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text 2018-12-19 04:40
24 Festive Tasks | Door 12: St. Andrew's Day



(November 30)




12/18/2018:  Finished reading Not My Father's Son for Book Task!

12/06/2018:  Honestly, I had a hard time with the tasks for this door.   They're not easy ones.  But I've got a completion for Task 2, and a book chosen for the Book Task.  The rest are still being considered.



Task 1

Nominate someone for sainthood.  Who?  Why?

This one will require some thought.  Decided just to skip this one.



Task 2

St Andrew is revered in many countries, particularly in Eastern Europe, where he worked as a Christian missionary, long before his relics were brought to Scotland centuries later. – Tell us: Is there a book (regardless whether fiction or nonfiction) for which you would basically walk up to strangers and tell them: “Read this!”?  What would you say and do to get people to read that particular book?
-- COMPLETED 12/06/2018 --

I'd hate to copy Broken Tune's response to this task, but this is exactly the same way I feel about recommending books to people.  I'm usually hesitant, if only because I don't like to push recommendations without knowing what someone else likes to read.  There are really only two people in my non-cyber life whom I truly feel comfortable recommending books, because we have discussed books with each other so thoroughly that I know what kind of tastes they have, based on what they've read, and what they've enjoyed.

Without this knowledge, I feel presumptuous just randomly walking up to a stranger and marketing a book to them.

In a different approach to this task, however, I can turn around and say that, if a stranger (or even an acquaintance) asked me for a book recommendation... I do tend to ask them a bunch of questions about their preferences.  What books have they read recently?  What books have they liked?  What kinds of stories do they prefer?  Do they like romance?  Mystery?  Action thrillers?

After establishing some sort of background, I will proceed to let them know what books they might like, such as how "so-and-so author has a lot of witty dialogue," or how "there's an excellent mystery twist in this cozy," or "this book doesn't have a whole lot of romance in it," or "this romance doesn't have any graphic sex scenes."  I like to appeal to their interests.

Yeah... I give them a freakin' survey just to get a feel for what kind of reader they are.  Call it paranoia, or overthinking, or whatever, but the last thing I want to do is recommend someone a book that they'll end up hating.



Task 3

Legend has it that the saltire or St. Andrew’s cross (white on an azure background) – which constitutes the national flag of Scotland – originated as a cloud formation, symbolizing St. Andrew’s being crucified on an X-shaped cross rather than an upright one.  Do you have any pictures of unusual cloud formations?  If so, share them with us!

I'm sure I don't have any pictures of unusual cloud formations, at least none that have caught my interest.  If I decide to do a Google search for kicks, I may come back and update.



Task 4

The town of St. Andrews, where the saint’s bones ended up in the course of the spread of Christianity to Scotland, is also famous for its golf course and tournament.   List your 3 favorite books where golf is key to the plot.

You know, off the top of my head, I'm not sure I've ever actually read a book that involved golf... except maybe as an aside to some rich, side character's favorite past time, which usually had little to do with the central plot.



Book Task

Andrew was the first apostle; read the first book in a series. OR: Andrew and Peter were brothers; read a book about brothers.  OR: Read books about or set in Scotland or by a Scottish author, or set in Charleston, South Carolina (which is where the celebrations as we know them today began – by a group of Scottish expats – according to scotland.org).
-- COMPLETED 12/18/2018 --

Finished listening to this wonderful memoir by Alan Cumming.  Aside from getting a look at the dark, abusive childhood that Alan lived through, this is also an extremely thought-provoking book.  But between the bleakness of his relationship with his father, I love that we get to see some sweet moments when he lovingly tells about his mother Mary Darling, his brother Tommy, and his husband Grant.

I hadn't known what to expect going into this book, but I'm absolutely happy with what I got.  I've been looking out for books narrated by Alan Cumming ever since listening to his portrayal of Dr. Seward in the full-cast audio of Dracula.

I may or may not come back with a review.



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/12/24-festive-tasks-door-12-st-andrews-day.html
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text 2018-12-19 04:01
24 Festive Tasks | Door 5: Armistice / Veterans' Day



(November 11)




12/18/2018:  Updated Book Task as completed; claimed The Woman Left Behind retroactively.

11/13/2018:  Completed Tasks 1 and 3.  Updated Book Task for possible books to read.



Task 1

Using book covers (real or virtual), create a close approximation of your country’s flag (either of residence or birth), OR a close approximation of a poppy.  Take a pic of your efforts and post.
-- COMPLETED 11/13/2018 --


"Hi!  I'm the Penni Book Cover Poppy!"

I think I got it right...  And Monkey's trying to help as well... somehow...



Task 2

Make an offer of peace (letter, gift, whatever) to a book character who has particularly annoyed you this year.
-- SKIPPING this one --



Task 3

Tell us: What author’s books would you consider yourself a veteran of (i.e., by which author have you read particularly many books – or maybe even all of them)?
-- COMPLETED 11/13/2018 --



I don't know if I'd consider myself a veteran of any author's books, but according to my reading lists and shelves, it seems like Jayne Ann Krentz (including her historical and futuristic alter egos, Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle, respectively) is the author of whom I've read the most works.  I give a lot of this accomplishment to the previous two years when my main mission was to finish reading the Arcane Society and Harmony series, which both series together have a total of 23 books combined.  On the side, I've been happily inhaling Amanda Quick books.  And this year, I had made a goal to read at least 12 Jayne Ann Krentz books--a number I actually ended up doubling during that time frame when I was trying to climb out of my reading slump.

A close second (though not all that close) is Jill Shalvis--according to my lists, I've read about 32 of her works, including novellas and short stories as well.

I'm also going to give a quick shout out to Laura Griffin and Cindy Gerard, both of whom I've been devouring books by since I first discovered them.  I've probably read all of Cindy Gerard's romantic suspense books, and I've read all but a couple of Laura Griffin's work.



Task 4

Treat yourself to a slice of poppy seed cake and post a photo. If you want to make it yourself, try out this recipe: https://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/poppy-seed-cake/ … or this one: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1629633/lemon-and-poppy-seed-cake
-- Also SKIPPING this one --

I'm not feeling up for poppy seed cake.



Book Task

Read any book involving wars, battles, where characters are active military or veterans, or with poppies on the cover.
-- COMPLETED 12/17/2018 --


Well, after some thought I decided to go ahead and claim The Woman Left Behind for this door.  I finished reading this book on 11/11/18.  I'd been wanting to read some more books before making my decision, but that's probably not going to happen.  The characters in this book are part of a special ops, paramilitary unit, so I figure it counts.

My review is linked above, via the book title.



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/12/24-festive-tasks-door-5-armistice.html
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review 2018-12-18 18:45
The Queen: Aretha Franklin - Mikal Gilmore,Adenrele Ojo


Why not try a free Audible original about Aretha Franklin? That was my thought and I'm glad I did try it, though it wasn't exactly what I expected.


I was a Rolling Stone subscriber for decades, (until they put the Boston marathon bomber on the cover, but that's another story.) One of the things I miss about the magazine is the in-depth articles on musicians and singers, which is what I thought this would be.


It turned out to be like an article, yes, and a very well researched one at that. It's my fault for thinking that, since this is an audiobook, samples of her music or even full songs would be included. They're not. Also, this isn't as much of an in-depth look of her life so much as it is a look at her musical life. Which isn't a bad thing, I just expected more.


Side note: *I just discovered that Mikal Gilmore is actually the brother of Gary Gilmore, the subject of the book THE EXECUTIONER'S SONG. How did I not know that?*


Anyway, this was free and as such I can't complain. Thanks, Audible!



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review 2018-12-18 16:55
Seriously good stuff here...
Pretty Pretty Boys - Gregory Ashe,Tristan James Mabry

and Tristan James as always is doing a damn fine job on this one. I'm on to book #2. So for now this is it...I may come back to do a more complete review but in case I don't...
awesome mystery - yes
well written story - yes
MCs I like - yes
Narrator I like - oh hell yeah!!!
New to me author - yes
Would I recommend this - to anyone who loves a good mystery & slow burn on relationships totally.


Ok I'm back to book 2.

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text 2018-12-18 13:53
A locksmiths work is never done..

Hi all, (or none)


I've joined this website in the hopes that I can meet some like minded readers with good taste in novels. As the title of the post suggests this is just me moaning about how I never have the time to browse the local book stores in Bristol that's why I was astounded that I hadn't heard of this website before.


I hope that I can interact with people with similar tastes to me so when I do finally get the time to sit down and lose myself in a book that I don't have to waste time browsing book stores (even though I do love this) because You'll have already recommended a great read to me.


So here's a little about me and why I have minimal time and energy to go around and do something that has been a passion of mine ever since I was a child back in school. 


So I'm a locksmith in the Bristol area, not only am I a locksmith but I'm a 24/7 locksmith which means travelling anywhere to go and do something isn't a wise call because there's a high chance I'll be called out to do some work. In my spare time I love to read as well as a bit of gardening when I get the chance. Reading really suits my line of work because I can take the book I'm reading anywhere with me and read it when I have a moment.


Although it might sound as though I hate my job, I really don't locksmiths have been in my family for over 30 years and it's a tradition I hope my children will continue after I retire. I meet some lovely people on a day to day basis and I can hand on heart say that me and my team provide a really useful service that helps many and isn't overpriced.


I'm very passionate about my work and would love to talk about it with other people if they were interested so any questions you may have about the type of work I do please feel free to ask.


Finally I'll leave my website link here so anyone who maybe doesn't want their ears chewed off but would like to know a little more about the industry can take a look.


Here's to what I hope is the start of a great new adventure in which I meet a lot of like minded readers and more so people for discourse and conversation about books that I have read or books you think I should read.


Sorry to ramble, and finally thanks for having me!


http://locksmiths-of-bristol.co.uk/ for more information on what I do.





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