Friday 29 December 2023

The End of Year Book Tag - 2023 Edition

I haven't been blogging much lately, the last couple of weeks have just been too busy and since I only seem to achieve half of what I usually do, there is not a lot of time left for the PC. However, it is also that time of the year where we start reminiscing and I was reminded of this by Dini @Dinipandireads with her End of the Year Book Tag.

This tag was originally created by booktuber Ariel Bissett.

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?
Well, there are "hundreds" on my TBR pile and there are books I didn't finish and won't finish but they don't deserve to be listed here.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?
Not an autumnal but I am in the middle of reading this:
Kingsolver, Barbara "Demon Copperhead" - 2022

Is there a new release that you're still waiting for?
I'm waiting for several to be issued in paperback, but especially this one:
Follett, Ken "The Armour of Light" - 2023

What are three books you want to read before the year ends?
The year is as good as over, so I will not be finishing any more books. I guess I should have done this earlier.

Is there a book that you think could still shock you and become your favourite of the year?
Same as above, I doubt it.

Have you already started to make reading plans for 2024?

Well, we have books lined up for my book clubs:
Lessing, Doris "The Grass is Singing" - 1950
Taschler, Judith W. "Summer and Winter" (GE: Sommer wie Winter) - 2011
Uusma, Bea "The Expedition. A forgotten story about a polar tragedy" (Expeditionen: min kärlekshistoria) - 2023

So, how was your reading in 2023?
In the second half, I wasn't getting on too well, I just couldn't read as much as I usually do. Still, not too bad. And I found some really good ones.

Did you find any new favourites?

My favourite book I read last year was:
Brooks, Geraldine "People of the Book" - 2008

Have you read any of the books on my list or are they on your TBR pile?

If you feel like doing this, feel tagged. It would be nice if you link back and post your link in the comment section.

Sunday 24 December 2023

🎄 Merry Christmas 🎄



We saw this bauble at the Brussels airport one year. And I thought it was a good picture for this year's greating:

on 🌍

There is so much going on in this world right now, that this is the only message that is important right now.

I wish you all a peaceful Christmas.


Did you know there is a song where you don't need to know all the lyrics and can still sing it? Try this:

Hark the Herald Angels sing,
Hark the Herald Angels sing,
Hark the Herald Angels sing,
Hark the Herald Angels sing,
Hark the Herald Angels sing,
Hark the Herald Angels sing,
Hark the Herald Angels sing,
Hark the Herald Angels sing.

But, if you do want to do it right, here are the whole lyrics:


🎼Hark the Heard Angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’angelic host proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem!"

Hark the Heard Angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King

Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord:
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.

Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display Thy saving pow’r,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Final Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
Oh, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.

Text: Charles Wesley, 1707–1788
Music: Felix Mendelssohn, 1809–1847


Monday 4 December 2023

Spell the Month in Books ~ December

Reviews from the Stacks

I found this on one of the blogs I follow, Books are the New Black who found it at One Book More. It was originally created by Reviews from the Stacks, and the idea is to spell the month using the first letter of book titles.

December: Winter, Christmas, or Christian themes
What a lovely idea for December. We don't have any winters anymore, nothing like when I was little. But I remember always thinking of Christmas and winter together.

Pasternak, Boris "Doctor Zhivago" (RUS: Доктор Живаго) - 1957
I always have to think about winter when thinking about Doctor Zivago. A big part of the story takes place in one of the coldest parts on earth.

Wharton, Edith "
Ethan Frome" - 1911
Another good story about life under harsh circumstances, again in winter.

Dickens, Charles "A
Christmas Carol" - 1843
Who doesn't know Scrooge, a miser who gets healed at Christmas?

Sturluson, Snorri "
Egil's Saga" (Icel: Egils saga Skallagrímssonar) - 1240
Northern Europe, especially Iceland, always makes us think about snow and cold winters.

Ali, Sabahattin "Madonna in a Fur Coat" (TR: Kürk Mantolu Madonna) - 1943
While Turkey doesn't make one immediately think about cold weather, a fur coat certainly belongs to winter.

Robinson, Barbara "The
Best Christmas Pageant" - 1972
A beautiful part of Christmas is always the little plays the children perform for their parents and other spectators.

Austen, Jane "
Emma" - 1816
I know I've used Emma before but there are so many parts in that story are set in winter, especially the outing to the Westons.

Rutherfurd, Edward "
Russka. The Novel of Russia" - 1991
Another book about Russia where a lot of winters take place over the centuries.

Happy Reading!
📚 📚 📚

Saturday 2 December 2023

Six Degrees of Separation ~ From Kitchen Confidential to When We Were Orphans


#6Degrees of Separation:
from Kitchen Confidential to When We Were Orphans

#6Degrees is a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. I love the idea. Thank you, Kate. See more about this challenge, its history, further books and how I found this here.

This month's prompt starts with Kitchen Confidential. Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (Goodreads). That's the same this month. So, I looked at the description of the book:

"Most diners believe that their sublime sliver of seared foie gras, topped with an ethereal buckwheat blini and a drizzle of piquant huckleberry sauce, was created by a culinary artist of the highest order, a sensitive, highly refined executive chef. The truth is more brutal..."

Not my type of book, I think, so I probably wouldn't even find anything relating to the topic. However, this month, I can go with words in the title again which is something I really enjoy because it takes us through so many different subjects. We start with the word Kitchen.

Ali, Monica "In the Kitchen" - 2008

Carter, Jimmy "We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land" - 2008

Tolstoy, Leo "War and Peace" (RUS: Война и мир = Woina i mir) - 1868/69

Bragg, Melvyn "A Son of War" - 2001 (follow-up to "The Soldier’s Return")

Johnson, Adam "The Orphan Master's Son" - 2012

Ishiguro, Kazuo "When We Were Orphans" - 2000


I couldn't really find a link between the first and the last book. The closest one is probably that the first one is about cruelty in the kitchen whereas the last one takes place in a war, and there is always cruelta in a war.

The other thing the two authors have in common, the first one was born in the USA but travelled all over the globe with his job. The last one was born in Japan and lives in the UK.

And they were both born in the 1950s.