Is it sufficiently nondenominational if I wish a Berry Kristmush to everyone?
This is Burger King Japan's actual holiday ad campaign. I know because I was in Tokyo last week. I ate neither the mush burger nor the premium berry burger. Every time I'm on the flight to Tokyo, I think, maybe this isn't going to be as great as I remember it. And then I walk past seventeen appealing restaurants in one block, get lost in a throng of ten thousand Fuji University students, get treated like a visiting maharaja at 7-Eleven, discover a new flavor of Cheeza (gratin!), and fall in love with a kitten named Sora at a cat cafe.
New stuff by me
I've published three articles about Japan in the last couple of months. The first two are about Japanese tea; I wrote them for Serious Eats. I suspect you'll enjoy the first one whether or not you have any interest in tea.
Next, at the request of several readers, I wrote a piece about how I developed Pretty Good Number One and how one might approach writing a similar travel book. It came out pretty well, I think.
New stuff by others
Halfway Home is a delightful new graphic memoir by Christine Mari Inzer about a summer spent in her ancestral homeland of Japan. Inzer is smart, observant, and hilarious. Speaking as a 40ish writer, the fact that she's written a book this good while still a teenager is totally unacceptable. This book would make a great gift, and it's like $10. Trust me, you're going to love it.
The next selection would make a terrible gift, and you've probably already heard of it, but I've fallen under the charismatic sway of Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. If nothing else, it will teach you the right way to fold your clothes. (I've been doing it so wrong.)
Come see me
My friend and fellow author Molly Wizenberg and I are celebrating five years of our comedy podcast, Spilled Milk, with a live taping at Book Larder in Seattle on January 29, 6:30pm. Birthday cake will be served, and we'll be selling and signing books. Tickets will be on sale soon; keep an eye on the Spilled Milk Facebook page.
The English-language edition of Pretty Good Number One is available in all the usual places, but if you're looking for the Japanese-language edition to give as a gift, and you live in the US, the easiest way to get it is to order it online from Kinokuniya. Here's the link.
As always, thank you for reading and supporting my books, and happy new year! Or as Burger King puts it, happy stewed deer. (Not really.) (As far as I know.)