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text 2017-11-23 19:33
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Saint Lucia´s Day

Task for Square 7, Saint Lucia´s Day:

 

Get your Hygge on -- light a few candles if you’ve got them, pour yourself a glass of wine or hot chocolate/toddy, roast a marshmallow or toast a crumpet, and take a picture of your cosiest reading place.

 

Tonight I will snuggle up with a book in my comfy chair, a blanket wrapped around me and I will be sipping a glass of wine. I hope that you are having a cozy reading night as well.

 

 

 

I have currently three books on the go. Into Thin Air is a reread, so I´m in no hurry to finish that one up. I have started The Gene today and it´s quite a hefty non-fiction book, so this will take me some time to finish it as well. And then there are only about 60 pages left of True Grit, so I will definitely finish this book tonight.

 

 

 

 

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text 2017-11-23 15:24
16 Tasks of the Festive Season (26 Points)

Tasks complete, now going through again. 

 

 

 

 

Tasks completed in bold:

 

Task 1-Tasks for Día de Muertos and All Saint’s Day: create a short poem, or an epitaph for your most hated book ever.

 

Task 2-Tasks for Guy Fawkes Night: Post pictures of past or present bonfires, fireworks (IF THEY’RE LEGAL) or sparklers.

 

Task 2- Tasks for Bon Om Touk:  Post a picture from your most recent or favorite vacation on the sea (or a lake, river, or any other body of water larger than a puddle), or if you're living on the sea or on a lake or a river, post a picture of your favorite spot on the shore / banks / beach / at the nearest harbour.

 

Task 3-Tasks for Verteran’s Day/Armistice Day: Make, or draw a red poppy and show us a pic of your red poppy or other symbol of remembrance –OR– post a quote or a piece of poetry about the ravages of war. 

 

Task 3-Tasks for St. Martin’s Day: Write a Mother Goose-style rhyme or a limerick; the funnier the better.  –OR–Take a picture of the book you’re currently reading, next to a glass of wine, or the drink of your choice, with or without a fire in the background.  –OR–

Bake Weckmann; if you’re not a dab hand with yeast baking, make a batch of gingerbread men, or something else that’s typical of this time of the year where you live.  Post pics of the results and the recipe if you’d like to share it.

 

Task 4-Tasks for Thanksgiving Day: List of 5 things you’re grateful for –OR–

Post a picture of your thanksgiving feast; or your favourite turkey-day recipe.  –OR–

Be thankful for yourself and treat yourself to a new book and post a picture of it.

Bonus task:  share your most hilarious turkey-day memory.

 

Tasks for Penance Day: Tell us – what has recently made you stop in your tracks and think?  What was a big turning point in your life?  –OR– 

Compile a catalogue of theses (it needn’t be 95) about book blogging!  What suggestions or ideas would you propose to improve the experience of book blogging?

 

Task 5-Tasks for AdventPost a pic of your advent calendar. (Festive cat, dog, hamster or other suitable pet background expressly encouraged.) –OR– “Advent” means “he is coming.”  Tell us: What in the immediate or near future are you most looking forward to?  (This can be a book release, or a tech gadget, or an event … whatever you next expect to make you really happy.)

 

Task 6-Tasks for Bodhi Day:  Perform a random act of kindness.  Feed the birds, adopt a pet, hold the door open for someone with a smile, or stop to pet a dog (that you know to be friendly); cull your books and donate them to a charity, etc. (And, in a complete break with the Buddha’s teachings, tell us about it.)  –OR– Post a picture of your pet, your garden, or your favourite, most peaceful place in the world.

 

Task 7-Tasks for Saint Lucia's Day: Get your Hygge on -light a few candles if you’ve got them, pour yourself a glass of wine or hot chocolate/toddy, roast a marshmallow or toast a crumpet, and take a picture of your cosiest reading place.

 

Task 8-Tasks for Las Posadas: Which was your favorite / worst / most memorable hotel / inn / vacation home stay ever?  Tell us all about it! –OR– If you went caroling as a kid: Which are your best / worst / most unforgettable caroling memories?

 

 Task 9- Tasks for Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night: Read a book in one night - in the S. Hemisphere, read a book in a day. –OR–Grab one of your thickest books off the shelf.  Ask a question and then turn to page 40 and read the 9th line of text on that page.  Post your results.  –OR–Eat a watermelon or pomegranate for good luck and health in the coming year, but post a pic first! Bonus task:  Read a book in one night.

 

Task 10- Tasks for World Peace Day: Cook something involving olives or olive oil. Share the results and/or recipe with us. –OR– Tell us: If you had wings (like a dove), where would you want to fly?

 

Task 10- Tasks for Pancha Ganapati: Post about your 5 favourite books this year and why you appreciated them so much. –OR–Take a shelfie / stack picture of the above-mentioned 5 favorite books.  (Feel free to combine these tasks into 1!

 

Task 11-Tasks for Dōngzhì Festival: If you like Chinese food, tell us your favorite dish – otherwise, tell us your favorite desert. (Recipes, as always, welcome.)

 

Bonus point for Melbourne Cup. 

 

Task 12-Tasks for Festivus: Post your personal list of 3 Festivus Miracles –OR–

Post a picture of your Festivus pole (NOTHING pornographic, please!), –OR–

Perform the Airing of Grievances:  name 5 books you’ve read this year that have disappointed you - tell us in tongue-lashing detail why and how they failed to live up to expectations.

 

Task 14- Tasks for Dies Natalis Solis Invicti: Find the sunniest spot in your home, that’s warm and comfy and read your book. –OR–Take a picture of your garden, or a local garden/green space in the sun (even if the ground is under snow).  If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, take a picture of your local scenic spot, park, or beach, on a sunny day.  –OR– The Romans believed that the sun god rode across the sky in a chariot drawn by fiery steeds.  Have you ever been horseback riding, or did you otherwise have significant encounters with horses?  As a child, which were your favorite books involving horses? 

 

Task 14-Tasks for Quaid-e-Azam: Pakistan’s first leader – Muhammad Ali Jinnah – was a man, but both Pakistan and neighboring India were governed by women (Benazir Bhutto and Indira Gandhi respectively) before many of the major Western countries.  Tell us: Who are the present-day or historic women that you most respect, and why?  (These can be any women of great achievement, not just political leaders.)

 

Task 15-Tasks for Newtonmas: Take a moment to appreciate gravity and the laws of motion. If there’s snow outside, have a snowball fight with a friend or a member of your family.  –OR– Take some time out to enjoy the alchemical goodness of a hot toddy or chocolate or any drink that relies on basic chemistry/alchemy (coffee with cream or sugar / tea with milk or sugar or lemon, etc.).  Post a picture of your libations and the recipe if it’s unique and you’re ok with sharing it.

 

Task 16-Tasks for Kwanzaa: Create a stack of books in the Kwanzaa color scheme using red, black and green and post your creation and post a photo (or post a photo of a shelfie where black, red and green predominate).

BONUS task: Create something with your stack of books:  a christmas tree or other easily identifiable object.


Task 13-
Tasks for Christmas: Post a picture of your stockings hung from the chimney with care, –OR– a picture of Santa’s ‘treat’ waiting for him. –OR– Share with us your family Christmas traditions involving gift-giving, or Santa’s visit. Did you write letters to Santa as a kid (and if so, did he write back, as J.R.R. Tolkien did “as Santa Claus” to his kids)? If so, what did you wish for? A teddy bear or a doll? Other toys – or practical things? And did Santa always bring what you asked for?

 

 

Total points: 26

 

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review 2017-11-23 12:57
Captives of the Flame
Captives of the Flame (The Fall of the Towers, #1) - Samuel R. Delany

by Samuel R. Delany

 

Typical early 1960s science fiction.

 

"The Empire of Toromon had finally declared war. The attacks on its planes had been nothing compared to the final insult—the kidnapping of the Crown Prince. The enemy must be dealt with, and when they were, Toromon would be able to get back on its economic feet."

 

Add to this a radiation barrier that leaves a people isolated and an enemy called the Lord of the Flames and you're set up for epic battles and other fun geeky stuff.

 

This is considered the first of a trilogy, but quite honestly it didn't impress me enough to continue. None of the characters stood out for me and apart from an interesting contrast between the rich and the poor, the plot was fairly generic. There's also a mock-Arthurian Fantasy element in the young prince being kidnapped to be trained among the forest guardians to be a good king so the elements of a good story are there, but I found my mind wandering as I read. Somehow it just didn't grip me.

 

Very much a thing of its time.

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text 2017-11-22 21:15
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Update #1

Total points: 8 ( + 3 for the Melbourne Cup challenge)

 

 

My marker (I simply had to use a Danish julenisse):

 

One book or task accomplished

 

Two (or more) books and / or tasks accomplished

 

Books / tasks fullfilled:

 

Square 1: All Saints Day / Día de los Muertos / Calan Gaeaf

 

Book: A book that has a primarily black and white cover, or one that has all the colours (ROYGBIV) together on the cover.

 

Task: Epitaph for my most hated book ever

 

Square 2: Bon Om Touk

 

Task: Post a picture from your most recent or favorite vacation on the sea (or a lake, river, or any other body of water larger than a puddle

 

Square 3: St. Martin’s Day (5th) / Veterans’ Day / Armistice Day (11th)

 

Task: A quote about the ravages of war

 

Square 4: Thanksgiving Day

 

Book: Read a book that has a monk, nun, pastor / preacher, priest or other representative of the organized church as a protagonist, or where someone is struggling with feelings of guilt or with their conscience (regardless over what).

 

Task: Be thankful for yourself and treat yourself to a new book - post a picture of it.

 

 

Square 7: Saint Lucia´s Day   

 

Book: Read a book set in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden - and Finland for the purposes of this game) or a book where ice and snow are an important feature.

 

Square 10: Pancha Ganapati

 

Book: Read a book whose cover has one of the 5 colors of the holiday: red, blue, green, orange, or yellow

 

 

 

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review 2017-11-22 20:14
Equal Rites
Equal Rites - Terry Pratchett

So far I´m not the biggest Terry Pratchett fan. I´m still looking for that book that pulls me completely into the quirky Pratchett universe. Equal Rites is my third Pratchett and unfortunately I´m still not enthusiatic about his books (but I´m not giving up).

 

In Equal Rites a wizard makes the grave mistake to pass his powers onto a baby girl. A female wizard? Unheard of in the whole of Discworld. The novel follows this female wizard, Eskarina Smith, how she gets tutored by Granny Weatherwax, an awesome witch, and how she tries to become the first female wizard in a male dominated world.

 

I loved Granny Weatherwax, she is such a fun and great character and a lot of the enjoyment I took out of this book is because of her. Unfortunately she isn´t the main character of this novel. The MC is Eskarina, a nine year old child and an annoying know-it-all. Eskarina is the proof that child characters and I don´t get along very well.

 

Equal Rites is an okay read, but I´m not in love with it. Granny Weatherwax on the other hand: 

 

"Listen, said Granny "If you give someone a bottle of red jollop for their wind it may work, right, but if you want it to work for sure then you let their mind make it work for them. Tell `em it´s moonbeams bottled in fairy wine or something. Mumble a bit over it. It´s the same with cursing."

 

"She was wearing servicable black, and concealed about her person were a number of hatpins and a breadknife. She had hidden their small store of money, grudgingly advanced by Smith, in the mysterious strata of her underwear. Her skirt pockets jingled with lucky charms, and a freshly-forged horseshoe, always a potent preventative in time of trouble, weighed down her handbag. She felt about as ready as she ever would be to face the world.

 

  

[Source]

 

"It´s Mistress Weatherwax," said Granny. "Three sugars, please."

Mrs. Whitlow pushed the bowl towards her. Much as she looked forward to Granny´s visits it came expensive in sugar. Sugar lumps never seemed to last long around Granny.

"Very bad for the figure," she said. "And the teeth, so Aye hear."

"I never had a figure  to speak of and my teeth take care of themselves," said Granny.

 

I love her.

 

16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 1 All Saints Day: A book that has a primarily black and white cover, or one that has all the colours (ROYGBIV) together on the cover.

 

This wonderful cover of my edition has all the colours of the rainbow in it.

 

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