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text 2018-12-31 22:59
24 Festive Tasks: Holiday Book Joker
Murder for Christmas: Tales of Seasonal Malice - David Birney,John Collier,Dorothy L. Sayers,John Standing,Margery Allingham,Stanley Ellin,Robert Culp,Marjorie Bowen,Paul Eddington,Agatha Christie,Ngaio Marsh, Arthur Conan Doyle
An English Christmas - John Julius Norwich,Various Authors

To round out the game, I'm going to use my two favorite anthologies among all the Christmas books I've listened to this month for the holiday book joker, and I'll use them for the Epiphany house blessing task (task 2), which feels appropriate for this day, and for Hogswatch task 2, as I (perhaps luckily) never had any encounters with department store Santas at all.


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text 2018-07-24 08:31
7 Exceptional Stores You Should Explore

Online shopping is fun typically because all the indolent people prefer not to move an inch in order to leave their homes, or perhaps because they don’t want to interact with others. No one wants to waste hours in a queue and bag things up when the stuff can easily be delivered to your doorsteps. As always, TVC is in action to bring you the most comprehensive and reliable stores leaving you with great discounts and offers. Let’s shed some light over them.



Searching for some decorative things, for your home sweet home? A few ideal decorative items can make a huge difference in your home. This store will stand by your side, loaded with an immense collection of healthcare items, chic bags, and mechanics, durable homeware items for bathrooms, offices etc. That’s not all, grab a wide range of gardening, dining, and traveling items and fetch Overstocks2clear Voucher Codes to get great discounts.



Whether you’re buying a gift for your friend, loved one or to light up the fun on numerous occasions, it’s guaranteed that you’ll find something special and stimulate at this store. They hold a diverse collection of gift and hampers, whether you want to spread the goodwill on Christmas or cheer someone up, head to the store to fulfill all your needs. Get your hands over Hampergifts Discount Codes and receive great discounts!


Ordnance Survey

If you like traveling within Britain, you might want to stay up-to-date, a comprehensive information regarding the place, changing landscapes, and directions. Ordnance Survey is here to assist you with its vast and accurate geographical data to keep you right on track. With its reliable and accurate results, you can have a companion-like support to help you reach safely at your destination. Trusted by many companies and users, hold your grip over Ordnance Survey Online Deals and receive great discounts.


Swarovski Crystal

Everyone wants to be the symbol of beauty, this store will help you add a great compliment to your outfit and personality. This store offers a gigantic collection of elegant and dazzling jewelry items, watches and stunning accessories you will definitely cherish and adore. Leave a sensation of exquisite to your personality and seize hold of Swarovski Crystal Promo Codes for discounts.


The Hut UK


The feeling of stopping by a huge store which covers almost all your requirements, sounds interesting? This store is an online palace of top quality products from popular and luxury brands, specialized in fashion, homeware, beauty, and lifestyle and a massive collection of clothing products. Committed to cater you with the best at your doorsteps, catch great discounts by using The Hut UK Online Shopping Codes.



As a parent, even after encountering a number of challenges and difficulties you want nothing less than the best for an apple of your eye. Kiddicare stocks an impressive range of baby nurturing, pushchairs, furniture, bedding, feeding products, toys and much more! Witness unbelievable discounts by using Kiddicare Seasonal Offers.

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review 2018-01-02 22:12
Winter (Seasonal) - Ali Smith

God was dead: to begin with.

And romance was dead. Chivalry was dead. Poetry, the novel, painting, they were all dead, and art was dead. Theatre and cinema were both dead. Literature was dead. The book was dead. Modernism, postmodernism, realism and surrealism were all dead. Jazz was dead, pop music, disco, rap, classical music, dead. Culture was dead. Decency, society, family values were dead. The past was dead. History was dead. The welfare state was dead. Politics was dead. Democracy was dead.

Communism, fascism, neoliberalism, capitalism, all dead, and marxism, dead, feminism, also dead. Political correctness, dead. Racism was dead. Religion was dead. Thought was dead. Hope was dead. Truth and fiction were both dead. The media was dead. The internet was dead. Twitter, instagram, facebook, google, dead.

Love was dead.

Death was dead.

A great many things were dead. Some, though, weren’t, or weren’t dead yet.

Life wasn’t yet dead. Revolution wasn’t dead. Racial equality wasn’t dead. Hatred wasn’t dead.

But the computer? Dead. TV? Dead. Radio? Dead. Mobiles were dead. Batteries were dead. Marriages were dead, sex lives were dead, conversation was dead. Leaves were dead. Flowers were dead, dead in their water.

Imagine being haunted by the ghosts of all these dead things. Imagine being haunted by the ghost of a flower. No, imagine being haunted (if there were such a thing as being haunted, rather than just neurosis or psychosis) by the ghost (if there were such a thing as ghosts, rather than just imagination) of a flower. Ghosts themselves weren’t dead, not exactly.

What a beginning, eh? Much like Autumn, Winter also starts with a version of a Dickens quote. Unlike Autumn, however, Winter seems to follow Dickens' Christmas Carol in other aspects, too. 

We have a Christmas setting, an apparition of a head that haunts Sophie, one of our characters, and we have scenes switching between the past, present and future. And then of course, we have Lux, also a main character but she acts like one of the Christmas spirits - a catalyst, if you like, that presents all of our main characters with questions that make them reflect on themselves and how they interact with the world around them. 


Art(hur) is a young man working for a tech firm, hunting down copyright infringements on the internet. He's also a blogger and has a Twitter account with about 6000 followers, but the problem is that nothing he writes about is anything that he really cares about. In short, Art is a representation of the fake.

When Art epically falls out with his girlfriend Charlotte before the holidays, he cannot face going home to see his mother for Christmas without the much advertised Charlotte and ends up hiring a girl he meets at a bus stop to pretend to be Charlotte for a few days.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, ... There is a Christmas family argument - several actually - which is not helped by Art's aunt Iris also visiting, and she had not been on speaking terms with Art's mother for several years. In fact, it seems that the sisters could not be further apart in any ways imaginable, and both of them are suffering for it.


The family get-together is set against the background of Smith's chronicle of 2 or 3 years, and is very much picking up on current affairs and topics and news items that have hit the headlines over that time.


I say that Smith created a chronicle because that is the impression I got when reading again about refugees in the Mediterranean, fake news, propaganda, politicians, technology, and narcissism:

Me, me, me, Iris says. It’s all your selfish generation can ever talk about. I’m going to tweet about it in a long scroll unrolling itself out of my mouth like in an illustration of a dandy by an eighteenth century satirist. No, I mean like a president. I’ll do it presidentially. I mean a fake president, I’ll do it fake presidentially.

Winter is also about hibernation, the forgetting of the who, what, why. The forgetting of history. The questions of whether we need to know where we came from to know who we are and what defines us. Is it background or is it aspiration? Does it matter?

And when you’ve done telling them that, she said, tell them what it’s like to come back here, when you’re a citizen of the world who’s been working with all the other citizens of the world, to be told you’re a citizen of nowhere, to hear that the world’s been equated with nowhere by a British Prime Minister.

Winter is definitely a story of division, and Smith underlines all of this with factual events and quotes, which makes for depressing, infuriating reading.


However, Smith doesn't rant but weaves it all together in the story of her characters, and even attempts to show a way for Art's family to work on bridging that division - not in a happy ever after kind of way as Dickens original story, but in a way that at least creates a platform for communication.  

It isn’t a good enough answer, that one group of people can be in charge of the destinies of another group of people and choose whether to exclude them or include them. Human beings have to be more ingenious than this, and more generous. We’ve got to come up with a better answer.

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text 2018-01-02 19:48
Reading progress update: I've read 284 out of 322 pages.
Winter (Seasonal) - Ali Smith

The literature doctor, she says. The man who wrote the dictionary. Johnson. Not Boris. The opposite of Boris. A man interested in the meanings of words, not one whose interests leave words meaningless.

I've been grinning so hard all the way through this book.

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review 2017-12-25 16:32
A Christmas Party / Envious Casca
A Christmas Party: A Seasonal Murder Mystery - Georgette Heyer

My physical copy of this Georgette Heyer book is titled "A Christmas Party" and as Themis pointed out to me, the original title "Envious Casca" has a specific point to it. Themis was so kind and gave me a hint about the title and I looked it up after finishing the book and she is right: the original is much more fitting for the story than the new one (which is pretty bland and boring, I think).


The murder mystery might not be the strong suit of Envious Casca since I thought it to be a bit predictablebut I loved the dysfunctional family / friends relationships of the Christmas company at Lexham manor. The toxic atmosphere between these people and their lashing out at each other without holding back was highly entertaining.


Overall a really fun read and I´m glad that I managed it to read it this Christmas.


Book themes for Las Posadas: Read a book dealing with visits by family or friends, or set in Mexico, –OR– with a poinsettia on the cover. –OR– a story where the main character is stranded without a place to stay, or find themselves in a 'no room at the Inn’ situation.


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