Christmas Gifts Are No Laughing Matter

With Thanksgiving next week and Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about finding the perfect gift for that someone special in your life. If you’re like me, you want to find something the recipient will like and won’t cost you two months’ salary. It’s hard I know.

For years everyone in my family thought my dad loved chocolate covered cherry cordials. The kind that come in a box and are everywhere during the holiday season. Perhaps one of us had first given him a box as a child and he had responded with appropriate fatherly enthusiasm. For years after, we all thought these candies were the perfect dad gift. Then, a few years ago, dad announced that he hated chocolate covered cherries. He always had. And would we please stop giving them to him.

In the spirit of giving gifts that will be both used and appreciated, I’m going to share some of my book giving recommendations. This week I want to suggest books for that person on your list who loves to laugh.

So light the Yule log, pour yourself a glass of eggnog and let’s go.

Ryan Stoker has written four delightfully funny comic style books, each poking fun at some aspect of LDS life. For fifteen years his cartoons have appeared in the New Era magazine as well as other national publications, such as the Saturday Evening Post, Woman's World, Better Homes and Gardens, and the National Enquirer. His books include: So, You’re a Primary Teacher; So, You’re a BYU Football Fan; Mission Moments; and So, You’re an LDS Bishop. Each book is about 90 pages long and each sells for under ten dollars, some for under five.

Bruce Lindsay, a news anchor for KSL television has written a wonderful book called Hometown Weekly. Set up as articles from The Parley’s Progress a newspaper serving Utah’s 87th largest town, this book is full of down home humor that will keep you laughing and leave you with hope that there is still good news to be had in the world. This book (also available on an audio CD) sells new for about ten dollars. It would make a great gift for a grandparent or parent.

Released just last month, Arie Van De Graaff’s cartoon style book Mormon Life is bound to be a big hit with any of your LDS family or friends. Poking fun at such things as home teaching, scouting and food storage, Van De Graaff’s book hits the spot and will keep your recipient chuckling for months. The book sells for about fifteen dollars.

Now if you have a fiction buff on your gift giving list there are several humorous novels I would highly recommend.

Chicken’s in the Headlights by Matthew Buckley is a great story about a family of seven boys all under the age of eleven and the trouble they get into growing up on a farm in Utah. It’s a book that is so funny because it is so true. This book runs for about sixteen dollars and is also available in audio CD.

For a little romance with your humor try Bitten: A Romantic Comedy by Robert Ferrell Smith and follow young Trust Williams on his mission in Thelma’s Way, Tennessee. A missionary’s life is certainly not boring, but who knew it could be so funny. This book also sells for about sixteen dollars.

And last but not least, a Christmas story that will leave you snickering. Joseph Walker’s semi autobiographical Christmas on Mill Street. Nine year old Sam has just moved to Utah from Arizona, and in an effort to fit in with the other boys, has boasted that he will complete a task no other boy has ever done. Sled all the way down Mill Street without breaking his neck or being thrown. Only problem is, Sam doesn’t own a sled and has never even seen snow. This book sells on Amazon for around ten dollars.

For other books guaranteed to bring a smile, check out the Humor page on

Other World Fantasy: Part Three of the Three Part Fantasy Series

To some degree I think all writers are control freaks living in a world where they’re lucky to control their own breakfast, none-the-less their own life. Things come at them (as they do to all of us) from every direction, and so they turn to writing. In a story, the author controls the action, the plots and the characters. Now some authors will argue the point that their characters control the plot but we all know that everything starts in the writer's head.

Even so, most writers do not enjoy complete freedom in their craft, and are forced to comply with basic laws of physics and cultural norms. Unless of course they happen to write Other World Fantasy.

In Other World Fantasy, the story takes place in a reality different from our own. It maybe a world run by intelligent mice or inhabited by half dragon half mole like creatures. Perhaps citizens of this fantasy world can fly, read minds or get their children to bed at a decent hour every night. The sky is the limit… or perhaps it’s not.

Other World Fantasy is escapism in its truest form, and there are talented LDS writers who have mastered this genre.

Bron Bahlmann, sixteen-year-old author of Bone Warriors said the idea for the story came to him in a dream. And as you read about the sinister giants, colossal green jungle cats and undead monsters, one has to wonder if it was a dream or night mare. The story follows fifteen-year-old Derrick and his friend Tweaks as they fight the wicked necromancer in an effort to save their world and find their families.

BYU professor and fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson is known for his imaginative worlds and unusual plots. Author of over seven fantasy novels, Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy is a combination of Starwars meets Oceans Eleven. It’s an epic adventure full of political intrigue and clever magical thieves determined to change their world.

‘Skylan Ivorson is a sea-raider of the Vindras’, and thus begins the product summary for Bones of the Dragon the first of the four volume series Dragonships of Vindras by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman. Skylan searches for the Five Bones of the Vektan Dragons, to save the old gods and his people the Vindra.

Choose your adventure and fly with your imagination.