Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your weekly, two-sentence news review. Here are your headlines for the week.

Alamedans are getting into the spirit of things this holiday season, and reader Cathy Nielsen persuaded us to tell that story by sharing readers' holiday decoration pics.

Photo by Kristen Hanlon.

It’s a familiar conundrum: the holidays are fast approaching, several readers are on your list, and you walk into the bookstore thinking: “Where do I even begin?” I pitched the following questions to Nick Petrulakis, manager of Books Inc. on Park Street. If you’d like further recommendations, check out his book blog at