Saturday, December 13, 2008

White Elephants on Parade in Charlottesville

The tenth annual Charlottesville LLL White Elephant Exchange was held yesterday at the Gracious Home of writer and documentary filmmaker Elizabeth Howard. Some twenty Literary Ladies were in attendance. As the exquisite wrappings fell away, we were left with many truly wretched offerings. (Why, this is the best holiday EVER!)

My personal favorite was Susie Langenkamp's new "pump" soap.

Hearty congratulations to our first- and second-place winners, Laura Rydin and Sally Honenberger!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

LLLer Noted and Quoted

Colorado LLLer Doreen Orion, currently, marking...time in Crescent City, CA, made it into TWO (2!) newspapers this week.

First was The Rocky Mountain News holiday book gift guide: Nonfiction (scroll down to Travel), for her memoir, QUEEN OF THE ROAD.

Today, Doreen was quoted--as Dr. Orion, psychotherapist (but not author)--in a New York Times article about book groups, Fought Over Any Good Books Lately?

Denver White Elephant Extravaganza!

Scene at Denver Literary Ladies Luncheon December Extravaganza: Sharon Glassman, Christie Hartman, Nancy Hightower, Karen Carter, Kate Schafer Testerman (face obscured).

Denver's second annual LLL White Elephant Gift Exchange was held yesterday at the Gracious Home of Bella Stander, National Cofounder & Western Social Secretary. Everyone shared food, drinks and tastefully wrapped dreadful (or not-so) regifts. To add to the fun, there was an Accessories Swap. Gold hoop earrings were the thing to de-accession; at least 7 pairs were up for grabs (seen at Karen Carter's rear, above).

Carleen Brice demonstrated her "Welcome White Folks" video, to much hilarity. Andrea Cohen is seated at left; Sharon is looking over her shoulder. At the next screening, Tamara Greenleaf laughed so hard she cried; she's wiping her tears at right. Carleen gave a copy of her book, ORANGE MINT & HONEY, and an audiobook. Not exactly White Elephants, but they were greatly appreciated.

Left, Denise Turner receives the gift acclaimed as Best Wrapped. Little did she know what many of us guessed: that it contained the ghastly double-necked vase Carleen got last year. We expect it to reappear in 2009. A can of guava paste has been circulating in Charlottesville for a decade; here's hoping it turns up again this Friday.

Right, the Tackiest Gift, a balky lava lamp bestowed on Karen by Nancy Hightower.

Above left, Sharon models a fetching ensemble--black knit cap & mauve camisole--received from Janet Singleton (rear), who's holding the finishing touch: a red-flowered scarf. Center, Christie models a belt from the Accessories Swap. Right, Nancy models a flowered neck--we think--thing and black handbag, from Vanessa Appleby, who had to leave (escape?) before all the gift giving.

Left, Janet responds to Kristin Nelson's gift of a pewter,, vase?

Right, Bella with the Most Ghastly Gift, courtesy of Denise, who gave as good (i.e., bad) as she got.

As you can see, Janet was stunned by the spotted green frog from Denise. Carleen was amazed by an opened bag of Snickers bars (another Halloween leftover) and can of evaporated milk from Debra. They were packed in the most precious and patriotic gift bag EVER (the trifecta: teddy bear, angel & American flag). For some reason Carleen refused to take it with her, so it was squirreled away by Bella, to make a glorious reappearance next year.

More hapless giftees.

Left, Debra Goldyn with Nelly CD.

Right, Elizabeth Wrenn with PURE SKIN. (Note how her eyes match the book jacket!)

Left: Pleased (or faking it) recipient Paula Singer and giver Elizabeth Wrenn with--ick!--POOH'S LITTLE BOOK OF FENG SHUI.

Below: Best-Coordinated Package & Recipient Nancy Jarrell and bag (Denise is at left). Inside was a silver bookmark in the shape of a heart. Groans all around for its being truly lovely.

Happy giftees Kate Schafer Testerman with cat thingy; Kristin Nelson with DOGA: Yoga for Dogs (dog on left resembles her Chutney).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Welcome to the African-American Books Section!

The Welcome White Folks video is out in the world. LLLer Carleen Brice, aka the Black Book Welcome Lady, states that no non-black people were harmed in the making of it. In fact, she treated us to lunch afterward. (I'm in the rousing and heartwarming finale; most of the cast is in the LLL.)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New York Approves of LLLer!

Carleen Brice made it into the BRILLIANT HIGHBROW section in The Approval Matrix for her National Buy a Book By a Black Author & Give It to Somebody Not Black Month. I wrote about NBBBAGISNBM here and here (with demented pix of yours truly).

Be sure to read Carleen's new blog, White Readers Meet Black Authors. Today's post has the Top 10 reasons white people should read books by black people:
8. Seriously, haven't you read enough Philip Roth? Jewish guy obsessed with sex and death. Oy! Enough already.