Plato's cosmology and theory of the human body, and the story of Atlantis; courtesy of a phantastic audio version featuring David Rintoul as Socrates, David Timson as Timaeus, and Peter Kenny as Critias. Philosophical and scientific enquiry redolent with the joy of the intellectual exercsie for its own sake -- that alone makes it a joy to tag along (however much Plato might be distressed to learn that his theories on the human body have at long last, after some two millennia. been proved wrong after all -- and despite his warnings about the falliability of the human mind, even by scientific experiment).
(Task: Read a book about philosophy or a philosopher, or a how-to book about changing your life in a significant way or suggesting a particular lifestyle (Hygge, Marie Kobo, etc.).
Competent for a debut novel (in the final part more so than at the beginning) and very obviously written not for a domestic but for an international audience. I'm not as taken with it as many others seem to be, and I doubt I'll continue the series. (It's published as The Tenant in English.) But obviously, it's a shoo-in for the book task for this square -- under several headers, in fact --, and in that, it's nicely served its purpose.
(Task: 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 of electricity – roughly, that is, before the late 19th century).)
Much of a muchness, but it's one that fits the book task for this square -- people being kind and charitable to the poor; especially to darling little children who are bearing their own poverty with preternatural meekness and patience. Bottom line, if you've read the Christmas episode from Little Women, which of course is contained in this collection as well, you've read the basic model for about 3/4 of the other stories, too ... and given the semi-autobiographical background of Little Women, you've then also read a by far the most authentic expression of the theme.
That said, a sizeable portion of these stories are also either explicitly or implicitly set in New England (Boston and elsewhere), AND in at least one of them a turkey makes a fairly prominent appearance. So I'd say we're well and truly within the parameters of the Thanksgiving square book task.
(Book: Read a book with an autumnal cover, set in New England, where a turkey shows up in the story, with a turkey or pumpkin on the cover, or with the theme of coming together to help a community or family in need.)
Not quite as hilariously funny as the first three Christmas books from the series that I read -- maybe Ms. Andrews's brand of humor is beginning to pall for me after all, or maybe Bernadette Dunne (whom I ordinarily really like as a narrator) just doesn't work for me quite as well here as she does otherwise -- and the "who" (and at least in part, "why) was a fairly obvious guess ... but there's still more than enough humor and hilarity to make this an easy fit as a Festivus book, so here we go.
(Task: Read any comedy, parody, or satire.)