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text 2019-11-12 22:06
24 Festive Tasks: Door 5 - Bon Om Touk: Task 1

Task: List / tell us about your favorite rainy day reads.


Any- and everything that -- with or without a mug of hot tea and some chocolate or other snacks -- makes me feel all warm and comfortable (while still engaging my brain cells, at least on occasion):


* Golden Age mysteries, particularly my favorites by Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Ngaio Marsh (as well as, more recently, Patricia Wentworth, Josephine Tey, John Dickson Carr -- and on the other side of the Pond, Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series).


* P.D. James's Inspector Dalgliesh and Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse series.


* Ellis Peters's Brother Cadfael series, C.J. Sansom's Shardlake books, and other historical fiction favorites. 


* Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.


* J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books.


* Terry Pratchett's Discworld series.


* Jane Austen's novels, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford and North and South, E.M. Forster's Howards End, and Barbara Pym's Excellent Women.


* Even some grittier stuff, as long as it mentally takes me to a place that -- literarily or in real life -- I consider "home" (looking at you, Inspector Rebus and Harry Bosch).


* And this time of the year, of course, most of the books on my Christmas Reading list!


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text 2019-11-09 13:44
24 Festive Tasks: Door 1 - Día de los Muertos / All Saints' Day: Task 3



(Task: Write an epitaph for the book you most disliked this year.)


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text 2019-11-09 12:24
24 Festive Tasks: Door 3 - Melbourne Cup Day: Task 2
Much Ado About Nothing - Paul Werstine,Barbara A. Mowat,William Shakespeare


Roses are red, violets are blue;
Shakespeare nailed it without Much Ado.




(Well, OK, this is more of a tribute to all of the Bard's works, not just one, but among his comedies, Much Ado About Nothing really has emerged as my firm favorite in the past 20 years or so.)


Task: Write your own “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue” poem for one of your favorite or most hated books of all time.


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text 2019-11-07 23:59
24 Festive Tasks: Door 4 - Guy Fawkes Night: Task 4

How do you order the books on your shelves?


Umm.  It's ... complicated.  Or at least, multi-layered.



1st sorting layer: Genre / Topic

* Classics and LitFic

* Mysteries and Suspense (everything from Golden Age and classic noir to contemporary, including spy fiction, except for historical mysteries)

* Historical Fiction (including historical mysteries)

* Supernatural & Speculative Fiction (fantasy / sci-fi, supernatural, horror)

* Mythology

* Nonfiction: History and Biography

* Nonfiction: (Popular) Science

* Nonfiction: Law and Economy

* Nofiction: Philosphy

* Nonfiction: Dictionaries

* Nonfiction: Travel and Geography

* Nonfiction: Artist Biographies (classic rock and movies / theatre)

* Nonfiction: General / Other

* All things Los Angeles / Southern California

* Cookbooks

* All things cats

* Coffee table books


2d sorting layer: Language and Origin / Setting

* North America (USA and Canada)

* UK (with a separate "Scotland" shelf)

* Ireland

* Germany

* France / French Literature

* Hispanic Literature (both European and Latin / South American)

* Portugal and Portuguese Literature (including Brazil)

* Italy

* Scandinavia / Nordic Literature

* Eastern Europe

* Russia

* Africa

* Caribbean (English and French language; Hispanic Caribbean see above)

* Asia


3d sorting layer, version (a): Alphabetical by Author

E.g., in the shelves for North American, Irish, Scottish, French, Hispanic, Portuguese, Italian, Eastern European, Russian, African, Caribbean and Asian literature; ditto some of the nonfiction shelves.


3d sorting layer, version (b): By Era / Topical Association

E.g., in the shelves for English and German literature (roughly, by historical era), nonfiction history (ditto) and most of the other nonfiction shelves, as well as all of my mystery, fantasy / sci-fi / supernatural / horror, and cookbook shelves (mystery: by sub-genre, e.g., British Golden Age, classic noir, etc.; speculative / supernatural fiction: by type (fantasy, etc.); cookbooks: by region and publisher).

This includes dedicated shelves for my favorite authors (e.g., Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, the Mann family, etc.). 

Even without having entire dedicated shelves to themselves, books by the same author are kept together; series are generally in publication order.




3d sorting layer, version (c), as well as a sub-layer by expedience to all of the above: As shelf space allows!

The more frequently this occurs, the more it is obviously a sure fire indicator that the acquisition of more shelf space is becoming a matter of urgency.  (Problem: There is only so much more shelf space that I can add -- read: not a whole lot.)  Currently most prevalent on my "Scandinavian literature" and speculative fiction and supernatural shelves ... as well as on the dedicated Shakespeare shelves.



(The photos in this post are, incidentally, from the time of my major shelf reorganization a year ago.  Since then, things have, alas, generally taken a ... decidedly less organized turn yet again.)


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text 2019-11-07 21:15
24 Festive Tasks: Door 2 - Japanese Culture Day: Task 4

Task: If you like Japanese food, treat yourself to a favorite dish.


I'm not a major fan of sushi (because I'm not much of a fish eater generally), but I'm easily persuaded to have a bowl of teriyaki chicken:



In the interest of full disclosure, while this is freshly made, it isn't also homemade -- I was out all day yesterday and only returned home after store closing time, and today I was mostly busy catching up with what didn't get done yesterday ... so spending a lot of time in the kitchen wasn't much of an option.  But most of my area's supermarkets offer a very nice line of freshly made Asian food (different kinds), and I confess I've come to rely on them quite a bit of late.  So there we are!


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