Thanks to Moonlight Reader and Obsidian Blue for hosting yet another great game … this looks like so much fun (again)! — I’m probably going to try pairing activities and reads whenever possible, so I’m going to include all the activities in my list below, too, in addition to my reading choices:
Task the First: The Winter Wonderland:
– Reading: A book that is set in a snowy place: Dylan Thomas – A Child’s Christmas in Wales (audio version, read by the author himself)
– Activity: Take a walk outside and post a picture of something pretty you encountered on your way.
Task the Second: The Silent Nights:
– Reading: A book set in one of the Nordic countries: Rose Tremain – Music and Silence, Kurt Aust – Das jüngste Gericht (The Last Judgment), or Åke Edwardson – Frozen Tracks
– Activity: Hygge: Put on your fuzziest socks, light a candle, and spend some time (reading) in front of the fireplace or your coziest nook. Post a picture if you want.
Task the Third: The Holiday Party:
– Reading: A book where a celebration is a big part of the action: Rex Stout – And Four to Go
– Activity: Make something that is considered party food where you are from, and post a picture of it on Booklikes.
Task the Fourth: The Gift Card:
– Reading: A book that you either received as a gift or have given as a gift: Since my recent birthday presents were almost all books, something from my birthday haul — most likely either Ilija Trojanow – Der Weltensammler (The Collector of Worlds), Edwidge Danticat – Claire of the Sea Light, Jim Butcher – The Aeronaut’s Windlass, Val McDermid – Splinter the Silence, Michael Connelly – The Crossing or Ian Rankin – Even Dogs in the Wild … all of these are books I’d been planning to read sometime soon anyway. I may also be using some of these for other tasks, though (see, e.g., “Kwanzaa” and “Hanukkah”).
– Activity: Give a book to a friend and post a picture of the wrapped present.
Task the Fifth: The Kwanzaa:
– Reading: A book written by an African-American author or set in an African country: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Half of a Yellow Sun, or possibly Ilija Trojanow – Der Weltensammler (The Collector of Worlds) (see also “gift card”).
– Activity: Make a donation to a charitable organization that operates in Africa.
Task the Sixth: The Hanukkah:
– Reading: Let the dreidel choose a book for you (note: I’m going to spin the dreidel when I’m actually getting ready to do this task):
נ Nun (miracle): Christopher Paolini – Eldest (audio version read by Kerry Shale)
ג Gimel (great): Arthur Conan Doyle – The Valley of Fear (audio version read by Simon Vance)
ה He (happened): Ian Rankin – Even Dogs in the Wild (see also “gift card”)
ש Shin (there, i.e. Israel): J.R.R. Tolkien – Letters From Father Christmas
– Activity: Make a traditional Hanukkah food like doughnuts or potato latkes. Post a picture, or tell us how they turned out.
Task the Seventh: The Christmas:
– Reading: A book set during the Christmas holiday season: Donna Andrews – The Nightingale Before Christmas
– Activity: Set up a Christmas bookstagram-style scene with favorite holiday reads, objects or decorations. Possibly also a cat.
Task the Eighth: The Movie Ticket:
– Reading: A book that has been adapted to a holiday movie: Frances Hodgson Burnett – Little Lord Fauntleroy (The screen adaptation starring Alec Guinness and Ricky Schroder is one of the Christmas staples on German TV.)
– Activity: Go see a new theater release this holiday season (this does not have to be a holiday movie).
Task the Ninth: The Happy New Year:
– Reading: (A coming of age novel or) any old favorite comfort read: Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol (audio version performed by Patrick Stewart)
– Activity: Post a holiday picture of yourself from your childhood or youth.
Task the Tenth: The Holiday Down Under:
– Reading: A book set in Australia or by an Australian author (or a book you would consider a “beach read”): Thomas Keneally – Office of Innocence, Kerry Greenwood – Miss Phryne Fisher Investigates, or Peter Temple – Bad Debts
– Activity: Buy some Christmas crackers (or make your own) to add to your festivities and share some pictures.
Task the Eleventh: The Polar Express:
– Reading: A book that involves train travel: Martha Grimes – The Train Now Departing, or Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express or The Mystery of the Blue Train
– Activity: Read a classic holiday book from your childhood, or tell a story about a childhood Christmas you’d like to share.
Task the Twelfth: The Wassail Bowl:
– Reading: A book set in the UK, preferably during the medieval or Victorian periods: Mary Stewart – The Crystal Cave
– Activity: Drink a festive, holiday beverage; take a picture of your drink, and post it to share – make it as festive as possible.