Finally, for those who indulge a bit too much in holiday goodies, there is the hilarious, heartfelt The Sound of One Thigh Clapping, Meredith Clair's meditation on the eternal fight against fat. After failing at quick-fix diets, Clair enrolled in a weight-loss class led by a woman with a Zen attitude. Inspired, Clair decided to pen her own weight-loss creed. The result is this hilarious book filled with haikus (17-syllable verses) that cut right to the heart of the matter: dieting is no fun, but it can be funny. Clair's gems pay tribute well, sort of to some of the most beloved diet-busters: "Fond memories of Hidden Valley Ranch, where I last saw my waistline." "Thank you, Buffalo, for the memories, the wings, and the extra pounds." "Tasty pink grapefruit significantly less so after the eighth day." Clair also shares down-to-earth advice on how to avoid caloric temptation, and perhaps more importantly, how to change one's self-image. With its whimsical illustrations and refreshing point of view, The Sound of One Thigh Clapping is one self-help book that doesn't take itself too seriously. All Amy Scribner wants from Santa is less traffic on the Washington, D.C., Beltway.

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