Learning to Read Out Loud: Dylan Thomas and "A Child's Christmas in Wales"

Growing up, the one consistent holiday tradition my family maintained was listening to a recording of Dylan Thomas reading “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.” I can still picture us all--stuffed after our Christmas dinner, the presents long since unwrapped and sitting in a pile under the tree—sinking into our respective chairs in the living room and listening in rapt attention. Each year, I would hear something I hadn’t heard before—a phrase or an image. Even now, nothing evokes a greater sense of nostalgia for me than hearing Thomas’s deep, resonant voice recount his long-ago memories. Before I left home, my parents gave me my own vinyl copy so that I could always replicate the experience. My p

Your Holiday Book List: 5 Novels and a Memoir

In her later years, my mother made her gift shopping a little easier by buying each family member a special book. If you know someone's interests, books make great presents. Here are my picks of some recently published books that you may not know about. All were written by women but will appeal to men as well. I have not only read but can recommend each of them. You may want to buy one or more not only as gifts but for your own reading pleasure! For crime story and police procedural lovers: Idyll Hands by Stephanie Gayle. The third in Gayle's Thomas Lynch Series, this one is told in two voices: that of the gruff, gay, urban transplant we've come to know and love, Thomas Lynch, and of Officer

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