24 Festive Tasks: Door 13 – Advent: Task 2

I don’t know if I have one particular favorite holiday tradition, but one of my favorite moments occurs on Christmas Eve, when we walk through the silent, festively-decorated night-time streets of our neighborhood on our way to church.  I am not a hugely religious person, but it’s not Christmas for me before I haven’t heard the story from St. Luke’s gospel, chapter 2, retold to me and sung the associated Christmas carols in church — and I love that contemplative walk, and finally having time to duly appreciate the love and creativity that some people put into their holiday decorations.  This year, alas, my mom wasn’t able to walk all the way (in fact, the way things are looking, those days may be over once and for all), so I only got to take my walk belatedly and after, alas, some of the decorations had already been removed again.  However, there was still plenty of loving care to admire and enjoy (including in the windows of some of our neighborhood’s tiny shops):

 

(Task: Tell us: What is your favorite holiday tradition?)

 

Original post:
ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/2023367/24-festive-tasks-door-13-advent-task-2

24 Festive Tasks: Door 1 – Día de los Muertos / All Saints’ Day: Task 2 AND Door 13 – Advent: Task 3

Sunday late lunch / early dinner:

 


Chili con carne

… and …

a bowl of one of my favorite kinds of fruit, pineapples:

 

(Door 1, Task 2: If you like Mexican food, treat yourself to a favorite dish – and / or make yourself a margarita – and share a photo.

Door 13, Task3: Prepare an apple cider wassail bowl or a wassail bowl containing your favorite drink or fruit.  Post a picture and enjoy!)

Original post:
ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/2022470/24-festive-tasks-door-1-dia-de-los-muertos-all-saints-day-task-2-and-door-13-advent-task-3

Louise Penny: Still Life

24 Festive Tasks: Door 13 – Advent: Book


Turns out I already read my book for this square!

On a related note, color me somewhat less impressed than I expected to be — this is yet another insanely popular series that, as it turns out, I won’t be rushing to continue.  There’s some really good and insightful writing in the later parts of the book, but the beginning is dominated by cliché and long too-cutesy-to-be-true passages strongly reminiscent of the worst of cozy mystery writing, and equally as importantly, with the exception of Gamache himself (and one or two of the villagers), I found few characters I really cared about … or could even be bothered to like and root for.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(Task: Read a pastiche, a book authorized by a deceased author’s estate, the 4th book in a series, a book with the word “four” in the title, a book featuring four siblings, or a book with a wreath, pines or fir trees on the cover.)

 

 

Original post:
ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/2003008/24-festive-tasks-door-13-advent-book

24 Festive Tasks: Door 13 – Advent

Reblogged from: Murder by Death

17
3 - Melbourne Cup Day
21
9 - World Philosophy Day
12 - St. Andrew's Day
24
22
15
1 - dia de los Muertos
13 - Advent
18
6 - Veterans / Armistice Day
5 - Bon Om Touk
14
7 - International Day for Tolerance
20
11 - Thanksgiving
23
10 - Russian Mothers' Day
2 - Japanese Culture Day
19
16
8 - International Children’s Day
4 - Guy Fawkes Night

It’s the official kick-off to the Christmas season, whether from a religious or secular standpoint – only 25 days until Christmas!

 
Advent
Door 13:  Advent
 
Task 1:  Share a picture of your advent calendar.
 
Task 2: Tell us: What is your favorite holiday tradition?
 
Task 3: Prepare an apple cider wassail bowl or a wassail bowl containing your favorite drink or fruit. Post a picture and enjoy!
 
Task 4: Tell us about an event in the immediate or near future that you’re looking forward to.
 
Book: Read a pastiche, a book authorized by a deceased author’s estate, the 4th book in a series, a book with the word “four” in the title, a book featuring four siblings, or a book with a wreath, pines or fir trees on the cover.
 

SPACE
NEW: Once you’ve completed a task or tasks, please use the handy form, located in the spoiler tags (to keep things tidy) to let us know. This will make tracking points MUCH easier for the 24 Tasks Team.
[spoiler]

* Required
 

Blog Name: *

 
Festive Task Door Completed: *
Choose
Dia de los Muertos
Japanese Culture Day
Melbourne Cup Day
Guy Fawkes Night
Bon Om Touk (Korean Water & Moon Festival)
Veterans / Armistice Day
International Day for Tolerance
International Children’s Day
World Philosophy Day
Russian Mothers’ Day
Thanksgiving
St. Andrew’s Day
Advent
Winter Solstice
Hanukkah
Festivus
Christmas
Kwanzaa
New Year’s Eve / St. Sylvester’s Day
Hogswatch
Twelfth Night / Epiphany

 
I’ve completed the following task for this holiday: *
Choose
1
2
3
4
Book
BONUS TASK

 
Have you completed some of the tasks for this holiday already? *
Choose
Yes
No

 
If you have completed tasks previously, which ones? * (Required if answered yes to the previous question.)
Book
T1
T2
T3
T4
BONUS
 
(Optional) Link to your blog post:

space
[/spoiler]
 
Previous door’s tasks are “beneath the fold”

 

Previous Doors’ Tasks and Books

 

 
Dia de los Muertos
Door 1:  Dia de Los Muertos
 
Task 1: Compose a limerick or short poem in honor of a favorite book character.
 
Task 2:  If you like Mexican food, treat yourself to a favorite dish – and / or make yourself a margarita – and share a photo.
 
Task 3: Write an epitaph for the book you most disliked this year.
 
Task 4: Do you have any traditions or mementos of happy memories of a loved one that you feel like sharing?
 
Book: Reread a favorite book by a deceased author or from a finished series, or read a book set in Mexico or a book that either has a primarily black and white cover or all the colors (ROYGBIV) on the cover, or a book featuring zombies.
 

 

 
Japanese Culture Day
Door 2:  Japanese Culture Day
 
Task 1: Tell us about a cultural festival or event in the area where you live.
 
Task 2: Try a flavor of Kit Kat other than chocolate and report back if you liked it.
 
Task 3: Try your hand at folding a paper crane. Instructions: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-Paper-Crane-1/
 
Task 4: If you like Japanese food, treat yourself to a favorite dish.
 
Book: Read a graphic novel or a book set in a school or academic setting.
 

 

 
Melbourne Cup Day
Door 3:  Melbourne Cup Day
 
Task 1: Pick your ponies.*
 
Task 2: Roses are the official flower of Flemington Race Track; write your own “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue” poem for one of your favorite or most hated books of all time.
 
Task 3: Aussies shorten everything, so Melbourne Cup Day is just called “Cup Day” – post a picture of your favorite cup or mug for your daily fix of coffee, tea or chocolate.
 
Task 4: Prepare your favorite dessert – in a cup! Post a photo of it for us to enjoy vicariously.
 
Book: Read a book about horses, with a horse or with roses on the cover, about gardening, or set in Australia, or written by an Australian author.
 
* Ponies (horses) running the race will be posted here by Darth Pedant, guest hosting for MurderByDeath, as soon as they’re announced, or thereabouts. The official field is published on November 3rd.

 

 
Guy Fawkes Night
Door 4:  Guy Fawkes Night
 
Task 1: Make a list of the top 3 treasonous crimes against books that an author can commit.
 
Task 2: Start a revolution: What one thing would you change about the book reading world? (Be it publishing, distribution, editing, cover art, bookstores – anything having to do with books.)
 
Task 3: Make a little straw (or wood / cloth / wool / fabric) effigy of the book character you like least.
 
Task 4:

How do you order the books on your shelves?
 
Book: Read a book set in the UK, a political thriller, a book involving any monarchy or revolution, a book about arson or related to fires and burning, a book whose plot involves costumes / fancy dress, or that has masks on the cover, or that is self-published.
 

 

 
Bon Om Touk
Door 5:  Bon Om Touk
 
Task 1: List / tell us about your favorite rainy day reads.
 
Task 2: String up some fairy lights around your books / bookcase / kindle and share a picture of the results.
 
Task 3: Dragons and dragon-like serpents (imugi) are important to Korean mythology (as they are to that of other Asian peoples). So – which are your favorite literary dragons (fictional, mythological, whatever)?
 
Task 4:The South Korean flag features images of ying / yang (the blue and red circle in the center) and four sets of three black lines each representing heaven, sun, moon and earth and, in turn, the virtues humanity, justice, intelligence and courtesy. Compile a list or stack – 4 books minimum – composed of books that either have opposing words in their titles (e.g., war / peace; asleep / awake – not necessarily both words in the same title), or that feature the words “heaven,” “sun,” “moon,” “earth,” “humanity,” “justice,” intelligence,” and / or “courtesy.”
 
Book: Read a book by a Korean author or set in Korea, that takes place at sea or on a river, where the plot involves a festival, where the moon or rain plays a pivotal role in the plot, or with rain, water or the moon on the cover.
 

 

 
Veterans / Armistice Day
Door 6:  Veterans / Armistice Day
 
Task 1: Sunrise services are a staple of this day: Take a picture of the sunrise where you live and share it with us.
 
Task 2: In keeping with the minute of silence, tell us about the authors who have passed this year that you will miss the most.
 
Task 3: Rosemary is for remembrance, but it’s great for chasing away moths, silverfish and other bugs that can damage books (and linens). Make a sachet with some rosemary, lavender, dried basil, etc. to keep on your bookshelves – post a picture of the results and let us know what combinations of herbs you used. A list of possibilities can be found here: https://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/12-plants-that-repel-unwanted-insects
 
Task 4:The Forest of Compiègne, just outside Compiègne, France, is the site of the signing of the 1918 Armistice. It was also the site of the signing by the French of a truce with the Germans following the German invasion in 1940. – Find a green space in your local area (or favorite area) and go for a walk or bike ride of a mile (or 1.61 km) and post a picture or screenshot of the map of where you walked / biked.
 
Book: Read a book involving a war, battle, or where characters are active military or veterans, or with poppies on the cover, or honor the ‘unknown soldier’ of your TBR and read the book that’s been there the longest.
 

 

 
International Day for Tolerance
Door 7:  International Day for Tolerance
 
Task 1: Find a redeeming quality in a book you read this year and didn’t like.
 
Task 2: Share a story about yourself, or a story about your family that’s survived the generations, or share a particular tradition your family has passed on from generation to generation and if there’s a story behind why, tell us about it.
 
Task 3: The French expression for tolerance towards others is “laisser faire, laisser aller” (roughly: “let them do as they want, let it go”). Have you ever “let go” a book (e.g., given it away or decided not to yield to the temptation to buy it) and later regretted that choice?
 
Task 4:If you were offered an all-expenses-paid trip to one (one only!) of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, which one would you pick (and why)?
 
Book: Read a book about tolerance, or outside your comfort zone, or set in Paris (seat of UNESCO).
 

 

 
International Children’s Day
Door 8:  International Children’s Day
 
Task 1:  What was your favorite children’s book growing up? Your favorite middle grade book?
 
Task 2: Rediscover your childhood with a yo-yo, a slinky, – whatever toy you loved from childhood you still have access to, or make and blow some bubbles! Take a picture and share your fun with the rest of us.
 
Task 3: Make some art – draw a picture, or color one in and share the results with us. Free printable bookmarks can be found on Google images
 
Task 4: As a kid, did you enjoy visiting amusement parks and carnivals? Which were your favorite rides or shows? Do you still have any photos, or is there a memorable event you’re happy to share? – Alternatively, if you’re a parent now: Do you visit amusement parks / carnivals with your kids?
 
Book: Read a children’s or YA book or a book where children or teenagers play a significant role, or written by an author who was under the age of 18 at the time of publication.
 

 

 
World Philosophy Day
Door 9:  World Philosophy Day
 
Task 1:  Share your reading philosophy with us – do you DNF? If so, do you have a page minimum to read before you declare it a DNF?
 
Task 2: Share your reviewing philosophy with us – how do you rate a book? Do you have a mental template for reviewing? Rules you try to follow, or rules you try to break?
 
Task 3: How do you stay zen / sane over the holidays or in other stressful periods?
 
Task 4: Did you love or hate the books you had to read for school? Looking back, which ones (good or bad) stand out to you the most?
 
Book: Read a book about philosophy or a philosopher, or a how-to book about changing your life in a significant way or suggesting a particular lifestyle (Hygge, Marie Kobo, etc.).
 

 

 
Russian Mothers' Day
Door 10:  Russian Mothers’ Day
 
Task 1:  “Three Russian writers walk into a bar …” (Take it from here – the wilder the merrier!)
 
Task 2: Towards the end of the 17th century, there was a Russian apprentice carpenter and shipwright going by the name Peter Mikhailov in the Dutch town of Zaandam (and later in Amsterdam), who eventually turned out to be none other than Tsar Peter the Great, whose great interest in the craft would become pivotal to his programs for the build-up of the Russian navy and naval commerce.
So: Tell us about a favorite book, either nonfiction history (demonstrably true facts, please, no conspiracy theories or unproven conjecture) or fiction – all genres, not limited to historical fiction –, dealing with a member of royalty “moonlighting” as a commoner.
 
Task 3: Until WWII, the most famous part of the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoye Selo near St. Petersburg was the so-called amber room. It was looted, lock stock and barrel, by the Nazis, and has since vanished from the face of the earth, with its fate a complete mystery to the present day. Let your imagination run wild: What do you think may have happened to it? (Kidnapped by aliens? Spirited away by dwarves and hidden in a secret cavern deep below the face of the earth? Sold, piece by piece, to finance … what? The Nazi war effort? The restoration of the Romanovs to the throne of Russia? Stalin’s pogroms? What else?) Don’t hold back, we’d love to know!
 
Task 4: Forget-me-nots and handmade medals of honor are important Russian Mothers’ Day gifts. Create a medal of honor (with or without the image of a forget-me-not) for a favorite book character or for a family member or friend of yours that you’d like to pay respect to.
 
Book: Read a book set in Russia, by a Russian author, featuring a story within a story (like a Russian “matryoshka” doll), or featuring a character who is a mother.
 

 

 
Thanksgiving
Door 11:  Thanksgiving Day
 
Task 1:  If you have kids or pets, tell us about something “bad” they did that was so funny you couldn’t help but forgive (“pardon”) them. If you have neither kids nor pets, was there such an event in your own childhood – or with kids or pets in your family or circle of friends?
 
Task 2: Tell us: Of the books that you read this year, which are you most thankful for, OR was there one that turned out to be full of “stuffing”? Alternatively, which (one) book that you read anytime at all changed your life for the better?”
 
Task 3: Share your favorite turkey or pie recipe.
 
Task 4: Send a friend you’re thankful for having a postcard (in the mail!). Snap a picture of the postcard image (not the message) and share it with us.
 
Book: Read a book with an autumnal cover, set in New England, where a turkey shows up in the story, with a turkey or pumpkin on the cover, or with the theme of coming together to help a community or family in need.
 

 

 
St. Andrew's Day
Door 12:  St. Andrew’s Day
 
Task 1:  Tell us: Who is your favorite Scottish (or Scots-born / -descendant) writer?
 
Task 2: Ian Rankin likes to say that the Scottish national diet is sugar, fat and alcohol. The traditional Scottish dessert – Raspberry Cranachan – contains all three of these (and of course the alcohol in it is the national drink, whisky), but it’s also delicious! So … make Raspberry Cranachan: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/2852/raspberry-cranachan.aspx (For a non-alcoholic version just omit the whisky – or substitute with orange juice.)
 
Task 3: St. Andrew was a fisherman by trade: Which book(s) from your TBR that you read this year turned out to be the year’s greatest “catch”?
 
Task 4: If you could create your personal tartan, what would it look like? Or if you have a favorite existing tartan, which one is it?
 
Book: Read a book set in Scotland.
 

Original post:
ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/2003003/24-festive-tasks-door-13-advent

24 Festive Tasks: Door 13 – Advent, Task 2 (Holiday Traditions)

I don’t actually have one single favorite holiday tradition — to me the holidays are pretty much a multi-faceted package, and each one of the components is equally important; everything from Christmas decorations (even if I haven’t put up any this year — but at least my mom did), candles, and Christmas cookies to the way we traditionally spend Christmas Eve (church, gift giving, sausages and potato salad for dinner, and nonstop favorite holiday movies after that) and taking time to relax and unwind on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.  I’ve come to realize over the years that being at home for Christmas really matters to me as well — I’ve had some nice Christmases elsewhere, too, but none has even come close to the extra element of comfort and relaxation that doing “all the old familiar things” at home seems to provide.

 

Original post:
ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/1823709/24-festive-tasks-door-13-advent-task-2-holiday-traditions

24 Festive Tasks: Door 13 – Advent, Task 3; and Door 24 – Epiphany, Task 4 (Wassail Bowl and Favorite Spicy Drink)

Nothing like a bowl of chai latte with freshly ground spices on a winter day …

… chased with a banana, cherry and chocolate smoothie in a matching festive cup (closest thing I have to what just might pass for a wassail bowl) — admittely store bought, but seriously, can you resist this sort of label?

Original post:
ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/1820101/24-festive-tasks-door-13-advent-task-3-and-door-24-epiphany-task-4-wassail-bowl-and-favorite-spicy-drink

Neil Gaiman & Jouni Koponen: A Study in Emerald

24 Festive Tasks: Door 13 – Advent, Book Short Story

Shout-out to Arbie and Moonlight, who mentioned this elsewhere, with Moonlight sharing the link to the free copy available on Neil Gaiman’s website.  Thank you both!

Also a huge shout-out to the story’s illustrator, Jouni Koponen, who created a Victorian newspaper / tabloid / penny dreadful look, complete with a set of cleverly done, frankly hilarious period style mock advertisements (which are actually the best part of the whole thing).

Gaiman likes to spin literature classics from other genres (notably mysteries) through the Cthulhu myth; I imagine the temptation to give Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes canon the Lovecraft treatment was irresistible.  That said, in-jokes and allusions to Conan Doyle abound in text, structure, plot and characters alike; all the way to the solution, which is patterned on that of one of Holmes’s most famous cases. — I’ll never like any pastiche anywhere near as much as the original, but as Holmes pastiches go, this one is well done; true enough to the original not to come across as disrespectful or mocking and at the same time with enough of a spin to make it clear that this cannot possibly be anything other than a pastiche.  From what little I know of the Cthulhu myth, I would hope that Lovecraft readers would say the same.

This came just in time for the Advent square in 24 Festive Tasks, so I’ll claim it as my read for that square.

 

 

Original post:
ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/1813978/24-festive-tasks-door-13-advent-book-or-short-story-actually

Martin Edwards (ed.) & Various Authors: Silent Nights (BLCC)

16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 5 – Advent

Golden Age Christmas Vignettes


Book themes for Advent: Read a book with a wreath or with pines or fir trees on the cover

Silent Nights is the first of (at this point) two Christmas mystery short story anthologies in the British Library’s “Crime Classics” series, edited by Martin Edwards. The anthology combines stories by well-known and -remembered authors (e.g., Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Wallace, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Margery Allingham) with stories by authors who, even if they may have been household names in their own time — and many were members of the illustrious Detection Club — have since been rolled over by the wheels of time; not always deservedly so.

The standout story in the collection is doubtlessly Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Blue Carbuncle (one of my all-time favorite Sherlock Holmes adventures that shows both ACD and his protagonists Holmes and Watson at their absolute best), but I enjoyed almost all of the stories — in varying degrees, and not all of them were apt to make me want to go on reading an entire novel by the same author, but several did; and thus, I am glad that I have extended my “Detection Club / Golden Age crime fiction quest” to the likes of J. Jefferson Farjeon, Ethel Lina White, Edmud Crispin, Leo Bruce, and Nicholas Blake (better known as Cecil Day-Lewis, poet laureate and father of actor Daniel Day-Lewis).

 

Original post:
ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/1623877/16-tasks-of-the-festive-season-square-5-advent-golden-age-christmas-vignettes

16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Fifth Square – Advent (December 3 and following three Sundays)

This, again, may be the “16 Festive Tasks” equivalent to carrying coals to Newcastle, but anyway …:

Advent is a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.  The term is a version of the Latin word meaning “coming”.  Advent is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on the fourth Sunday before Christmas (sometimes known as Advent Sunday), the Sunday nearest to St. Andrew’s Day (November 30), in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church and, inter alia, in the Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian and Methodist calendars. – Practices associated with Advent include keeping an Advent calendar, lighting an Advent wreath, praying an Advent daily devotional, as well as other ways of preparing for Christmas, such as setting up Christmas decorations.

As Advent involves four Sundays, we’ve assigned one square to this period, with the four Sundays (and four candles on the Advent wreath) corresponding with four sets of tasks.

The Reading Tasks:

Read

(1) a book with a wreath or with pines or fir trees on the cover; or

(2) the 4th book from a favorite series, or a book featuring 4 siblings, or a book involving a countdown to something.

–OR–

Other Tasks:

(1) Post a picture of your advent calendar, if you have one.  (Festive cat, dog, hamster or other suitable pet background expressly encouraged.)

(2) Tell us: What in the immediate or near future are you most looking forward to?  (This can be a book release, or a tech gadget, or an event … whatever you next expect to make you really happy.)

Bonus task: make your own advent calendar and post it. 

 

Original post:
ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/1622108/16-tasks-of-the-festive-season-fifth-square-advent-december-3-and-following-three-sundays