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text 2018-12-31 17:15
24 Festive Tasks: Door 15 - St. Nicholas' Day / Sinterklaas, Task 2 (Three Wishes)

My three wishes, as we close out the old year and begin the new one:

 

For myself: To be able to look back, at the end of 2019, and have preserved what I like in my life, and have improved what I don't like.

 

For the BookLikes community: Long may it survive, and I hope it will grow ever closer together!  (Wish 1.a: Many happy returns of Halloween Bingo and Festive Tasks.)

 

For the world: A return to sanity, peace, justice, and (dare I say it?) wisdom.  In everything from society and politics to the environment and everyday relations and communication.  (And don't tell me that's more than one wish (again).  It really isn't.  But even if it were, I wouldn't care a rat's rear end.)

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review 2018-12-18 21:34
24 Festive Tasks: Door 15 - St. Nicholas' Day / Sinterklaas, Book
Desert Heat - J.A. Jance,Hillary Huber

 

I needed a break from all the Christmas and winter reads I've been indulging in lately, so I squeezed this one in -- the print version has been lingering on my shelves way too long as it is.  And I'm happy to have finally started on a series that I've long had a feeling I would like: There's a tiny bit of TSTL syndrome and a few somewhat implausible character actions / choices, as well as a bit of tautological writing at the beginning (surprisingly so, since by the time she published this book, Jance already had another successful series under her belt that had been running for almost a decade), but all of this is essentially over and done with -- and Jance and her protagonist Joanna Brady have found their book series feet -- by the end of the second or third chapter, and from then on we're off to very solid enjoyment.  The solution is clear pretty much from the word "go", too, but once the book finds its feet, it's fun to just come along for the ride.  This is definitely a series I'm happy to have added to my library.

 

And go figure, the audio version I listened to even has a bright red and orange cover, so it qualifies for the St. Nicholas square in 24 Festive Tasks!

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text 2018-12-10 20:56
24 Festive Tasks: Door 15 - St. Nicholas' Day / Sinterklaas, Task 3 (Holiday Treats)

Here's my assortment -- this year's edition:

 

The traditional Christmas-y stuff:

"Christstollen" (Christmas loaf cake), "Printen" (spicy, crunchy gingerbread bars), "Frankfurt Bethmännchen" (round marzipan and almond cookies), "domino cubes" (chocolate-coated cubes filled with gingerbread mass, chocolate and jelly), and chocolate-coated almond gingerbread cookies

 

-- and the not-necessarily-Christmas-y-but-melt-in-your-mouth-sinfully-delicious stuff: white chocolate and crushed almond tartuffi (pralines) and dark chocolate pralines (both Italian)

 

... and a chocolate Santa, and two snowmen wearing chequered scarves and red winter bonnets, just because!

 

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text 2018-12-09 21:57
24 Festive Tasks: Door 15 - St. Nicholas' Day / Sinterklaas, Task 4 (Books Featuring Children Rescued from Peril)
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain,Guy Cardwell,John Seelye
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Black Stallion - Walter Farley,Keith Ward
M - Jon J. Muth

I suppose Harry Potter and just about every children's / YA fantasy (or mystery) series would fill this bill, but big HP and Three Investigators fan though I am, let me offer these for consideration instead:

 

1.  Mark Twain: The Adventure of Tom Sawyer -- Tom and Becky Thatcher in McDougal's Cave (rescued thanks to Tom's tenacious search for an exit), and Tom and Huck Finn up against Injun Joe; inter alia, listening to Joe's and his cohorts' plans at the peril of their own death in case they are discovered, and Tom incurring the same risk by speaking up at Injun Joe's trial (after which Joe escapes through a window).

 

2.  Frances Hodgson Burnett: The Secret Garden -- At the beginning of the book, Mary is sent to England to stay with her uncle to save her from the cholera epidemic that will shortly thereafter kill both of her parents, who have remained in India.

 

3.  Walter Farley: The Black Stallion -- Alec and "The Black" become friends when they help each other to survive on a desert island after being shipwrecked.

 

Honorable mention:

 

"M" (screenplay, not book): A chillingly creepy 1930s movie,  concerning the hunt for a pedophile serial killer -- starring Peter Lorre (pre-Hollywood) as the pedophile and directed by Fritz Lang.

 

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text 2018-12-05 18:47
24 Festive Tasks: Door 15 - St. Nicholas' Day / Sinterklaas, Task 1 (Book Wishlist)

Ummm ... St. Nick, are you sure you are up for this one? (http://themisathena.booklikes.com/shelf/wishlist?by=date&order=desc)

 

Actually, dear St. Nicholas -- if you'd just pick one of these (and I mean any one), I would be totally over the moon!  Thank you so very much!

 

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