If there's one thing I love about the holidays, it's silver Christmas trees. You know the ones. Their shiny branches look like they're made from tinsel. Some people think they're unbelievably tacky. I think they're incredible.
I am the proud owner of a full-sized silver tree, which I plan on putting up in my living room. Last year, I had a real tree, but I'm ready to return to the world of retro decorating this season.
To me, "Blue Christmas" by Mary Kay Andrews ($14.95, HarperCollins) is an ideal holiday story. The book is set in Savannah, which happens to be one of my favorite places, and the story includes plenty of vintage Christmas decorations.
"Blue Christmas" focuses on Weezie Foley, the Savannah antiques dealer who appeared in Andrews' "Savannah Blues" (Harper, $13.95) and "Savannah Breeze" (HarperCollins, $24.95).
In this short novel, Weezie is preparing for the holidays. She ends up decorating the window of her antique shop with a 1950s theme, complete with a silver Christmas tree. The display is more popular than she imagined.
I hope that aspect of the story isn't entirely fictional - I'd like to think I'm not the only fan of silver Christmas trees.
Even if you prefer traditional holiday accents, "Blue Christmas" is a fun read. It's almost as good as an actual visit to Savannah.
I hope I'll have a chance to go there before the end of the year, but I may be busy with attending and hosting holiday parties right here at home.
This year, I am particularly interested in retro-inspired entertaining, which is why I wanted to see Amy Sedaris when she visited the Decatur Library this week. Sedaris came to town to talk about her book "I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence" (Warner Books, $27.99), which features Sedaris' signature humor and was clearly inspired by the wisdom of 1950s housewives.
When I got to Decatur, however, it was clear that a few hundred other people were more excited about seeing Sedaris than I was and they were already in line. The line extended from the door to the lower level of the library and all the way back through the adjacent parking garage and out onto the street. The auditorium at the library only had a capacity of a few hundred, so there were lots of Sedaris fans there who didn't get to see her.
I was one of them. Luckily, though, I ran into an old friend from a writing class I took last year at the library. Instead of seeing Sedaris, we ended up going out to the nearby Brick Store Pub with her friends. We talked about reading and writing and told stories for a couple of hours.
If there had only been a silver Christmas tree there, it would have been an absolutely perfect outing. As it was, I still had an excellent time.
If there's a book you think I really ought to read, please e-mail rachael.mason@