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2020 in Facts and Figures

I already posted my main 2020 in Review and Looking Ahead to 2021 posts a while ago — only on my new blog (separate post to come) –, but I held back on my 2020 reading statistics until the year was well and truly over.  And for all my good intentions when posting my mid-year […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Terry Pratchett: Hogfather (Annual Holiday Read)

24 Festive Tasks: Door 24 – Hogswatch, Book: Read any Terry Pratchett book or a book with a pig on the cover. So, I listened to Hogfather today … and that’s my Festive Task reads done and dusted! (I may do another couple of non-book tasks tomorrow, though.)  

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Fun and Games Literature

Favorite Rainy Day Reads

24 Festive Tasks: Door 5 – Bon Om Touk, Bonus Task: List / tell us about your favorite rainy day reads. I suppose it only takes one look at my list of read books this year to determine my favorite rainy day books, as 2020 was essentially one extended rainy day: Golden Age mysteries and […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Susanna Gregory: A Killer in Winter

24 Festive Tasks: Door 3 – Saturnalia, Book: The god Saturn has a planet named after him: Read any work of science fiction that takes place in space, or a nonfiction science / popular science book.  Or read a book revolving around a large party, ball, or festival, or a story where roles are reversed, […]

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Cooking - Food - Drink Fun and Games Lifestyle Literature

Christmas Pudding

  One of my annual Christmas Eve rereads: Agatha Christie’s The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding. And we actually do have one this year, too:

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Oscar Wilde: The Importance of Being Earnest

24 Festive Tasks: Door 20 – Festivus, Book: Read anything comedic; a parody, satire, etc., books with hilariously dysfunctional families (must be funny dysfunctional, not tragic dysfunctional), or anything else that makes you laugh (or hope it does).   I spontaneously decided to revisit Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest — in the 1977 […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Michael Jecks: The Mad Monk of Gidleigh

24 Festive Tasks: Door 8 – St. Lucia’s Day, Book: Read a book set in Scandinavia / Northern Europe, by a Northern European / Nordic author, with a predominantly white cover (or white with red lettering), newly released in November or December of this year, or set in the candle-lit world (i.e., before the discovery […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Ellis Peters: The Raven in the Foregate

24 Festive Tasks: Door 13 – International Day for Tolerance, Book: Read a book about tolerance, or outside your comfort zone, set in Paris (seat of UNESCO), by or about a Nobel Peace Prize winner, or about a protagonist (fictional or nonfictional) who has a reputation as a peacemaker.   Earlier this month I reread […]

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Fun and Games Lifestyle Literature

A Bubble Bath and Books

24 Festive Tasks: Door 5 – Bon Om Touk, Task 1: Bon Om Touk takes place on the end of the rainy season with the change of the water’s flow on Tonle Sap River.  The flow direction changes twice a year.  The change in November symbols the calm of the earth that is no longer […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Ngaio Marsh: Off With His Head (aka Death of a Fool)

24 Festive Tasks: Door 10 – First Day of Carnival, Book: Read a book about starting over, rebuilding, new beginnings, etc., or a book where things go “BOOM!”, or with fireworks on the cover.   I decided on a minor Ngaio Marsh mini binge, following up Tied up in Tinsel (my NYE book) with another one […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Ngaio Marsh: Tied Up in Tinsel

24 Festive Tasks: Door 23 – New Year’s Eve, Book: Read a book about starting over, rebuilding, new beginnings, etc., or a book where things go “BOOM!”, or with fireworks on the cover.   For this square, I decided to use my reread of Ngaio Marsh’s Tied up in Tinsel, which is a book where […]

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Cooking - Food - Drink Fun and Games Lifestyle Literature

Donna Andrews: The Gift of the Magpie … and Yule Candles, Candy, and Other Christmas Cheer

24 Festive Tasks: Door 1 – Winter Solstice (Yule – Dōngzhì – Soyal – Yaldā Night), Book, Task 1 and Bonus Task #2: Book: Read a book that takes place in December, with ice or snow on the cover, where all events take place in a single day or night, that revolves around the solstice, […]

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Literature Reviews

Arthur Conan Doyle: Round the Fire Stories

This is a group of stories originally published individually in Strand Magazine (and other magazines), and in book form first in 1908. A subset of seven stories were recently republished under the title Tales for a Winter’s Night, and I think overall the editors of the republication did pick the stronger bits of the lot. […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Georgette Heyer: Envious Casca

24 Festive Tasks: Door 21 – Christmas, Book: Read a book whose protagonist is called Mary, Joseph (or Jesus, if that’s a commonly used name in your culture) or any variations of those names (e.g., Maria or Pepe), or a book with pines or fir trees on the cover, or a Christmas book.   I’m […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Barbara Neely: Blanche on the Lam

24 Festive Tasks: Door 7 – International Human Rights Day, Book: Read a book featuring a strong female character (or characters), by an author from any minority group, a story about a minority overcoming their oppressors, or revolving around the rights of others either being defended or abused, a book set in New York City, […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Agatha Christie: Murder on the Links

24 Festive Tasks: Door 19 – Hanukkah, Book: Read a book about light, miracles, featuring Jewish characters, set in Israel, that is the second book in a series, with the word “two” in the title, or with a light on the cover.   I’m using Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Links, which I revisited yesterday […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Looking Ahead to 2021

Since I posted my 2020 Year in Review post yesterday, I figured I might as well go ahead and follow up with the preview post for next year — again, taking the relevant “Festive Tasks” items as my cues.  So, without further ado:   24 Festive Tasks: Door 19 – Hanukkah, Task 1: Time to […]

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Cats Fun and Games Literature Reviews

2020: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

We’re still a month away from the end of the year, but my reading will probably consist mainly of Christmas books in December, and I hope and pray that life won’t come up and throw anything else at me in the final month of the year, either.  So I might as well post my “Year […]

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Literature Reviews

Arthur Conan Doyle: Tales for a Winter’s Night

This is a group of stories originally published individually in Strand Magazine (and other magazines), and in book form, together with nine other tales, first as as a 1908 collection named Round the Fire Stories.  Conan Doyle’s preface reads: “In a previous volume, ‘The Green Flag,’ I have assembled a number of my stories which […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Deborah Crombie: Dreaming of the Bones

24 Festive Tasks: Door 4 – Japanese Culture Day, Book: Read a book that is set in Japan or featuring Japanese characters; or read a graphic novel or a book set in a school or academic setting.   I’m claiming the audiobook I listened to yesterday and the day before, Deborah Crombie’s Dreaming of the […]

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