I’m getting ready to travel to my brother’s house in Chicago for the weekend before Thanksgiving and to Arizona the weekend after Thanksgiving to give out disability journalism awards. My brother is turning seventy, so we’ll be celebrating that too. Judith Viorst, May Sarton and Gloria Steinem have written fine books on that, but for him, a couple railroad books work better!

When I looked for relevant reading matter on Thanksgiving, in addition to a myriad of cookbooks, I found lots of earnest explanations for kids about the first Thanksgiving. There are a few chick lit confections where the lady gets her man on Thanksgiving. There are also a few books of Thanksgiving poems, including two patterned after “Twas the Night before Christmas”. Need a themed murder mystery, try Dead Hot Shot (Loon Lake Fishing Mystery #9) by Victoria Houston which takes place in Wisconsin or several of the Murder She Wrote series.

A slim book of riddles includes:

What are unhappy cranberries called?

Why did the Indians whisper?
Because the corn has ears.

In case you’re curious, there’s Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet. Sarah Gives Thanks by David Gardner and Mike Allegra narrates how during the nineteenth century, Sarah Josepha Hale dedicated her life to making Thanksgiving a national holiday.

Breathing Space by Heidi Neumark is a memoir by a Lutheran pastor full of thanksgiving for her congregation and the joys, sorrows and struggles they share.

This little piece by Ralph Waldo Emerson about sums up my feelings on this wonderful holiday:

Thanksgiving Thoughts

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

Rev. Peter Bauer in his November 13 article in the Huffington Post, put my wishes for all of us this way: “May this season of Thanksgiving be a time in which we can learn from the Pilgrim way of life. How we can become grateful and accepting of life and one another and how we can stay connected as communities working together to improve the lives of all.”

And for the day after Thanksgiving, instead of shopping, you could relax with a pumpkin latte and enjoy Christmas Sucks: What to Do When Fruitcake, Family, and Finding the Perfect Gift Make You Miserable by Joanne Kimes.