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Search tags: 12-tasks-of-the-festive-season
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text 2017-12-17 17:40
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Update

Total points: 17 ( + 3 for the Melbourne Cup challenge)



My marker (I simply had to use a Danish julenisse):


One book or task accomplished


Two (or more) books and / or tasks accomplished


Books / tasks fullfilled:


Square 1: All Saints Day / Día de los Muertos / Calan Gaeaf


Book: A book that has a primarily black and white cover, or one that has all the colours (ROYGBIV) together on the cover.


Task: Epitaph for my most hated book ever


Square 2: Bon Om Touk


Task: Post a picture from your most recent or favorite vacation on the sea (or a lake, river, or any other body of water larger than a puddle


Guy Fawkes Night


Task: Host a traditional English tea party, or make yourself a nice cup of tea and settle down with a good book to read. Which kind of tea is your favorite? Tell us why.


Square 3: St. Martin’s Day (5th) / Veterans’ Day / Armistice Day (11th)


Task: A quote about the ravages of war


Square 4: Thanksgiving Day


Book: Read a book that has a monk, nun, pastor / preacher, priest or other representative of the organized church as a protagonist, or where someone is struggling with feelings of guilt or with their conscience (regardless over what).


Task: Be thankful for yourself and treat yourself to a new book - post a picture of it.


Square 5: Advent


Task: Post a pic of your advent calender 


Square 6: Sinterklaas / St. Nicholas Day / Krampusnacht


Book: A story involving children


Bodhi Day


Book: Read a book set in Nepal, India or Tibet, –OR– which involves animal rescue. (Buddhism calls for a vegetarian lifestyle.)


Square 7: Saint Lucia´s Day   


Book: Read a book set in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden - and Finland for the purposes of this game) or a book where ice and snow are an important feature.

Task: Get your Hygge on -- light a few candles if you’ve got them, pour yourself a glass of wine or hot chocolate/toddy, roast a marshmallow or toast a crumpet, and take a picture of your cosiest reading place.


Square 9: Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night 


Book: Read a book in one night


Square 10: Pancha Ganapati


Book: Read a book whose cover has one of the 5 colors of the holiday: red, blue, green, orange, or yellow


Square 13: Hogswatch Night


Book: Read Hogfather


Square 15: Boxing Day / St. Stephen´s Day


Book: Read anything where the main character has servants (paid servants count, NOT unpaid) or is working as a servant him-/ herself.


Square 16: Kwanzaa


Book: A book, whose cover has primarily red, green or black



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review 2017-12-17 16:28
My Quest for the Yeti
My Quest for the Yeti: Confronting the Himalayas' Deepest Mystery - Reinhold Messner

I admit it: I went into this book thinking that Reinhold Messners narrative about seeing the yeti in the Himalaya would be the rambling of a madmen. But this book took me by surprise. 


Following his encounter with a strange and foreign creature, Messner digs into the yeti myth and tries to explore the meaning behind this myth to give a possible explanation for it. Could it be an animal that lies behind the origin of the elusive yeti?


First off, there is nothing madmen like about this book. Messner establishes a theory which isn´t preposterous or ridiculous, yet everyone back in the late 80s and early 90s treated him like he was a nut job:


"Go back to your yeti!" shouted an old man as he passed me on the street in the town where I live in Austria. My daughter Magdalena was with me. "Why do people yell at you about the yeti?" she asked me solemnly.

"I don´t know," I replied, "maybe they don´t like what I say about it."

"But it´s none of their business!" she exclaimed, still upset.

"Yes, it is. The yeti belongs to anyone who has heard of it, and no one wants to give up the picture they have in their head. Everyone sees it their own way."

"The real yeti couldn´t care less, right?"

"Absolutely right. The yeti is really thick-skinned. He has no idea that half the world is thinking about him," I said as we drove him.


Messner attitude and the way he deals with vicious people and stupid journalists is pretty great and even though he sometimes comes across as a very rude guy in interviews (at least I perceive him as such), he seems to be a down to earth guy. He says things that very well could be true, but no one is actually listening to him and thus he became "the crazy guy, who has suffered from altitude sickness and, during a hallucination, saw a yeti".   


Besides his personal experiences Messner looks at the different theories surrounding the yeti and its possible link to a type of bear called chemo, he explores the connection between the Nazis and the yeti myth and he gives an insight into the strained history of Tibet.


The whole book was a fascinating read and I really enjoyed reading this book. Thank you BrokenTune, for suggesting the buddy read. I would never have picked this book up without you.


And I can count this book towards the 16 tasks of the festive season, which is awesome.


Book themes for Bodhi Day: Read a book set in Nepal, India or Tibet, –OR– which involves animal rescue. (Buddhism calls for a vegetarian lifestyle.)


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review 2017-12-13 20:27
This Sweet Sickness
This Sweet Sickness: A Virago Modern Classic (Virago Modern Classics) - Patricia Highsmith

I love Patricia Highsmith´s descriptions of her totally messed up characters. At first glance they seem to be perfectly ordinary people, until slowly, layer by layer, she reveals the sociopathic and psychopathic nature of her characters.


In some respects the main character David Kelsey reminded me of Tom Ripley, Highsmiths most famous character. Both feel entitled to certain things. Ripley to money, goods and social standing, David to a woman and both characters are mentally disturbed. But where I started to root for Ripley at some point throughout the novel (he is pretty ingenious, after all), David started to genuinly creep me out. In that respect David is an even more disturbing character than Tom Ripley (I never thought that someone would be able to kick him of the "most disturbing character" throne). This book is spine tingling.



The story is off to a slow start and Highsmith takes some time to develop the story, so especially in the beginning it´s not the most compulsive read. But once the actual plot has been set in motion, I couldn´t put it down. 


I can´t exactly say that I enjoyed this novel, but it was an intense reading experience. 


16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 16: December 26th-31st:


Book themes for Kwanzaa: Read a book written by an author of African descent or a book set in Africa, or whose cover is primarily red, green or black.


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text 2017-12-13 06:04
Reading progress update: I've read 222 out of 305 pages.
This Sweet Sickness: A Virago Modern Classic (Virago Modern Classics) - Patricia Highsmith

David has just written a letter to Annabelle:






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text 2017-12-10 16:51
Reading progress update: I've read 48 out of 305 pages.
This Sweet Sickness: A Virago Modern Classic (Virago Modern Classics) - Patricia Highsmith

David is one of the good guys from next door, a genuinly nice and normal human being. Except that he has bought a house under a false name for him and Annabelle, who in his mind is to become his wife rather sooner than later. Problem: Annabelle is married to another man and she isn´t answering his letters. A minor nuisance which might resolve itself some way or another.


Well, it is a Patricia Highsmith novel, so I except "the one way or another" will turn out to be psychologically interesting. It´s just an inkling, though.


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