Month: November 2018

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24 Festive Tasks: Door 12 – Saint Andrew’s Day

  Saint Andrew’s Day (November 30) is the feast day of Saint Andrew and Scotland’s official national day. Since 2015, it is also a national holiday in Romania. According to the New Testament, Saint Andrew was the disciple who introduced his brother, the Apostle Peter, to Jesus. Andrew is credited with spreading the gospel to […]

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Barbara Vine: The Brimstone Wedding

24 Festive Tasks: Door 8 – Penance Day, Book: Read any book concerning a man / woman of the cloth, a book about a character hiding a guilty secret or searching for absolution. Tedious, predictable, and boring beyond belief.  I’d never have thought I’d actually ever say this about a book by Barbara Vine (Ruth […]

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A Paper Boat … and Cats. Because there can’t ever be too many cat pictures in the world.

24 Festive Tasks: Door 10 – Bon Om Touk, Task 1: Make a paper boat and post a picture of it. Instructions, if needed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiAWx8odStA   I confess I needed the instructions — when I was a kid I could have done this in my sleep, but that was a long time ago and I haven’t […]

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Michael Connelly: The Late Show / Two Kinds of Truth / Dark Sacred Night

Ballard and Bosch: A Michael Connelly Mini-Binge I managed to fall behind on 3 books by Michael Connelly over the course of the past 2 years — how in the world did that happen?  He’s one of my most consistent go-to authors for reliably high quality crime fiction … as well as for taking me […]

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My 2018 Book Harvest

24 Festive Tasks: Door 9 – Thanksgiving, Task 4: Show us your 2018 book “harvest” – the books you newly acquired this year, regardless whether bought, received as gift or in whichever other way.   Well, we know that 2018 was the year I almost broke my shelving system … … or would have, if […]

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Favorite Shoes

24 Festive Tasks: Door 11 – Russian Mother’s Day, Task 3: Perhaps the best-known scene in the James Bond novel and film From Russia With Love is 007 being poisoned by Russian agent Rosa Klebb with a venom-laced blade hidden in her shoe.  Tell us: Have you ever owned any particular / outrageous / funny / best-beloved […]

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24 Festive Tasks: Third Week Stats

A bit late once again, but that allowed me to include the first results for Russian Mother’s Day.  We had a busy week last week … not only in terms of doors being opened but also tasks being completed!  I continue to be blown away by this year’s activity — we’re now less than 100 […]

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Six Characters Who Made a Career Change

24 Festive Tasks: Door 7 – Mawlid, Task 4: Muhammad was a merchant before becoming a religious leader.  List 5 books on your shelves in which a key character makes / undergoes a radical career change.   1. Brother Cadfael: A career change can hardly get any more radical than going from crusading soldier to […]

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Two Prophecies About My Reading Life in 2019

24 Festive Tasks: Door 7 – Mawlid, Task 1: Make two “prophesies” you think will come to fruition in 2019 in your personal or reading life. My two prophecies for 2019 are: 1. Audiobooks have become an indelible part of my reading life in the past couple of years, and have greatly contributed to the […]

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The Mother of All Writerly Sins

24 Festive Tasks: Door 11 – Russian Mother’s Day, Task 1: Tell us: What is the mother of all writerly sins in your book (tropes, grammar mistakes, telling instead of showing, etc.)? The mother of all writerly sins, in my book, is simply to annoy or to bore me.  I know that sounds awfully general, […]

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Three Moonlighting Book Characters

24 Festive Tasks: Door 10 – Bon Om Touk, Task 4: Which are your 3 favorite books where a key character is “moonlighting”?   Three moonlighting characters: 1. Dr. John Watson:  The good doctor actually has a full-time practice as an MD — which doesn’t stop him from routinely going sleuthing with London’s self-declared “only […]

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Bad Hair Day

24 Festive Tasks: Door 8 – Penance Day, Task 3: In centuries gone by, penance would often end up in what might be described as a very extended bad hair day (complete with sackcloth and ashes).  Tell us: What’s a bad hair day to you – and what (if anything) do you do about it? […]

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Rainy Day Reading

24 Festive Tasks: Door 10 – Bon Om Touk, Task 3: Bon Om Touk celebrates the end of the rainy season.  Tell us: What’s your favorite type of rainy day book – and do you have a favorite drink or snack to go with your rainy day reading?  Photos welcome! Any book that gives me […]

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24 Festive Tasks: Door 11 – Russian Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March or May, and complements similar celebrations honoring family members, such as Father’s […]

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Favorite Sports Teams and Pennants

24 Festive Tasks: Door 8 – Penance Day, Task 2: It’s “Pennants” day according to MbD’s husband:  post a picture of your favorite team’s logo/mascot and the last time they’ve won a championship (or not).   QUIDDITCH First things first (though I’m not the first here to post about this) — as a proud Gryffindor, […]

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24 Festive Tasks: Door 10 – Bon Om Touk

The Cambodian Water Festival Bon Om Touk is celebrated in November and commemorates the end of the country’s rainy season, as well as the annual reversal of the flow of the Tonle Sap River, the central part of a hydrological system in the Lower Mekong Basin which the Mekong River replenishes with water and sediments […]

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In the Desert: Egypt (and an Addendum)

24 Festive Tasks: Door 8 – Penance Day, Task 4: Early Christian spiritualists would sometimes do penance by spending time in the desert.  If you’ve ever visited a desert region (or even live there), post a picture and tell us about it.  Alternatively, post a picture of sand dunes (NOT with water in the background!). […]

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My Comfort Reads

24 Festive Tasks: Door 8 – Penance Day, Task 1: “Confess” your book habits.  Dog-earring?  Laying books face down?  Bending back the spines? Skimming?  OR: Confess your guilty reading pleasure, or comfort reads.   It’s probably no secret that my comfort reads are Golden Age mysteries — I’m slowly making my way through the works […]

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Poppy Seedcake

24 Festive Tasks: Door 5 – Veterans’ / Armistice Day, Task 4: Treat yourself to a slice of seedcake and post a photo.  If you want to make it yourself, try out this recipe: https://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/poppy-seed-cake/ … or this one: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1629633/lemon-and-poppy-seed-cake Would you believe I had poppy seedcake for dessert today and completely forgot to take a photo until […]

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My Favorite Books of 2018

24 Festive Tasks: Door 9 – Thanksgiving, Task 1: List the 3 books you’ve read this year you’re most “thankful” for (your favs) or the one book you’ve ever read that changed your life for the better.   2018 was an excellent reading year for me, both in terms of quantity and quality — yet, […]

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