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Blog Literature

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

Posthumous Nobel Prize in Chemistry for Sherlock Holmes

24 Festive Tasks: Door 7 – International Human Rights Day, Task 1: Nominate a (fictional) character from one of the books you read this year for a Nobel Prize – regardless which one – or for a similarly important prize (e.g., the Fields Medal for mathematics) and write a brief laudation explaining your nomination.  

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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

Santa in Literature: Theodor Storm’s “Knecht Ruprecht” and DEATH as Department Store Santa in Terry Pratchett’s “Hogfather”

24 Festive Tasks: Door 6 – St. Nicholas’ Day / Sinterklaas, Task 2: Share with us a paragraph / quote / description / image of your favorite Santa Claus / St. Nick depiction in popular culture, and then tell us why it resonates with you?” E.g., here is the description of Father Christmas from The […]

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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

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 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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Fun and Games Lifestyle Literature Movies

Classic Christmas Mystery Movie Binge

24 Festive Tasks: Door 21 – Christmas, Bonus Task #2: Watch a favorite Christmas movie. I binge-watched three of my annual favorite Christmas movies last night — Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, The Theft of the Royal Ruby (aka The Christmas Pudding), both starring David Suchet, and the Sherlock Holmes episode The Blue Carbuncle, starring Jeremy Brett and David Burke.   […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Favorite Fictional Societies and Ingredients of a Well-Functioning Real Society

24 Festive Tasks: Door 3 – Saturnalia, Task 2: Saturnalia was originally a celebration in remembrance of the “Golden Age” of Graeco-Roman mythology, ruled over by Saturn (Kronos in Greek), and during which humanity existed in a utopian state of innocence, living off nature’s bounty without having to work. Name a book describing / set […]

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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

A Henpecked Husband’s Revenge

24 Festive Tasks: Door 3 – Saturnalia, Task 1: According to imperial Roman sources, the Saturnalicius princeps (“Ruler of the Saturnalia”) ruled as master of ceremonies during the holiday.  His role was possibly a satire on that of the emperor; and he has been compared to the medieval Lord of Misrule at the Feast of […]

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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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Fun and Games Literature

A Short Book List for Jonathan Harker

24 Festive Tasks: Door 6 – St. Nicholas’ Day / Sinterklaas, Task 1: Create a book wish list for one of your favorite book characters, or pick 3 books for that character to receive from St. Nick. Here’s a list of books that Jonathan Harker might have found useful before embarking on his trip to […]

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Fun and Games Linked Items Literature Reviews

Book Characters Turning Over a New Leaf

24 Festive Tasks: Door 4 – Japanese Culture Day, Task 2: Japanese Culture Day was first held in 1948, to commemorate the announcement of the country’s post-war constitution on November 3, 1946, which was to make a new start for Japan.  Which book did you read this year where someone was searching for or starting […]

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Cats Cooking - Food - Drink Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Battle of the Books Goes Feline: Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management vs. Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace

24 Festive Tasks: Door 20 – Festivus, Bonus Task #2: Battle of the Books: pick two books off your shelf (randomly or with purpose); in a fair fight, which book would come out on top?  The fight can be based on the merits of the books themselves, their writing, or full-on mano a mano between […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Quotes and Poppies for Veterans’ / Armistice Day

24 Festive Tasks: Door 17 – Veterans’ / Armistice Day, Task 1: Post a quote or a piece of poetry about the ravages of war. Here are three quotes from E.M. Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front: “Comrade, I did not want to kill you. . . . But you were only an idea […]

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Fun and Games Literature

The New “Pride and Prejudice” Edition, and Other Lockdown Book Haul Entries

24 Festive Tasks: Door 18 – Thanksgiving, Task 1: Be thankful for yourself and treat yourself to a new book – post a picture of it.  (This can be a library book.)   Although being in temporary lockdown for the second time this year doesn’t exactly prove conducive to my reading (nor did most of […]

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