Image credit: Crafty Chica
For the December meeting of the Nerdy Girls OKC book club, we read My True Love Gave to Me, a short story collection of love stories that take place around the holidays. We convened at Fassler Hall on a cold Sunday afternoon for some tasty German food, the annual holiday book exchange, and discussion about this lovely book. Romantic, fluffy stories are usually not my cup of tea (with some exceptions), but My True Love Gave to Me fulfilled its promise of comforting holiday stories to read. While some stories are definitely stronger than the others, it was a well-rounded collection of couples of varying ages, races, genders, orientations, species, supernatural beings. You know, the usual.
So for the meeting, Laurie picked “Midnights” by Rainbow Rowell, “Krampuslauf” by Holly Black, and “The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor for us to read and discuss, but I ended up just reading the whole book. You should make some hot cocoa, bundle up in some blankets, and start reading this book. Here are my top 3 favorite stories:
- “Midnights” by Rainbow Rowell: a story told over a series of New Year’s Eves about 2 friends who fall for each other. It’s very sweet and very Rainbow Rowell.
- “Angels in the Snow” by Matt de la Peña: A guy is snowed in at his boss’ house for whom he’s cat-sitting, and the only other person in the building is the upstairs neighbor girl. It sounds very cheesy on the surface, but it’s a lot more interesting than lets on with some class tensions between the two, family and relationship issues, etc.
- “Welcome to Christmas, CA” by Kiersten White: a young waitress who works at her mother’s diner dreams of a life outside of the census-designated place in which she, her mother, and her mother’s boyfriend live. She falls for the new chef, who has a psychic talent for knowing exactly what food a person wants and/or needs.
- For those intrigued by my species and supernatural being comments above, read the stories by Kelly Link, Holly Black, and Laini Taylor! They were quite good as well.
As for others at book club, I found it interesting that the reception was mixed: there were some comments that twist-endings were expected and why did the girl always have to get the guy, etc. But are you to expect from a book that very clearly states “12 love stories” with couples happily ice skating on the cover? Not much in the way of drama. My True Love Gave to Me is exactly what it says on the tin, y’all.
We also had a great time with the holiday book exchange! Laurie asked us to bring a new or gently used wrapped book with the genre written on the cover. I brought Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On since we specifically read her short story and because I just love that book so damn much that I wanted someone else to enjoy it! We played two rounds of exchanges, using prompts that Laurie prepped (i.e. “Take a gift,” “Steal from a person wearing a necklace,” “Steal any gift,” etc.). I wound up with Princesses Behaving Badly, which looks like it will be an interesting read.