Thursday, December 30, 2021

Katherine by Anya Seton -- BOOK BEGINNINGS

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

Happy New Year to all of you! And a heartfelt THANK YOU for playing along with me for another year of Book Beginnings on Fridays! This weekly event is the highlight of my book blogging and I appreciate all of you who join me, whether you come every week or drop in now and again. I hope to see you back again in 2022!

Please share the last book beginning of 2021 in the Linky box below. Share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week, or just a book you want to highlight. 

I'm ending the year with a chunky historical fiction classic, Katherine by Anya Seton. I just started it this morning and I am already sucked into this lavish, intricate tale of court life in 14th Century England. 

I plan to spend this New Year's weekend reading Katherine and organizing my 2022 reading challenges. Do you plan to do any challenges in 2022? Which ones? I hope you consider the European Reading Challenge -- it's the 10th anniversary of that challenge here on Rose City Reader! And the TBR 22 in '22 challenge, also here on my blog. 

MY BOOK BEGINNING

In the tender green time of April, Katherine set forth at last upon her journey with the two nuns and the royal messenger.

-- Katherine by Anya Seton. This classic romance, published in 1954, brings to life the historic tale of Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, the ancestors of most of the British royal family.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS

Please leave a link to your Book Beginning post, not your blog home page or social media landing page. If you share on social media, please use the #bookbeginnings hashtag.

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THE FRIDAY 56

Freda at Freda's Voice hosts another teaser event on Fridays. Participants share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of the book they are reading -- or from 56% of the way through the audiobook or ebook. Please visit Freda's Voice for details and to leave a link to your post.

MY FRIDAY 56

From Katherine:

The royal family were still only glittering figures to be glimpsed at the High Table, and the Queen only a name. Katherine had nothing to wear except the violet gown borrowed from Matilda and no finery to put on, so she sat idly for awhile on the bed that she shared with Philippa and Johanna Cosin, listening to the excited female gabble and longing to be out in the spring dusk.


2021 Vintage Mystery Challenge - My Wrap Up Post


VINTAGE MYSTERY CHALLENGE 2021

VINTAGE SCATTEGORIES

MY WRAP UP POST

COMPLETED


The Vintage Mystery Challenge on My Reader's Block is one of my favorite challenges. The idea is to read at least eight vintage mysteries, either from the Golden Age of mysteries (those published prior to 1960) or the Silver Age of mysteries (those published from 1960 to 1989). 

Each year, Bev makes some kind of game out of it. This year the game is Vintage Scattegories. Participants are to read one book from at least eight of various categories. I signed up for both the Golden Age and Silver Age to try to read 16 books. 


MY VINTAGE MYSTERY CHALLENGE BOOKS - GOLD

In 2021, I read 13 vintage mysteries published before 1960. I was on a mission to read all the Father Brown books, having read the first one in December 2020 and wanting to go straight through, so Fr. Brown shows up a lot in this list. 

  • A Mystery by Any Other Name: Funerals are Fatal by Agatha Christie (aka After the Funeral and Murder at the Gallop)


MY VINTAGE MYSTERY CHALLENGE BOOKS - SILVER

I read 11 vintage mysteries in 2021 that were published between 1960 and 1989. Most of them were by Dick Francis because he's my favorite. 

  • Murder by the Numbers: Twice Shy by Dick Francis 
  • Malicious Men: LaBrava by Elmore Leonard
  • Repeat Offenders: Whip Hand by Dick Francis 
  • Hobbies Can be Murder: Reflex by Dick Francis 
I didn't review any of these books, so my challenge participation was minimal. But I had a terrific time reading them. I look forward to joining the 2022 version of the Vintage Mystery Challenge and will sign up soon!



Wednesday, December 29, 2021

2021 Back to the Classics Challenge -- My Wrap Up Post


2021 BACK TO THE CLASSICS

My Wrap Up Post

COMPLETED

Karen at Books and Chocolate hosts one of my favorite challenges, the Back to the Classics Challenge
I like it because the idea is to read up to 12 "classics" (loosely defined as a book more than 50 years old), one from each of 12 categories. It's like a scavenger hunt for classic books. 

I never fully participate because I don't have time to review the books I read for this challenge. So I don't get to enter the drawing for the prize. But those who review the books they read get one entry in the prize drawing if they read and review six books, two entries for nine books, and three entries for reading a book from all 12 categories. 

THE CATEGORIES
  • 19th Century Classic
  • 20th Century Classic
  • Classic by a Woman
  • Classic in Translation
  • Classic by a BIPOC Author
  • Classic by a New-to-You Author
  • Classic by a Favorite Author
  • Classic About an Animal
  • Children's Classic
  • Classic Humor or Satire
  • Travel or Adventure Classic
  • Classic Play
BOOKS I READ

I managed to read 10 books for this challenge, many from my Classics Club list. I focused on books from my CC list so I can make progress on finishing that list by my deadline goal of December 2023.
Even though I didn't qualify for the prize, this challenge is still a lot of fun for me! I plan to sign up again for the 2022 version. This pushes me to find classics I probably wouldn't read otherwise, or at least not pick first from my TBR shelf. 


Monday, December 27, 2021

2021 Mt. TBR Challenge -- My Wrap Up Post

 


2021 MT. TBR CHALLENGE

MY WRAP UP POST

COMPLETED

The Mt. TBR Challenge hosted by Bev at My Reader's Block is one of my favorite challenges every year! In 2021, I signed up at the Mr. Kilamanjaro level with the goal of reading 60 books off my TBR shelves.

I do the Mt. TBR Challenge each your in connection with a TBR challenge of my own that goes with the year. So this year it is the TBR 22 in '22 Challenge. I do the two together because the I pick the "yearly" challenge books ahead of time and the Mt. TBR books at whim. You can see my book picks for my TBR 22 in '22 Challenge here.   

In 2021, I ended up reading past my Mt. TBR goal. In addition to the 21 book I read for the 21 in '21 Challenge, I read 70 others for a total of 91 books off my TBR shelves. That means I made it to the Mt. Toro level and came close to reaching the Mt. Everest level. 

MY MT. TBR BOOKS

Here are the additional 70 books I read for the Mt. TBR Challenge. to see the other 21 books I read, see my wrap up post for the TBR 21 in '21 Challenge, here

  • Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
  • The Red and the Black by Stendhal 
  • Billy Bathgate by E. L. Doctorow
  • Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter
  • Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis
  • Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan
  • The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjöwall
  • Reflex by Dick Francis
  • Whip Hand by Dick Francis
  • The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
  • Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount
  • The Midnight Line by Lee Child
  • Charlotte Moss: A Visual Life: Scrapbooks, Collages, and Inspirations by Charlotte Moss
  • Missing Joseph by Elizabeth George
  • On The Wealth of Nations: Books That Changed the World by P. J. O'Rourke
  • Dead Cert by Dick Francis
  • Obasan by Joy Kogawa
  • The Wisdom of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton
  • How They Decorated: Inspiration from Great Women of the Twentieth Century by Gaye P. Tapp
  • A Faithful Place by Tana French
  • Consequences by Penelope Lively
  • The Kingdom of Speech by Tom Wolfe
  • Jeeves in the Offing by P. G. Wodehouse
  • The Private Patient by P. D. James
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
  • Skios by Michael Frayn
  • The Purpose-driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren
  • The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific by Maarten J. Troost
  • A Place in the World by Amy Maroney
  • Twice Shy by Dick Francis
  • A Little Book of Japanese Contentments: Ikigai, Forest Bathing, Wabi-sabi, and More by Erin Niimi Longhurst
  • Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King
  • Jolie Blon's Bounce by James Lee Burke
  • Bruno: Chief of Police by Martin Walker
  • The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
  • Mysteries of Pittsburg by Michael Chabon
  • The Shape of the Journey: New & Collected Poems by Jim Harrison
  • Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo
  • Passenger to Frankfurt by Agatha Christie
  • Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
  • The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend
  • The Darlings by Christina Alger
  • The Choir by Joanna Trollope
  • Pope Joan by Donna Cross Woolfolk
  • Noah's Compass by Anne Taylor
  • A Changed Man by Francine Prose
  • Split Images by Elmore Leonard
  • The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
  • We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates
  • May We Be Forgiven by A. M. Holmes
  • The Theban Mysteries by Amanda Cross
  • Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle
  • The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
  • BUtterfield 8 by John O'Hara
  • Building Beauty: The Alchemy of Design by Michael S. Smith
  • The Incredulity of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton
  • Funerals are Fatal by Agatha Christie
  • French Lessons by Ellen Sussman
  • Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie 
  • House Made of Dawn by Scott N. Momaday
  • Peril at End House by Agatha Christie
  • Past Tense by Lee Child
  • The French Chef in America: Julia Child's Second Act by Alex Prud'homme
  • March Violets by Philip Kerr
  • Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • LaBrava by Elmore Leonard
  • Final Curtain by Ngaio Marsh
  • The Secret of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton
  • The Scandal of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton



Sunday, December 26, 2021

TBR 22 in '22 and Mt. TBR Challenges -- My Sign Up Post

 

THE TBR 22 IN '22 CHALLENGE

This is my sign up post for the TBR 22 in '22 Challenge. The simple idea is to read 22 books off your TBR shelves between January 1 and December 31, 2022. If you want to join me (and I hope you do), go to the main challenge page here to sign up. 

You do not have to pick all your TBR 22 in '22 books ahead of time. I like to, so I do. You can. Or you can pick some now and some as you go. You can pick them all at whim. Or you can pick now and then change your mind. The only real rule is that you read books that you already owned before January 1, 2022. 


MY TBR 22 IN '22 BOOKS

I like to pick my books ahead of time and keep them stacked by my bedside to motivate me through the year. Two or three are those I've only recently acquired and I want to read before they disappear on my shelves. The rest are those that have been on my shelves for so long I want to read them so I can stop looking at them! Several of these are on my Classics Club list for the same reason.

In alphabetical order by author name, not as shown in the picture above. I may read them in this order because I have no other plan, although that would mean four Roth books and three Buckley books back to back, so probably not:

  • Atlantic High by William F. Buckley, Jr., the second of his four sailing memoirs. I read the first one last year and planned to read them all but didn't get to them. 2022 will be the year I finally do. 
  • Windfall by William F. Buckley, Jr., the last one
  • Rat Race by Dick Francis, on my Classics Club list
  • The Wall by John Hersey, on my Classics Club list

  • The Masters by C. P. Snow is the fourth book in his Strangers and Brothers series, which I started years ago and want to finish. This one is on my Classics Club list because it won the James Tait Black Prize in 1954.




THE MT. TBR CHALLENGE

This TBR 22 in '22 Challenge dovetails nicely with the Mt TBR Challenge that Bev at My Reader's Block hosts every year. Like I did in 2021, I am signing up for the "Mt. Kilimanjaro" Level in 2022 to read a total of 60 books off my TBR shelves. That means 38 books in addition to those listed above. 

MY MT. TBR BOOKS

I will list my Mt. TBR books here as I read them. 











Thursday, December 23, 2021

Coco at the Ritz: A Novel by Gioia Diliberto -- BOOK BEGINNINGS

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

Merry Christmas for those of you celebrating this weekend! This post goes up Thursday evening, Christmas Eve Eve as we used to say when we were kids. By Friday, I will be deep into celebrations, with my mind far away from book blogging and concentrating only on all things Christmas. 

But once the ribbons, wrapping, and cookie crumbs are swept away, I'll be in the mood to curl up with a good book. Especially if Portland gets snowed in next week like might happen! 

Do you plan to do any reading this holiday weekend?

MY BOOK BEGINNING

When the doorbell rang at eight thirty on that hot, languid morning, Coco knew they'd come to arrest her.
-- Coco at the Ritz: A Novel by Gioia Diliberto. That's an excellent opening sentence!

This new novel about Coco Channel is based on the true story of Channel's war-time romance with a German spy and how that affair led to her arrest for treason following the Liberation of Paris. Coco at the Ritz came out this month from Pegasus Books and is historical fiction at its page-turning best.

Coco at the Ritz went straight onto my list of French Connections books.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS

Share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, or just a book you want to highlight. Please link to your blog or social media post, not the home page of your blog or your social media profile page. If you share on social media, please use #bookbeginnings.

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THE FRIDAY 56

Freda at Freda's Voice hosts another teaser event on Fridays. Participants share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of the book they are reading -- or from 56% of the way through the audiobook or ebook. Please visit Freda's Voice for details and to leave a link to your post.

MY FRIDAY 56

From Coco at the Ritz:
There was no question of Coco changing addresses, of moving to another part of town. She had to be at the Ritz, where she could keep an eye on her shop across the street, the source of her income.
I just want to cuddle up in a fuzzy robe in front of the tree and fireplace and read this from cover to cover. With a glass of champagne so I can channel my inner Channel. I'll even wear pearls with my fuzzy robe!


2 Days to Christmas!

 




Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The TBR 21 in '21 Challenge -- My Wrap Up Post

THE TBR 21 IN '21 CHALLENGE
COMPLETED

MY WRAP UP POST



2021 was the first year I hosted a TBR reading challenge I called the TBR 21 in '21 Challenge. The idea was to read 21 books off your TBR shelves in 2021. Not particularly creative maybe, but easy to remember! And the challenge will get just a tiny bit more difficult each year. 

If you want to join me in 2022 for the TBR 22 in '22 Challenge, please check out the main challenge page here and sign up! 

MY TBR 21 IN '21 BOOKS


I kept my books in this basket near my bed and read them in random order. One is missing because it was on my nightstand when I took the picture and I didn't realize it until I did my sign up post. Doh!

See any here that sound good?

  • Not Now but Now by M.F.K. Fisher, the one missing from the picture. Fisher wrote about food and almost entirely nonfiction. This is her only novel. It was very odd and involved time travel. Reminiscent of Virginia Wolfe's Orlando
  • Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome, the sequel to Three Men in a Boat, which I had already read but reread this year because it is so funny. The sequel was good but never as good as the original. 
  • Old Filth by Jane Gardam. Gardam's Old Filth trilogy tells the story of the long, complicated marriage of Sir Edward Feathers and his wife Betty. The three were the highlight of this challenge. 
  • The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam. In Old Filth, we get the story from Sir Edward's point of view. In this one, we get Betty's story and our perceptions change accordingly.
  • Last Friends by Jane Gardam. In this last volume, we get the story of Terence Veneering, Sir Edward's professional and romantic rival. 
  • The Florence King Reader by Florence King. King was a prolific writer, mostly of essays and articles, known for her writings about the American South and her acerbic wit. 
  • The Library Book by Susan Orlean. A history of the Los Angeles library from an amazing storyteller. 
  • Orchids & Salami by Eva Gabor. I got this 1954 memoir for its funny title and glamorous cover. It was the oddest book in the bunch, so obviously ghostwritten! Unless Eva Gabor wrote like a 1950s wise cracking sports columnist. 

  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau. This was on my Classics Club list. I tried to read it with my ears last year but could not engage with the audiobook. I got through the paper book, but can't say I'll be rushing out to read everything Thoreau ever wrote. Lots of words about the value of a good wool suit and descriptions of ponds. 
  • Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby. A memoir about soccer fandom is not exactly my cup of tea, but if anyone can make a description of 30 years of soccer games readable, it is Hornby. I'm a Hornby completist, in part because he taught me that word. 
  • Wry Martinis by Christopher Buckley is a book of his collected essays. I found it a little uneven. I think it was cobbled together after the success of Thank you for Smoking.  
  • An Alphabet for Gourmets by M. F. K. Fisher. Unlike her novel, this quirky book of food essays is Fisher at her idiosyncratic best.
All in all, I was pleased with my picks. I read over 125 books in 2021, more than usual. So these 21 were only a small part of the total. The others I didn't pick ahead of time, just at whim. I like preselecting a manageable number of books that I know I want to read for one reason or another and making myself read them. Usually the only thing "making" me want to read them is curiosity or the time they have been sitting on my shelf. 



3 Days to Christmas!

 




Monday, December 20, 2021

THE TBR 21 IN '21 CHALLENGE -- Wrap Up Page



WRAP UP PAGE

FOR THE TBR 21 IN '21 CHALLENGE

January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021

THIS IS THE PAGE TO LINK TO YOUR WRAP UP POSTS

TO LINK REVIEWS OF INDIVIDUAL BOOKS, GO TO THIS PAGE

If you want to join us again in 2022 for the TBR 22 in '22 challenge, please go to the main 2022 challenge page here to sign up. I hope you do!

LINK YOUR WRAP UP POSTS HERE

Please put your name and/or the name of your blog or social media handle. Please link to your review post and not your blog home page or main social media profile page.

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If you have questions about how to find the URL for a social media wrap up post, leave a comment or email me at gilion at dumasandvaughn dot com.

If you have trouble adding your link, leave it in a comment and I will add it or email me your link at gilion at dumasandvaughn dot com and I will add it for you. Please put your name and the name of your blog or social media handle in the comment or email. Thanks!

WRAP UP

The idea of the challenge was to pick 21 books off your TBR shelf and read them in 2021. You do not have to review the books to "complete" the challenge, just read them. Do a wrap up post and tell us about the 21 books you read.

If you didn't make it through all 21 books, do a wrap up post anyway and tell us about the books you did read and what distracted you from reading all 21. Will you join us again in 2022 to read 22 books?

If you do not do a wrap up post separate from your sign up post -- you just update your original post -- that's fine! Please still link to the updated post.


5 Days to Christmas!

 






Thursday, December 16, 2021

Murder at the Castle by M. B. Shaw -- BOOK BEGINNINGS

 


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

Well, after botching last week's post, I have my act together this week! This time of year can scramble my brain. Between holiday prep and festivities, end-of-year office admin tasks, and regular work to get done, I end up feeling like one of Santa's elves trapped in Legally Blond

I need to finish my book club book before we meet for a our final 2021 get together next week. Then I plan to coast into Christmas week with this wonderful looking new holiday mystery, Murder at the Castle

How is your month going?

MY BOOK BEGINNING

Iris Grey scanned the faces of the crowd milling around Aberdeen railway station, hunting for her driver.

-- Murder at the Castle by M. B. Shaw, new from Pegasus Books

This is the second book in M. B. Shaw's mystery series featuring portrait painter and amateur sleuth Iris Grey. The first book, Murder at the Mill, found Iris solving a murder that happened at a charming cottage during a Christmas Eve party. 

Murder at the Castle takes Iris north to a Scottish castle during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. Baron Jock MacKinnon has commissioned Iris to paint the portrait of his fiancé, but plans go awry when a dead body turns up on the castle grounds.


YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS

Please share the opening sentence (or so) from the book you are reading this week -- or just a book you want to highlight. If you share on social media, please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings. Leave the link to your Book Beginnings post in the linky box below.

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THE FRIDAY 56

Freda at Freda's Voice hosts another teaser event on Fridays. Participants share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of the book they are reading -- or from 56% of the way through the audiobook or ebook. Please visit Freda's Voice for details and to leave a link to your post.

MY FRIDAY 56

From Murder at the Castle:
"Don't you find that strange?" Iris probed, slowing her own pace, taking in the soft sensation of dropped pine needles like an eiderdown under her feet, and the rich, resinous smell of the trees. The combination of the dark, towering trunks and the cold tendrils of mist snaking around them gave the whole place a distinctly Tolkien-like, fantasy feel.

I can't wait to tuck in! But I'm such a completist that I want to start with the first book in the series so just ordered Murder at the Mill to read first. It will get here next week, right after book club. Perfect timing to enjoy it over Christmas Eve and this one during the week between Christmas and New Year -- just like the plots of both books! Hopefully without any foul play!

 



9 Days to Christmas!

 




Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Monthly Wrap Up -- My November Books

 


MONTHLY WRAP UP

I got so caught up in Christmas prep that I forgot to post my monthly wrap up of the books I read in November. Doesn’t it feel like the last weeks of the year race by?  Between end-of-year work stuff and holiday festivities, I don’t know where my head is half the time.

MY NOVEMBER BOOKS

I read 13 books in November, including four for Nonfiction November. I love these theme reads that seem more popular with the the boom of bookstagram.

In the order I read them, not the order they are in the picture:

The Incredulity of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton. I’m working my way through all the stories. This one isn't in the picture at all because I read it with my ears. 🌹🌹🌹🌹

Funerals are Fatal by Agatha Christie, the first of three Christie books I read in November just because I was in the mood. 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

French Lessons by Ellen Sussman, one from my French Connections list and a fun trip to Paris! 🌹🌹🌹🌹

Vol. 71 of Slightly Foxed from Foxed Quarterly, the Autumn 2021 edition. I count it as a “book” so I can keep track of which ones I read. 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

Rizzio, the new historical fiction novella by Denise Mina from Pegasus Books was an excellent way to spend a stormy afternoon. Great read! 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie 🌹🌹🌹🌹

House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday, which won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize. I wanted to like it more than I did, but the stream of consciousness, multiple narrators, and multiple narrative voices (including the always confusing second person) made it a difficult book to engage with. 🌹🌹🌹

Peril at End House by Agatha Christie 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

Past Tense by Lee Child. I have one more to go before I finish all the Jack Reacher books written by Lee Child (without his brother as co-author). Fine with me. I was an ardent fan, but I’m off them.🌹🌹🌹🌹

Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I finally read this classic about living in the woods and can check it off my list! 🌹🌹🌹🌹

The French Chef in America: Julia Child's Second Act by Alex Prud'homme. If you want more of My Life in France, this is the book for you. I loved it.  🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

March Violets by Philip Kerr. This is the first book in his Bernie Gunther series and I’ll definitely stick with it. 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

Plum Sauce: A P.G. Wodehouse Companion by Richard Usborne is a deep dive into Wodehouse’s 97 books. 🌹🌹🌹🌹

Also in the picture are the white camellias that bloom in my yard from November through Christmas. 


 




10 Days to Christmas!

 




Friday, December 10, 2021

Book Beginnings on Fridays


 Yikes! Work got away from me this week!

Please share your Book Beginning link in the box below. I hope to get back here and fill in my post later today.

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15 Days to Christmas!

 




Thursday, December 2, 2021

The Red Button by Keith Eldred -- BOOK BEGINNINGS

 


BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

Do you read anything special in December? For instance, do you read books with a definite Christmas or holiday theme? Or particularly cozy books? 

I like cozy books in December. They don't need to be Christmas books, but I stay away from books that are too action-packed, depressing, or political. I like a big shaggy classic this time of year, or a vintage mystery, and I try to slip in a feel-good rom com or Aga saga.

I look forward to the Book Beginnings on Fridays posts in December to see what you like to read during the holidays. Please share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading or a book you want to highlight.

MY BOOK BEGINNING

From The Red Button by Keith Eldred:

Belle would have started work early in her life regardless, since her family needed her contribution, but it was all the earlier because her mother, Lily, died of consumption when Belle was still a girl. 

The Red Button is an imaginative prequel to A Christmas Carol. It is the story of a young Ebenezer Scrooge and his romance with Belle Endicott. Belle is mentioned only briefly in the original story. This book is built around the captivating idea that Ebenezer Scrooge secretly carries a red button around with him that reminds him of his lost love. It will give you a new appreciation for Dickens' classic. 

Keith Eldred wrote The Red Button as part of a project called This is Red. Keith and his wife Janet started This is Red when she was diagnosed with early stage dementia. The goal of This is Red is to raise money for their local library where Janet has worked as the library director for many years.


YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS

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THE FRIDAY 56

Freda at Freda's Voice hosts another teaser event on Fridays. Participants share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of the book they are reading -- or from 56% of the way through the audiobook or ebook. Please visit Freda's Voice for details and to leave a link to your post.

MY FRIDAY 56

From The Red Button:
Ebenezer had provided an assortment of samples, so Archie and Belle were able to show what was available from the factory. Merrell seized on one item.


23 Days to Christmas!

 




Wednesday, December 1, 2021

24 Days to Christmas! An Advent Calendar Tradition

ADVENT: COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS

Today is December 1, which means it's time to post an advent calendar of vintage Christmas cards here on Rose City Reader! This countdown to Christmas with vintage holiday cards is a holiday tradition I've kept up since I started this blog in 2008.

I love holiday traditions and vintage ephemera. If you also like vintage cards and want to see more, click on the "Advent" or "vintage postcard" tags at the bottom of these posts (or bottom of the page) and scroll through hundreds of images from past years. You will find Santas, elves, trees, ornaments, birds, cats, dogs, squirrels, gifts, candles, bells, and lots more!

THIS YEAR'S THEME - OR NOT?

Most years I have a hodgepodge of images. Some years I have a theme. Last year I followed a theme of cards with houses on them, since it was 2020 and most of us spent most of the holiday season at home! This year I'm back to a mixed bag, since it looks like that is what the holidays may have in store for us this year! 

When it comes to real time Christmas cards, do you send them? I do! I still send old-fashioned cards out of a box, usually with a picture of me and Hubby stuck inside. Yes, I hear the voice of Christmas Past calling! I like all the design-your-own cards because I like seeing the pictures of my friends and their families, but I still love a traditional card with a festive picture on the front and, if lucky, a handwritten note inside. 

I did order printed cards from Zazzle for my law firm. My law partner and I wanted to send a card that didn't look too "corporate" and, since we both have cocktails in hand, I think we succeeded! (We were celebrating the successful resolution of one of our cases.)


DECEMBER BLOGGING

Besides this advent countdown, I don't do much Christmas-themed blogging. Do you? I don't really do Christmas-themed reading that lends itself to Christmas-themed blogging. Although I like the idea of reading Dickens in December so I'm rereading A Tale of Two Cities

December is also the time to plan ahead for 2020 reading challenges. I get excited about them this time of year, although with so much else going on, it is hard to get all the posts up before the end of the year. I really prefer planning in December and posting in January. 

I am hosting the European Reading Challenge again in 2022 and will get that post up ASAP, I promise! 

What are your blogging plans for December? Do they include planning or posting any 2022 reading challenges?

See you tomorrow when the advent calendar continues!





 



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