This holiday season, feel free to refer to this simple primer from Merriam-Webster as to how, exactly, the various people in your family are related to you before you embarrass yourself. "If you're actively working on figuring out just how you're related to someone, a pen and paper are invaluable for wading through the convolutions. And when you're standing around with the distant relation you can at the very least know you're in the convolutions together, even if you don't quite know how you're related."
Soooo, shameless plug, but my friend Tish's book The Liturgy of the Ordinary was named Book of the Year by Christianity Today magazine. It's a delightful book, and you should absolutely read it. "“Liturgy of the Ordinary is simple without being reductionistic. It is beautiful without being excessive. It is theological without being heady. And it is orthodox without being pedantic. Walking her readers through a very ordinary day (brushing her teeth, making her bed, fighting with her husband), Warren highlights how all of life is liturgical. For a culture constantly in fear of missing out, Warren points to these sacred everyday rhythms as proof that we’re right in the middle of what is happening, if only we’ll take note.” —Lore Ferguson Wilbert, blogger at Sayable.net."
The conversation goes on for nearly an hour — flowing from clones, to whether or not manipulation is evil, to how screwed up adults are (can you believe they think this book is dystopian? It's not.).
That last one — how messed up grownups are — it's a hallmark of dystopia, especially in the young adult genre. When I ask the group why they think these types of books are so popular with teens, they tell me it has a lot to do with relatability.