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11 Books To Read This Thanksgiving

Ditch the history books and curl up with one of these entertaining Thanksgiving reads.

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1. THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie

Via fallsapart.com

This award-winning YA novel brings a new perspective on what it means to grow up as a Native American, both on the Rez and in White America. This heartfelt, semi-autobiographical tale provides much discussion for the Thanksgiving meal.

2. ONE THOUSAND WHITE WOMEN: The Journal of May Dodd by Jim Fergus

Via goodreads.com

On Thanksgiving, we talk a lot about the Pilgrims colonizing and pushing the Native Americans off their land. But did you know there was also an attempt to assimilate the Native Americans by marrying them off to white women? This first-person account from the perspective of a woman in the "Brides for Indians" is vivid, poignant, and a story few of us have heard before.

3. FOOLS CROW by James Welch

Via goodreads.com

This is another great 19th century novel which provides insight into the lives of Native Americans. Set in Montana, the story features Fools Crow, a young warrior who has a premonition of his people being pushed off their land by the whites moving in. He and his tribe are faced with a choice: accommodate or prepare to resist. Deemed "A major contribution to Native American literature" (Wallace Stegner), this book can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

4. LAKOTA WOMAN by Mary Crow Dog

Via 111booksfor2011.wordpress.com

For a female perspective on Native American life, pick up this frank autobiography from Mary Crow Dog, member of the Lakota Tribe in South Dakota. From home life on the Rez to teenage pregnancy to government corruption, Mary leaves no issue un-addressed.

5. THANKSGIVING by Janet Evanovich

Via goodreads.com

After spending the day fighting crowds at the supermarket, entertaining the in-laws, and slaving over a hot stove, you need a few laughs. Try this lighthearted tale from the master of funny fiction.

6. HOOKED by Liz Fichera

Another great read for your teen is Liz Fichera's story of a Native American girl living on an Indian Reservation, who's chosen to play on the all-boys, all-white golf team. For a contemporary coming-of-age story with a dash of romance, let your teen settle in with HOOKED after the evening's festivities.

7. THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD by Lynne Reid Banks

Via barnesandnoble.com

If your younger attendees are getting restless, hand them this imaginative middle grade novel while they're waiting for dinner. They'll lose track of time reading about the plastic Indian doll that comes to life.

8. TURKEY DAY MURDER by Leslie Meier

Via goodreads.com

Prefer your turkey with a side of murder? The suspense and complex puzzle make this cozy mystery from Leslie Meier the perfect anecdote for the tryptophan coma.

9. COOKED by Michael Pollan

Via npr.org

Michael Pollan loves writing about food just as much as he loves eating it. Before you dig in to the stuffing and sweet potatos, check out COOKED. He examines the different processes by which we cook our food and after you finish, you'll have a better understanding and appreciation of the meal in front of you.

10. BARGAIN FEVER by Mark Ellwood

If Thanksgiving is more about Black Friday than Turkey Thursday, then gear up for the bargain madness with this informative book from Mark Ellwood. BARGAIN FEVER addresses everything from getting better deals to the science of why we see some things as a bargain. Check it out while you stand in line at midnight.

11. HELP THANKS WOW by Anne Lamott

Via npr.org

Ultimately, this holiday is about giving thanks and being grateful for life's blessings. This slim volume provides a way to give thanks in the form of prayers and offers guidance on reflection over the Thanksgiving holiday.

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