Wednesday, December 22, 2010
All I Want for Christmas is...
The most requested books this year, according to my friendly Barnes and Noble elves, are Jeff Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series. The most recent book in the series, as well as related merchandise was hard to keep in stock. Second in popularity as far as requests go would be any of the books in the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. Grandparents comprised a big buying population who come in and ask what the staff would recommend as they are not up to speed on the latest publications. I wondered about people coming in to ask for the classics? Nope, most adults are interested in the books that they read as a child. Most unusual request? A book about dinosaurs, but with photographs. Hmmmm.
As the stock of related games, plush figures and puzzles increases, so do the requests for these as well, so that if an "Olivia" book is not available, at least one does not have to leave empty-handed.
The most heart-warming story I heard, however, was that of two recent masses of fifth grade students from a local public school who had come in search of The Arrival and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Apparently there is a marvelous fifth grade language arts teacher out there who reads regularly to his students and inspires such a hunger for the books he shares that his boys and girls cannot wait to get their own copies. The books are not required reading, but the children are eager and willing to snatch them up. Hearing that a teacher still reads aloud to his students made my day.
After a long day of shopping and toting those precious parcels, what could be better than a steaming mug of hot chocolate? Nothing that I can think of. So here's a special recipe for anyone who agrees with me on that count:
1 cup milk, 1 cup half and half, 8 tsp sugar, 1 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped, 1 oz unsweetened choc, chopped, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla
Heat everything in a sauce pan except the vanilla until the chocolate melts and the sugar dissolves. Pour 1/2 into a blender and mix until foamy. Return to the sauce pan and add vanilla. Stir briefly. Top with dollop of whipped cream if desired. Sit back, relax and enjoy!