicking Print Wrapper on the request, be sure that you choose the postage option on the Wrapper Settings page, and print. You can confirm that you are not re-charged by looking in your Money Registry, linked from the top of your My Account main page.
Dear Librarian- I posted a book incorrectly - I used the hardcover listing when I had the paperback, and the ISBNs were the same so I was confused - and now I need to refund the credit. Is there an easy way to do this? -Careless in Coventry
Yes, you can just go to the swap in your Transaction Archive (linked from your My Account main page) and click the Request Details link on the right, then scroll down a little on the details page and click the Give Refund button.
We are sorry you had this confusion when posting your book - because publishers sometimes re-use ISBNs and it is necessary for all books to match the listings used to post them (ISBN, title, author and booktype must all match), it is really important to double-check the booktype on the listing preview before clicking to post the book.
If you're careful to use only listings that match the books you have (see How to Post a Book and Solutions to Common Book Posting Problems, both accessible from the Need Help? tab on the upper right of the Post Books page), you won't have this problem again!