A wonderful quote from author/editor Kristina Wright: "Love to read? Looking forward to a new year and new books? Do your favorite authors a huge favor this holiday season. Buy a book. Buy two books! Give them as gifts, keep them for yourself, donate them to a coffee shop or women's shelter. Start your own book club. Can't afford books right now? That's okay. Really! You can still do something meaningful for your favorite authors. Pick a book you read and loved this year (or any year) and pop over to Amazon (or B&N or Twitter or Facebook or your blog or your PTA mailing list) and post a review. It doesn't have to be long. It doesn't have to be a summary of every character and plot point. Just tell people why you loved the book. Your enthusiasm will be contagious. Trust me. Someone else will buy the book because of your recommendation. Your favorite authors will make a few extra dollars this holiday season, yes. But more than that, those positive reviews and enthusiastic recommendations mean your favorite authors will garner enough sales to justify their next contracts--and their next books. Which means you will have more books to look forward to in 2012 and beyond. It's win-win, see? Remember your favorite authors this holiday season. They will thank you for it by writing stories that you love."
One of the gifts I'll be giving this year is World Vision Fair-Trade Coffee. I won a coffee set, including a bag of coffee and a hand-carved wooden coffee scoop, from Tiny Green Mom. The coffee is a blend of fine strains of the bean from Africa, Latin America and Indonesia.
World Vision is a wonderful organization dedicated to making the lives of the world's children better (including children in the U.S. as well as other countries). It publishes a catalog through which you can target your donations toward fighting hunger, sponsoring education, providing clean water, helping women find gainful employment or helping women and girls who've been sexually exploited.