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'Tis the week before Christmas reading thread
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Lily Fairbairn

Dec 18 2012, 2:31pm

Post #1 of 27 (284 views)
'Tis the week before Christmas reading thread Can't Post

Hm. 'Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the TORn, every creature was stirring as The Hobbit was born....

Okay. I'm no poet Crazy

This week I read ...In The Grass, a delightful paranormal mystery by one of my favorite Scottish musicians, Brian McNeill. The main character is Sammy Knox, an immortal shape-changer, who goes from glamorous female detective to black cat, as needed. She's a witch's familiar, she says---and in this world, the familiars run the show!

Sammy's voice alone is worth the price of the book---street-wise, wry, vivid, and quite frank in spots Blush I was sort of ahead of Brian on the mystery part, but then, I usually am, and I didn't care. Seeing how he worked it all out was great fun.

Highly recommended, along with Brian's music.

What have YOU been reading when you haven't been haunting the theaters watching a certain movie?


Dec 18 2012, 6:58pm

Post #2 of 27 (129 views)
A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness [In reply to] Can't Post

Not my usual fare, but quite entertaining - enough so that I immediately trekked to the library in the pouring rain (in San Diego, no less! Rain! Imagine that!) for the next installment in the trilogy, Shadow of Night. I picked it up and read into the wee hours; now I'm about a third of the way through and hoping I can finish it AND complete my Christmas decorating/ shopping/mailing before returning to work Thursday.

Yeah. No problem.

Lily Fairbairn

Dec 18 2012, 8:09pm

Post #3 of 27 (164 views)
Somewhere out there... [In reply to] Can't Post

...Ms. Harkness is smirking in satisfaction, then! Smile

(Send a little rain to Texas when you get the chance, okay?)

Aunt Dora Baggins

Dec 19 2012, 12:43am

Post #4 of 27 (124 views)
The Pen and the Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World [In reply to] Can't Post

by Brenda Miller and Holly Hughes.

This is a book I'm reading for a church class I'm taking in January. It's about mindfulness and observation, and has writing exercises at the end of each chapter. I'm not entirely enamored of it, but it's OK. I've read so many books on writing that they start to blur together.

I finished Pride and Prejudice, and am trying to decide which Austen to re-read next. Or maybe I'll read Anna Karenina, which I read in high school. So many free books on my kindle, so little time.

"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com


Dec 19 2012, 12:47am

Post #5 of 27 (134 views)
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed [In reply to] Can't Post

My Mom lent this to me as she knows I've hiked and ridden horseback along miles of this very remote trail in several wilderness areas in California. This is the story of a woman who overcomes grief over her mother's untimely death and finds self-reliance and redemption by way of a solo backpacking journey from Southern California to the Oregon/Washington state border. I laughed, cried, sweated (and shivered) with her along her journey. Highly recommended.

Grey Havens

Dec 19 2012, 2:29am

Post #6 of 27 (127 views)
YA Fiction by Lia Habel: Dearly Departed, Dearly Beloved [In reply to] Can't Post

It's basically Twilight with Zombies. Though Nora Dearly is not quite as bland as Bella. Add in a steampunk twist and set it all in the future and there's plenty of twists and turns. Lots of head jumping narration (by chapter at least and not paragraph) and a decent attempt at world building. It's obvious there's more volumes to come in the series.... I do hope she doesn't just go on and on. Wrap up the situation or shift to different views of the world.

Fourth Age Adventures at the Inn of the Burping Troll http://burpingtroll.com

Tol Eressea

Dec 19 2012, 4:41am

Post #7 of 27 (115 views)
The Hobbit... [In reply to] Can't Post

I attempted to read the Hobbit a couple of days before I saw the movie...but didn't quite get it done. Busy ya know? Xmas, work, 7-month old....that kind of stuff kept me a bit busy, but I'm almost through the book, only a couple of days late....

What's the matter, James? No glib remark? No pithy comeback?"



Dec 19 2012, 4:48am

Post #8 of 27 (105 views)
That sounds good [In reply to] Can't Post

I might need to check that one out. Thanks for the recommendation.


Dec 19 2012, 4:56am

Post #9 of 27 (112 views)
My local library finally reopened [In reply to] Can't Post

It has been closed for ages while they propped it up for earthquakes.
To celebrate, I went on opening day. It hasn't had a lot of publicity yet, so it was very quiet, which was lovely.
I haven't read any of these yet, but here's what I got:
Hot Lights, Cold Steel: Life, Death and Sleepless Nights in a Surgeon's First Years by Michael J. Collins MD
Grimm Tales for young and old - Phillip Pullman retells a selection of fairy tales.
Great White Shark, Myth and Reality. Yes, I love sharks.
The Berlin Wall by Frederick Taylor. The guy who wrote Dresden, so it should be good.

I don't really read fiction. Now I have to decide which book to start with, a nice sort of a worry. Smile


Dec 19 2012, 5:03am

Post #10 of 27 (103 views)
The hobbit [In reply to] Can't Post

It is a christmas tradition of mine to read it over the holidays - have done it for 18 years now!

Tol Eressea

Dec 19 2012, 5:04am

Post #11 of 27 (104 views)
Still working on "The King of Elfland's Daughter" [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been a bit busy lately so I've not made it very far. Plus, it's one of those books that you want to savor and give all of your attention to. The writing style and use of language are quite beautiful; it has that lovely "Once upon a time" quality without being simplistic.

"The question isn't where, Constable, but when." - Inspector Spacetime


Dec 19 2012, 5:09am

Post #12 of 27 (121 views)
It is time to re-read The Immense Journey [In reply to] Can't Post

by Loren Eiseley, first read in the 60's. I remember it as a thought provoking book.

I'd like to show you a pair of quotes that serve as a preface, if you will , that appear like the Argonath kings before the realm of Gondor. serving as a sign of the splendor of the natural world and the depth it holds.

"Man can not afford to be a naturalist, to look at Nature directly, but only with the side of his eye. He must look though and beyond her."
Henry David Thoreau

"Unless all existence is a medium of revelation, no particular revelation is possible..."
William Temple

Superuser / Moderator

Dec 19 2012, 6:05am

Post #13 of 27 (165 views)
Yay! That's a great milestone. :) / [In reply to] Can't Post


Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Ataahua's stories

Tol Eressea

Dec 19 2012, 1:01pm

Post #14 of 27 (97 views)
Hooray for each step back to normalcy! // [In reply to] Can't Post


Happiness: money matters, but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important and so are friends, while envy is toxic -- and so is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude. - The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner as summarized by Lily Fairbairn. And a bit of the Hobbit reading thrown in never hurts. - NottaSackville

Tol Eressea

Dec 19 2012, 1:04pm

Post #15 of 27 (97 views)
Cold Days! [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, the exact same subject as last week. Knowing it is likely my last Dresden book until the next one comes out in a year or two, I'm trying my hardest to savor it rather than consume it in one big gulp - nomnomnom (think Cookie Monster).

Given the large number of Dresden fans here, I won't spoil anything, but well, things don't look good for our favorite wizard detective.


Happiness: money matters, but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important and so are friends, while envy is toxic -- and so is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude. - The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner as summarized by Lily Fairbairn. And a bit of the Hobbit reading thrown in never hurts. - NottaSackville

Lily Fairbairn

Dec 19 2012, 3:39pm

Post #16 of 27 (89 views)
So many books! So little time! [In reply to] Can't Post

I hear you Crazy I just downloaded Pride and Prejudice and the complete Sherlock Holmes stories---like I don't have 30-odd paper books waiting for me on my coffee table.

Lily Fairbairn

Dec 19 2012, 3:40pm

Post #17 of 27 (95 views)
Strayed is a friend of my son's [In reply to] Can't Post

He recommended her book as well, although there are parts of it that I'm not sure would suit me. Whatever, I'm glad her work has been successful.

Lily Fairbairn

Dec 19 2012, 3:42pm

Post #18 of 27 (86 views)
Sounds like a very inventive story [In reply to] Can't Post

Although I have to admit, I don't get the appeal of zombies! Shocked

Lily Fairbairn

Dec 19 2012, 3:44pm

Post #19 of 27 (89 views)
I read The Hobbit last year... [In reply to] Can't Post

...and have tried NOT to read it right before seeing the movie, because I don't want the changes to jump out at me. OTOH, it's always good to re-visit the source material.

The little guy is 7 months old already? My goodness! Why would you be at all busy? Smile

Lily Fairbairn

Dec 19 2012, 3:45pm

Post #20 of 27 (85 views)
Glad to hear about the library [In reply to] Can't Post

You have to have a library! Your book selection sounds intriguing. I read a lot of non-fiction myself. I mean, when it comes to fiction, Tolkien rules, right?

Lily Fairbairn

Dec 19 2012, 3:46pm

Post #21 of 27 (83 views)
A good time of year for Tolkien [In reply to] Can't Post

I read LotR every Christmas for a good many years, then got away from the habit, for whatever reason. I need to get back, I think.

Lily Fairbairn

Dec 19 2012, 3:48pm

Post #22 of 27 (85 views)
I have a copy of that around here somewhere [In reply to] Can't Post

I should dig that out and re-read it. I don't remember the details, just that it's a really good novel. I wonder if Dunsany influenced Tolkien at all?

Lily Fairbairn

Dec 19 2012, 3:49pm

Post #23 of 27 (85 views)
Loren Eisley! [In reply to] Can't Post

I went on quite an Eisley kick many years ago, and have a couple of books of his essays here. Lovely prose and great sentiments---that appear like the Argonath kings indeed. Well put, sil Smile

Lily Fairbairn

Dec 19 2012, 3:51pm

Post #24 of 27 (84 views)
Oh yes, you want to savor the last book in any series [In reply to] Can't Post

And hope the author is hard at work on the next!


Dec 19 2012, 11:35pm

Post #25 of 27 (84 views)
There are parts [In reply to] Can't Post

that don't suit me either, honestly. Strayed made some terrible choices in her life, exhibited some very self-destructive behavior (to my eyes). Yet this solo trip seems to have been a catharsis for her and I'm happy for her for that reason.

And I can absolutely relate to her physical trials along the miles of trail having been to several of the same areas she describes under very harsh conditions, and I very much enjoyed that.

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