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text 2018-11-20 17:13
Moonlight Snow's 2018 Bookish Advent Tracking Post

 

I will be tracking my bookish advent season here! I'm still in the process of organizing things, but I think I've got things dialed in at this point, and I can focus more on the tasks/reading

 

 

RUNNING TOTAL: 9

 

Planning update:

 

With U.S. Thanksgiving on Thursday, I should have a bit of extra time to read and post. Like MBD, I plan on a bit of a flood of catching up on tasks - including some for my as yet uncompleted holidays: Diwali & International Day of Tolerance.

 

I've also got some books on my agenda: I picked up one of Cara Black's Aimee LeDuc books on my last trip to Wallace Books, which will fulfill the reading component of International Day of Tolerance (set in Paris), and I have the second Jane Harper mystery - Force of Nature - checked out of the library, which will fulfill the reading component of Melbourne Cup (set in Australia). I'm also considering between a few non-fiction possibilities for the reading element of Diwali.

 

Door 7: Mawlid

 

Task 1:  Make two “prophesies” you think will come to fruition in 2019 in your personal or reading life.

 

Task 2: The Five Pillars of Islam include almsgiving and the pilgrimage to Mekka. Tell us: Have you ever donated books or rescued them from (horror of horrors) being trashed? Alternatively: Is there a book-related place that is a place of pilgrimage to you?

 

Task 3: Prophets are messengers. Tell us: Which book characters are your favorite messengers (no matter whether humans, angels, (demi)gods, etc.)? Samwise Gamgee!

 

Task 4: Muhammad was a merchant before becoming a religious leader. List 5 books on your shelves in which a key character makes / undergoes a radical career change.

 

Book:  If you can find a copy, read Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet.  Or read any book about a leader of a movement, nation, religion or large group, OR read a book with a green cover OR with a half moon on the cover.

 

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review 2018-11-19 23:01
Plum Pudding, with a side of murder
A Christmas Party - Georgette Heyer

I love Christmas mysteries, and I especially love the narrow sub-genre of the English country house murder mystery, which includes Hercule Poirot's Christmas and The Adventure of The Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie, The Santa Klaus Murder by Mavis Doriel Hay, and Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon, as well as this one.

 

Originally titled Envious Casca, somewhere along the way the publisher realized that people really love mysteries set over the Christmas holidays, so the book was repackaged with a fantastic cover and republished for a new generation of readers. 

 

I've enjoyed this one more with subsequent readings, in spite of the fact that I know whodunnit. This is definitely a book to take to any holiday gathering that involves members of your family that are difficult to deal with - Heyer's acid pen and her descriptions of the brutal verbal sparring between the members of the Herriard family make dealings with passive-agressive mothers-in-law and #MAGA-inspired uncles seem like child's play by comparison.

 

And hey, if you manage to get yourself home without murdering, being murdered, or witnessing a murder, it's all good!

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review 2018-11-19 21:03
A Festive Re-read
Winter Solstice - Rosamunde Pilcher

I read this book nearly every year in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I have loved Rosamund Pilcher's sagas since I picked up The Shell Seekers at a Barnes and Noble somewhere around 20 years ago. I passed it onto my mother, who fell in love with her writing.

 

I don't know if Winter Solstice is my favorite Pilcher, but it is such a comfortable read for me that I can't give it less than 5 stars. I love all of the characters, and I love the theme of the book, which really acknowledges that sometimes your most important family is the family that you create. The relationship that grows between the lonely Lucy, whose self-centered parents are wrapped up too deeply into their own lives to give her the attention she deserves and Elfrida, her great-aunt, a former actress who never had children, but whose peripatetic life was endlessly fulfilling, is perfect. 

 

This is one of those books that I can't see clearly, because it has become a part of my bookish DNA. I've read it probably dozens of times, and each time I pick it up, it's like saying hello to a group of old friends that I've not seen for a while. The best kind of comfort read.

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text 2018-11-19 18:37
24 Tasks of the Festive Season

I have created a hopefully helpful thread (in the Booklikes Bookish Bingo group) of all the tasks that are opened so far, which I will update as new doors open. That way, all of the information will be collected and found in one long thread!

 

You can find it here.

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review 2018-11-19 15:32
Death Spiral
Lethal White - Robert Galbraith

This is a classic J.K. Rowling book - twisted plot and complicated characters with disastrous personal relationships.

 

Why does the English upper crust insist on nicknames that sound like anthropomorphic animals from a children's book? Pringle, Flopsy and Fizzy? Really?

 

Anyway, this book was both a haul and a sprint - it's really, really long - but is riveting, nonetheless, and has enough characters to fill Wembley Stadium. This is an apropos analogy, given that it was set during the London Olympics. Which begs another question, what compelled Rowling to set the Strike novels in the near past? Why 2012 and not 2018? 

 

I do have a couple of quibbles. First, while I hope that Robin is thoroughly shed of Matthew, since their relationship has been nothing short of a train wreck and he's an absolute jackass, I am absolutely NOT feeling the Strike/Robin pairing at all. Second, could we please have a book where Robin does not end up in mortal peril? 

 

Because Cormoran Strike is former military, I'm using this book for the Armistice Day task!!

 

Now I wait for book 5.

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