"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sunday Salon, Dec. 17, 2017

Ian, our grandson, is playing with grandpa.
Weather: cold and wet, it is either raining or threatening to rain.

End of the year in books: Every year at this time I put together a bunch of lists: favorites, best books for books clubs, and just lists of other other publication's list. Here are links (click on hyperlinks) to my End of the Year in Books blog post; my list of  best books lists; my favorite books of the year; and another end of the year meme. I will be putting together a list of my favorite book club selections soon. Stay tuned.

Home for the holidays: Our daughter made it home from New York on Friday. It is beginning to feel like Christmas will happen this year.

Outlander series: my husband and I have been bingeing on the Outlander series. Season three just ended for most folks but we are still watching season two. It makes us want to visit Scotland.

Christmas cookies: I made Pfeffernuse cookies earlier this month. I love those tiny, crunchy cookies with their anise flavor. Carly and Rita are making ginger bread cookies today to use Carly's new cookie stamp. Last week I tried Italian Anise cookies...there's that anise again, but I think everyone agrees that maybe too much anise is not desirable. Today I made a batch of sugar cookies for a church project. Nothing like making cookies at 7:30 AM. Needless to say, they were not fancy. I;m guessing that we will make a least one more kind, perhaps spritz cookies so we can use the cookie gun, or yummy peanut butter blossoms. What are your favorite Christmas cookies?
Snapdragon blooming in December, growing out of the brick.

Silly flower: We have a snapdragon flower growing out of our brickwork and it is blooming. It has snowed. We have had freezing temperatures. It seems undaunted.

Cybils update: This week the other judges and I will meet in a google chat and hopefully decide the books we want to move forward as our short list. I've rechecked the books that made our long list and have been reviewing them. I've read all of those books but one and I should be able to finish that book in time for our discussion on Wednesday. It has been a demanding yet rewarding experience and I am ready to hand off the responsibility to round 2 judges soon. Here is a link to the post where I talked about my favorites. These books may or may not make it to the next round.

Currently reading:

  • The 57 Bus---a nonfiction book that is being talked about in the blogosphere. I hope to write up a review of it soon.
  • My Brilliant Career---my Classics club spin book. Honestly I haven't been reading this book with all the nonfiction I have been working on. I will have to put on the gas to finish it by the goal date of December 31st.
On my early 2018 reading list:
  • Far From the Tree by Benway---the National Book Award title for YA literature and a Mock Printz 2018 selection.
  • Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks by Annie Spence. I've ordered the audiobook from the library.
  • The Lost History of Stars by Dave Boling...the next book for my book club.
Things I loved this week---
  • Carly is home for a month!
  • Ian has visited us twice. His laughter when Grandpa talks like a duck.
  • The annual Cantata at church
  • The finalists for "The Voice": Brooke, Chloe, Red, Addison
  • The siding is on the house, painted and looks great.
Have a good week!


  1. Lots of wonderful news here! I love the family time at the holidays. I wish I enjoyed shopping more. The girls and I will bake our traditional favorite sugar cookies and decorate them, and I'll make the Russian teacakes. :) Merry Christmas!!

  2. I’m glad you are enjoying your Cybils experience though you, like me, are ready to hand off to the next team. It’s a lot of reading. I always seem to forget how much reading it is.

    My husband’s Norwegian family loves making fattigmands. I hope we get around to making a batch this year. Nothing is as fun as making Christmas cookies.

  3. What a positive and uplifting post, just what I needed in amongst all the fire-chaos that is my life right now. So, thank you. You are the second person to say you're enjoying Outlander so I may have to check it out. Merry Christmas!

  4. Ian is adorable! How great that your daughter came all the way from New York.

    The cookie baking sounds like fun. Enjoy!

    I am curious about The 57 Bus.


  5. Ahhh...nothing like a baby's laughter!

    I'm impressed you have already done your Best of 2017 posts...I guess I am the only one who waits until the bitter end! I haven't even done my November summary yet - besides, I might read my favorite book of the year in these last 13 days!

    Some of your cookies sound delicious, but I have to admit, I am not an anise fan. My grandmother's Christmas cookie recipe includes anise, and it was decades before I broke it to my mom that I don't like them!

    I have been watching Outlander, too, but we don't get Starz, so....I binge it like crazy whenever Starz does a free week - makes for a very uneven viewing pattern. I got to the second half of the first season with this last free week this fall...now I have to wait again!

    Ian is SO adorable!!

    Enjoy your books this week and your holiday prep!


    Book By Book

  6. Hooray for Carly being home for a month...

    ...looks like you've given me a lot of lists to go back and check up on. Off to do that. Yay!


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