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Best Red and Green Books of 2015
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Best Red and Green Books of 2015

By Andrea Routley
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tagged: holiday
Books that are red and books that are green. Because when it comes to thoughtful holiday gift-giving, this is super important stuff. Now I have put a LOT of thought into this list, and slaved away for more than TEN MINUTES to bring to you the most reddest and greenest of the covers I could find, even adding thoughtful commentary as to why they are worth of such a critical list. If I missed a cover that you think really should be on this list because it is a) red, or b) green, then do tell me. See if you can find me... Also, not all of these books are 2015.
Silenced

Silenced

The Untold Story of the Fight for Equality in the RCMP
edition:Paperback
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Why it's on the list ...
This cover is totally red. It's a showstopper -- the white text evokes the STOP sign, and makes you say, "Hold up, this book looks awesome." Not as in, "This is a hold up," but as in the dated slang. Yes, you might even say this cover is ... arresting? Hardy har har.
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Middle Power, Middle Kingdom

Middle Power, Middle Kingdom

What Canadians Need to Know about China in the 21st Century
edition:Hardcover
tagged : diplomacy
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Why it's on the list ...
I have not read this book, but as you can see it is RED! It has a middle white stripe because it is talking about the Middle Kingdom, which is the literal meaning of China in Chinese -- Zhong Guo (middle kingdom). White is like snow, which is also very holiday-ish, if you are into the red and green holiday that is Christmas, which most people in China are not into, but it is catching on there as a shopping opportunity. So that is something about China in the 21st century that I have to share, making this commentary totally relevant to the book's content.
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Sing a Worried Song

Sing a Worried Song

An Arthur Beauchamp Novel
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback Hardcover
tagged : crime, thrillers
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Why it's on the list ...
Look at that crooked tie! That is symbolic of how many people feel at this time of year, which is crooked. It could also be pointing at something, just to the left of that person, like maybe someone else's foot. There are DEFINITELY a LOT of other people's feet around at this time of year because people INSIST on visiting family and friends, making a huge mess in the kitchen, which is why red is one of the main colours, because it represents being mad about the mess.

The title also says "song," which makes it a great holiday book because there are holiday songs. I mean Christmas, not "holiday." I'm not fooling anyone with that "holiday" thing.
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All Inclusive
Why it's on the list ...
There is blue in the cover, so I wasn't totally sold on it at first, but the suitcase is green, and it also says "All Inclusive" on it. A lot of people like to get out of town at this time of year, and they buy these vacation packages that are "all inclusive," which means you start drinking at 10 a.m. Also, if you had this book and someone said, "Is there a doctor in the house??" You could hold up your book and say, "Yo!" I think that would get a few laughs. There is also sex in this book, which is sometimes hard to find around the holidays because people are too stuffed to be in the mood. So you'll just have to read about it.
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The Island Walkers
Excerpt

One Saturday in the summer of 1965, Joe and Alf Walker climbed onto the roof and spent the better part of the morning stripping the old shingles. By eleven they were busy nailing down the new ones. Joe, who had turned eighteen that July, worked on the slope overlooking the backyard. He sat shirtless, on his duff, and hammered sullenly between his legs, aware of the sun-baked expanse of tarpaper stretching up the slope behind him. From beyond the peak, his father’s hammer thundered without rest. It seemed crazy to try to keep up.

He shifted his weight, placed the next shingle, and looked across the yard with its picnic table and apple tree, its narrow lawn and rows of vegetables -- beyond the flood­dyke blooming cheerfully with his mother’s flowers, to the Atta, flowing through the shadow of Lookout Hill. Under its far bank -- a dim cave of limestone and darkly rippling water -- it looked cool and inviting: another world. He was labouring under protest, under a sense of injustice that drove him on in angry spurts then dragged him into a sloth so deep it was like a spell. Why were they doing this today? Today -- as he’d mentioned to his father last Wednesday, he was sure -- he and Smiley were planning to go hunting with Smiley’s new .22. His friend had gone on without him. A few minutes ago he’d heard a shot echo down the valley.

He dipped into the bag beside him and the sharp nails bit his fingers. For weeks the shingles had sat beside the house in their paper wrappings, under a paint­spotted tarp. A dozen times at least his mother had said, “Alf, I am getting so tired of that heap out there. You’d think we were living in the Ozarks.” His mother’s idea of the Ozarks came from television, but she used the phrase to convey a sense of social embarrassment, of appearances that were not up to the mark. He always thought it sounded funny in her English accent. His mother was a war bride. Hearing the words as a young boy, he had imagined her striding off to battle in skirts and helmet. The vision had made him slightly wary of her, as if she could lay claim to secret, irresistible powers. Yet there had been nothing but weary exasperation in her complaints about the roof, the mechanical recitation of an old war cry that no longer frightened anybody: an act for tourists. She had grown up in a finer house than this: she’d told him many times about the books, the grand piano, the holidays in Normandy. “Your father’s uniform fooled me completely” -- this was another of her stories -- “For all I knew he was a millionaire’s son.” It had become a family joke, told at the right time at parties: her coming down in the world was a mistake, based on her inability to read his father’s status by his accent or his clothes. It was not until after she’d arrived in Attawan in the spring of 1946 that she realized what she’d done. She hadn’t given up, though: getting the roof shingled was only one in an endless series of assaults on their rough edges -- on their house that, by her standards, was too small and, despite their relentless improvements, still too shabby, not to mention situated in the wrong part of town. Joe looked back to the river. Such thoughts were troubling, leading to shadows, sadness. Better to hunker down like his father and pretend he wasn’t affected.

Yet his father wasn’t impervious. His wife’s complaints might seem to sink into him without a trace, snow into dark water, but they could achieve a critical mass. This morning he had roused Joe early and announced that today they were shingling the roof. But why today, Joe wondered, the hottest so far of the whole summer? At breakfast, over a trembling forkful of fried egg, he dared to question the decision -- maybe they should wait till it was cooler, he said, thinking the whole time of Smiley’s gun, of the wafer of silver light at the end of the scope and even of the word “scope” itself, so pleasing and final, like a bullet smacking into mud. “It’s gonna rain,” his father said, and when Joe said, “It’s rained before,” meaning and you never bothered then, his father had said quietly, looking at him with those ice­blue eyes the colour of Lake Erie in spring, “No arguments.”

He thought there was something fanatical in his father that came from a place of silence and brooding Joe couldn’t read: something extreme and overbearing and violent that thank God was not there all the time but that could leap up like a blade you hadn’t been careful with and nip you. Now it was his arbitrariness that bothered him most. What gave him the right to decide? Why did he have to obey? Why didn’t he just throw down his hammer and leave the roof? He suspected that if he did, he would have to leave the house as well. He had absorbed some old notion that work was something you did for everybody, without complaint. He had worked for as long as he could remember, washing floors, washing the car, digging gardens, stacking cans at the A&P; this summer he was at Bannerman’s. He expected to work, but this morning some remnant of an ancient grievance had surfaced: the need for unquestioning obedience was an injustice and so was the loss of his day. He felt, irrationally, as if his entire future had been torn from him.

The hammering from the other side had stopped. A moment later he heard his father’s heavy, braced steps come down the slope behind him. The pack of shingles slammed into the roof­boards like a body.

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Why it's on the list ...
This book is legitimately fully green (and black). It's kind of a spooky cover, so it might remind you a bit of Halloween, although I don't think it has anything to do with Halloween. If you like that, you might like to rent The Nightmare Before Christmas, which is a Tim Burton movie about Halloween AND Christmas, all in the same go, which probably helped it make money. If you know someone who has a birthday around the end of December, this would make a great Birthday/Xmas present.
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My Shoes Are Killing Me
Why it's on the list ...
Green, yes. A bit of yellow, I can see that smarty-pants. But "My Shoes Are Killing Me" is a phrase people who go mall-shopping can relate to at this time of year. All that walking around in stupid shoes. If you know someone who wears stupid shoes that make their feet look elegant but will surely give them bunions at some point, you could get them this book and a pair of sensible shoes, like loafers.
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Kapusta

Kapusta

edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover Paperback
tagged : canadian
More Info
Why it's on the list ...
Is that a cabbage???

If you eat too much cabbage, you will definitely have gas, but poetry can't give you gas, although bad poetry may smell like farts. But this is top notch poetry, so don't worry.
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Twenty-One Cardinals
Why it's on the list ...
A red book with the word cardinals on it -- cardinals are red birds and ALSO something to do with Christianity, which is somehow connected to Christmas I'm pretty sure. Also, the person is sort of breaking up there in an ice sort of way, which is also holidayish because ice. This book also has a circle on it (top right), with something written in there. Any book with a circle on it is top notch!
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