Crown Me, Lost and a little War and Peace

Lost: The Complete First Season on DVD
(Walt Disney Home Video)
The show has captured viewers since Oceanic flight 815 crashed on a remote tropical island, leaving 48 survivors to fend for themselves against the elements, each other and polar bears. No matter how many times you’ve already seen the episodes, you can always find a new clue or hidden message; are those The Numbers on the back of the girl’s soccer shirts in the airport? Is that Hugo the little Korean girl is watching on TV when Jin bursts in to beat her father? The boxed set contains all of the episodes from the first season, as well as commentary, interviews and more information than you ever thought you’d want to know about a television show.
Joan of Arcadia: The First Season on DVD
(Paramount Home Video)
I actually cried when I found out that this show had been cancelled by the network, so I was thrilled to see the first season is now available on DVD. Each week, high school student Joan Girardi is given an assignment by God, who allows her to see Him in whatever image is most relevant to that week’s task. Joan’s foot-stomping, eye-rolling, and sarcastic questioning is a picture perfect example of how most of us respond to God. It’s refreshing to watch Joan’s gradual acceptance of each task, even when she doesn’t understand or agree with it. God usually lets Joan see the bigger picture and her role in it, which emphasizes the message of obeying God even when we don’t know His whole plan. Joan’s encounters with God lead her family to examine their own faith, to believe in miracles, and to seek God. And even when the show is tackling a particularly difficult topic – marital infidelity, teen sex, lying, cheating, death – it’s done with tact, compassion, restraint, humor and maturity.
War and Peace
Randall Goodgame
With a folky charm and a keen ear for a well-written song, Randall Goodgame’s latest release is a great stocking stuffer for the music fan on your list. It leads off with a whimsical tribute to Charles Schultz, and carries on with acoustic songs both sweet and deep, filled with light-hearted melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. Goodgame is a songwriter for the band Caedmon’s Call, and you’ll find his “Share The Well” on the album. Goodgame’s song-writing style makes me think of something you’d hear on “The Prairie Home Companion.”
Crown Me!
By Kathryn Lay
(Holiday House Publishers)
Fifth grader Justin Davies wants nothing more than to be student council president. So when history teacher Mr. Bailey crowns him king of the class for two weeks, Justin takes the opportunity to prepare for the upcoming student council elections by practicing his leadership skills. But Justin didn’t count on a co-ruler who actually wanted to use her power or an all-out revolt by the “peasants”, headed up his two best friends. Things turn ugly, until Justin learns that absolute power can absolutely corrupt, and that being a leader is a bigger responsibility than he expected. A great gift for the young reader on your list. Winner of the 2005 Golden Spur Award
How To Remodel A Man
By Bruce Cameron
(St. Martin’s Griffin)
[NOTE – see full article below]
For every woman who wanted to remodel her husband but didn’t know where to begin, funny guy Bruce Cameron shares all the inside tricks and techniques to make your man presentable to the world. And Bruce should know; he’s a remodeled man. At least he thinks so. Learn ways to get your man to change the toilet paper roll, put his dirty socks in the hamper, and stop whining when he’s sick. A funny and lighthearted look at men and everything woman want to change about them.
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