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text 2018-12-13 23:39
24 Festive Tasks | Door 17: St. Lucia's Day



(December 13)




12/13/2018:  I'm slowing down more and more on my tasks, but I think I've done quite well this year's game already.  I've announced my guess for the fate of the Gävle Goat (without Googling!), and have chosen a possible book for the Book Task.  The other tasks are under consideration or being worked on, so hopefully more points to come!



Task 1

In honor of the Icelandic Jólabókaflóðið / Yule Book Flood tradition, create a (virtual or physical) “book flood” and post a picture of it.

I did some searching and reading up about the Yule Book Flood tradition, mainly because I wasn't entirely sure how to create a "book flood."  While I understand the significance of this tradition, this task may take a bit of thought and work.  I'll come back to it later.



Task 2

Bake a Swedish lussebulle (saffron bun – instructions and recipe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWSs-vQX0AI) or prepare some other dish containing saffron.

Somehow I'm not sure if I'll do this one.  I might find a recipe with saffron in it, but with a few other activities hanging out there involving learning new recipes that I may or may not do, I'm going to file this one on the back burner for now.



Task 3

Create a “crown of light” from book covers prominently featuring a lighted candle.

I've got some form of idea, but after stretching my imagination with the poppy and the 'Team Book Nerd' pennant, I'm reaching the limits of my art-flexing.  O.O  Will update once I've got something going... and also, finding books with candles on the cover is not easy, apparently.



Task 4

Guess (scout’s honor, NO GOOGLING!): Did the Gävle Goat survive this year?  For background: The Gävle Goat is a straw effigy erected in Gävle, Sweden, every year at the beginning of Advent.  It is infamous for being burned down ahead of time, which as of Advent 2017 has happened in 37 of the 51 years of the tradition’s existence. – The Yule goat lore in turn goes back all the way to the Norse myths, where the god Thor rode a chariot drawn by two goats, and to ancient Indo-European and proto-Slavic beliefs according to which the harvest god appeared in the shape of a goat.  Possibly, it is also linked with Santa Claus and his reindeer-driven sled.
-- GUESS MADE ON 12/13/2018 --

I'm going to guess that, no, it did not survive and has been burned down, based on the historical odds.  It looks as if the poor thing has been burned down more times than not (37 out of 51 years of being burned).

And I'm also now super curious about all the different methods that have been used to take down the goat, thanks to Broken Tune's update post.

And now I sit and await the resulting answer!  =D



Book Task

Set in Scandinavia / Northern Europe, or by a Northern European / Nordic author, or a book newly released in November or December of this year.


Cold Dark Places by Kylie Brant was just released this month, so more than likely I will be reading this one, unless I find something else more interesting.  But since I like Kylie Brant, this book will be fine.



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/12/24-festive-tasks-door-17-st-lucias-day.html
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text 2018-12-13 21:08
24 Festive Tasks | Door 9: Thanksgiving Day



(Fourth Thursday of November | November 22, 2018)




12/13/2018:  I was updating this post for the completed Book Task, when I realized that I still had one task I hadn't completed yet.  So I'm finishing off this door!  I finished reading Midnight Sacrifice by Melinda Leigh for the Book Task, and filling in Task 3!

11/25/2018:  Completed Tasks 1, 2, and 4.  I might end up skipping Task 3.  And looks like, coincidentally, I'm currently already reading a book that takes place in Maine, so getting the Book Task worked on!



Task 1

List the 3 books you’ve read this year you’re most “thankful” for (your favs) or the one book you’ve ever read that changed your life for the better.
-- COMPLETED 11/25/2018 --

I actually don't have a whole lot of favorites to choose from this year.  I had a really long reading slump, for one, and I read a lot of not-so-great books, for another.

On that note, the books that I'm most thankful for this year:


These are, by far, my favorite books read this year, and I'm including both InCryptid novels, just because I loved both.  Deanna Raybourn's A Treacherous Curse was just a wonderful read!  And then, I wanted to include The Name of the Star because reading a great YA novel that I ended up loving made me feel good that there are still other YA novels out there that can entice me.



Task 2

Describe your perfect meal. What would you cook for the perfect celebration, or, what would you have your imaginary personal chef cook for you?
-- COMPLETED 11/25/2018 --

Geez...  This answer could last forever if I wanted to list EVERYTHING I'd ever want a personal chef to cook.  Food is my life, and I'm still discovering more and more favorite foods every day.  So in order for this post to not go on for eternity, here are just a few things I've managed to narrow down to, and one of the biggest, mainly, is one of our Chinese feasts for big celebrations, such as weddings, New Years, and sometimes birthdays.

And because I'm a big lover of seafood, most of these pictures will include things such as the infamous Ginger Scallion Lobster, Seafood Soup, Stuffed Crab Claws, Abalone simmered in Oyster Sauce... like I said, the list could go on.  Let's just look at pictures, shall we?




Aside from Chinese feasts, I'm also a lover of sashimi, so I'd also love an endless chef-made supply of sashimi combo.


And finally, to top it all off, my most favorite dessert in the world, Creme Brulee.


I'm not asking for much, right?



Task 3

Name a book you’ve read this year that you thought was full of “stuffing”.
-- COMPLETED 12/13/2018 --


The first book that came into mind for this task was Get Well Soon by Jennifer Wright, as it certainly had much more tidbit info, not quite about the "world's worst plagues," but just some random anecdotes that may or may not have to do with the particular plague each chapter was covering.

Unfortunately, it pains me to admit this, because I DO like Nora Roberts and what few books I've read of hers so far, but Dance of Gods, the second book in her Circle trilogy was probably even more full of "stuffing."  This is your typical "filler" book masquerading as a second book in a series.  The whole time I felt like it the series could have gone without it--aside from giving a full novel for one of our main couples to have a romance story, and filling the quota for a second book in a trilogy, this book doesn't really do much to forward the story progression.



Task 4

Show us your 2018 book “harvest” – the books you newly acquired this year, regardless whether bought, received as gift or in whichever other way.
-- COMPLETED 11/25/2018 --

In an attempt to keep this post from going on forever (aside from the almost forever foodie task above), I decided to just show a handful of the 40+ newly acquired books in 2018.  Specifically, I'm just going to present the ones I haven't read yet, more or less as a way to make sure I'm aware of all the new books I've added to my TBR.

In no particular order:




Book Task

Autumnal covers, set in New England, or a turkey shows up in the story.
-- COMPLETED 12/09/2018  --

This probably isn't the best book in the world, but I'm currently reading the second book in the Midnight series by Melinda Leigh, which takes place in Maine.


This was a crap book.  I tried to give it and the series, a chance after not quite liking the first book, but I couldn't do it.  Here's my review.  The book at least fits into a door, taking place in Maine to fulfill the, "set in New England" part of the task.



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/12/24-festive-tasks-door-9-thanksgiving-day.html
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text 2018-12-13 19:37
24 Festive Tasks | Door 1: Día de los Muertos
The 24 Tasks of the Festive Season



(November 1)




Completed Book Task!  Finished re-reading Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton on 12/10/2018.  With this update, I've officially completed all the tasks I will probably complete for this door.

Completed Task 4 - Treat yourself to some Mexican food!  Also updated the Book Task to reflect my chosen book.

I'm stealing ideas.  I like this idea of just reserving a post per square and filling in the deets as each task is completed, so I'm going to do the same.  Meanwhile, I will also keep a separate tracking post linking to each of these Door/Square posts.  I'll link to another separate post from these individual Door/Square posts if a task merits its own independent post.

First task up for completion is Task 2 - Sharing an epitaph.



Task 1

Write a silly poem or limerick poking fun at the fiction character of your choice.
-- SKIP --

I don't poem or limerick, so more than likely skipping this one.



Task 2

Share your favorite gravestone epitaph (you know you have one).
-- COMPLETED 11/04/2018 --

I actually don't have a favorite gravestone epitaph--at least none that immediately come to mind.  But in light of the festive activities, I decided to do a little Google search and came up with a couple that stood out to me.


-- Lloyd "Billy" Andrews


Apparently that second epitaph is inscribed on the grave marker of one Wade Huff Andrews.  You can see different angles of the tombstone at the memorial page I found, linked above.



Task 3

Create an altar (either digital or physical) for your favorite book, series, or book character, and post a picture of it. Inclusion of book cover encouraged.

It's hard to find a single favorite book or series out of so many I personally love, so this one is under consideration at the moment.

I figured if I haven't done anything for this task by now, I'm more than likely skipping it.



Task 4

If you like Mexican food, treat yourself to your favorite dish and share a photo of it.
-- COMPLETED 11/10/2018 --

I have a hankering for tamales...

And so, the first thing I thought to do on my first free weekend since the game began, was get myself some tamales!

To be totally honest, Mexican food isn't exactly my go to type of food.  I like tacos and chips and salsa.  I like queso... a lot, even though I shouldn't be indulging too much in anything that creamy.

Tamales, though, are my utmost favorite of Mexican food, thus far in life.  I first encountered them when a relative made them for us, and something about that corn dough and the juicy meats wrapped within just really hits all the right spots.  It helps that I have a thing for corn (cheesy corn casserole is one of the best things I know how to make... among the very few dishes I know how to make...).

Tamales, unfortunately, I DO NOT know how to make.  And thus, it's either restaurant, or store bought, and I had picked up a package of tamales a few days ago thinking I might just heat a few up for my task.  Of course, I DID also consider, briefly, just running out to a restaurant and enjoying myself.

But I'm glad I picked up a package of these, because wanting tamales for lunch today, I did not feel like leaving the house, on account of it's very, very cold out today.




The above picture shows the tamales before I remove the corn husk wrap.  Also before microwaving them.  The below picture shows my attempt at putting together a fancy luncheon meal with a side of salsa and avocado.


These aren't the best of pictures, nor the best placement on a dish for any wonderful aesthetic appeal.  I had considered making the entire thing look pretty, but after I plunked my side dish of avocado down, and tried to add sour cream... well, the entire thing sort of fell apart.  I tried not to cover up the entire tamale with the cheese, to show what it looks like unwrapped, though.

And yes, I enjoyed myself a lot!



Book Task

Re-read an old favorite from a now-deceased author, a book from a finished (dead) series, or a book set in Mexico.
-- COMPLETED 12/10/2018 --

One possible book is Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, probably because of our Flat Book Society read this month.


Finished listening to the audio book of Jurassic Park, written by Michael Crichton, narrated by Scott Brick.  This will fit the "re-read an old favorite from a now-deceased author" part of this task.  I might have a review out at some point.



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/12/24-festive-tasks-door-1-dia-de-los.html
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text 2018-12-13 16:59
Reading progress update: I've listened 249 out of 624 minutes.
The Red Book of Primrose House: A Potting Shed Mystery - Marty Wingate

It strikes me as odd that Pru would be so convinced that the first Park she comes across absolutely must be related to her. And hey, then it turns out he is. Her surname is Park, which doesn't seem terribly unusual.

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text 2018-12-13 16:07
Reading progress update: I've listened 215 out of 624 minutes.
The Red Book of Primrose House: A Potting Shed Mystery - Marty Wingate

I had this checked out, got to about this point, and then it expired. It got checked out to me again yesterday, so I can hopefully finally finish it.


I don't think I'll be reading beyond this book, because some of the things that bugged me about the previous book have become stronger annoyances in this one. For example, the romance between Pru and Christopher is cloying at times.

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