Wishing you all a very happy holiday season!
Hello, dear friends,
We are well into the holiday season now. and I wanted to check in and wish you all a very happy season. I hope you are well and enjoying life and family and good books. And as for the stresses and strains that also seem to be part of the holidays, I wish for you some quiet and some time to just enjoy the present moment.
I feel like I’ve been away forever, and I am hoping to get back to some consistent blogging again. I am getting back to my reading, choosing kind and gentle reads for now. Poetry is a balm for me. Books about grief (some of them), are helpful and appreciated. And when I found a book of poetry about grief that really spoke to my own experience, I was thrilled. Living Without the One You Cannot Live Without, by Natasha Josefowitz, sits beside me right now as my solace and one of my guides through this journey.
Recent fiction reads, such as Farewell to Fairacre, by Miss Read, and The Bookstore Sisters, a short story by Alice Hoffman, have been my bedtime reads. My non-fiction afternoon reading included Michelle Obama’s new book, The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times, which I felt was an enriching audiobook to listen to. She is, as always, full of wisdom and compassion, and hope. I really enjoyed it. I also read a library find: A Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives, by Lisa Congdon. It was inspiring and I enjoyed each short biography of many different women who found their passions and careers later in life.
After two-and-a-half years of pandemic lockdown and the extra precautions we had to take due to my husband’s cancer, I am beginning to get back to some of my used-to-be normal activities. I have started going back to my exercise class at the gym, although I know that Covid is still here. But I need my exercise friends, the three-day-a-week routine, and the exercise! It’s so nice to be back. I’m also getting back to my morning walks, although the weather always seems to play havoc with that routine at this time of year. And I’m also getting back to my reading. It all feels so good!
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year! May your 2022 be filled with love, happiness, good health, and lots of good books!
Many of you live where you get a lot more snow than we have here this morning, but it’s unusual for us to see much white. So I was really excited when I awoke to a winter wonderland this morning! And we won’t be going anywhere today. After we shovel the snow off our sidewalks, we are just going to stay warm and cozy inside and spend the day reading!
This year, I loved our Thanksgiving because we celebrated it three different times! I often feel quite anxious about the holidays, but this year is different. I decided that we will simply be prepared to celebrate whenever our loved ones can be with us. So for Thanksgiving, I had the dinner fixings ready to go when our grandson could be with us on the weekend before Thanksgiving, and with our son on Thanksgiving Day, and then again when our daughter arrived on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We are now repeating that same practice with the Christmas holiday!
So last night we had an early family Christmas celebration because our daughter is with us for a few days. This celebration included our family dinner, opening a present or two, and watching a video…and lots of laughter. We will repeat this when our grandson is with us on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
These are cherished times with our family. May your holidays be warm and wonderful, and full of love, too.
It’s time again for Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon. This annual Fall challenge is something I’ve enjoyed for many years. However, this year has been a strange one, and October has been a challenging one for us, so I’m not going to be able to spend the kind of time I usually give to this day of reading. But I am reading and listening as much as I can, and am enjoying the time I can devote to reading today.
In line with my focus on more cultural diversity in my reading choices, I checked out from the library a number of books about different winter holidays. I’ll list them here, as I finish reading them today.
- A Parakeet Named Dreidel, by Isaac Bashevis Singer.
From the publisher: When young David and Mama and Papa are celebrating Hanukkah one frosty winter evening in Brooklyn, Papa sees a parakeet sitting on the window ledge. He lets the parakeet in and everyone is delighted to find that it speaks Yiddish. They name it Dreidel and it becomes part of their family.
- Diwali: Festival of Lights, by Rina Singh.
From the publisher: During Diwali, Hindus, Sikhs and Jains celebrate the legends and stories that describe the triumph of good over evil and justice over oppression. Critically acclaimed author Rina Singh explores her Indian roots as she tells the Diwali stories, which remind us that eventually light will prevail over darkness.
- Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, by Eric A. Kimmel.
From the publisher: It is the first night of Hanukkah. Hershel of Ostropol is walking down the road. Tired and hungry, he is looking forward to reaching the next village. He is sure that bright candles, merry songs, and platters of potato latkes will be waiting for him. But when he reaches the village, Hershel discovers that the villagers aren’t celebrating Hanukkah. They’re too scared of the goblins that haunt the old synagogue at the top of the hill. Hershel wants to help the village people. “If I can’t outwit a few goblins,” Hershel tells the rabbit, “then my name isn’t Hershel of Ostropol.”
- Chinese New Year: A Celebration for Everyone, by Jen Lee.
From the publisher: From its beginnings as a farming celebration marking the end of winter to its current role as a global party featuring good food, lots of gifts and public parades, Chinese New Year is a snapshot of Chinese culture.
- Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story, by Angela Shelf Medearis.
From the publisher: In an African village live seven brothers who make life miserable with their constant fighting. When their father dies, he leaves an unusual will: by sundown, the brothers must make gold out of seven spools of thread or they will be turned out as beggars.
- Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik, by Scott Hilton Davis.
From the publisher: Celebrate the holiday of Chanukah with eight original short stories by Jewish storyteller Scott Hilton Davis. Enjoy a fun-filled journey to Oykvetchnik, the tiny shtetl town in Eastern Europe where people complain a lot (except during Chanukah when they seem to be a little more charitable).
Evening Update: I had a very nice time reading today, although it wasn’t a lot of time. I enjoyed each of my holiday choices. The book by Isaac Bashevis Singer was a treasure. I listened to the audiobook of Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik, and loved it. What a wonderful storyteller! All of them are books I would recommend for sharing with family during the holidays.
So another Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon comes to an end for me (no, I don’t stay up all night reading anymore). I look forward to the next one, in April.
Happy reading, my friends! And happy holidays coming up soon!
This is such a nice week for reading! I love the days following the busy-ness of Christmas! And I love having some quiet time to read book presents and finish up books started before the holiday rush. I am currently reading a number of books. I’m almost finished with a book on my Kindle about Iceland and Icelanders. I’m halfway through another audiobook mystery by Deborah Crombie. And my daughter gave me this book for Christmas, so I’m reading it now, too!
What are you reading this week?