Ani's Book Abyss

Ani's Book Abyss

I like to read. A lot.

24 Festive Tasks | Update #4



I'm a little late on my weekly updates, so here's a big one!

Since the last update, I've completed tasks from 5 more doors, Bon Om Touk (Tasks 1, 3, & 4), Russian Mother's Day (Tasks 1, 2, & 3), St. Andrew's Day (Task 2), Advent (Tasks 1 & 2), and Hanukkah (Tasks 1, 3, & 4, plus Book Task).  This brings me to a total of 41 points!

I'm super stoked, because my total points last year was 18 for the entire game.  This time last year, I'd completed only 7 Tasks in November; this year, I've completed 31 Tasks in November.  Last year, I'd read 15 books for the Festive Tasks... while this year I've only read 3 books.  Which means that I've somehow managed to participate a lot more fully than I thought I would, completing a lot more non-book tasks than I'd been expecting.

Truthfully, I'd love to be able to do more Book Tasks, but I'm just going to play it by ear.  If Non-book Tasks are what gets the points for this year, I guess that's what I'll be doing!

I'm still working on one of the Sinterklass Tasks, and considering what to do for the other ones.  Meanwhile, as soon as I finish Jurassic Park, the next audio book I'm starting will be Alan Cumming's Not My Father's Son.  I'm almost done with Midnight Sacrifice; it's a slow going book, and I'm dropping the series after this installment because judging by the first two books of the series, I'm not going to like the rest of Melinda Leigh's writing.

So next on the agenda will be The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett.  And I'm also looking at starting the Blackthorn & Grim series by Juliet Marillier.

 

 

The Festive Card:

 

 

Peek-a-Boo Penni Claus = Completed Book Task
Magnetic "Elfin" Monkey = Completed Non-Book Tasks

 

 

My Progress:


Overall Total Points Earned:  41
Books Read:  3
Tasks Completed:  38

Current Tasks:

  • Door 1 | Dia de los Muertos Book Task -- Reread of Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
  • Door 9 | Thanksgiving Book Task -- Reading Midnight Sacrifice by Melinda Leigh
  • Door 14 | Hanukkah Task 2 -- Looking for more candles...
  • Door 23 | Hogswatch Book Task -- Reading The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett


**For my own sanity purposes, I will link the main post for each door at the top of each table.  All tasks listed under 'My Activity' will more than likely be found at the main post; otherwise, the link will be included for that particular task if a separate post is published outside of the main post, such as book reviews.  Thanks!**

 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Re-read an old favorite from a now-deceased author, a book from a finished (dead) series, or a book set in Mexico. Current Read:
'Jurassic Park' by Michael Crichton
TBA
Task 1 Write a silly poem or limerick poking fun at the fiction character of your choice. -- SKIP-- I don't poem... XX
Task 2 Share your favorite gravestone epitaph (you know you have one). Posted Activity:
Two epitaphs found - one with Kay's fudge recipe
11/04/2018
Task 3 Create an altar (either digital or physical) for your favorite book, series, or book character, and post a picture of it. Inclusion of book cover encouraged. -- SKIP -- No ideas for this one XX
Task 4 If you like Mexican food, treat yourself to your favorite dish and share a photo of it. Posted Activity:
Tamales at home for lunch!
11/10/2018

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Set in the UK, political thrillers, involving any monarchy or revolution; books about arson or related to burning. Possible Reads:
-- 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
-- 'Chasing Fire' by Nora Roberts
TBA
Task 1 Burn a book in effigy. Not that anyone of us would do such a thing, but if you HAD to, which book would be the one you’d sacrifice to the flames (gleefully or not)? Posted Activity:
Chose book: 'The Iron Daughter' by Julie Kagawa
11/05/2018
Task 2 List your top 3 treasonous crimes against books. Not ones you’ve committed, but the ones you think are the worst. Posted Activity:
1) Burning; 2) Defacing; 3) Borrowing and not returning, or returning damaged
11/05/2018
Task 3 Share your favorite / most memorable BBQ recollections or recipe, or your favorite recipe for food “flambé” (i.e., doused with alcohol which is then set aflame and allowed to burn off). Posted Activity:
Korean BBQ for the wins!
11/05/2018
Task 4 Find 5 uses of the word “gunpowder” in book titles in contexts other than for blowing up things or shooting people (e.g., Gunpowder Green by Laura Childs = tea). -- Will probably SKIP this one -- XX

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book About horses or a horse on the cover. Books with roses on the cover or about gardening; anything set in Australia. Possible Reads:
'The Rose Garden' by Susanna Kearsley
TBA
Task 1 Pick your ponies! MbD will post the horses scheduled to race as soon as they’re released; everyone picks the three they think will finish (in any order). Finished Activity:
Horses chosen / Winners announced / no bonus points
11/06/2018
Task 2 Cup day is all about the hats. Post a picture of your favorite hat, whether it’s one you own or not. Posted Activity:
My cadet hat and my 'This is my happy face' hat!
11/06/2018
Task 3 The coloring of the “horse of a different color” in the movie version of The Wizard of Oz was created by rubbing the horse’s fur with jello. What’s the weirdest use of jello you’ve ever come across? Posted Activity:
Jello as hair dye.  A short memory from high school
11/09/2018
Task 4 Have you ever been to or participated in a competition involving horses (racing, jumping, dressage, whatever)? Tell us about it. Photos welcome, too! Posted Activity:
My first horse track racing experience in Dallas!
11/06/2018

 


 

Door 4:  Diwali (November 7)
Total Points Earned:  2

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book with candles on the cover or the word “candle” or “light” in the title; OR a book that is the latest in a series; OR set in India; OR any non-fiction book that is ‘illuminating’ (Diwali is Sanskrit for light/knowledge and row, line or series) Possible Read:
-- 'The Woman Left Behind' by Linda Howard
-- 'The Governess Game' by Tessa Dare
-- 'Dim Sum of All Fears' by Vivien Chien
TBA
Task 1 Share a picture of your favorite light display. Work in Progress
(possible skip / still considering)
TBA
Task 2 Cleaning is a big part of this holiday; choose one of your shelves, real or virtual, and tidy / organise it.  Give us the before and after photos. OR Tidy up 5 of the books on your BookLikes shelves by adding the CORRECT cover, and/or any other missing information.  (If in doubt, see here: State of the Database: BookLikes database, Halloween Bingo, and a mini-rant - with pictures.). -- Probably going to SKIP this one -- XX
Task 3 Eating sweets is also a big part of Diwali. Either select a recipe for a traditional sweet, or make a family favorite and share a picture with us. Posted Activity:
So many sweet soups!
11/25/2018
Task 4 During Diwali, people pray to the goddess Lakhshmi, who is typically depicted as a beautiful young woman holding a lotus flower.  Find 5 books on your shelves (either physical or virtual) whose covers show a young woman holding a flower and share their cover images. Posted Activity:
Five books with young women holding flower; found with some difficulty, but successful!
11/08/2018

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any book involving wars, battles, where characters are active military or veterans, or with poppies on the cover. Possible Reads:
'Behind Enemy Lines' by Cindy Dees
TBA
Task 1 Using book covers (real or virtual), create a close approximation of your country’s flag (either of residence or birth), OR a close approximation of a poppy. Take a pic of your efforts and post. Posted Activitiy:
The Penni Book Cover Poppy!!  With Monkey, too!
11/13/2018
Task 2 Make an offer of peace (letter, gift, whatever) to a book character who has particularly annoyed you this year. -- SKIPPING this one -- XX
Task 3 Tell us: What author’s books would you consider yourself a veteran of (i.e., by which author have you read particularly many books – or maybe even all of them)? Posted Activity:
Jayne Ann Krentz / Honorable Mention goes to Jill Shalvis
TBA
Task 4 Treat yourself to a slice of poppy seedcake and post a photo. If you want to make it yourself, try out this recipe:
Poppy Seed Cake @ tastesbetterfromscratch.com
… or this one:
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake @ bbcgoodfood.com
-- SKIPPING this one too -- XX

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any fiction/non-fiction about tolerance or a book that’s outside your normal comfort zone. (Tolerance can encompass anything you generally struggle with, be it sentient or not.) OR Read a book set in Paris. Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 Find some redeeming quality in the book you liked least this year and post about it. Posted Activity:
Chose book, This Wicked Gift by Courtney Milan
11/19/2018
Task 2 Tell us: What are the tropes (up to 5) that you are not willing to live with in any book (i.e., which are absolutely beyond your capacity for tolerance) and which make that book an automatic DNF for you? (Insta-love? Love triangles? First person present narrative voice? Talking animals? The dog dies? What else?) Posted Activity:
Long-winded talk about 5 tropes -- see main post
11/19/2018
Task 3 The International Day for Tolerance is a holiday declared by an international organization (UNESCO). Create a charter (humorous, serious, whatever strikes your fancy) for an international organization of readers. -- Going to SKIP this one -- XX
Task 4 UNESCO is based in Paris. Paris is known for its pastries and its breads: Either find a baker that specializes in pastries and bring home an assortment for your family, or make your own pastries using real butter and share a photo with us. Posted Activity:
French Macaroons!!
11/19/2018

 


 

Door 7:  Mawlid (November 20)
Total Points Earned:  4

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book If you can find a copy, read Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. Or read any book about a leader of a movement, nation, religion or large group, OR read a book with a green cover OR with a half moon on the cover. Possible Reads:
'Tower of Thorns' by Juliet Marillier
TBA
Task 1 Make two “prophesies” you think will come to fruition in 2019 in your personal or reading life. Posted Activity:
Prophesies for cleaning and purging!
11/20/2018
Task 2 The Five Pillars of Islam include almsgiving and the pilgrimage to Mekka. Tell us: Have you ever donated books or rescued them from (horror of horrors) being trashed? Alternatively: Is there a book-related place that is a place of pilgrimage to you? Posted Activity:
I have donated books to the library and Goodwill!
11/20/2018
Task 3 Prophets are messengers. Tell us: Which book characters are your favorite messengers (no matter whether humans, angels, (demi)gods, etc.)? Posted Activity:
Messengers chosen: 1) Hedwig / 2) Ponies / 3) GLaDOS... Oh My!
11/20/2018
Task 4 Muhammad was a merchant before becoming a religious leader. List 5 books on your shelves in which a key character makes / undergoes a radical career change. Posted Activity:
5 characters listed -- see main door post above
11/20/2018

 


 

Door 8:  Penance Day (November 21)
Total Points Earned:  3

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any book concerning a man / woman of the cloth, a book about a character hiding a guilty secret or searching for absolution. Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 “Confess” your book habits. Dog-earring? Laying books face down? Bending back the spines? Skimming? OR: Confess your guilty reading pleasure, or comfort reads. Posted Activities:
Habits confessed!  And also, comfort reads are obviously Romantic Suspense, right?
11/24/2018
Task 2 It’s “Pennants” day according to MbD’s husband: post a picture of your favorite team’s logo / mascot and the last time they’ve won a championship (or not). -- SKIPPING -- COMPLETED
I don't sports... but...
Per our lovely game host, I get to count my 'Team Book Nerd' pennant!
11/24/2018
Task 3 In centuries gone by, penance would often end up in what might be described as a very extended bad hair day (complete with sackcloth and ashes). Tell us: What’s a bad hair day to you – and what (if anything) do you do about it? Posted Activity:
Everyday is a bad hair day.
11/24/2018
Task 4 Early Christian spiritualists would sometimes do penance by spending time in the desert. If you’ve ever visited a desert region (or even live there), post a picture and tell us about it. Alternatively, post a picture of sand dunes (NOT with water in the background!). -- Probably SKIP -- XX

 


 

Door 9:  Thanksgiving (November 22)
Total Points Earned:  3

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Autumnal covers, set in New England, or a turkey shows up in the story. Current Read:
'Midnight Sacrifice' by Melinda Leigh
TBA
Task 1 List the 3 books you’ve read this year you’re most “thankful” for (your favs) or the one book you’ve ever read that changed your life for the better. Posted Activity:
Listed books!  Four total instead of three.
11/25/2018
Task 2 Describe your perfect meal. What would you cook for the perfect celebration, or, what would you have your imaginary personal chef cook for you? Posted Activity:
Chinese seafood banquet feast!
11/25/2018
Task 3 Name a book you’ve read this year that you thought was full of “stuffing”. Possible Activities:
Work in progress...
TBA
Task 4 Show us your 2018 book “harvest” – the books you newly acquired this year, regardless whether bought, received as gift or in whichever other way. Possible Activities:
About 20+ books listed
11/25/2018

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book that takes place at sea or on a river OR with water on the cover OR where the plot involves a festival or the moon plays a pivotal role in the plot. Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 Make a paper boat and post a picture of it. Instructions, if needed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiAWx8odStA Posted Activity:
Fleet of ships!
And a Supplementary Post!
11/26/2018
Task 2 If you’ve ever attended a procession or an event involving festively decked out boats, post a picture and tell us about it. -- SKIP! --
I've never attended one of these.
XX
Task 3 Bon Om Touk celebrates the end of the rainy season. Tell us: What’s your favorite type of rainy day book – and do you have a favorite drink or snack to go with your rainy day reading? Photos welcome! Possible Activities:
Any books! But especially Rom-Suspense. With hot tea and sweets.
11/26/2018
Task 4 Which are your 3 favorite books where a key character is “moonlighting”? Possible Activities:
Characters/books chosen - see main post.
11/26/2018

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book set in Russia, or involving a story within a story / play within a play (like the Russian matryoshka dolls stuck inside each other), or where a key character (not necessarily the protagonist) is a mother. Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 Tell us: What is the mother of all writerly sins in your book (tropes, grammar mistakes, telling instead of showing, etc.)? Posted:
The sin: Not respecting the craft.
12/01/2018
Task 2 Do you have a favorite Mothers’ Day memory that you are happy to share? Photos welcome but optional. Posted:
A random Mothers' Day memory.
12/01/2018
Task 3 Perhaps the best-known scene in the James Bond novel and film From Russia With Love is 007 being poisoned by Russian agent Rosa Klebb with a venom-laced blade hidden in her shoe. Tell us: Have you ever owned any particular / outrageous / funny / best-beloved or otherwise special pair of shoes?  Post a photo if you should still own them. Posted:
Oh my, shoes!  I love shoes!  I have a lot of shoes!
12/01/2018
Task 4 Make a traditional Russian dish like borscht, blintzes, pirogi or solyanka soup, and share a picture with us. Find recipe suggestions here: https://www.expatica.com/ru/about/Top-10-Russian-foods-and-recipes_108678.html In Progress:
Going to try this one.
TBA

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Andrew was the first apostle; read the first book in a series.  OR: Andrew and Peter were brothers; read a book about brothers.  OR: Read books about or set in Scotland or by a Scottish author, or set in Charleston, South Carolina (which is where the celebrations as we know them today began – by a group of Scottish expats – according to scotland.org). Planned Read:
'Not My Father's Son' by Alan Cumming
TBA
Task 1 Nominate someone for sainthood.  Who?  Why? Under consideration:
This one will require some thought.
TBA
Task 2 St Andrew is revered in many countries, particularly in Eastern Europe, where he worked as a Christian missionary, long before his relics were brought to Scotland centuries later. – Tell us: Is there a book (regardless whether fiction or nonfiction) for which you would basically walk up to strangers and tell them: “Read this!”? What would you say and do to get people to read that particular book? Posted Thoughts:
I'm not likely to recommend books, to be honest.
12/06/2018
Task 3 Legend has it that the saltire or St. Andrew’s cross (white on an azure background) – which constitutes the national flag of Scotland – originated as a cloud formation, symbolizing St. Andrew’s being crucified on an X-shaped cross rather than an upright one.  Do you have any pictures of unusual cloud formations?  If so, share them with us! -- Gonna SKIP -- XX
Task 4 The town of St. Andrews, where the saint’s bones ended up in the course of the spread of Christianity to Scotland, is also famous for its golf course and tournament.  List your 3 favorite books where golf is key to the plot. -- SKIP, most likely -- XX

 


 

Door 13:  Advent (December 1)
Total Points Earned:  2

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Advent also means “second coming”: Read a pastiche, or a book written by an “authorised author” by the deceased author’s estate. OR: There are four Sundays in Advent. Read the fourth book of a series or a book with the word “four” in the title. Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 Post a picture of your advent calendar - store bought or homemade. Posted:
It's Wine O'Clock Somewhere!
12/06/2018
Task 2 The holidays season is in full swing – tell us: What’s your favorite tradition? Posted:
No real traditions...
12/06/2018
Task 3 The tradition of carol singing in the Advent / holiday season is linked to the old Anglo-Saxon (and medieval) custom of wassailing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassailing). Prepare an apple cider wassail bowl or a wassail bowl containing your favorite drink or fruit. Post a picture and enjoy! Possible Activities:
I might try this one at some point.  =D
TBA
Task 4 Make your own Advent wreath and share a picture of it. Instructions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWw83CCa2cg -- SKIP, SKIP, SKIP! --
Nope, nope, nope...
XX

 


 

Door 14:  Hanukkah (December 2 - 10)
Total Points Earned:  4

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book about light, miracles, characters who are Jewish or books set in Israel. OR: Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the second temple in the second century; read the second book in a series or a book with the word “second” or “two” in the title. Read / Retroactively Claimed:
'Midnight Blue-Light Special' by Seanan McGuire
12/01/2018
Task 1 Have you had any miracles in your life?  (Kids are a given.)  Just enough change for tolls?  Just enough gas to get you to the station?  Been tragically late for a flight only to find the flight was even more tragically delayed?  Nothing is too small - share your miracles with us! Posted:
Lots of miracles.
12/07/2018
Task 2 Light 9 candles each representing something you’re thankful for (share a picture with us; sharing anything else is optional). In Progress:
Need more candles...
TBA
Task 3 Have a donut – and let us share it via a photo. Homemade donuts and shared recipes encouraged … but any donut will do just fine. Posted:
Had a donut!  It was chocolate!
12/07/2018
Task 4 A miracle crucial to Hanukkah is the Miracle of the cruse of oil, which concerns a jug of oil that (ostensibly) only contained enough oil for a single day, but miraculously turned out to last all of eight days. – Miracles aside, tell us: Have you ever experienced that something you had bought or you owned lasted a lot longer than anticipated … or where you expected a shortage which then fortuitously didn’t occur after all? Posted:
Work place supplies... and at home everlasting conditioner.
12/07/2018

 


 

Door 15:  Sinterklass / St. Nicholas Day (TBA)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any book with an orange or red cover or with nuts, chocolate or coins on the cover, set in The Netherlands or Germany, by a Dutch or German author, or with canals or beer on the cover. Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 Write a book wish list to St. Nick. Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 You are King / Queen for the day and can have 3 ‘wishes’: one for yourself, one for your community (however you define it), and one for the world: What are they? Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 If your holiday family traditions should include bowls or plates filled with gingerbread, cookies, oranges / tangerines, chocolate, nuts and the like, share a photo with us! Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 List your 3 favorite books involving children being rescued from serious peril. Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 16:  TBA (TBA)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book TBA Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 17:  TBA (TBA)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book TBA Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 18:  Winter Solstice / Yuletide (December 21)
Total Points Earned:  1

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any book that takes place in December; OR with ice or snow on the cover; OR that revolves around the (summer or winter) equinox; OR a collection of poetry by Hafez Read:
'Midnight Exposure' by Melinda Leigh
11/17/2018
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 19:  Festivus (December 23)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any comedy, parody, or satire Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 20:  Christmas (December 25)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any Christmas book. Planned Read:
'How the Dukes Stole Christmas' anthology
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 21:  Kwanzaa (December 26 - January 1)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book set in Africa or the Caribbean; OR by an African, Caribbean, or African-American author; OR a book with a green, red, or black cover. Possible Reads:
-- 'Tower of Thorns' by Juliet Marillier
-- 'Den of Wolves' by Juliet Marillier
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book about endings, new starts, or books where things go BOOM! Read:
'The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs' by Steve Brusatte
11/06/2018
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 23:  Hogswatch (December 32)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read anything by Terry Pratchett Planned Read:
'The Light Fantastic' by Terry Pratchett
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 24:  Epiphany (January 6)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book with three main characters; OR a book about traveling on a journey to a faraway place; OR a book that's part of a trilogy; OR with a star on the cover; OR with the word "twelve" or "night" in the title; OR concerning kings or spices Possible Read:
'Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 

 

24 Festive Tasks | Door 14: Hanukkah

 

 

(December 2 thru 10)

 

 

Updates


12/07/2018:  Alrighty!  I'm getting caught up!  Tasks 1, 3, and 4, as well as the Book Task completed.  Task 2 might be coming later.  =D

 

 

Task 1


Have you had any miracles in your life?  (Kids are a given.)  Just enough change for tolls?  Just enough gas to get you to the station?  Been tragically late for a flight only to find the flight was even more tragically delayed?  Nothing is too small - share your miracles with us!
-- COMPLETED 12/07/2018 --

About a year (and one month ago) on the cusp of a job change, if everyone will recall, I gave a news update about my near miss with a situation that could have gone very, very bad.  When my friend and I were on the way home, in the middle of the night, a deer had shot out into the middle of the highway, and my SUV slammed right into it.  Just the fact that we both made out it unharmed, with only my car taking the brunt of the damage, in honesty, I feel like was a big miracle.

If I hadn't been driving slower than the speed limit because of the dark; if I had tried to swerve instead of just hitting the breaks; if my car had not been an SUV, and had been a smaller, less durable car...  There were just so many factors that, looking back, could have worked against us.  But they didn't, and instead, I am thankful everyday that there were so many factors of that night that kept us from a worse fate.


This is only one of few miracles, but probably the one that affected me the most as a personal experience.  But lately, I keep noticing other things that I might call miracles as well, whether big or small.  As I work at a hospital that specializes in cardiology as well as regular open-heart surgeries, I feel like it's a big miracle each time a patient comes out of the OR and is able to stabilize and get better.  Especially when some patients end up in surgery, start going bad, and manage to pull through after hours of post-op recovery work.

Meanwhile, a couple incidents in my own personal life have occurred the past year that are of note.

My mother had been having some strange stomach discomfort, causing a slight bump in her lower abdomen each night, something she only really noticed when she went to bed.  My mom isn't really one to see a doctor all that often.  She prefers to just let things play out because she doesn't like being bothered with doctor's visits.  But after I had a brief health scare involving prolonged abnormal vaginal bleeding that lead to the discovery of a benign polyp, she's been super vigilant about everyone's health.

So without having to be convinced, she immediately made an appointment to see a doctor who proceeded to just have her do an abdominal ultrasound wherein they discovered two things: 1) My mother's stomach discomfort was the result of eating too much, as well as eating things that don't digest well, while the slight bump was just bowel movement that was more prominent because she's too thin; 2) Mom might have gallstones.  While I still don't like the non-diagnosis of the slight bump, the doctor says she's done all the examinations and nothing seems to be amiss with Mom's lower abdomen.  In fact, it had been the gallstones she was worried about.

So Mom got sent to a specialist with the possibility of having to have surgery to remove her gallbladder.  Needless to say, no one was happy about that diagnosis either.  Even though the procedure is said to be pretty simple, it is still surgery, and the removal of the gallbladder would be a huge life change for Mom.  We were all worried.  Fortunately, after seeing the surgeon, Mom was extremely happy to hear her say, "Keep your gallbladder and keep your stones.  You won't need surgery."  Basically, she really just needs to watch what she eats, and as long as the gallstones weren't going to obstruct any ducts, they were eventually go away and she'd be fine.

But no more really oily or greasy foods--fewer french fries and lay off the fried chicken.

We just need to help Mom watch her diet, and Mom needs to say something if there's any pain or discomfort.


Most recently, our family heard from my uncle who lives in Australia with his family--my aunt and three cousins.  One of my cousins was in a motorcycle accident.  He was hit by a car on Halloween night and thrown from his bike.  He ended up in the hospital with a broken leg, as well as needing a skin graft to his knee area.  We'd all been exchanging messages online for a few days before hearing that he'd be fine and would be starting physical therapy soon.  The most recent exchange from his elder sister about a week ago told us that everyone is relieved, he's out of the hospital, and he's "zipping around on his crutches."

While I'm happy that he's fine, it doesn't escape my notice that motorcycle accidents can be dangerously fatal.  The fact that he got out of it with just a broken leg, I believe, is a big miracle in itself.  I can imagine how relieved his family must be feeling, as the rest of us were waiting daily for updates on his condition from across the world.  It was a scary situation that I'm extremely glad hadn't been worse.

And things like this really make you truly thankful for the miracles in life, big or small.

 

 

Task 2


Light 9 candles each representing something you’re thankful for (share a picture with us; sharing anything else is optional).
-- IN PROGRESS --

I'm in need of at least seven more candles to complete this task.  A bit of shopping might be in order.

 

 

Task 3


Have a donut – and let us share it via a photo.  Homemade donuts and shared recipes encouraged … but any donut will do just fine.
-- COMPLETED 12/07/2018 --

I honestly don't really go for donuts as a sweet snack or anything--yeah, I know, the nerve.  But if I DO ever eat a donut, it's usually a cake donut, or the Krispy Kreme original glazed donuts.

When I got to work earlier in the day, there were a box of half-eaten donuts that I was tempted by.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a great picture of the donut I chose, but here's a picture of the box of half-eaten donuts.

 


I took this picture to show one of my coworkers when I got to the lab, as the donuts weren't in our area, but in the front room of the offices, free for all.  My coworker wanted me to tell her what kinds of donuts there were, so I just took a picture for simplicity.  I'd forgotten that I had this and was quite upset that I forgot to take a picture of my chosen donut, by itself.

But hey, this works too, right?

The one on the bottom right is the chocolate cake donut with chocolate frosting.  It chose that one immediately because they are one of my favorites.  If I ever came across a chocolate cake donut, it typically got dunked in hot chocolate, letting the frosting melt into the chocolate and making my drink even more chocolatey!  =D

 

 

Task 4


A miracle crucial to Hanukkah is the Miracle of the cruse of oil, which concerns a jug of oil that (ostensibly) only contained enough oil for a single day, but miraculously turned out to last all of eight days. – Miracles aside, tell us: Have you ever experienced that something you had bought or you owned lasted a lot longer than anticipated … or where you expected a shortage which then fortuitously didn’t occur after all?
-- COMPLETED 12/07/2018 --

The only thing I can think of would be some of the various supplies we utilize in the hospital lab.  I was recently put in charge of inventory and supply ordering.  And one of the things that had me freaked out a few months back are these big, five gallon containers of high purity, reagent grade water that we use for one of our instruments.  When items are on back order, it is a nightmare, and this particular item ended up on back order for at least a month, and even with my conviction that we only went through one box each week, anything was bound to happen, and we only had a couple boxes left of this water.  And back order dates are notorious for being inaccurate, and in this particular instance, the back order had gotten pushed back an extra week.

Fortunately, either we were running fewer tests or there was some miracle, we managed to hold out until one of my orders finally came in.  Meanwhile, I'd already been making inquiries and arrangements to find a possible back up or replacement.


On a more personal note, does anyone ever find that their conditioner seems to never run out?  I think I've been able get through one bottle of my Loreal Ever Creme Conditioner versus at least two and a half, or even three bottles, of shampoo of any brand.

 

 

Book Task


Read a book about light, miracles, characters who are Jewish or books set in Israel. OR: Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the second temple in the second century; read the second book in a series or a book with the word “second” or “two” in the title.
-- COMPLETED 12/01/2018 --

I chose to retroactively claim Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire when this door was first revealed.  As the second book in the InCryptid series that I finished reading in November, it fits right in for this task.

 

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/12/24-festive-tasks-door-14-hanukkah.html
24 Festive Tasks | Door 13: Advent

 

 

(December 1 this year - Four Sundays before Christmas)

 

 

Updates


12/06/2018:  It is 2:00 A.M. my time and I really should be getting to sleep right now.  But I also really wanted to do one more 24 Festive Tasks update.  I'm really bad about general delegation of sleep and time in my life.

But hey!  I completed Tasks 1 and 2.  And there's a Book Task update for a planned read!  Yay?

 

 

Task 1


Post a picture of your advent calendar - store bought or homemade.
-- COMPLETED 12/06/2018 --

I've never really thought of advent calendars and have never actually bought one before.  HOWEVER, if I were to buy an advent calendar, it would probably be this one:

 


It's a 12 Days of Wine Advent Calendar.  I'd seen those infamous wine advent calendars on Pinterest a few years back and always thought it was a great idea... if you lived with a big family, or planned to have 25 parties until Christmas Day.  While I love myself a nice glass of wine, I'm also not sure I can handle a full bottle of wine daily, for 25 days straight.  And given how quickly wine can start going bad, obviously you don't want to open a bottle of wine, drink a glass or two one day, then open another bottle the next day before finishing the first.

While 12 bottles of wine might still be a bit much, it's a bit more realistic for me, if I want to be honest.

Barring that, I also came across some wine advent calendars that apparently have smaller bottles of wine rather than full 750 mL bottles.  They look super cute as well!

 

 

Task 2


The holidays season is in full swing – tell us: What’s your favorite tradition?
-- COMPLETED 12/06/2018 --

Truth is, I get asked this question a lot--not in those words, but more of as a general, "What kind of holiday traditions do you have?"  Of course, this question is usually following on the tail end of, "I don't know if your family celebrates Christmas or anything in your culture."  I don't know why I find that lead-in so amusing--probably because I know people try so hard to be politically correct and inoffensive.  And it gets asked almost every year by the same people.  Understandable, though, since it IS true that Christmas isn't a traditional Asian holiday.

So even while our family DOES like to celebrate holidays indiscriminately, we don't really have any actual traditions.  Unless you count the one where we simply find any holiday (Christmas or otherwise) as a great excuse to go out to a nice restaurant.  It really IS as simple as that.  There isn't any decorating of tree or house, no going to see Christmas lights around town, nor do we even really exchange gifts.

My parents don't believe in randomly giving people things that they won't be able to use.  Surprise gifts are definitely out of the question.  So for Christmas every year, Mom and Dad just give my brothers and me a holiday themed envelope with a certain amount of money--I suppose this could be counted as a tradition--and we can use said money however we wish.  In return, we treat them to dinner at a nice, fancy restaurant.  We may take my parents shopping if they so desired, and typically Dad ends up with some fun new technology to fawn over.  Mom never wants anything, though I might buy her a cute new scarf, or pay for the pretty shirt she's picked up and put down a dozen times with the excuse that she doesn't need any new shirts.

 

 

Task 3


The tradition of carol singing in the Advent / holiday season is linked to the old Anglo-Saxon (and medieval) custom of wassailing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassailing).  Prepare an apple cider wassail bowl or a wassail bowl containing your favorite drink or fruit.  Post a picture and enjoy!
-- COMING SOON --

I really do want to do this one.  It might happen sometime this weekend.

 

 

Task 4


Make your own Advent wreath and share a picture of it.  Instructions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWw83CCa2cg
-- SKIP, SKIP, SKIP! --

Yeah, no.

 

 

Book Task


Advent also means “second coming”: Read a pastiche, or a book written by an “authorised author” by the deceased author’s estate. OR: There are four Sundays in Advent. Read the fourth book of a series or a book with the word “four” in the title.
-- PLANNED READ --


I'm a little peeved at myself that I haven't gotten to this book yet.  I've been really slacking in reads these last two months of the year, but I DO want to finish the Nichelle Clarke series.  If I'd already read this in November, I could have retroactively claimed it already.  As it stands, I will definitely do what I can to work it into my reading schedule.

Devil in the Deadline is the fourth book in the Nichelle Clarke series by LynDee Walker.

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/12/24-festive-tasks-door-13-advent.html
24 Festive Tasks | Door 12: St. Andrew's Day

 

 

(November 30)

 

 

Updates


12/06/2018:  Honestly, I had a hard time with the tasks for this door.   They're not easy ones.  But I've got a completion for Task 2, and a book chosen for the Book Task.  The rest are still being considered.

 

 

Task 1


Nominate someone for sainthood. Who? Why?
-- WORK IN PROGRESS --

This one will require some thought.

 

 

Task 2


St Andrew is revered in many countries, particularly in Eastern Europe, where he worked as a Christian missionary, long before his relics were brought to Scotland centuries later. – Tell us: Is there a book (regardless whether fiction or nonfiction) for which you would basically walk up to strangers and tell them: “Read this!”?  What would you say and do to get people to read that particular book?
-- COMPLETED 12/06/2018 --

I'd hate to copy Broken Tune's response to this task, but this is exactly the same way I feel about recommending books to people.  I'm usually hesitant, if only because I don't like to push recommendations without knowing what someone else likes to read.  There are really only two people in my non-cyber life whom I truly feel comfortable recommending books, because we have discussed books with each other so thoroughly that I know what kind of tastes they have, based on what they've read, and what they've enjoyed.

Without this knowledge, I feel presumptuous just randomly walking up to a stranger and marketing a book to them.

In a different approach to this task, however, I can turn around and say that, if a stranger (or even an acquaintance) asked me for a book recommendation... I do tend to ask them a bunch of questions about their preferences.  What books have they read recently?  What books have they liked?  What kinds of stories do they prefer?  Do they like romance?  Mystery?  Action thrillers?

After establishing some sort of background, I will proceed to let them know what books they might like, such as how "so-and-so author has a lot of witty dialogue," or how "there's an excellent mystery twist in this cozy," or "this book doesn't have a whole lot of romance in it," or "this romance doesn't have any graphic sex scenes."  I like to appeal to their interests.

Yeah... I give them a freakin' survey just to get a feel for what kind of reader they are.  Call it paranoia, or overthinking, or whatever, but the last thing I want to do is recommend someone a book that they'll end up hating.

 

 

Task 3


Legend has it that the saltire or St. Andrew’s cross (white on an azure background) – which constitutes the national flag of Scotland – originated as a cloud formation, symbolizing St. Andrew’s being crucified on an X-shaped cross rather than an upright one.  Do you have any pictures of unusual cloud formations?  If so, share them with us!
-- POSSIBLE SKIP --

I'm sure I don't have any pictures of unusual cloud formations, at least none that have caught my interest.  If I decide to do a Google search for kicks, I may come back and update.

 

 

Task 4


The town of St. Andrews, where the saint’s bones ended up in the course of the spread of Christianity to Scotland, is also famous for its golf course and tournament.   List your 3 favorite books where golf is key to the plot.
-- SKIPPING --

You know, off the top of my head, I'm not sure I've ever actually read a book that involved golf... except maybe as an aside to some rich, side character's favorite past time, which usually had little to do with the central plot.

 

 

Book Task


Andrew was the first apostle; read the first book in a series. OR: Andrew and Peter were brothers; read a book about brothers.  OR: Read books about or set in Scotland or by a Scottish author, or set in Charleston, South Carolina (which is where the celebrations as we know them today began – by a group of Scottish expats – according to scotland.org).
-- PLANNED READ --


I am totally going to try to get this book listened to for this door.  I'm so happy that I came across the fact that Alan Cumming is Scottish.  I confess, even though I already owned this book for some time, and even though I instantly loved his narration of Dr. Seward in the full-cast production of Dracula, I didn't really know much about Alan Cumming.

As soon as I finish Jurassic Park, I'm going to move right into this one!

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/12/24-festive-tasks-door-12-st-andrews-day.html
24 Festive Tasks | Door 11: Russian Mother's Day

 

 

(Last Sunday in November | November 25, 2018)

 

 

Updates


12/06/2018:  Updated with completion of Task 3.  With lots of pictures!

12/01/2018:  I've been out of touch, because work has been so busy that I'm dead on my feet when I get home.  Really, I've just been skimming my dashboard when I get a chance, but never really getting much time to see everyone else's posts.  I was thinking that, fortunately, there haven't been too many door reveals, but apparently I've missed three door reveals already.

It looks like I might spend the weekend playing catch up.

At this point, I've completed Tasks 1 and 2 for this door!

 

 

Task 1


Tell us: What is the mother of all writerly sins in your book (tropes, grammar mistakes, telling instead of showing, etc.)?
-- COMPLETED 12/01/2018 --

I'm going to follow in Darth Pony's footsteps and also say that it irritates me when supposed authors don't respect the craft.  I'm stealing this particular sin because, it certainly is an umbrella that houses many other sins that I cannot stand.

For instance, I absolutely despise books that are poorly edited, unedited, or unfinished.  I'm paying to read your product, and if it's unfinished, I feel like I got cheated of my hard earned money.  Getting updates of later editions makes me even angrier--if you weren't finished, why is the book on sale?

And as I'd mentioned in one of my comments, following up with excuses for why the book was being sold unedited or unfinished doesn't really pique my sympathy.  Having the gall to demand credit for even writing a book in the first place just makes me roll my eyes, especially if your book is an unfinished product.

Having a poorly written book is a question of perspective, so I'm not even going to get into that.  But on a more technical level, at least have the decency to sell a finished, properly edited product.  Readers are not your beta readers.  Editing, outlining, and the actual writing of the book should have been completed before I saw it in the store (or even at the library).

Would you be happy eating a meal at a restaurant if your order was only half-cooked?  If your Spaghetti and Meatball order was missing meatballs?  Or if your dish was lacking taste altogether?  And then being expected to still pay full price for it?  And then being asked to be patient with the cook because he or she has had a hard week?  Come back next week and try again, our chef will be in a better mood... maybe.  And you'll get the more updated, best work!  Besides, cut the poor cook some slack, this is said cook's first time cooking this meal.

Look, maybe I'm just irrational, but I don't get a free pass for half-assing my job, because, you know what?  I work in a hospital.  If I half-ass my job just because I'm having a bad day or a bad week, that AFFECTS OTHER PEOPLE'S LIVES, HEALTH, AND WELL-BEING.  I could kill someone by half-assing my job.

On a side note, I'd even commented that I never understood authors who openly admit that they don't really read.  Say what?  Not everyone is a writing prodigy, so I find it hard to believe that someone is able to do their craft properly without studying other examples--i.e. reading other books.  I mean, even I'm constantly checking out other's blogs for ways I can better present my own posts.  And I'm doing this for free.

 

 

Task 2


Do you have a favorite Mothers’ Day memory that you are happy to share? Photos welcome but optional.
-- COMPLETED 12/01/2018 --

In the present, what we really do for Mothers' Day is simply take Mom out to eat and enjoy ourselves.  She certainly does.  As Mom is apt to say, anything she doesn't have to cook is the best meal ever.

But I'm recalling one Mothers' Day where I'd inadvertently made Mom's day without really thinking about it.

I used to work in hotel catering while I was going to college.  One Mothers' Day weekend, on Saturday night, we had a pretty big wedding with these beautiful elaborate floral centerpieces.  At the end of the night, the wedding party offered the staff some flowers to take home if we wanted, and almost everyone decided to grab a bunch, either for themselves, or for their mothers.

My parents are proponents of, "If it doesn't have a use, don't bring it home."  And they get annoyed if you buy anything unnecessary, thus spending money unnecessarily.  So I'd never bought my parents anything that wasn't pre-approved.  But since these flowers were freebies, my coworkers urged me to take a handful home for my mother.  Surprise her for Mothers' Day, they said.  And so I shrugged, grabbed some flowers, wrapped them up in plastic, and took them home thinking that Mom and Dad would just roll their eyes and throw them away.  I left them sitting on the dining room table since it was late and everyone was asleep.

But the next morning, after I came out of my room, my Dad had this huge smile on his face.

"Mom was really happy about the flowers you brought home last night," he said.  "She loves them."

It was a super surprise to me, to be honest.  And to prove it, he showed me the flower vase she had dug out just for those flowers.  I can't remember how I had felt at the time, nor what else went on, or if there was a subtle change to my parents' motto of "don't spend unnecessarily, and don't bring useless things home."  But after that day, I simply started trying to surprise my parents with little gifts here and there, or simply a pretty card from Hallmark.

Of course, now we just settle for going out to eat and hanging out.  Mainly because I'm starting to understand my parents' motto of "don't bring it home unless it's useful."  You just start collecting a lot of things and might one day become a potential guest on that Hoarder's televisions show that I've never actually watched...

But every so often, it's kind of nice to get something impractical just because you want to.  =D

 

 

Task 3


Perhaps the best-known scene in the James Bond novel and film From Russia With Love is 007 being poisoned by Russian agent Rosa Klebb with a venom-laced blade hidden in her shoe.  Tell us: Have you ever owned any particular / outrageous / funny / best-beloved or otherwise special pair of shoes?  Post a photo if you should still own them.
-- COMPLETED 12/06/2018 --

Oh my goodness, I love shoes!  If I had to list all the pairs I've ever owned that I love, this might take a while.  Shoes are probably my most fashionable indulgence, as I usually don't really care to shop for anything dressy or pretty.  I mean, I work in a career where my uniform are scrubs; fancy clothes (or even shoes) are not recommended, after all, as certain bio hazardous materials could end up on them.

So... I DO have a lot of shoes I especially love, including some pairs from my youth, and pairs from the present.  As for a favorite pair... I go through phases of favorites...  So rather than listing an special, favorite pair, I'll just list a bunch of pairs I really love.

At current, my favorite pairs include a pair of Bearpaw winter boots, and a pair of Teva flip-flops.  One pair of footwear for summer and one pair of footwear for winter!

 

 


In the past, I never really cared for flip-flops.  I'd tried buying plastic, flat, $3 flip-flops in the past, but didn't like them.  After a certain amount of time, your feet start hurting.  So I stuck to sneakers.  My friends never understood why I didn't want to buy flip-flops to let my feet breathe, and pestered me about it.  I just couldn't stand those flat bottom flip-flops that gave no cushion support at all.

It wasn't until my friends and I went on a cruise about five years ago that I finally found myself a pair of flip-flops that I could wear without my feet hurting.  I figured it wouldn't hurt to look for a pair to wear when we walked on the beach, not really wanting to get sand in my sneakers and all.

I browsed a couple retailers before I found them.  They were raised flip-flops with a cushioned heel, $12 at Target!  I loved them.  But they got discontinued--fortunately, I'd bought a second pair before that.  I still have them and still wear them.  But they still weren't my favorite pair of footwear.

Last year, I discovered the Teva flip-flops, with a slightly raised bottom that were memory foam cushioned!  I fell in love with them.  I bought a second pair.  They're pretty expensive compared to most flip-flops...  My brother gave me crap about spending so much money on a pair of flip-flops.  My response was pretty much along the lines of, "I wanted them, they're comfortable, and I'll wear them all the time.  So whatever."

As for the Bearpaw boots, they were on sale, I tried them on, they kept my feet warm, I fell in love.  When I wore them for the first time in a winter storm, I fell in love with them even more.  I had traction, I had warm feet, and I had feet that stayed dry.  These things are awesome!


Backtracking a little bit...  When I was younger, I fell into the trendy L.A. Lights phase where I saw a commercial and decided that I must have light up shoes.  Of course, I don't have a picture of them, since I was just an elementary school kid then, but with a simple Google search, I found the closest approximation to what I remember being what my pair looked like.  These were my very first pair of super expensive shoes, because back in the day, my mother used to stick to the buy one, get one half-price shoes, running about fifteen bucks each, typically.

If I remember clearly, it was one of the few indulgences my mom allowed me, a pair of sixty dollar L.A. Lights.

 


Nowadays, apparently I don't even really blink at a pair of fifty or sixty dollar Nikes, especially after learning that the cheaper shoes truly didn't last as long as the Nike shoes I wear now.  And I'm on my feet a lot more than I was as a kid.  For fifteen to twenty dollars a pair, with a buy one, get one half-price deal, those shoes usually rarely lasted me a year per pair.  But the Nikes I wear now, I can usually manage a good two to two and a half years, working on my feet on a regular basis.


Finally, for dressy shoes, I decided to just include a brief look at some of the ones I particularly love.

 


The second pair from the left with the thin buckle-ankle straps are actually a pair of almost platform-like dress shoes I bought when I was in high school.  They weren't all that comfortable, and were a pain to get the buckle off, but they were my first pair of dress shoes and I loved them.  In fact, they were my only pair of dress shoes for years.  I don't wear them anymore, because they don't really fit... and to be honest, I'm a little surprised I was able to find them.  I thought I'd thrown them out already.

The other three pairs of dress shoes are more recent purchases.

The two on the right were bought five years ago when I was shopping for a pair of dress shoes for my cruise.  I liked both of them and so decided to splurge for vacation.  I don't wear the one on the far right a lot--the crisscross design, the ribbon tie, and the weave design on the heel (see below picture) are super gorgeous... but the heels are four inches, and the last time I wore them my feet were cramped and bruised for days.  The brown pair are only three inches of heel and much more comfortable--if you can call dress shoes comfortable--and I DO wear them a lot when going out.

Finally, the first pair on the left were bought last year for my brother's wedding--I think I gushed about them in a previous post already.

 

 

 

Task 4


Make a traditional Russian dish like borscht, blintzes, pirogi or solyanka soup, and share a picture with us. Find recipe suggestions here: https://www.expatica.com/ru/about/Top-10-Russian-foods-and-recipes_108678.html
-- WORK IN PROGRESS --

I'm going to put this one on the back burner for now and browse some recipes to see what I might be able to put together.

 

 

Book Task


Read a book set in Russia, or involving a story within a story / play within a play (like the Russian matryoshka dolls stuck inside each other), or where a key character (not necessarily the protagonist) is a mother.
-- SEARCHING --

I'm sure I've got many books where a key character is a mother.  Otherwise, this will require some searching.

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/12/24-festive-tasks-door-11-russian.html
24 Festive Tasks | It's Monday! Style - Random Book Update #2



So here's another update on the books I'm reading... or rather the books I'm not actually reading, but would really, really, really love to read for 24 Festive Tasks.

 


Once again, this will be a sort of 24 Festive Tasks -- "It's Monday! What are you reading?" style!  And this time actually on a Monday!

 

 

Finished Reading

 

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs
by Steve Brusatte

Read for Door 22: New Year's Eve (December 31)
"Read a book about endings, new starts, or books where things go BOOM!"

This books fits with the beginning and ending of the dinosaur era.

 

 

Midnight Exposure
by Melinda Leigh

Read for Door 18: Winter Solstice / Yuletide (December 21)
"Read any book that takes place in December OR with ice or snow on the cover OR that revolves around the (summer or winter) equinox OR a collection of poetry by Hafez."

This book takes place during December.

 

 

Midnight Blue-Light Special
by Seanan McGuire

Read for Door 14: Hanukkah (December 2 to 10)
"Read a book about light, miracles, characters who are Jewish or books set in Israel. OR: Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the second temple in the second century; read the second book in a series or a book with the word “second” or “two” in the title."

This book is the second in the InCryptid series.  Retroactively delegating this book I finished reading at the beginning of November to this recently revealed door.

 

 


The above are books I've finished reading during the 24 Festive Tasks game, and I'm still on the fence about where to insert them.  I have a feeling that Dim Sum of All Fears will end up somewhere in future.  And The Woman Left Behind has at least two Doors that will fit, Door 4: Diwali, or Door 5: Armistice / Veterans' Day.  As for Scandal, I'm just going to wait and see for now.

 

 

Currently Reading

 

Jurassic Park
by Michael Crichton
audio book narrated by Scott Brick

Reading for Door 1: Dia de los Muertos (November 1)
"Re-read an old favorite from a now-deceased author, a book from a finished (dead) series, or a book set in Mexico."

Still listening to this one, and getting to the more exciting parts of the book.  It's nostalgic, even if I'm finding things about the book that I never realized annoyed me.  Yet, at the same time, I'm very much still enjoying it.

This book will fulfill the "re-read an old favorite from a now-deceased author" portion of the task.  It could even count as "a book from a finished (dead) series."

 

 

Midnight Sacrifice
by Melinda Leigh

Reading for Door 9: Thanksgiving (November 22 this year)
"Autumnal covers, set in New England, or a turkey shows up in the story."

This book takes place in Maine, which is part of New England, so even before the door reveal, I fortunately started reading it.  Finishing it is another matter altogether...

 

 

 

Planning to Read


Most of my reading plans haven't changed much, so I'm reiterating a couple door choices, as well as adding a few more.

 

How the Dukes Stole Christmas (anthology)
stories by Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, and Joanna Shupe

Planning to read for Door 20: Christmas (December 25)
"Read any Christmas book."

I saw an anthology with Tessa Dare as one of the authors and decided to go for it.  A book about how the Dukes stole Christmas seems to fit the bill for this door's book task, I think!  =D

 

 

The Light Fantastic (Discworld #2 / Rincewind #2)
by Terry Pratchett

Planning to read for Door 23: Hogswatch (December 32)
"Read anything by Terry Pratchett."

Whelp, this one was an obvious choice.  The second book in the Discworld series, as well as the next Discworld Book Club read, of which will start in December.  Looking forward to it!

 

 

 

The Rose Garden
by Susanna Kearsley
audio book narrated by Nicole Barber

Planning to read for Door 3: Melbourne Cup Day (November 6)
"About horses or a horse on the cover.  Books with roses on the cover or about gardening; anything set in Australia."

I decided to just go ahead with this book once I finish listening to Jurassic Park.  For obvious reasons, it will definitely fit the square, having a rose on the cover and all.

 

 

Not My Father's Son
written and narrated by Alan Cumming

Planning to read for Door 12: St. Andrew's Day (November 30)
"Andrew was the first apostle; read the first book in a series. OR: Andrew and Peter were brothers; read a book about brothers. OR: Read books about or set in Scotland or by a Scottish author, or set in Charleston, South Carolina (which is where the celebrations as we know them today began – by a group of Scottish expats – according to scotland.org)."

I did not realize that Alan Cumming is Scottish, but now that I know, I'd like to jump into this audio book that's been on my TBR for a while.  Whether or not I actually get to it, of course, is another issue since I don't get through audio books as quickly as e-books.

 

 

Devil in the Deadline
by LynDee Walker

Planning to read for Door 13: Advent (December 1)
"Advent also means “second coming”: Read a pastiche, or a book written by an “authorised author” by the deceased author’s estate. OR: There are four Sundays in Advent. Read the fourth book of a series or a book with the word “four” in the title."

Ah!  I'd been looking for a way to slide the rest of LynDee Walker's cozy series into my reading schedule, and this will do it.  Devil in the Deadline is the fourth book in her Nichelle Walker series.

 

 

 

Still Undecided


These Door Book Tasks are still undecided, and I'm not entirely sure where I'm going with them.


Door 2: Guy Fawkes Night (November 5):  Set in the UK, political thrillers, involving any monarchy or revolution; books about arson or related to burning.

I'm considering The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy for this one, but I also have a couple crime thrillers involving arson I could use, like Nora Robert's Chasing Fire.  So this one is still undecided.

 



Door 4: Diwali (November 7):  Read a book with candles on the cover or the word “candle” or “light” in the title; OR a book that is the latest in a series; OR set in India; OR any non-fiction book that is ‘illuminating’ (Diwali is Sanskrit for light/knowledge and row, line or series)

These three books are still my possible selections for this Door.  I've finished two out of three, so now I need to find a way to squeeze the last book in.

 



Door 5: Armistice / Veterans' Day (November 11):  Read any book involving wars, battles, where characters are active military or veterans, or with poppies on the cover.

I've made no decisions, but the below books are still my top choices, although if I can't find anywhere else to slip The Woman Left Behind into, it's very, VERY likely that it'll end up as the choice for this Door Task.

 



Door 6: International Day for Tolerance (November 16):  Read any fiction/non-fiction about tolerance or a book that’s outside your normal comfort zone. (Tolerance can encompass anything you generally struggle with, be it sentient or not.) OR Read a book set in Paris.

I'm still searching books for this one.


Door 7: Mawlid (November 20): If you can find a copy, read Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. Or read any book about a leader of a movement, nation, religion or large group, OR read a book with a green cover OR with a half moon on the cover.

Ooh, green covers?  Check!  Got a few here!

 



Door 8: Penance Day (November 21): Read any book concerning a man / woman of the cloth, a book about a character hiding a guilty secret or searching for absolution.

This will require stumbling into...


Door 10: Bon Om Touk (November 22 - 24): Read a book that takes place at sea or on a river OR with water on the cover OR where the plot involves a festival or the moon plays a pivotal role in the plot.

Still doing some research...


Door 11: Russian Mothers' Day (November 25): Read a book set in Russia, or involving a story within a story / play within a play (like the Russian matryoshka dolls stuck inside each other), or where a key character (not necessarily the protagonist) is a mother.

I'm quite sure I'll be able to find something for this task.  If not a book that takes place in Russia, at least one where a key character is a mother.  Some rereads might even come about...


Door 19: Festivus (December 23):  Read any comedy, parody, or satire.

Still searching...


Door 21: Kwanzaa (December 26 - January 1):  Read a book set in Africa or the Caribbean OR by an African, Caribbean, or African-American author OR a book with a green, red, or black cover.

Door 24: Epiphany (January 6):  Read a book with three main characters OR a book about traveling on a journey to a faraway place OR a book that’s part of a trilogy OR with a star on the cover OR with the word “twelve” or “night” in the title OR or concerning kings or spices.

I'm wanting to read Juliet Marillier's Blackthorn & Grim series.  I can read Dreamer's Pool for the Epiphany Book Task, "a book that's part of a trilogy" and then continue on with Tower of Thorns or even Den of Wolves for the Kwanzaa Book Task, "a book with a green, red, or black cover."  Then I can slip the other book into another Book Task if it qualifies.

 

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/12/24-festive-tasks-its-monday-style.html
Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- November 2018

So November's reading slipped a bit.  I think I got more caught up in the non-book tasks that I allowed myself to become much more laid back in my reading.  And also, I ended up reading two books that really weren't all that great.  And that dragged out for the rest of the month.

And then the month was also kind of busy in other ways.

But whatevs.  I still feel like I was quite productive.  Just check out all of my 24 Festive Tasks posts!

 

 

November Reads

 

 

 

Books Dropped/Put On Hold

 

None this month!  Yay!

 

 

Currently Reading

 

 

 

November Reading Stats

 

Total works read: 6

  • 6 print/e-book novels


Average rating: 3.00 Stars

  • Highest Rated:  Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire // 4.5 Stars
  • Lowest Rated:  Midnight Exposure by Melinda Leigh // 2.0 Stars


Series I started reading:

  • Midnight by Melinda Leigh

 

Series I completed:

  • None

 

Series I have made progress on:

  • InCryptid by Seanan McGuire
  • GO-Team by Linda Howard
  • A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien


Favorite reads:  This one's pretty obvious.  I totally ship Verity and her cryptid friends.  I might have also started fan-girling anything Istas related.  Midnight Blue-Light Special really lived up to my expectations!

Disappointing reads:  Midnight Exposure wasn't the Romantic Suspense I was looking for as a ready breeze through of a book.  It was frustrating... and boring.

 

 

Reviews & Notable Posts

 

Reviews Written

 

Memes

 

Other Posts

 

 

Coming Up In December

 

Tentative TBR

 

 

 

Other Stuff

I don't know if December will be much better, but I've pretty much given up on all of my reading challenges.  I didn't finish the Can You Read a Series in a Month? Challenge.  I finished one out of the four proposed books in Melinda Leigh's Midnight series.  I'd even almost forgotten about the last book on my Reading Assignment list...

December will probably see more 24 Festive Tasks update posts.  And hopefully a few more reviews for books I'm hoping to read.  I'll even need to start formatting and planning posts for the end of the year: Favorites of the Year, 2019 Reading Challenges and Plans...  Pretty much posts for any challenges or plans I might have coming up.

 

 

2018 Wrap-Ups 

Past Monthly Reading Wrap Ups (2016 / 2017)
See Also: 2015 Reading Wrap-Up posts (scroll to bottom of page)

(updated as year progresses by month)
January | February | March | April | May | June
July | August | September | October | November | December

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/12/monthly-reading-wrap-up-november-2018.html
24 Festive Tasks | Origami and Me! A Supplementary Post to Bon Om Touk

 

 

(November 22 - 24)


This is a supplementary post for Bon Om Touk's Task 1: "Make a paper boat and post a picture of it."


A little birdie (**coughcoughPennicoughcough**) was starting at me from the ledge above my desk, making me realize I'd forgotten something very important in my boat post.

 

"We ride the boats!"


Okay, now that Penni, Monkey, and Teddy Bear have had their fun, let's move on.

In a comment previously at Booklikes, I'd mentioned that I recalled having worked on an origami dragon boat when I was younger and never having finished it.  Well... apparently, I lied.

 


This is just an origami dragon... no boat involved.  And apparently, I made a lot less progress with it than I'd thought.  There is still a pretty thick stack of gold papers left to fold into little triangles.  I mean, ultimately, it's supposed to look like the photo in my box above...

 


Meanwhile, the origami dragon boat, DOES indeed, exist!

Here's the YouTube video for a relatively simpler one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP3H3zn5_-o.  I have yet to try this, but might at some point.  All this talk about origami has got my fingers flexing.

And here's a photo of some more elaborate ones similar to what I thought I had:

 


Meanwhile, as an added bonus, here are some of the other things I found while digging through my closet looking for my origami dragon.

 


I found my canister of lucky stars!  Aren't they pretty?

 


And then I found my shoe box full of paper cranes.  I used to sit and fold these as a fun past time!  While watching television, listening to music, or just hanging out with my family, I'd sit there and fold paper cranes out of any and every scrap of extra paper I could find.  My mom used to keep stacks of colored paper sitting around, mainly for whenever she needed to print a fun signs or some such stuff.  I would nip a couple sheets just for the cranes, as they were all in different pastels that made me itch to use them.

 


I also did some of the little hearts on the right side there as well.  These were typically done with dollar bills (much like the origami dragon boat in the video above), but I just started using colored paper, because I didn't want to waste the dollars.  Do I remember how to fold them today?  Nope.

All of my origami kind of got set aside, then put away as college rounded the corner and I just couldn't find any time for anything other than study and school.

 


And no, I have no idea how many there are.  I haven't counted them yet.

 

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/11/24-festive-tasks-origami-and-me.html
24 Festive Tasks | Door 10: Bon Om Touk

 

 

(November 22 - 24)

 

 

Updates


11/26/2018:  Completed Tasks 1, 3 and 4.  I will more than likely skip Task 2.

 

 

Task 1


Make a paper boat and post a picture of it.  Instructions, if needed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiAWx8odStA
-- COMPLETED 11/26/2018 --

It's been a very long time since I folded boats.  This is something I used to do with my mom and aunts when I was younger--folding origami to pass the time.  My folding skills aren't what they used to be.  I used to be extremely precise about my folds, making sure every edge was perfectly aligned, and ever fold pressed and pressed and creased, over and again.

I don't really remember how to make all of these, so had to look up the other ones.  So here is my rather flimsy fleet.

 

 

 

Task 2


If you’ve ever attended a procession or an event involving festively decked out boats, post a picture and tell us about it.
-- SKIPPING --

Unfortunately, this is something I don't recall ever having done.

 

 

Task 3


Bon Om Touk celebrates the end of the rainy season.  Tell us: What’s your favorite type of rainy day book – and do you have a favorite drink or snack to go with your rainy day reading?  Photos welcome!
-- COMPLETED 11/26/2018 --

I can read just about anything, rain or shine.  But going hand-in-hand with my comfort reads, I suppose picking up an exciting Romantic Suspense is always a great rainy day read for me.  Meanwhile, tea and some sort of sweet makes a wonderful rainy day reading snack.  Barring that, sometimes I like cheese and crackers.

 

 

Task 4


Which are your 3 favorite books where a key character is “moonlighting”?
-- COMPLETED 11/26/2018 --

1.
  Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire // Verity Price -- a bar cocktail waitress who moonlights as a cryptozoologist, hunter, and ballroom dancer!

2.  Veronica Speedwell series by Deanna Raybourn // Veronica Speedwell -- a lepidopterist who moonlights as an amateur sleuth // Stoker -- a taxidermist who moonlights as an amateur sleuth

3.  Colorado High Country series by Pamela Clare // various main characters -- they all have daytime jobs (firefighter, professional mountain climber, dog trainer, etc.), but also volunteer as a Search and Rescue team


So I have more than three books here, but eh...

 

 

Book Task


Read a book that takes place at sea or on a river OR with water on the cover OR where the plot involves a festival or the moon plays a pivotal role in the plot.
-- WORK IN PROGRESS --

This may require a bit of searching, unless any of the books I plan on reading will end up fitting.

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/11/24-festive-tasks-door-10-bon-om-touk.html
24 Festive Tasks | Door 4: Diwali

 

 

(November 7)

 

Updates


11/25/2018:  Updated with completion of Task 3.

11/07/2018:  Task 4 completed; other tasks in progress.  Book task with options.

 

 

Task 1


Share a picture of your favorite light display.
-- WORK IN PROGRESS --

This task under consideration.

 

 

Task 2


Cleaning is a big part of this holiday; choose one of your shelves, real or virtual, and tidy / organise it. Give us the before and after photos.  OR Tidy up 5 of the books on your BookLikes shelves by adding the CORRECT cover, and/or any other missing information. 
(If in doubt, see here: http://jenn.booklikes.com/post/1782687/state-of-the-database-booklikes-database-halloween-bingo-and-a-mini-rant-with-pictures).
-- WILL PROBABLY SKIP --

This task is also under consideration.

I've had a 'To-do' list involving tidying up my bookshelves and my closet for a couple years now... and it has never actually happened.  I try to purge my shelves of old books that will go in the donation bin to make room for new books... so I might complete this task.  I might now.  I'm going to play by mood for this task.

 

 

Task 3


Eating sweets is also a big part of Diwali.  Either select a recipe for a traditional sweet, or make a family favorite and share a picture with us.
-- COMPLETED 11/25/2018 --

I'm a big fan of sweets.  Growing up, my idea of desserts had always been the various sweet soups that my mother made for special occasions... or sometimes just because she felt like it.  Rather than cakes and cookies, or pie or ice cream, we got warm sweet soups, sweet herbal soups... just sweets in soup form, warm or not, but most especially warm.

For the Cantonese, sweet soups are absolutely a cultural delicacy.  Amusingly, the translation for them, tang sui, literally translates to "sugar water."  In a way, that's not far from the truth, as most of the soup bases are pretty much rock sugar (in some cases, cane sugar or brown sugar) and boiled water.  It's all the other added goodies that give them their uniquely wonderful flavors.

The following are my personal favorites of sweet soups: Sweet Potato Soup (fan shu tang sui), Ginkgo and Tofu Skin Sweet Soup (bai guo fu zhu tang sui), and Tofu Custard (dou fu hua).  On a side note, when I started compiling this task, I realized that I was coming up with more sweet soups than I had intended, so I decided to cut my selections down to my three favorites.

Unfortunately, the only photo I could find of any sweet soups my mother made in the past only include one for Sweet Potato Soup (recently made), so the rest were borrowed off a Google search.  I've also linked the recipe to the other two under each photo.

 

Sweet Potato Soup

 

According to my mom, Sweet Potato Soup was known as the "poor persons' sweet soup."  Unlike other herbal ingredients often found in sweet soups, such as ginseng, sweet potatoes are very common, and one of the most abundant foods grown in China, making them easily accessible and affordable for all kinds of recipes.

The basic gist of this sweet soup really just involves boiling everything together into a soup.  Ingredients include sweet potato, ginger root (chunks or slices), rock sugar, water, and about a half teaspoon of salt.

One large sweet potato is enough to make a pretty large portion of soup, serving at least four to six.  The sweet potato is chopped into small squares, size of the sweet potato chunks is typically based on preference.  Following, we boil water, rock sugar, salt, some ginger root slices, and the sweet potato until the sweet potato is soft.

I personally prefer to use rock sugar when available, but due to the fact that it's a bit more expensive than brown sugar, my mom prefers brown sugar.  Either way, I do not recommend regular sugar, as it seems to lack some sort of quality that doesn't really bring out the sweet soup taste.

 

Ginkgo and Tofu Skin Sweet Soup
@ Nasi Lemak Lover

 

Ginkgo and Tofu Skin Sweet Soup is one of my personal favorites, and unfortunately, I don't have a photo of it, nor am I really all that well-versed in it's creation.  The recipe that my mom makes usually has tofu skin, gingko nuts, barley, and hard boiled egg.  The above picture is the closest likeness I could find, though missing the egg.  Other recipes will sometimes include quail eggs.  Also different than the recipe I've linked, we also don't have screwpine leaves or pandan leaves.

Mom likes to soak all her ingredients before boiling everything together, as she says it helps the cooking process move along faster and more smoothly.

And of course, the sweet soup base, in this case, has to be rock sugar, as brown sugar will turn the soup brown and we don't want that.

 


The photo depicted above includes the egg, as well as some cooked, whipped egg in the soup itself, but no gingko nuts.

 

Tofu Custard
@ Quinn's Baking Diary

 

Tofu Custard is called dou fu fa in Cantonese, which translates into "tofu flower," as it is suppose to resemble a flowering blossom... somehow.  I've still not been able to figure that one out.  But the dessert is delicious and that's all I care about, really.

We don't actually know how to make this from scratch at home, and it seems quite complicated, as there are a lot of tedious steps involved.  So my family will just content ourselves with store bought, or in other fortunate cases, restaurant made, especially from restaurants that serve dim sum.  I always get a bowl for myself when we go out for dim sum.

The only thing I'm certain about is the sweet soup that gets drizzled into the tofu custard to make it into a soup-like dessert.  In this case, you simply boil water, ginger root, and enough brown or cane sugar to create a very syrupy soup.

 

 

Task 4


During Diwali, people pray to the goddess Lakhshmi, who is typically depicted as a beautiful young woman holding a lotus flower.  Find 5 books on your shelves (either physical or virtual) whose covers show a young woman holding a flower and share their cover images.
-- COMPLETED  11/07/2018 --

You would think that, being a reader of romance, I'd be able to readily find five books with a young woman holding a flower (or flowers) on the cover.  So imagine my surprise when I realized that most of the books on my shelves, both physical and digital, as well as the majority of the books I've read, have more covers with women holding anything and everything but flowers.

Even my Goodreads To Read shelf (books I may not necessarily own) is sorely lacking in covers of a woman holding a flower.

I've got covers of women holding weapons of all kinds: swords, guns, bow and arrow, daggers, and so on.  I've got covers of women and girls holding books, women holding shoes, women holding jewelry, women holding staffs and wands or candles, women holding their own dresses...  I've got a ton of romances with a woman holding a man, or a woman holding a man's hand.  I've even got a cover of a woman holding a trowel, a woman holding a pair of scissors, or a little girl holding a pig.

But enough about that.  I eventually DID find a good number of books where a woman is holding a flower, or a bunch of flowers.

 


I might have taken a slight stretch with Origin, but I always saw the cover as the silhouette of a young girl, who is coincidentally holding a flower.  Set Me Free's cover has a young woman holding a picture of flowers, so that works, right?  The other three are a bit more obvious.

 

 

Book Task


Read a book with candles on the cover or the word “candle” or “light” in the title; OR a book that is the latest in a series; OR set in India; OR any non-fiction book that is ‘illuminating’ (Diwali is Sanskrit for light/knowledge and row, line or series)
-- DECISION BEING MADE --

I'm considering reading one of Tessa Dare's newest releases, The Governess Game, which is her latest installment of Girl Meets Duke.  I have another two books I could use for this task as well, including Dim Sum of All Fears by Vivien Chien, the most recent installment available of her Noodle Shop Mystery series; and The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard, the latest installment of her GO-Team series, which really hadn't been a series when I read the first book.  I'm still awaiting my wait list library copy for The Woman Left Behind, though...

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/11/24-festive-tasks-door-4-diwali.html
24 Festive Tasks | Update #3



I've been able to update a bit more regularly than I did in the past, so that's something.

Since my last update, I've added completed tasks from Mawlid (Tasks 1 - 4), Penance Day (Tasks 1 & 3), and Thanksgiving (Tasks 1, 2 & 4).  This brings my total points to 26, which is pretty darn good for me considering I only managed 18 points last year for the whole game.  We've still got one more month of game and 13 doors left to reveal.  There are, even, two more revealed doors I'm still working on, as well as a few books that I have yet to start reading yet!

 

 

The Festive Card:

 

 

Peek-a-Boo Penni Claus = Completed Book Task
Magnetic "Elfin" Monkey = Completed Non-Book Tasks

 

 

My Progress:


Overall Total Points Earned:  26
Books Read:  2
Tasks Completed:  24

Current Tasks:

  • Door 1 | Dia de los Muertos Book Task -- Reread of Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
  • Door 9 | Thanksgiving Book Task -- Reading Midnight Sacrifice by Melinda Leigh


**For my own sanity purposes, I will link the main post for each door at the top of each table.  All tasks listed under 'My Activity' will more than likely be found at the main post; otherwise, the link will be included for that particular task if a separate post is published outside of the main post, such as book reviews.  Thanks!**

 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Re-read an old favorite from a now-deceased author, a book from a finished (dead) series, or a book set in Mexico. Current Read:
'Jurassic Park' by Michael Crichton
TBA
Task 1 Write a silly poem or limerick poking fun at the fiction character of your choice. -- SKIP-- I don't poem... XX
Task 2 Share your favorite gravestone epitaph (you know you have one). Posted Activity:
Two epitaphs found - one with Kay's fudge recipe
11/04/2018
Task 3 Create an altar (either digital or physical) for your favorite book, series, or book character, and post a picture of it. Inclusion of book cover encouraged. -- SKIP -- No ideas for this one XX
Task 4 If you like Mexican food, treat yourself to your favorite dish and share a photo of it. Posted Activity:
Tamales at home for lunch!
11/10/2018

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Set in the UK, political thrillers, involving any monarchy or revolution; books about arson or related to burning. Possible Reads:
-- 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
-- 'Chasing Fire' by Nora Roberts
TBA
Task 1 Burn a book in effigy. Not that anyone of us would do such a thing, but if you HAD to, which book would be the one you’d sacrifice to the flames (gleefully or not)? Posted Activity:
Chose book: 'The Iron Daughter' by Julie Kagawa
11/05/2018
Task 2 List your top 3 treasonous crimes against books. Not ones you’ve committed, but the ones you think are the worst. Posted Activity:
1) Burning; 2) Defacing; 3) Borrowing and not returning, or returning damaged
11/05/2018
Task 3 Share your favorite / most memorable BBQ recollections or recipe, or your favorite recipe for food “flambé” (i.e., doused with alcohol which is then set aflame and allowed to burn off). Posted Activity:
Korean BBQ for the wins!
11/05/2018
Task 4 Find 5 uses of the word “gunpowder” in book titles in contexts other than for blowing up things or shooting people (e.g., Gunpowder Green by Laura Childs = tea). -- Will probably SKIP this one -- XX

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book About horses or a horse on the cover. Books with roses on the cover or about gardening; anything set in Australia. Possible Reads:
'The Rose Garden' by Susanna Kearsley
TBA
Task 1 Pick your ponies! MbD will post the horses scheduled to race as soon as they’re released; everyone picks the three they think will finish (in any order). Finished Activity:
Horses chosen / Winners announced / no bonus points
11/06/2018
Task 2 Cup day is all about the hats. Post a picture of your favorite hat, whether it’s one you own or not. Posted Activity:
My cadet hat and my 'This is my happy face' hat!
11/06/2018
Task 3 The coloring of the “horse of a different color” in the movie version of The Wizard of Oz was created by rubbing the horse’s fur with jello. What’s the weirdest use of jello you’ve ever come across? Posted Activity:
Jello as hair dye.  A short memory from high school
11/09/2018
Task 4 Have you ever been to or participated in a competition involving horses (racing, jumping, dressage, whatever)? Tell us about it. Photos welcome, too! Posted Activity:
My first horse track racing experience in Dallas!
11/06/2018

 


 

Door 4:  Diwali (November 7)
Total Points Earned:  1

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book with candles on the cover or the word “candle” or “light” in the title; OR a book that is the latest in a series; OR set in India; OR any non-fiction book that is ‘illuminating’ (Diwali is Sanskrit for light/knowledge and row, line or series) Possible Read:
-- 'The Woman Left Behind' by Linda Howard
-- 'The Governess Game' by Tessa Dare
-- 'Dim Sum of All Fears' by Vivien Chien
TBA
Task 1 Share a picture of your favorite light display. Work in Progress
(possible skip / still considering)
TBA
Task 2 Cleaning is a big part of this holiday; choose one of your shelves, real or virtual, and tidy / organise it.  Give us the before and after photos. OR Tidy up 5 of the books on your BookLikes shelves by adding the CORRECT cover, and/or any other missing information.  (If in doubt, see here: State of the Database: BookLikes database, Halloween Bingo, and a mini-rant - with pictures.). -- Probably going to SKIP this one -- XX
Task 3 Eating sweets is also a big part of Diwali. Either select a recipe for a traditional sweet, or make a family favorite and share a picture with us. Possible Activity:
One of our culture's many sweet soups... maybe.
TBA
Task 4 During Diwali, people pray to the goddess Lakhshmi, who is typically depicted as a beautiful young woman holding a lotus flower.  Find 5 books on your shelves (either physical or virtual) whose covers show a young woman holding a flower and share their cover images. Posted Activity:
Five books with young women holding flower; found with some difficulty, but successful!
11/08/2018

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any book involving wars, battles, where characters are active military or veterans, or with poppies on the cover. Possible Reads:
'Behind Enemy Lines' by Cindy Dees
TBA
Task 1 Using book covers (real or virtual), create a close approximation of your country’s flag (either of residence or birth), OR a close approximation of a poppy. Take a pic of your efforts and post. Posted Activitiy:
The Penni Book Cover Poppy!!  With Monkey, too!
11/13/2018
Task 2 Make an offer of peace (letter, gift, whatever) to a book character who has particularly annoyed you this year. -- SKIPPING this one -- XX
Task 3 Tell us: What author’s books would you consider yourself a veteran of (i.e., by which author have you read particularly many books – or maybe even all of them)? Posted Activity:
Jayne Ann Krentz / Honorable Mention goes to Jill Shalvis
11/13/2018
Task 4 Treat yourself to a slice of poppy seedcake and post a photo. If you want to make it yourself, try out this recipe:
Poppy Seed Cake @ tastesbetterfromscratch.com
… or this one:
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake @ bbcgoodfood.com
-- SKIPPING this one too -- XX

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any fiction/non-fiction about tolerance or a book that’s outside your normal comfort zone. (Tolerance can encompass anything you generally struggle with, be it sentient or not.) OR Read a book set in Paris. Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 Find some redeeming quality in the book you liked least this year and post about it. Posted Activity:
Chose book, This Wicked Gift by Courtney Milan
11/19/2018
Task 2 Tell us: What are the tropes (up to 5) that you are not willing to live with in any book (i.e., which are absolutely beyond your capacity for tolerance) and which make that book an automatic DNF for you? (Insta-love? Love triangles? First person present narrative voice? Talking animals? The dog dies? What else?) Posted Activity:
Long-winded talk about 5 tropes -- see main post
11/19/2018
Task 3 The International Day for Tolerance is a holiday declared by an international organization (UNESCO). Create a charter (humorous, serious, whatever strikes your fancy) for an international organization of readers. -- Going to SKIP this one -- XX
Task 4 UNESCO is based in Paris. Paris is known for its pastries and its breads: Either find a baker that specializes in pastries and bring home an assortment for your family, or make your own pastries using real butter and share a photo with us. Posted Activity:
French Macaroons!!
11/19/2018

 


 

Door 7:  Mawlid (November 20)
Total Points Earned:  4

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book If you can find a copy, read Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. Or read any book about a leader of a movement, nation, religion or large group, OR read a book with a green cover OR with a half moon on the cover. Possible Reads:
'Tower of Thorns' by Juliet Marillier
TBA
Task 1 Make two “prophesies” you think will come to fruition in 2019 in your personal or reading life. Posted Activity:
Prophesies for cleaning and purging!
11/20/2018
Task 2 The Five Pillars of Islam include almsgiving and the pilgrimage to Mekka. Tell us: Have you ever donated books or rescued them from (horror of horrors) being trashed? Alternatively: Is there a book-related place that is a place of pilgrimage to you? Posted Activity:
I have donated books to the library and Goodwill!
11/20/2018
Task 3 Prophets are messengers. Tell us: Which book characters are your favorite messengers (no matter whether humans, angels, (demi)gods, etc.)? Posted Activity:
Messengers chosen: 1) Hedwig / 2) Ponies / 3) GLaDOS... Oh My!
11/20/2018
Task 4 Muhammad was a merchant before becoming a religious leader. List 5 books on your shelves in which a key character makes / undergoes a radical career change. Posted Activity:
5 characters listed -- see main door post above
11/20/2018

 


 

Door 8:  Penance Day (November 21)
Total Points Earned:  2

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any book concerning a man / woman of the cloth, a book about a character hiding a guilty secret or searching for absolution. Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 “Confess” your book habits. Dog-earring? Laying books face down? Bending back the spines? Skimming? OR: Confess your guilty reading pleasure, or comfort reads. Posted Activities:
Habits confessed!  And also, comfort reads are obviously Romantic Suspense, right?
11/24/2018
Task 2 It’s “Pennants” day according to MbD’s husband: post a picture of your favorite team’s logo / mascot and the last time they’ve won a championship (or not). -- SKIPPING --
I don't sports...
XX
Task 3 In centuries gone by, penance would often end up in what might be described as a very extended bad hair day (complete with sackcloth and ashes). Tell us: What’s a bad hair day to you – and what (if anything) do you do about it? Posted Activity:
Everyday is a bad hair day.
11/24/2018
Task 4 Early Christian spiritualists would sometimes do penance by spending time in the desert. If you’ve ever visited a desert region (or even live there), post a picture and tell us about it. Alternatively, post a picture of sand dunes (NOT with water in the background!). -- Probably SKIP -- XX

 


 

Door 9:  Thanksgiving (November 22)
Total Points Earned:  3

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Autumnal covers, set in New England, or a turkey shows up in the story. Possible Reads:
'Midnight Sacrifice' by Melinda Leigh
TBA
Task 1 List the 3 books you’ve read this year you’re most “thankful” for (your favs) or the one book you’ve ever read that changed your life for the better. Posted Activity:
Listed books!  Four total instead of three.
11/25/2018
Task 2 Describe your perfect meal. What would you cook for the perfect celebration, or, what would you have your imaginary personal chef cook for you? Posted Activity:
Chinese seafood banquet feast!
11/25/2018
Task 3 Name a book you’ve read this year that you thought was full of “stuffing”. Possible Activities:
Work in progress...
TBA
Task 4 Show us your 2018 book “harvest” – the books you newly acquired this year, regardless whether bought, received as gift or in whichever other way. Possible Activities:
About 20+ books listed
11/25/2018

 


 

Door 10:  Bon Om Touk (November 22 - 24)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book that takes place at sea or on a river OR with water on the cover OR where the plot involves a festival or the moon plays a pivotal role in the plot. Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 Make a paper boat and post a picture of it. Instructions, if needed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiAWx8odStA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 If you’ve ever attended a procession or an event involving festively decked out boats, post a picture and tell us about it. Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 Bon Om Touk celebrates the end of the rainy season. Tell us: What’s your favorite type of rainy day book – and do you have a favorite drink or snack to go with your rainy day reading? Photos welcome! Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 Which are your 3 favorite books where a key character is “moonlighting”? Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 11:  Russian Mother's Day (November 25)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book set in Russia, or involving a story within a story / play within a play (like the Russian matryoshka dolls stuck inside each other), or where a key character (not necessarily the protagonist) is a mother. Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 Tell us: What is the mother of all writerly sins in your book (tropes, grammar mistakes, telling instead of showing, etc.)? Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 Do you have a favorite Mothers’ Day memory that you are happy to share? Photos welcome but optional. Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 Perhaps the best-known scene in the James Bond novel and film From Russia With Love is 007 being poisoned by Russian agent Rosa Klebb with a venom-laced blade hidden in her shoe. Tell us: Have you ever owned any particular / outrageous / funny / best-beloved or otherwise special pair of shoes? Post a photo if you should still own them. Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 Make a traditional Russian dish like borscht, blintzes, pirogi or solyanka soup, and share a picture with us. Find recipe suggestions here: https://www.expatica.com/ru/about/Top-10-Russian-foods-and-recipes_108678.html Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 12:  TBA (TBA)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book TBA Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 13:  TBA (TBA)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book TBA Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 14:  TBA (TBA)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book TBA Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 15:  TBA (TBA)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book TBA Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 16:  TBA (TBA)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book TBA Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 17:  TBA (TBA)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book TBA Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 18:  Winter Solstice / Yuletide (December 21)
Total Points Earned:  1

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any book that takes place in December; OR with ice or snow on the cover; OR that revolves around the (summer or winter) equinox; OR a collection of poetry by Hafez Read:
'Midnight Exposure' by Melinda Leigh
11/17/2018
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 19:  Festivus (December 23)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any comedy, parody, or satire Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 20:  Christmas (December 25)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any Christmas book. Planned Read:
'How the Dukes Stole Christmas' anthology
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 21:  Kwanzaa (December 26 - January 1)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book set in Africa or the Caribbean; OR by an African, Caribbean, or African-American author; OR a book with a green, red, or black cover. Possible Reads:
-- 'Tower of Thorns' by Juliet Marillier
-- 'Den of Wolves' by Juliet Marillier
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book about endings, new starts, or books where things go BOOM! Read:
'The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs' by Steve Brusatte
11/06/2018
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 23:  Hogswatch (December 32)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read anything by Terry Pratchett Planned Read:
'The Light Fantastic' by Terry Pratchett
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 24:  Epiphany (January 6)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book with three main characters; OR a book about traveling on a journey to a faraway place; OR a book that's part of a trilogy; OR with a star on the cover; OR with the word "twelve" or "night" in the title; OR concerning kings or spices Possible Read:
'Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/11/24-festive-tasks-update-3.html
24 Festive Tasks | Door 9: Thanksgiving Day

 

 

(Fourth Thursday of November | November 22, 2018)

 

 

Updates


11/25/2018:  Completed Tasks 1, 2, and 4.  I might end up skipping Task 3.  And looks like, coincidentally, I'm currently already reading a book that takes place in Maine, so getting the Book Task worked on!

 

 

Task 1


List the 3 books you’ve read this year you’re most “thankful” for (your favs) or the one book you’ve ever read that changed your life for the better.
-- COMPLETED 11/25/2018 --

I actually don't have a whole lot of favorites to choose from this year.  I had a really long reading slump, for one, and I read a lot of not-so-great books, for another.

On that note, the books that I'm most thankful for this year:

 


These are, by far, my favorite books read this year, and I'm including both InCryptid novels, just because I loved both.  Deanna Raybourn's A Treacherous Curse was just a wonderful read!  And then, I wanted to include The Name of the Star because reading a great YA novel that I ended up loving made me feel good that there are still other YA novels out there that can entice me.

 

 

Task 2


Describe your perfect meal. What would you cook for the perfect celebration, or, what would you have your imaginary personal chef cook for you?
-- COMPLETED 11/25/2018 --

Geez...  This answer could last forever if I wanted to list EVERYTHING I'd ever want a personal chef to cook.  Food is my life, and I'm still discovering more and more favorite foods every day.  So in order for this post to not go on for eternity, here are just a few things I've managed to narrow down to, and one of the biggest, mainly, is one of our Chinese feasts for big celebrations, such as weddings, New Years, and sometimes birthdays.

And because I'm a big lover of seafood, most of these pictures will include things such as the infamous Ginger Scallion Lobster, Seafood Soup, Stuffed Crab Claws, Abalone simmered in Oyster Sauce... like I said, the list could go on.  Let's just look at pictures, shall we?

 

 

 


Aside from Chinese feasts, I'm also a lover of sashimi, so I'd also love an endless chef-made supply of sashimi combo.

 


And finally, to top it all off, my most favorite dessert in the world, Creme Brulee.

 


I'm not asking for much, right?

 

 

Task 3


Name a book you’ve read this year that you thought was full of “stuffing”.
-- WORK IN PROGRESS --

I'm currently processing this task...

 

 

Task 4


Show us your 2018 book “harvest” – the books you newly acquired this year, regardless whether bought, received as gift or in whichever other way.
-- COMPLETED 11/25/2018 --

In an attempt to keep this post from going on forever (aside from the almost forever foodie task above), I decided to just show a handful of the 40+ newly acquired books in 2018.  Specifically, I'm just going to present the ones I haven't read yet, more or less as a way to make sure I'm aware of all the new books I've added to my TBR.

In no particular order:

 

 

 

Book Task


Autumnal covers, set in New England, or a turkey shows up in the story.
-- CURRENTLY READING  --

This probably isn't the best book in the world, but I'm currently reading the second book in the Midnight series by Melinda Leigh, which takes place in Maine.

 

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/11/24-festive-tasks-door-9-thanksgiving-day.html
24 Festive Tasks | Door 8: Penance Day

 

 

(November 21)

 

 

Updates


11/24/2018:  Two tasks done.

 

 

Task 1


“Confess” your book habits. Dog-earring?   Laying books face down?  Bending back the spines?  Skimming?   OR: Confess your guilty reading pleasure, or comfort reads.
-- COMPLETED 11/24/2018 --

In an honest admission... yeah, I am super guilty of laying my books face down and open rather than using a bookmark.  This only ever happens when I'm not really thinking about it, and something suddenly requires I take my attention away from said book.  I am very consciously trying to eradicate this bad habit... I promise.

Meanwhile, my comfort reads comprise of any and all things Romantic Suspense.  Some favorite authors include Jayne Ann Krentz (in all her various pseudonyms), Laura Griffin, Cindy Gerard, Pamela Clare... this list could go on, really...

 

 

Task 2


It’s “Pennants” day according to MbD’s husband: post a picture of your favorite team’s logo / mascot and the last time they’ve won a championship (or not).
-- SKIPPING THIS ONE --

I don't really sports.

That being said, I made a feeble attempt at finding a pennant for my favorite non-sports team.  Failing that, I made my own:

 


I don't think there are any documented championships, but I'm sure there are many out there!

 

 

Task 3


In centuries gone by, penance would often end up in what might be described as a very extended bad hair day (complete with sackcloth and ashes).  Tell us: What’s a bad hair day to you – and what (if anything) do you do about it?
-- COMPLETED 11/24/2018 --

I'm a member of the "Everyday is pretty much a bad hair day for me" club.  Just like many of the others here have mentioned, I also have extremely unmanageable hair.  I was born with super thick strands that, barring using a flat iron, really will never lay in a natural fashion outside of two settings: 1) the humid frizz, or 2) the this-is-obviously-not-a-fashionably-trendy-type of tousled.

I actually had an interesting conversation with a coworker lately about our hair.  I told her about how I'd tried many different styles as I grew up, and even the one that even remotely looks like I tried was not easy to maintain.  Because, let's face it, I'm an extremely lazy person.  How my hair looks is not as important as sleeping in.  And yet, sometimes I just wished it would cut back on the frizz and static.

I once cut my hair extremely short, thinking that it would be easier for me to handle.  Long thick hair pulls on your scalp and is very uncomfortable in a pony tail.  But when working, loose hair just gets in the way.  Little did I realize that short hair was even harder to manage than I had thought.  Because instead of having that fashionably tousled look (see above), I had random chunks sticking out like embarrassingly over-eager cowlicks.  So rather than looking like I meant to make my hair look that way, it looked like a "why didn't you comb your hair?" style.

So... long hair it is now, yet short enough to tie into a pony tail, so that it's not too heavy and won't tug on my scalp as badly.

 

 

Task 4


Early Christian spiritualists would sometimes do penance by spending time in the desert.  If you’ve ever visited a desert region (or even live there), post a picture and tell us about it.  Alternatively, post a picture of sand dunes (NOT with water in the background!).
-- Probably SKIP --

I'm not sure that, outside of doing some Google work, I'll actually be able to complete this one.  I might come back later.

 

 

Book Task


Read any book concerning a man / woman of the cloth, a book about a character hiding a guilty secret or searching for absolution.
-- SEARCHING --

This task made me think of nun assassins.


Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/11/24-festive-tasks-door-8-penance-day.html
24 Festive Tasks | Door 7: Mawlid

 

 

(November 20)

 

 

Updates


11/20/18:  Whelp!  Four tasks down in one go!  Book task still in the works, but more than likely selected!

 

 

Task 1


Make two “prophesies” you think will come to fruition in 2019 in your personal or reading life.
-- COMPLETED 11/20/2018 --

Hmm... this is a hard one.  The truth is, the easiest "prophesy" I can make is certainly predicting that I will read at least 100 books next year, since I've been able to do so each year for the past few years.  But that would feel like a cop-out.  Even prophesying that I will participate in Halloween Bingo 2019 or the next Festive Tasks is a given.

So...


1.  My first prophesy is a personal one:  I will finally clean out my closet (work in progress since 2010) and get rid of anything I don't need anymore, and creating a more clutter free environment... in which I will probably promptly start adding more clutter to given enough time.  Much like my bookshelves, that will also go through a purging of books I've read and don't want to keep, which will get donated to the nearest library, so that I can make more room for the new bag of books I will undoubtedly end up buying from a library book sale a la "Stuff a tote full of books for $5."

2.  My second prophesy is a reading one...  which was actually unintentionally mentioned in the previous prophesy, in the line of cleaning out my shelves of books I don't wish to keep.  Truthfully, I should really be prophesying that I will manage to read more of the books I already own on my digital and physical shelves rather than purchasing more... but we know that's not going to happen.

 

 

Task 2


The Five Pillars of Islam include almsgiving and the pilgrimage to Mekka. Tell us: Have you ever donated books or rescued them from (horror of horrors) being trashed?  Alternatively: Is there a book-related place that is a place of pilgrimage to you?
-- COMPLETED 11/20/2018 --

In line with the above prophesy task, I try to do a purge of my physical book shelves every few months when they start getting too full to hold any more books.  The books that get removed end up in a tote bag, as part of a pile of books to donate, either to the local library, Goodwill stores, or any other place that may accept old, used books.  I've done this a couple times in the past, donated once to the library and once to a Goodwill store.  There are also some other used book stores around town that will take donated books, but the library is usually my go to for donating books I don't want to keep.

 

 

Task 3


Prophets are messengers. Tell us: Which book characters are your favorite messengers (no matter whether humans, angels, (demi)gods, etc.)?
-- COMPLETED 11/20/2018 --

 


The truth is, even before looking through my shelves, the first book character I thought of as a messenger was Hedwig, Harry Potter's snowy white messenger owl.  The second messenger I thought of was the red enveloped exploding Howlers... but I'm not sure if those count, cause they're the actual messages.  So I'm probably just going to stick with Hedwig, as well as the rest of the message carrying owls of the Harry Potter world.

 


A second place would be the Ponies featured in The Others who deliver mail to the resident Others of the Lakeside Community after Meg sorts mail into their baskets.  They don't play that big of a part as messengers, and in fact, the Crowgard are probably more in line with messengers, delivering news to all the Others quickly and readily.  But I liked the Ponies more than the Crowgard.

 


Finally, as a featured Honorable Mention--mainly because I don't know if she actually counts as a messenger, but she gives guidance to you as a player via intercom messages, I'm listing GLaDOS, from the video game Portal.  And yes, Portal is a video game, not a book, but I figured that as the Honorable Mention in my list, I can have some leeway, having already listed two other sets of book characters who serve as messengers... sort of.

As is noted by Wiki, "GLaDOS serves solely as the narrator, guiding players through the test chambers."  So... that's sort of like a messenger of sorts, giving the main game character prompts and messages on how to get through each level... even if GLaDOS's ultimate goal is really to lead you to your death.  *shrugs*

Meanwhile, here's a bit of a reminiscing... originally, in my other post, there was an embedded video here, but since I can't figure out how to embed videos here at BLs, I'm just going to leave the link...  Enjoy

 

Portal - 'Still Alive'

 

 

 

Task 4


Muhammad was a merchant before becoming a religious leader. List 5 books on your shelves in which a key character makes / undergoes a radical career change.
-- COMPLETED 11/20/2018 --

1.
  Written in Red by Anne Bishop / Meg Corbin -- blood prophet to mail sorter?
2.  The Girl Who Knew Too Much / Irene Glasson -- secretary/personal assistant to reporter
3.  Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare / Paula Simms -- bar maid to duchess in training
4.  The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey / Elena Klovis -- would be Cinderella to Fairy Godmother
5.  Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder / Yelena -- prisoner on death row to royal food taster

 

 

Book Task


If you can find a copy, read Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. Or read any book about a leader of a movement, nation, religion or large group, OR read a book with a green cover OR with a half moon on the cover.
-- WORK IN PROGRESS--

Since I'm wanting to read the Blackthorn & Grim trilogy at some point, I might insert Tower of Thorns in as this one, a book with a green cover.

 

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/11/24-festive-tasks-door-7-mawlid.html
24 Festive Tasks | Update #2

 

 

So yet another week has gone by, and I feel like I've made a lot of good progress.  As opposed to last year's game, I think I've managed to at least finish one task for every Door that has been revealed since the beginning, and I'm feeling quite good about it.

It also helps that I've got my Monkey and Penni markers, and my Holiday Penguin Tree to enhance the cheer.  I DO wish I could figure out a better color scheme for my tables--the light green is fine, but I'm having trouble finding a lighter red color that won't wash out the text, and that is also compatible with whatever html code that Blogspot and Booklikes is able to use.

 

The hex codes for some of the lighter reds don't seem to work.  -_-

 

And whelp, the green and red background colors also kind of wash out the links because BL's links are green...  They still seem tolerable at Blogspot...  Booooo...

I'll work on it and keep experimenting, though I'm loathe to fall into another html hole at this point, especially when that 'indianred' background color isn't terrible.


I've read fewer books so far this month than I would have liked, though since I'm going for laid back, whatevs.

This newest update has added the newest two Doors revealed since my last update, Armistice/Veterans' Day and International Day for Tolerance.  I've completed a few more tasks and finished one more book.

All in all, things are looking great!

 

 

The Festive Card:

 

 

Peek-a-Boo Penni Claus = Completed Book Task
Magnetic "Elfin" Monkey = Completed Non-Book Tasks

 

 

My Progress:


Overall Total Points Earned:  17
Books Read:  2
Tasks Completed:  15

Current Tasks:

  • Door 1 | Dia de los Muertos Book Task -- Reread of Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton


**For my own sanity purposes, I will link the main post for each door at the top of each table.  All tasks listed under 'My Activity' will more than likely be found at the main post; otherwise, the link will be included for that particular task if a separate post is published outside of the main post, such as book reviews.  Thanks!**

 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Re-read an old favorite from a now-deceased author, a book from a finished (dead) series, or a book set in Mexico. Current Read:
'Jurassic Park' by Michael Crichton
TBA
Task 1 Write a silly poem or limerick poking fun at the fiction character of your choice. -- SKIP-- I don't poem... XX
Task 2 Share your favorite gravestone epitaph (you know you have one). Posted Activity:
Two epitaphs found - one with Kay's fudge recipe
11/04/2018
Task 3 Create an altar (either digital or physical) for your favorite book, series, or book character, and post a picture of it. Inclusion of book cover encouraged. -- SKIP -- No ideas for this one XX
Task 4 If you like Mexican food, treat yourself to your favorite dish and share a photo of it. Posted Activity:
Tamales at home for lunch!
11/10/2018

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Set in the UK, political thrillers, involving any monarchy or revolution; books about arson or related to burning. Possible Reads:
-- 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
-- 'Chasing Fire' by Nora Roberts
TBA
Task 1 Burn a book in effigy. Not that anyone of us would do such a thing, but if you HAD to, which book would be the one you’d sacrifice to the flames (gleefully or not)? Posted Activity:
Chose book: 'The Iron Daughter' by Julie Kagawa
11/05/2018
Task 2 List your top 3 treasonous crimes against books. Not ones you’ve committed, but the ones you think are the worst. Posted Activity:
1) Burning; 2) Defacing; 3) Borrowing and not returning, or returning damaged
11/05/2018
Task 3 Share your favorite / most memorable BBQ recollections or recipe, or your favorite recipe for food “flambé” (i.e., doused with alcohol which is then set aflame and allowed to burn off). Posted Activity:
Korean BBQ for the wins!
11/05/2018
Task 4 Find 5 uses of the word “gunpowder” in book titles in contexts other than for blowing up things or shooting people (e.g., Gunpowder Green by Laura Childs = tea). -- Will probably SKIP this one --  XX

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book About horses or a horse on the cover. Books with roses on the cover or about gardening; anything set in Australia. Possible Reads:
'The Rose Garden' by Susanna Kearsley
TBA
Task 1 Pick your ponies! MbD will post the horses scheduled to race as soon as they’re released; everyone picks the three they think will finish (in any order). Finished Activity:
Horses chosen / Winners announced / no bonus points
11/06/2018
Task 2 Cup day is all about the hats. Post a picture of your favorite hat, whether it’s one you own or not. Posted Activity:
My cadet hat and my 'This is my happy face' hat!
11/06/2018
Task 3 The coloring of the “horse of a different color” in the movie version of The Wizard of Oz was created by rubbing the horse’s fur with jello. What’s the weirdest use of jello you’ve ever come across? Posted Activity:
Jello as hair dye.  A short memory from high school
11/09/2018
Task 4 Have you ever been to or participated in a competition involving horses (racing, jumping, dressage, whatever)? Tell us about it. Photos welcome, too! Posted Activity:
My first horse track racing experience in Dallas!
11/06/2018

 


 

Door 4:  Diwali (November 7)
Total Points Earned:  1

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book with candles on the cover or the word “candle” or “light” in the title; OR a book that is the latest in a series; OR set in India; OR any non-fiction book that is ‘illuminating’ (Diwali is Sanskrit for light/knowledge and row, line or series) Possible Read:
-- 'The Woman Left Behind' by Linda Howard
-- 'The Governess Game' by Tessa Dare
-- 'Dim Sum of All Fears' by Vivien Chien
TBA
Task 1 Share a picture of your favorite light display. Work in Progress
(possible skip / still considering)
TBA
Task 2 Cleaning is a big part of this holiday; choose one of your shelves, real or virtual, and tidy / organise it.  Give us the before and after photos. OR Tidy up 5 of the books on your BookLikes shelves by adding the CORRECT cover, and/or any other missing information.  (If in doubt, see here: http://jenn.booklikes.com/post/1782687/state-of-the-database-booklikes-database-halloween-bingo-and-a-mini-rant-with-pictures). -- Probably going to SKIP this one -- XX
Task 3 Eating sweets is also a big part of Diwali. Either select a recipe for a traditional sweet, or make a family favorite and share a picture with us. Possible Activity:
One of our culture's many sweet soups... maybe.
TBA
Task 4 During Diwali, people pray to the goddess Lakhshmi, who is typically depicted as a beautiful young woman holding a lotus flower.  Find 5 books on your shelves (either physical or virtual) whose covers show a young woman holding a flower and share their cover images. Posted Activity:
Five books with young women holding flower; found with some difficulty, but successful!
11/08/2018

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any book involving wars, battles, where characters are active military or veterans, or with poppies on the cover. Possible Reads:
'Behind Enemy Lines' by Cindy Dees
TBA
Task 1 Using book covers (real or virtual), create a close approximation of your country’s flag (either of residence or birth), OR a close approximation of a poppy. Take a pic of your efforts and post. Posted Activitiy:
The Penni Book Cover Poppy!!  With Monkey, too!
11/13/2018
Task 2 Make an offer of peace (letter, gift, whatever) to a book character who has particularly annoyed you this year. -- SKIPPING this one -- XX
Task 3 Tell us: What author’s books would you consider yourself a veteran of (i.e., by which author have you read particularly many books – or maybe even all of them)? Posted Activity:
Jayne Ann Krentz / Honorable Mention goes to Jill Shalvis
TBA
Task 4 Treat yourself to a slice of poppy seedcake and post a photo. If you want to make it yourself, try out this recipe:
Poppy Seed Cake @ tastesbetterfromscratch.com
… or this one:
Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake @ bbcgoodfood.com
-- SKIPPING this one too -- XX

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any fiction/non-fiction about tolerance or a book that’s outside your normal comfort zone. (Tolerance can encompass anything you generally struggle with, be it sentient or not.) OR Read a book set in Paris. Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 Find some redeeming quality in the book you liked least this year and post about it. Posted Activity:
Chose book, This Wicked Gift by Courtney Milan
11/19/2018
Task 2 Tell us: What are the tropes (up to 5) that you are not willing to live with in any book (i.e., which are absolutely beyond your capacity for tolerance) and which make that book an automatic DNF for you? (Insta-love? Love triangles? First person present narrative voice? Talking animals? The dog dies? What else?) Posted Activity:
Long-winded talk about 5 tropes -- see main post
11/19/2018
Task 3 The International Day for Tolerance is a holiday declared by an international organization (UNESCO). Create a charter (humorous, serious, whatever strikes your fancy) for an international organization of readers. -- Going to SKIP this one -- XX
Task 4 UNESCO is based in Paris. Paris is known for its pastries and its breads: Either find a baker that specializes in pastries and bring home an assortment for your family, or make your own pastries using real butter and share a photo with us. Posted Activity:
French Macaroons!!
11/19/2018

 


 

Door 7:  TBA (TBA)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book TBA Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 8:  TBA (TBA)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book TBA Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 9:  TBA (TBA)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book TBA Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 18:  Winter Solstice / Yuletide (December 21)
Total Points Earned:  1

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any book that takes place in December; OR with ice or snow on the cover; OR that revolves around the (summer or winter) equinox; OR a collection of poetry by Hafez Read:
'Midnight Exposure' by Melinda Leigh
11/17/2018
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 19:  Festivus (December 23)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any comedy, parody, or satire Possible Reads:
TBA
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 20:  Christmas (December 25)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read any Christmas book. Planned Read:
'How the Dukes Stole Christmas' anthology
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 21:  Kwanzaa (December 26 - January 1)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book set in Africa or the Caribbean; OR by an African, Caribbean, or African-American author; OR a book with a green, red, or black cover. Possible Reads:
-- 'Tower of Thorns' by Juliet Marillier
-- 'Den of Wolves' by Juliet Marillier
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book about endings, new starts, or books where things go BOOM! Read:
'The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs' by Steve Brusatte
11/06/2018
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 23:  Hogswatch (December 32)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read anything by Terry Pratchett Planned Read:
'The Light Fantastic' by Terry Pratchett
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 


 

Door 24:  Epiphany (January 6)
Total Points Earned:  0

 

Task My Activity /
Link to Post
Date
Completed
Book Read a book with three main characters; OR a book about traveling on a journey to a faraway place; OR a book that's part of a trilogy; OR with a star on the cover; OR with the word "twelve" or "night" in the title; OR concerning kings or spices Possible Read:
'Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier
TBA
Task 1 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 2 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 3 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA
Task 4 TBA Possible Activities:
TBA
TBA

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/11/24-festive-tasks-update-2.html
24 Festive Tasks | Door 6: International Day for Tolerance 2018

 

 

(November 16)

 

 

Updates


11/19/18:  Completed Tasks 1, 2, and 4.  Will probably skip Task 3.  Still pending on Book Task.

 

 

Task 1


Find some redeeming quality in the book you liked least this year and post about it.
-- COMPLETED 11/19/2018  --

I create a list of books each year, ranking them from most liked and least liked, a lot of times based on star rating.  There have been years where the ranking of the book on my list doesn't necessarily match the star rating as compared to other books on the list.

This year, the list has been fairly straight forward, for whatever reason--probably because I've stuck more with a star rating system wherein the book gets stars more based on whether I liked it or not, rather than factoring in whether or not the book actually deserved a specific star rating, regardless of my like for it.

Anyway, at the bottom of the list right now is a novella by Courtney Milan, This Wicked Gift.  When I saw Milan's name at the bottom, I was thinking, "How on earth did she end up at the very bottom of my book rankings list?"  But it only took a few milliseconds to recall that it was really because of the premise of the romance that made the book all sorts of wrong for me.


Yes, apparently even a beloved author can really cross that line.  Here's a link to my combined series review with This Wicked Gift at the end of the post: Series Review: Carhart

And so, moving on to the one redeeming quality of this book:  It was written by Courtney Milan and in spite of the terrible romantic premise, it was actually written well.

I don't know why this quality makes it any better, because if anything it should make it worse, considering all the thought-provoking subjects she brings up in her other historical romances.  Knowing that she's aware and brings to surface women's issues in her historicals makes it confusing as to why she wrote This Wicked Gift the way she did.  I still can't wrap my mind around it, unless I just misunderstood the story altogether.

But I DO really like Milan, and I know she can write very well.  Any other author, I probably would have already dropped, but because it's Milan, I'm willing to overlook this novella as a random fluke on her part.  This was one of her earlier works after all.

 

 

Task 2


Tell us: What are the tropes (up to 5) that you are not willing to live with in any book (i.e., which are absolutely beyond your capacity for tolerance) and which make that book an automatic DNF for you?  (Insta-love?  Love triangles?  First person present narrative voice?  Talking animals?  The dog dies?  What else?)
-- COMPLETED 11/19/2018 --

I have a surprisingly high tolerance when it comes to books considering how impatient I usually am.  I think it might be my stubborn, unwillingness to drop a book if I've already invested a lot of time into it.  And when I say a lot of time, I usually mean more than 20% of the book, which is usually at about the time I decide whether or not I'm liking it--a quite useless percentage since by then, I'm holding out a naive hope that the book will get better.

So I'm just going to list the tropes or plot devices in a book that really, really will skew the book's star rating towards the negative.  And since I'm hugely a romance reader, most of these will be romance tropes I dislike.


1.  Woman has to choose between her career and an established lifestyle versus romance, love, and family.  I'm sort of stealing this one from Obsidian Blue, because it is definitely a trope in a lot of stories, movies, and television series that rankles.  It's also a real life issue, too, but we won't get into that.  I hate how it's implied that women have to choose between one or the other, and can't have both, when no one ever questions whether or not a man can handle a career and romance.  But in a lot of books I usually steer clear of, there's always this issue disguised behind a woman's life journey and revelations.

To quote OB's comment, "because they imply she’ll die alone and unloved if she doesn’t decide to give it all up for the guy she just met."


2.  Love Triangles.  I can't stand love triangles.  Rarely they are handled well.  And having been exposed to many love triangles (as well as other many pointed love polygons) in YA (and K-drama), I quickly got tired of the genre.  I feel like they often serve no purpose either.  If anyone can prove me wrong, give it a go.


3.  Perfect People--the Mary Sues, Gary Stus, and Speshul Snowflakes of fiction.  Because in real life, nobody is perfect, so I don't expect them to be perfect in fiction either.  No one is loved by everyone.  Even the sweetest person you know has his or her flaws that drive you crazy.  Because we are all human and humans are prone to make mistakes.  So when an author deliberately makes his or her main character a special snowflake, or a Mr. Perfect, or a Ms. Perfect, I can get pretty frustrated.  I find myself rolling my eyes whenever a special character walks into the room and the atmosphere suddenly changes to ethereal glows and serene stillness and everyone is suddenly all happy and so on, so forth.  Or when the perfect character finally makes a mistake, but it still ends up being a good thing without negative repercussions.


4.  TSTL Characters.  Most commonly in romances, the female is typically the TSTL, but let it be known that men can come across as TSTL as well--I've read my share of those.  It's just easier to assign TSTL to women because society has taught us that there are some things that it's stupid for a woman to do, even if a man could do the exact same thing and simply be labeled "brave" or "a hero" for doing.  I don't like these double standards, so I often assign TSTL based on circumstances.

For instance, if a person needs protection in terms of a bodyguard or a security firm, whether that person is a man or a woman, if said person neglects or ignores the professional skills and advice of the professional security expert assigned to protect said person, then that person is stepping into TSTL territory.  Most irredeemable is when that person ends up getting, not only him or herself hurt, but puts others' lives in danger because of those stupid actions.

Again, this does not matter if you're a man or a woman.  If you knowingly put your life in danger when you are aware there are other choices, but you're too stubborn to acknowledge said other choices, you've walked into TSTL territory.


5.  Double Standards.  Following on the tails of my 'TSTL' trope above, I had also mentioned double standards, with a brief example.  When a woman rushes into a dangerous scene unarmed, or neglects professional security to prove how strong she is, she is labeled TSTL--rightly so.  But when a man does the same exact thing, it's written off as the instincts of a man, and people will call him "brave" or "crazy hero" or some other such more positive context of names.  It's not fair, because men can bleed and die just as women can.

In a certain instance of books I've read, the men will also usually play caveman and refuse to let a woman walk into a dangerous situation, even though the woman is the armed law enforcement officer who has been trained for these situations, and he is not.  She could have the situation planned to the last detail with her team of other law enforcement officers, and people will still think she's putting herself into danger for no reason.  But when you flip the situation around, no one ever questions a man's somehow superhuman ability to not die in the line of fire when put in the same situation.

Or, for a more common double standard, a woman is usually considered a trollop or a slut if she has multiple sex partners... or even when she just has multiple, platonic guy friends.  But if a man sleeps around, he's usually cheered on by other men, and is said to just be "playing the field" or other such bullshit.  Or there have been instances where a woman is considered dirty, or unfit for marriage if she's not a virgin, but no such damning traits are placed on a man, even if he's slept with half the city.

The above example also seems to work vice-versa as well, since I've also come into instances where it's okay for a woman to have a guy friend who is platonic, but gets all tied in knots when her boyfriend or significant other even talks to another woman.  It's a really sad human trait, apparently, for both sexes to play the double standard cards.

In real life, I have a friend who bristles when people make fun of her penchant for jeans, hoodie, and all things John Deere; but in contrast, she doesn't keep from expressing her complete believe that men should never wear pinks or reds or any soft pastel colors, or carry any kind of bag, because "men shouldn't do that."  le sigh...

I read a lot of Romantic Suspense, so a lot of these tropes have to do with dangerous situations and romances.  But these situations obviously can take place in any number of books, against both sexes, or even based on circumstance between people of different social standing or ethnicity.  In some cases this is a trope that is handled well, and awareness is brought about, but in other cases, it just lingers in the background and no one ever even points out that this, indeed a double standard.

On a separate note, I've got a nice review of a Jill Shalvis book wherein there's a bit of a Double Standard trope that bugged the crap out of me so, so much:  Once in a Million by Jill Shalvis.  If anyone is interested that is.


Okay... I got a little long-winded there.  Apologies for that.

 

 

Task 3


The International Day for Tolerance is a holiday declared by an international organization (UNESCO).  Create a charter (humorous, serious, whatever strikes your fancy) for an international organization of readers.
-- SKIP --

I don't feel creative enough to create a charter of any kind, so this one will most likely be a pass.

 

 

Task 4


UNESCO is based in Paris.  Paris is known for its pastries and its breads: Either find a baker that specializes in pastries and bring home an assortment for your family, or make your own pastries using real butter and share a photo with us.
-- COMPLETED 11/19/2018 --

I thought about going to the bakery, but realized that I DID have a photo of some of my favorite pastries: French Macaroons.

 


My BFF and I went out for some sweets at the beginning of the month, and I took some pictures of my spoils, mainly because aside from reading books, I love food and taking pictures of food and drink that look especially pretty.

I got myself a nice combination of a dozen French Macaroons along with my Mayan Hot Chocolate.  And yes, I DID bring them home to my family... even if I ended up eating the majority of them, but it's the thought that counts, right?

Technically, Cocoa Dolce is more of an artisan chocolatier and coffee lounge than a bakery.  However, their menu boasts a lot of baked goods (with lots of chocolate!), alongside their gourmet coffees and artisan chocolates.

I could always use another trip to the bakery in town though, so if this doesn't really count as completion of the task, I can update it another time with a more task appropriate activity.

 

 

Book Task


Read any fiction/non-fiction about tolerance or a book that’s outside your normal comfort zone.   (Tolerance can encompass anything you generally struggle with, be it sentient or not.) OR Read a book set in Paris.
-- SEARCHING --

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/11/24-festive-tasks-door-6-international.html

currently reading

Progress: 204/910minutes
Progress: 43/291pages
Midnight Sacrifice - Melinda Leigh