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Snow is falling all across the Midwest as James and Joyce Sparrow awaken in their 55th floor, 10-room apartment overlooking Chicago -- he dreading Christmas, and she adoring it but down sick with the stomach flu. He dreams of spending it at their vacation home in Kuhifuhifapapa'u'maumau, Ha. But a phone call from his hometown of Looseleaf, N.D., sends him flying into the teeth of a major blizzard to see his dying Uncle Earl. And there in Looseleaf, home of the Lucifers, he's confronted by old, dark memories in every corner. And there, in the middle of the night, taking a sauna with cousin Liz, he conquers fear just in the time to receive Mrs. Sparrow's wonderful Christmas gift.

"A Christmas Blizzard," by Garrison Keillor, is on the Reserve Shelf at Walla Walla Public Library.

Featured books will be available for the public today. They can also be placed on hold online at wallawallapubliclibrary.org or call the library for assistance at 527-4550. Other books include:

Fiction

"The Christmas Dog," by Melody Carlson

A little before seven on Monday morning, Betty woke to the sound of someone trying to break into her house. At least that was what it sounded like to her ... it was that scruffy dog again. Jack Jones's mongrel. The dog crouched down, whimpering and despite Betty's bitter feelings toward her neighbor, she felt a tinge of pity for the poor, dirty animal. And Betty didn't even like dogs. "Go home, you foolish thing," she said. "Go bother your owner." The dog just whined. The dog didn't budge, and now Betty didn't know what to do.

Nonfiction


"You Better Not Cry," by Augusten Burroughs

You've eaten too much candy at Christmas ... but have you eaten off the face of a six-foot Santa? You've seen gingerbread houses ... but have you ever made your own gingerbread tenement? You've woken up with a hangover ... but have you ever woken up next to Kris Kringle himself? Augusten Burroughs has, and in this caustically funny, nostalgic, poignant and moving collection, he recounts Christmases past and present -- as only he can. Mordantly funny, pathologically honest and with a reckless disregard for his own dignity, Augusten reveals how the holidays bring out the worst in us and sometimes, just sometimes, the very, very best.

"Merry and Bright," by the Editors of Country Living

Make your holiday season magical for your loved ones with 301 festive ideas for celebrating Christmas. The editors of Country Living magazine have gathered their favorite deck-the-halls tips, heirloom craft projects, and delicious holiday recipes in the enchanting volume. Hundreds of sumptuous color photographs will inspire you to get started right away.

Handmade trimmings and tree decorations lend a personal touch to the festivities. See how easy it is to craft ribbon ornaments, felt garlands, Victorian-style kissing balls and more.

There are also great tips for packaging goodies as gifts. Begin new holiday traditions that will last a lifetime.

Others

"Knit the Season," by Kate Jacobs; "Lakeshore Christmas," by Susan Wiggs; "2009 Christmas with Southern Living Christmas Book II," by the Editors of Gooseberry Patch.

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