Sunday, December 20, 2015

Weekly Update: Christmas Week


Good morning, friends. Although we still lack snow, it certainly feels like Christmas is here. Daughter #1 arrived last night and is home for a week... now we can finally decorate the tree! The lights have been on since early December, but we wait until everyone is home before adding ornaments. Even more exciting is the fact that my shopping is done - and mostly wrapped! Tomorrow we begin baking.

Earlier in the week, we had our last college move-out day. Twin A completed her coursework and now has several months free...her job begins next summer. Hopefully she'll spend some time with us in FL this winter.

On to the books...

Current reading//

by Anthony Trollope
Just started this one. Should be perfect reading for the holiday week... plus it's Trollope!

Current listening//


 by Jessica Wapner, narrated by Heather Henderson
Remember how I complained about On Immunity not containing enough hard science? That's definitely not the case here. This book is excellent.


Finished//


Emma by Jane Austen
Finished on Jane's birthday - very fitting! I loved it and will try to write a post before the end of the month.


New books in the house//


Jezebel's Daughter by Wilkie Collins
An Oxford World's Classics edition, to be released in March.



All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
Another kindle daily deal...


On the blog//
Weekend Cooking: Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa
Book Brief: Brown Girl Dreaming  by Jacqueline Woodson
Pages From the Past: My 2004 Reading Journal


Up Next//


Bunner Sisters by Edith Wharton
My Classics Club spin book is a novella.


Contemplating Projects for 2016//

Although I haven't been good about writing actual review posts, you all know how much I've enjoyed reading Trollope's Barsetshire Chronicles this year. I'd like to do something similar in 2016. So far, the possibilities include:
Trollope's Palliser series. Six novels, one every two months, just like this year... But is it too soon for another year of Trollope? Maybe a few stand-alone novels would be better. 
The Forsyte Chronicles series by John Galsworthy - 9 novels plus several 'interludes' divided into three volumes. I read the first volume a decade ago and loved it. 
A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell- 12 novels, divided into 4 'movements' sounds like a perfect yearlong project.
Are you interested in any of these projects? If one series is clearly more appealing, it might help me decide. As I've said before, classics are more fun with friends :)


The week ahead//

I'm going to step away from the blog this week and spend time with my family. I'll be back after Christmas with the yearly wrap-up post and 'best of' list. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!



This post will link to It's Monday, What Are You Reading?  hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

50 comments:

  1. Enjoy the Holidays! It looks like you have some exciting reads already lined up for the new year!

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    1. Pat - I'm looking forward to my next few reads very much, and excited to be focusing on my TBR shelves after that.

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  2. Have a merry Christmas and a fabulous holiday season! I am also planning to read something huge next year but I have not yet decided what that will be.

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    1. Athira - I hope you enjoy your first Christmas with Shreya. I'm sure it will be so much fun! We'll both settle on a project soon, no doubt.

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  3. Your Christmas sounds wonderful! I love the idea of all that decorating together as a family...and I do recall that we did that kind of thing. Nowadays, I go to the home of one of my kids to watch the grandchildren open presents, etc.

    Your projects all sound good...I haven't read Trollope, but perhaps I should.

    I like the look of All My Puny Sorrows.

    Enjoy your holidays, and thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - There have been so many good kindle deals lately! I just picked up The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar for $1.99.

      I know many of these holiday traditions will change as the girls marry and have families of their own, so I'm enjoying it all while I can :)

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  4. I haven't done a big, year long, reading project in a while, but doing Trollope certainly sounds like fun.

    I misread the title of your first book here, by the way, as Christmas at Thornton Hall. I assumed it would be a novella by Jane Austen or maybe Charlotte Bronte. That I would read for the holidays.

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    1. James - My last project before this year's Trollope was reading Clarissa in real time. I failed spectacularly at that, despite being one of the hosts! I don't want to overdo with another year of Trollope, but I doubt I'll tire of him any time soon.

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  5. What fun to have everyone home! Let the baking begin!

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    1. Patty - Everyone is choosing their favorite cookies today. Next stop is the grocery store... we need lots of ingredients!!

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  6. Have a very Merry Christmas with your family JoAnn. You're organized. We still need to get gifts. We did get some snow last week which was nice. Now we have about 5 inches on the ground and were able to go cross-country skiing today. Fun!

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    1. Thank you, Susan. Seems strange to have virtually no chance of a white Christmas this year. Merry Christmas to you, too.

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  7. I have yet to read Trollope and I really should try. I think I'd like his work!

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    1. Andi - Trollope reminds me of Jane Austen in many ways.

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    1. Merry Christmas to you, too, Audrey!

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  9. No snow for us either, looks like. We're going to warm up a bit this week I guess. Crazy weather- but I won't complain. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy the family time!

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    1. Greg - Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

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  10. I know you're happy to have your family home. Enjoy and have a Merry Christmas!

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    1. Kathy - I'd forgotten how crazy it is with so many people in the house, but I do love it. Merry Christmas!

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  11. How wonderful for your daughter to be done early and have a job lined up. Have a special Christmas

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    1. Thank you, Diane. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

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  12. Good luck deciding your reading for 2016. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Years with your family. I am figuring out my reading directions for 2016 as well. Look forward to more blogging catch ups in the New Year.

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    1. Pam - After reading Thomas's post today, I think I'll eliminate Powell ;-) Merry Christmas to you and your family, too!

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  13. Have a great holiday and enjoy your downtime!

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  14. You are a busy woman! I like the books you've highlighted, some I hadn't seen at the bookstore. It is feeling like Christmas here, right now, but sadly we are supposed to get warm weather for the big day. I shouldn't complain as that means I can turn the heater off.

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    1. Tina - I look forward to days of uninterrupted reading after Christmas... virtually no plans the following week! In January, we head south :)

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  15. What a great selection of reads and I look forward to your reviews on these titles. Have a wonderful Christmas week, JoAnn!

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    1. Thank you, Arti! My daughters and I are planning to see Brooklyn tomorrow (possibly my sister, too), but I haven't had a chance to reread it yet. I may just go straight to Nora Webster instead. Merry Christmas!

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    2. Did you see it? What do you think of it? :)

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    3. Arti - We ended up going to my mothers to bake cookies and never made it to the movies. Now I'll have to convince my husband to go this week!

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  16. Oooooo...they all look incredible. ENJOY!!

    Have a wonderful reading week, and Merry Christmas.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading

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    1. Elizabeth - Merry Christmas to you, too!

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  17. I've never read anything by Jane Austen. I keep bouncing off the language. Come see my week here. Happy holidays and happy reading!

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    1. Kathy - It does take some time to get used to Jane Austen's language... sometimes audio helps. Emma was a read/listen combo for me and I loved Juliet Stevenson's narration! Happy Holidays:)

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  18. Merry Christmas to you and your family, JoAnn. As you can probably tell, I enjoy your blog very much and look forward to each and every post. Will miss your time away, and needless to say, I envy your time in practicing the Sanibel Stoop. I was there once in January and it was as cold as a winter day in Chicago. But other visits were sunny and warm and left me wanting to go back. Have fun and maybe check in with your readers now and then with a weather report from south Florida. Ciao

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    1. JudyMac - Merry Christmas to you, too! I'm sure I'll be blogging from Sanibel this winter, we ended up getting internet last year... maybe not quite as frequently, but I'll be around. I remember one February when we all had to go buy fleece jackets. They're hard to find in SWFL ;-)

      I started reading The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar yesterday, an author I've been meaning to read for years, and think it's going to be a wonderful book. Finished The Philadelphia Chromosome on audio and loved it! Very science-y, fit right in with my background.

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  19. Lovely tradition to wait till everyone is home to decorate the tree. Have a happy Christmas - your reading looks great.

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    1. Kathryn - We started doing that when the oldest went away to college and it immediately became a tradition :) Merry Christmas!

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  20. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas, JoAnn! I would be interested in any of the reads you mentioned, although I would need to obtain the Powells before December 31st...

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    1. Merry Christmas to you, too, Sharon! After reading Thomas's post yesterday (Hoggglestock is his blog's name), I'm tempted to take Powell off the list. Leaning toward Galsworthy today...

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  21. Enjoy the week with your family JoAnn. Merry Christmas.

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    1. Thank you, Margot. Merry Christmas!

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  22. Looking forward to your thoughts on Emma. How clever of you to finish on her birthday! You have introduced me to Trollope this year, and for that I am thankful. What a lovely choice of his for this Christmas week, which I have laying waiting for me downstairs. But, after Austen , I needed something action packed (like my first Vince Flynn! Not Christmas-y at all).

    Merry Christmas, dear JoAnn.

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    1. Bellezza - Funny, I had to put Trollope aside for a few days. After Jane Austen, I needed something more contemporary... picked up The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar as a daily deal and started reading immediately. Very good so far. I will get back to Trollope later today or tomorrow...

      Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  23. Very excited to hear that a new Wilkie Collins is on its way!
    The neighbourhood boys are out playing basketball in their shorts...it's Christmas Day in Ontario...this is unheard of. A very strange December all around but we're still feeling festive! All the best to you and yours, JoAnn.

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    1. Darlene - I'm very excited about the prospect of a new Wilkie Collins novel. Best of all, it's under 300 pages! Our Christmas weather was very strange, too. I actually wore patent leather flip flops! Hope you and your family are enjoying a wonderful holiday weekend.

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  24. Huzzah for surviving your last college move-out!

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    1. Lisa - And the last tuition bill!! We waited a long time for that ;-)

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