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Thanksgiving Survival Kit

Thanksgiving cat

I hope you’ve got a warm, supportive family you’re really looking forward to spending some time with! But if you don’t, it’s easy to feel left out of the many Thanksgiving-related articles that come flying at your face every year. Fortunately, your friendly neighborhood library has something for everyone, no matter the situation.


The Make-Ahead Kitchen: 75 Slow-Cooker, Freezer, and Prepared Meals for the Busy Lifestyle by Annalise Thomas

Be sure to bring something you’ll like to eat! The dishes in this book can be made days or weeks in advance and reheated (or, in the case of desserts, thawed) at the last minute. Why spend time in the kitchen dodging elbows if you don’t have to? Recipes range from easy (Pumpkin Pecan Crumble) to medium (Slow Cooker French Onion Beef Soup) to daunting (Make-Ahead Pepperoni Pizza Rolls). Illustrated with hundreds of droolworthy color photos, as a cookbook should be.

Cocktails for Drinkers : Not-Even-Remotely-Artisanal, Three-Ingredient-or-Less Cocktails that Get to the Point by Jennifer McCartney

A good stiff drink can be just the ticket. All the classic cocktails are here, and judging by the 2:1 ratio of the Jack & Coke recipe, these are indeed very strong beverages. Let those passive-aggressive comments just sail on by unacknowledged.

The First Wife: A Tale of Polygamy by Paulina Chiziane

This wonderful book, by Mozambique’s first published female novelist, stars Rami, who discovers that her husband of twenty years has four other families. Custom dictates that now he must marry the other four women. Rami is not happy about any of this, but as she gets to know the other wives, she begins to see them as friends and allies. This is beautifully written, a strong story about strong women. I loved it. I wonder what Thanksgiving would be like at their house….

Micro Macramé: 25 Superfine Jewelry Projects by Jenny Townley

Keeping your hands busy and your mind focused is a great way to manage any situation. Avoid the drama and sit at the kids’ table making lovely things. Bring enough rings and cords for everyone and teach the younglings some beginning techniques, or let them teach you what they know!

We Are Growing! by Laurie Keller

Hang around the kids’ table even longer by reading with them. This adorable, funny book is brought to us by the beloved Elephant & Piggie, who appear in the introduction. It’s got jokes, yelling, and a hidden secret lesson about being yourself and claiming your space in the world among supportive friends!

Accepted: How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE by Pat Patterson

When Pat Patterson was 17 years old, he excitedly told his parents he was in love. With a boy. His mother cried, and his father tried to toss him out. So Pat moved from Canada to the United States and became a pro wrestler, finding a new home among people who accepted him for who he was. Highly recommended for wrestling fans and humans in general.

Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud by Elizabeth Greenwood
The Vanished : the “Evaporated People” of Japan in Stories and Photographs by Lena Mauger

If you’ve ever considered faking your own death, or simply dropping everything and walking away, these two books are for you! Playing Dead covers the logistics of faking death in the 21st century, and even has a handy flowchart to help you decide. The Vanished is a look at the johatsu, or “evaporated”, of Japan. Nearly 100,000 people a year in Japan simply run away from their lives. Learn who and why through gorgeous photos and touching anecdotes.


Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving & Thriving with the Self-Absorbed by Wendy T. Behary

If escape isn’t an option, maybe this will help you make it through. Learn to anticipate and avoid triggers, sidestep power struggles, and take the high road. Remember that your own needs are important too, and practice self-care. This book even contains strategies for holding a narcissist accountable for unacceptable behavior (good luck with that, sincerely) and a checklist to help you decide whether your narcissist is actually dangerous enough that you need to cut ties. You probably already know the answer, but it’s nice to see it spelled out on the page.

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