First, Thanksgiving was perfect! Daughter #1 was home from college, my brother and his family were visiting from Pennsylvania, and my parents and second brother came for the day. The table was set for a relatively small crowd of 13 (all three sisters spent the day with in-laws). We enjoyed the traditional Thanksgiving meal, and the company was superb!
In anticipation of Black Friday shopping, my oldest daughter had 5 friends spend the night. They were out the door by 4AM, but Daughter #1 was back home and in bed by 9! I avoid the mall at all cost on this day. We also hosted the 'leftover feast' on Friday...same crowd as Thanksgiving, plus my three sisters and their families. The teen girls slipped out to the movie to see New Moon that evening, some for the second time!
Yesterday was the annual Family Christmas Party. Always held the Saturday after Thanksgiving, it gives us a chance to spend time with my aunt, cousins, and their families before the holiday frenzy really takes hold. The highlight is definitely the Yankee Auction gift exchange!
Today, I will brave the mall crowds and begin Christmas shopping with Daughter #1. Since her Monday morning class was cancelled, she'll stay home an extra night, avoid the holiday traffic, and return to campus tomorrow.
Despite all the activities, time was carved out for reading. Before the leftovers on Friday, I finished North River by Pete Hamill. For some reason, I was anticipating not liking this, but was very pleasantly surprised. Hamill is also the author (and reader) of my current audiobook , Downtown: My Manhattan. A personal history, woven together with a history of the city, it is quite enjoyable in this format. Both books are in preparation for his talk at the Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series in early December.
I finished Great Expectations by Charles Dickens on audio. Initially this was a combination read at home, listen in the car book, but the reader was excellent and the audio version "won". Classics aren't my usual audio fare, but I'm wondering if I should start adding them to the mix. Do you ever listen to classics?
I must get caught up on reviews! Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto was fabulous, as was The Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton (in totally different ways, of course), but I haven't managed to get anything written. North River can also be added to this list.
Short Story Mondays will take on a holiday theme for the coming month with Everyman's Pocket Classics Christmas Stories. If I get a chance to read one later today, this may even begin tomorrow!
What to read next? I'm not quite sure. A Drinking Life: A Memoir by Pete Hamill, came from the library. I seem to get more from the lectures when I've read more by the author, so this is a possibility. There are also several novels and classics I'm ready to pick up, but another Agatha Raisin cozy mystery would also fit my current mood. What's a girl to do...
Enjoy your Sunday, and I'll be by to visit this evening.