Stratford-upon-Avon, Oxford, and London: Shakespeare, Hogwarts, and Shopping

Shakespeare's Gardens - Andrew Lawson, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Jackie Bennett Shakespeare and the Stuff of Life: Treasures from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust - Tara Hamling, Delia Garratt Hamlet: Globe to Globe - Dominic Dromgoole Year of the Fat Knight: The Falstaff Diaries - Antony Sher The Lives of Tudor Women - Elizabeth Norton The Gap of Time - Jeanette Winterson Vinegar Girl - Anne Tyler And Furthermore - Judi Dench Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind - Yuval Noah Harari The Wrong Side of Goodbye - Michael Connelly

Stratford

A Scene at the RSC Book and Gift Shop

The date: June 17, 2017. The time: Approximately 10:00AM.

TA and friend enter; TA asks for a shopping basket and makes straight for the shelves and display cases. An indeterminate amount of time is then spent browsing. Whenever her friend points out something and asks “Did you see this?”, TA silently points to the steadily growing contents of her basket.  Finally, with a sigh, TA makes for the cashier.

Shop assistant: I can see why you asked for a basket when you came in … So, do you come here often?
TA: I try to make it every 2 or 3 years.  [With a sheepish grin:]  And yes, my shopping basket does look like that pretty much every single time, I’m afraid.
TA’s friend: I can confirm that …
TA: Yeah, she’s seen my library at home.
TA’s friend: Err, I can confirm the shopping sprees as well.
Shop assistant (ringing up and bagging one item after another): Well, enjoy your, um, reading …!

Similar scenes, albeit minus the above dialogue were repeated at two of the book & gift stores of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Henley Street (WS birthplace) and Hall’s Croft (home of his daughter Judith and her husband, Dr. John Hall, a physician) — where we actually did spend a fair amount of time talking to the museum assistants, too, though, about everything from visiting Shakekspearean sites to Wimbledon tennis.

That being said, we “of course” paid our (well, my) hommage to the Bard, from Trinity Church to the two above-mentioned Shakespeare family houses (return visits all to me, though Hall’s Croft was new to my friend), and just as importantly, we had tickets for two of the current “Roman plays” season productions:

(1) Antony & Cleopatra, starring Josette Simon and Anthony Byrne in the title roles, with Andrew Woodall as Enobarbus:  One of the best productions of this particular play that I’ve ever seen.  Josette Simon alone was worth the price of admission ten times over, plus she and Byrne played off each other magnificently, and Andrew Woodall was unlike any Enobarbus I’d seen before, wonderfully highlighting the ironic subtext of his character’s lines and giving him more than a hint of a laconic note.  If you’re in England and anywhere near Stratford, run and get a ticket for this production … or if you don’t make it all the way to Warwickshire, try to catch it in London when they move the production there.

(2) Julius Caesar, starring Andrew Woodall as Caesar and James Corrigan as Marc Antony.  I liked this one, too — how can any RSC production ever be bad?! — but by far not as much as Antony and Cleopatra on the night before.  Woodall was a fine Caesar, even if actually a bit too like his Enobarbus (which I might not have found quite as obvious if I hadn’t seen both plays practically back to back, on two consecutive nights), and the cast generally did a good job, but this was clearly a “look at all our up-and-coming-talent” sort of production, with almost all of the play’s lead roles given to actors who were easily 5, if not 10 or more years younger than the parts they played, which didn’t quite work for me — these people are Roman senators and generals, for crying out loud, and for the most part the requisite gravitas simply wasn’t there (yet); even if the talent clearly was.  What a contrast to the very age-appropriate and, as I said, just all around magnificent production of Antony and Cleopatra … Still, I’m by no means sorry we went to see this, and it’s obvious even now that we’ll be seeing a lot more of these actors in years to come.

We also managed to snag last-minute tickets for a “behind the scenes” tour — I’d done one in 2014 already, but was more than happy to repeat the experience!  Now I only wish our own opera and theatre company had half the resources that the RSC has at its disposal …

 
     

Photos, from top left:

1. Shakespeare’s bust, above his grave in Trinity Church
2. Shakespeare’s epitaph, on his gravestone (photo from 2014, since I didn’t get a really good one this time around. N.B., the photo is actually upside down, for somewhat greater ease of reading the inscription.)
3. Trinity Church — the graves of Shakespeare and his family are located in the part to the left of the tower.
4. River Avon, with RSC Theatre and, in the background, the spire of Trinity Church
5. RSC Theatre
6. Shakespeare’s Birthplace (Henley Street)
7.Shakespeare Birthplace Trust centre, next to the actual Henley Street Birthplace building
8. Hall’s Croft, garden view
9.New Place and Guild Chapel (photo from 2014)
10. New Place gardens, looking towards RSC and Swan Theatres (also a photo from 2014 — we didn’t make it inside New Place this time around, though we did pass by there on our way from our B&B to the RSC theatre and to Henley Street and back).

Now, since Manuel Antao elsewhere insisted on “the full list” — the grand total result of the above-mentioned shopping sprees, plus a brief supplementary foray into an airport W.H. Smith, was the following:

CDs:

* William Shakespeare: Antony & Cleopatra: Music and Speeches from the 2017 Royal Shakespeare Company Production

* William Shakespeare: Julius Caesar: Music and Speeches from the 2017 Royal Shakespeare Company Production

* William Shakespeare: King Lear: Music and Speeches from the 2016 Royal Shakespeare Company Production — which alas I had to miss, but it starred Antony Sher as Lear, whom I saw as Falstaff in 2014 … which in turn was just about all the reason I needed to get the audio version of his Lear, too.

*  William Shakespeare: The Tempest: Music and Speeches from the 2016 Royal Shakespeare Company Production — which I also had to miss, but I figured even if I was a year late … (plus, Simon Russell Beale as Prospero and directed — like the 2016 Lear — by Gregory Doran …?!)

*  William Shakespeare: King Richard III, full cast audio recording starring Kenneth Branagh — a long-time must-have from my TBR or, err, “to-be-listened-to” list.

The British Library, with Ben and David Crystal: Shakespeare’s original pronunciation: Speeches and scenes performed as Shakespeare would have heard them — there’s a video version of this on Youtube (I think Lora posted about it here a while back), and if you haven’t already seen it, I highly recommend remedying that sooner rather than later.  It gives you a whole new insight into Shakespeare’s use of language … down to lingusitic puns, allusions and images that you really only pick up on once you’ve heard what the Bard and his original audiences would have heard in the delivery of the respective lines.

Books:

*  Jackie Bennett, with photographs by Andrew Lawson: Shakespeare’s Gardens — a lavishly illustrated coffee table book-sized guide to the gardens Shakespeare knew (or might have known) both in Stratford / Warwickshire and in London, as well as on the gardens of the five Shakespeare-related houses in and around Stratford, with an introductory chapter on Tudor gardening in general.  THE find of several great finds of this trip.  (And it’s even an autographed copy … as I only discovered when I unpacked the book back home!)

*  Roy Strong: The Quest for Shakespeare’s Garden — similar to the above (though smaller in format) and a great complementary book, with plenty of historical illustrations and leading up to a focus on the New Place garden, which has painstakingly been restored in period style in recent years.

*  Delia Garratt and Tara Hamling (eds.): Shakespeare and the Stuff of Life: Treasures from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust — an illustrated guide to Shakespeare’s life and times in the style of the recently-popular “so-and-so [insert topic] in 100 objects” books, with 50 representative objects covering the key aspects of Shakespeare’s life from cradle to grave.

*  Peter Sillitoe & Maurice Hindle (ed.): Shakespearean London Theatres — what the title says, but with a handy walking map allowing the aficionado to trace not merely the locations of the various theatres but also get a sense of the areas where they were located … or at least, their respective modern incarnations.

*  Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells (eds.), with contributions by, inter alia and in addition to the editors, Graham Holderness, Charles Nicholl, Andrew Hadfield and John Jowett, and an afterword by James Shapiro: Shakespeare Beyond Doubt — a scholarly refutation of the various “alternate authorship” theories.

*  Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells (eds.), with contributions by, inter alia and in addition to the editors, Michael Wood, Graham Holderness, Germaine Greer and Andrew Hadfield, and an afterword by Margaret Drabble: The Shakespeare Circle — a collective biography of Shakespeare’s family, friends, business associates and patrons; a bit like Stanley Wells’s earlier Shakespeare & Co., but not merely focusing on the other key figures of Elizabethan theatre, and with individual chapters / essays designated to individual persons (or families), instead of the continuous narrative contained in Shakespeare & Co.

*  James Shapiro: 1606: Shakespeare and the Year of Lear — pretty much what the title implies; a follow-up to Shapiro’s earlier focus on Shakespeare’s life in 1599.

*  Frank Kermode: Shakespeare’s Language — also pretty much what the title says, with a joint examination of the pre-Globe plays’ poetic and linguistic characteristics and a play-by-play examination of the last 16 plays, beginning with Julius Caesar.

*  Dominic Dromgoole: Hamlet: Globe to Globe — the Globe Theatre Artistic Director’s account of their recent, 2-year-long venture of taking a production of Hamlet to (literally) every single country in the world.

*  Antony Sher: Year of the Fat Knight: The Falstaff Diaries — a must-read for anyone who’s been fortunate enough to see the RSC’s 2014 productions of Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, and still a rioting good read if you haven’t.  Plus, the most amazing sketches by Sher himself … the man is an artist several times over!

*  Antony Sher & Gregory Doran: Woza Shakespeare! Titus Andronicus in South Africa — not new, but it’s been on my TBR for a while and I figured while I was at it …

*  Sheridan Morley: John Gielgud: The Authorized Biography — comment unnecessary.

* Jonathan Croall, with a prologue by Simon Callow: Gielgoodies! The Wit and Wisdom [& Gaffes] of John Gielgud — a frequently hilarious complementary read to the above bio.

*  Harriet Walter: Brutus and Other Heroines: Playing Shakespeare’s Roles for Womenplus, I might add, plenty of insight into Shakespearean theatre in particular and acting in general.

*  Harriet Walter: Other People’s Shoes: Thoughts on Acting — as the title implies, more of the above, though minus the near-exclusive focus on Shakespeare. (Instead, however, also a professional autobiography of sorts.)

*  Judi Dench: And Furthermore — her memoirs.  Very much looking forward to this one.

*  Jeanette Winterson: The Gap of Time — Hogarth Shakespeare adaptation series, The Winter’s Tale.

*  Anne Tyler: Vinegar Girl — Hogarth Shakespeare adaptation series, The Taming of the Shrew.

* Howard Jacobson: Shylock Is My Name — Hogarth Shakespeare adaptation series, The Merchant of Venice. (I could have gone on and gotten more of those, but I figured I’d limit myself to three to begin with … 🙂 )

*  Ian Doescher: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope — I know, I know.  Everybody but me has already read it at this point.

*  Elizabeth Norton: The Lives of Tudor Women — a(nother) proximate choice, since I’ve spent so much time in their world (and that of their Plantagenet sisters / ancestors) recently, thanks in no small part to Samantha [Carpe Librum]!

*  Robert Harris: Imperium — Cicero trilogy, book 1.  And yes, there is a Shakespeare connection even here … think ” ’twas all Greek to me.”  (Also, as was to be expected, the RSC bookstore had Harris’s complete Roman series on their shelves as companion reads (of sorts) to their current Roman  plays season.)

*  Yuval Noah Harari: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind — no Shakespeare connection here; unless Harari should be (justly) citing to Shakespeare as an exponent of human genius, that is.  Anyway, this is where the airport W.H. Smith came in handy.

*  Michael Connelly: The Wrong Side of Goodbye — see Harari above! 🙂

Plus a blue RSC silk scarf, a Macbeth quote T-shirt (can’t have too much of the Scottish play, ever), a First Folio canvas bag (had to get something to carry all my new treasures home in, after all), a couple of Shakespeare- and Tudor-related postcards, and of course a few more Shakespeare quote mugs and refrigerator magnets for my respective collections.

 

Oxford

On the way from London to Stratford, we’d stopped by in Oxford: This being merely an extended weekend trip, we didn’t have a lot of time, but since our last attempt to visit this half of Oxbridge had literally been drowned by floods of torrential rain (so we ended up spending virtually all the time in the Museum of Natuarl History), I’d promised my friend a short visit at least — all the more since I myself had actually spent a few days in Oxford in the interim with my mom. Well, with the weather cooperating this time around, we at least managed a stroll along Broad Street and down Catte Street to Radcliffe Square, then past St. Mary’s Church to “the High,” a brief climb up Carfax Tower, and finally a visit to Hogwarts, err, Christchurch College (Tom Quad, Chapel, Great Hall and all).

  

Photos, from top left:

1. View from Radcliffe Square down Catte St.: Radcliffe Camera and Bodleian Library to the left; Hereford College to the right.
2. View from Carfax Tower towards St. Mary’s Church, Radcliffe Camera, Hereford College, Magdalen College, and New College.
3. / 4.: Christchurch College: Tom Quad with Tom Tower (left photo) and Chapel and Great Hall (right photo).
5.: Christchurch College, Chapel.
6.: Christchurch College, Great Hall.

(We had, incidentally, also been planning for a stop in Cambridge on the return trip from Stratford, but that had to be cancelled … which is a story for another day.  Also, this will now obviously necessitate yet another joint trip to England at some point or other!)

 

London

London, where we actually started our trip, was the first scheduled “shopping spree” stop: Since we’ve both visited London repeatedly before, no mad bouts of “mandatory” sightseeing were included; rather, merely being there tends to make both of us pretty happy campers in and of itself.  Since we’ve also more or less worked out a route covering the stores that we tend to hit on a routine basis whenever we’re visiting, it took us all but five hours to complete our program, from Neal’s Yard Remedies (at the original Neal’s Yard location in Seven Dials) all the way to Fortnum & Mason’s, with various other stops thrown in on the way, chiefly among those, Whittard of Chelsea and, this time around, Crabtree & Evelyn (which we actually do have in Germany, too, but the London branches had those irresistible sales … (sigh)).  Since I knew I was going to spend a lot of money buying books in Stratford, I decided — with a somewhat heavy heart — to forego my usual Charing Cross Road stops on this occasion; though towards the end of the aforementioned five hours (1) my left knee started to give me serious trouble, and (2) we were already laden with our other purchases to such an extent that even I had to admit there would have been no way we’d be able to carry back books to our hotel on top, so I was grudgingly reconciled … though only for the moment, and with the effect of instantly resolving to return to England sooner rather than later; a resolution that has since blossomed into fully-blown plans for a longer (and solo) follow-up trip, from the England / Wales border all the way to the Norfolk coast — and in addition to plenty of sightseeing, I’ve also promised myself plenty of book store stops along the way.

 

Merken

 

Original post:
ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/1574257/stratford-upon-avon-oxford-and-london-shakespeare-hogwarts-and-shopping

Merken

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The Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season — At the Halfway Point

 Snow Globes: Reads
Bells: Activities

 

Task the First: The Winter Wonderland:

Reading: A book that is set in a snowy place.

Activity: Take a walk outside and post a picture of something pretty you encountered on your way.
=> A Visit to Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market

 

Task the Second: The Silent Nights:

Reading: A book set in one of the Nordic countries.

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.
=> Hygge!

 

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.

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.

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.

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
ש Shin (there, i.e. Israel): J.R.R. Tolkien – Letters From Father Christmas
=>
Arthur Conan Doyle: The Valley of Fear
(audio version read by Simon Vance)

Activity: Make a traditional Hanukkah food like doughnuts or potato latkes. Post a picture, or tell us how they turned out.
=> Latkes (Kartoffelpuffer / Reibekuchen), courtesy of Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market

 

Task the Seventh: The Christmas:

Reading: A book set during the Christmas holiday season.

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.

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 Ninth, Part 2

 

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”).
=> Kerry Greenwood: Miss Phryne Fisher Investigates

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.
=> Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express

Activity: Read a classic holiday book from your childhood, or tell a story about a childhood Christmas you’d like to share.
=> Hans Christian Andersen: The Snow Queen

 

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.
=> Mulled wine (Glühwein), courtesy of Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market

 

 

Original post:
ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/1500822/the-twelve-tasks-of-the-festive-season-at-the-halfway-point

The Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season — A Visit to the Christmas Market

… aka Tasks the First, the Sixth, and the Twelfth: The Winter Wonderland, the Hanukkah, and the Wassail Bowl.

– If you are lucky enough to live in a snowy place, or even if you aren’t, take a walk outside and post a picture of something pretty you encountered on your way.

– Make a traditional Hanukkah food like doughnuts or potato latkes. Post a picture, or tell us how they turned out!

– Drink a festive, holiday beverage, alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Take a picture of your drink, and post it to share – make it as festive as possible!

No snow anywhere in sight where I live (and as every year, we’re dreaming of a white Christmas without, however, much hope for there actually to be one), but yesterday being the first Sunday of Advent, I decided to at least pay a visit to one of our area’s many Christmas markets.  For preference, I’d have made it either the one in Bonn or the medieval Christmas market they annually have in another town nearby, but as I also had things to do at the office, it ended up being Cologne’s main Christmas market right next to the cathedral (our offices are a 5 minutes’ walk from there).

   
  
  
   
                  
   
     

And since both latkes (Kartoffelpuffer / Reibekuchen, or in the local dialect, “Riefkooche”) and mulled wine (Glühwein) are a fixture on every German Christmas market, yesterday’s visit provided for those as well — alright, not homemade admittedly, but I decided I’m going to let the Christmas market tradition stand in for “homemade” here instead … and, in the instance of the latkes, also celebrate the cross-cultural / cross-religious spirit.  Oh, and I did get to take home my pretty, colorful mulled wine mug, too!

  

  
      

 

 

Original post:
http://themisathena.booklikes.com/post/1500650/the-twelve-tasks-of-the-festive-season-a-visit-to-the-christmas-market

Merken

The Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season — Task the Eleventh: The Polar Express

Murder on the Orient Express: Complete & Unabridged (Audiocd) - Agatha Christie 

– Read a book that involves train travel (such as Murder on the Orient Express).

 Well, as it happened I did pick Murder on the Orient Express for this square.  Not that I’m not intimately familiar with the story as such already — it was actually one of the first books by Agatha Christie that I ever read, not to mention watching (and owning) the screen adaptation starring Albert Finney and half of classic Hollywood’s A list.  But I’d never listened to the audio version read by David Suchet, and I am very glad to finally have remedied that now.  Not only is Suchet the obvious choice to read any of Christie’s Poirot novels because his name has practically become synonymous with that of the little Belgian himself — great character actor that he is, he was obviously also having the time of his life with all of the story’s other roles, including those of the women; and particularly so, Mrs. Hubbard, whose interpretation by Suchet also gives the listener more than a minor glance at the fun that recent London audiences must have been having watching him appear as Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s Importance of Being Earnest (drag and all).

 A superb reading of one of Agatha Christie’s very best mysteries and one of my all-time favorite books.  Bravo, Mr. Suchet!

 

 

Original post:
ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/1498329/the-twelve-tasks-of-the-festive-season-task-the-eleventh-the-polar-express

The Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season — Task the Second: The Silent Nights; and Task the Third: The Holiday Party

Task the Second: The Silent Nights:
– Get your hygge on! 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!

And:

Task the Third: The Holiday Party:
– Read a book where a celebration is a big part of the action.

Sofa, pillows, favorite blanket, favorite black velvet slippers, favorite childhood dinner and a mug of spicy chocolate tea, volume 3 of the audio collection of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey / Maturin cycle on my living room speakers, with Rex Stout’s And Four to Go (4 short stories, 3 of these involving holiday celebrations) to be finished later … I’d say that should count as two birds (tasks) with one, err, shot, shouldn’t it?

The Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season — TA’s Reading List (& Matching Activities)

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.

 

 

 

 

The Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season books

 

Original post:
ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/1491594/the-twelve-tasks-of-the-festive-season-ta-s-reading-list-matching-activities

Merken

[REBLOG] The Reveal: The Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season – Moonlight Blizzard

 

Task the First: The Winter Wonderland:

– Read a book that is set in a snowy place.

– If you are lucky enough to live in a snowy place, or even if you aren’t, take a walk outside and post a picture of something pretty you encountered on your way.!

 

 Task the Second: The Silent Nights:

 

– Read a book set in one of the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and/or Denmark), where winter nights are long!

– Get your hygge on! Hygge is a Danish concept that relates to being content and cozy. 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:

 

– Read a book where a celebration is a big part of the action. Examples would include holiday parties, country house hunting/weekend parties, weddings, etc.

– 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:

– Read a book that you either received as a gift or have given as a gift.

– Give a book to a friend and post a picture of the wrapped present.

 

Task the Fifth: The Kwanzaa:

– Read a book written by an African-American author or set in an African country.

– Make a small donation to a charitable organization that operates in Africa.

 

Task the Sixth: The Hanukkah:

– Let the dreidel choose a book for you: create a list of four books, and assign a dreidel symbol to each one (Nun = miracle; Gimel = great; He = happened; Shin = there, i.e. Israel). Google “spin the dreidel,” and a dreidel comes up for you to spin. Give it a spin and read the book that the dreidel chooses!

– 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:

 

– Read a book set during the Christmas holiday season.

– Grab your camera (or your phone) and set up a Christmas bookstagram-style scene with favorite holiday reads, objects or decorations. Possibly also a cat. Post it for everyone to enjoy!

 

Task the Eighth: The Movie Ticket

 

– Read a book that has been adapted to a holiday movie.

– Go see a new theater release this holiday season (during November/December. This does not have to be a holiday movie, so yes, Fantastic Beasts will qualify).

 

Task the Ninth: The Happy New Year

– Every year you get a little bit older! Read a coming of age novel or any old favorite comfort read to start the new year right.

– If you’re feeling brave, post a holiday picture of yourself from your childhood or misspent youth.

 

Task the Tenth: The Holiday Down Under

– Read a book set in Australia or by an Australian author,  or read a book you would consider a “beach read”.

– Christmas crackers are a traditional part of an Australian Christmas. Buy some (or make your own) to add to your festivities and share some pictures!

 

Task the Eleventh: The Polar Express

– Read a book that involves train travel (such as Murder on the Orient Express).

– Read a classic holiday book from your childhood (to a child if you have one handy) or tell us a story about a childhood Christmas you’d like to share.

 

Task the Twelfth: The Wassail Bowl

– Read a book set in the UK, preferably during the medieval or Victorian periods (for those of us doing the Merlin read-along, the Crystal Cave works for this task).

– Drink a festive, holiday beverage, alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Take a picture of your drink, and post it to share – make it as festive as possible!

 

We hope you will join us in the fun!

 

Via The Reveal: The Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season – Moonlight Blizzard

REBLOG: 15 authors to read based on your favorite drinks

Reblog of a July 2015 BookLikes post.

 

 

No matter if it’s a cup of tea or coffee, lemonade or a glass of wine, books and drinks go well together. This universal truth has been discovered not only by avid readers but also writers, some of whom became as well known for their drinking habits as for their literary achievements. Taking advantage of the summer time and the permanent feeling of thirst, we’ve gathered light-hearted recommendations of 14 well known and read authors and their drinks. Find your match, sip, read, and enjoy the summer reading time.

 

 

Truman Capote called this cocktail his special “orange drink” so if you share his taste for upgraded orange juice, go for a screwdriver drink with one of Capote’s books in your hand.

Truman Capote
In this profession it’s a long walk between drinks.

 Truman Streckfus Persons, known as Truman Capote, was an American author, screenwriter and playwright, many of whose short stories, novels, plays, and nonfiction are recognized literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958) and the true crime novel In Cold Blood (1966).

 

Truman Capote’s most popular books on BookLikes:
In Cold Blood - Truman Capote Breakfast at Tiffany's and Three Stories - Truman Capote Other Voices, Other Rooms - Truman Capote The Grass Harp, Including A Tree of Night and Other Stories - Truman Capote Music for Chameleons - Truman Capote

 

 

Ernest Hemingway is known for his love for cocktails: Mohito, Martini, vermouth… Living in Havana, though, must have left a trace in his preferences and we bet Mojito was hight on the author’s top drinks list. If it’s also on yours, have a sip.

Ernest Hemingway
My mojito in the Bodeguita del Medio and my daiquiri in the Floridita.
– Quote on the wall of La Bodeguita del Medio, Havana, Cuba

Ernest Hemingway ranks as the most famous of twentieth-century American writers. Hemingway has been regarded less as a writer dedicated to his craft than as a man of action who happened to be afflicted with genius. When he won the Nobel Prize in 1954, Time magazine reported the news under Heroes rather than Books.

Ernest Hemingway’s most popular books on BookLikes
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemingway For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway

 

 

Asked by a translator to explain his text William Faulkner said:
I have absolutely no idea of what I meant. You see, I usually write at night. I always keep my whiskey within reach; so many ideas that I can’t remember in the morning pop into my head.

If you’re fond of whiskey, try Faulkner’s favorite drink: mint julep.

William Faulkner's favorite drink  William Faulkner

William Faulkner
Civilization begins with distillation.

His first poem was published in The New Republic in 1919. His first book of verse and early novels followed, but his major work began with the publication of The Sound and the Fury in 1929.

 

William Faulkner’s most popular books on BookLikes:
The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner Light in August (The Corrected Text) - William Faulkner Absalom, Absalom! - William Faulkner As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner Sanctuary: The Corrected Text - William Faulkner

 

 

Martini IS James Bond. James Bond IS Ian Fleming. If you like martini, you ARE James Bond for us. 

 

Ian Fleming
Never say ‘no’ to adventures.
Always say ‘yes,’ otherwise you’ll lead a very dull life.

His first job was with Reuters News Agency where a Moscow posting gave him firsthand experience with what would become his literary bête noire — the Soviet Union. During World War II he served as Assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence and played a key role in Allied espionage operations. After the war he worked as foreign manager of the Sunday Times, a job that allowed him to spend two months each year in Jamaica. Here, in 1952, at his home Goldeneye, he wrote a book called Casino Royale — and James Bond was born.

 

Ian Fleming’s most popular books on BookLikes
Live and Let Die - Ian Fleming From Russia With Love - Ian Fleming Goldfinger - Ian Fleming Doctor No - Ian Fleming On Her Majesty's Secret Service - Ian Fleming

 

 

Cosmo was named the sexiest drink thanks to Candace Bushnell who popularize the drink in her Sex and the City series. If you adore Carrie Bradshaw, the Sex and the City’s main character, grab cosmo and read/write on!

  Candace Bushnell

Candace Bushnell
I make mistakes. That’s what I do. I speak without thinking, I act without knowing. I drink so much that I can barely walk… I’m a fantastic lover though, and an amazing friend. God knows I mean well.

– Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

Candace Bushnell is the critically acclaimed, international best-selling author of Killing Monica, Sex and the City, Summer and the City, The Carrie Diaries, One Fifth Avenue, Lipstick Jungle, Trading Up, and Four Blondes. Sex and the City, published in 1996, was the basis for the HBO hit series and two subsequent blockbuster movies. Lipstick Jungle became a popular television series on NBC, as did The Carrie Diaries on the CW.

 

Candace Bushnell’s most popular books on BookLikes
The Carrie Diaries - Candace Bushnell Sex and the City - Candace Bushnell Four Blondes - Candace Bushnell Lipstick Jungle - Candace Bushnell Summer and the City - Candace Bushnell

 

 

If you like Margarita, read Jack Kerouac who developed his love for this drink during his trip through Mexico. 

 

Jack Kerouac
Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.

Jack Kerouac’s writing career began in the 1940s, but didn’t meet with commercial success until 1957, when On the Road was published. The book became an American classic that defined the Beat Generation. His parents had immigrated as very young children from the Province of Quebec, Canada, and Kerouac spoke a local French Canadian-American dialect before he spoke English.

 

Jack Kerouac’s most popular books on BookLikes:
On the Road - Jack Kerouac The Dharma Bums - Jack Kerouac Big Sur - Jack Kerouac, Aram Saroyan The Subterraneans - Jack Kerouac Desolation Angels - Jack Kerouac, Joyce Johnson

 

 

Raymond Carver was Hemingway’s mate not only in writing but also boozing. Some of the records reveal that Bloody Mary cocktail, which he named “heart starter”, made his hangover breakfast. We definitely do not recommend this kind of diet but if you’d like to give the tomatoes a good stir, choose Bloody Mary.

 

Raymond Carver
Drinking’s funny. When I look back on it, all of our important decisions have been figured out when we were drinking.
Even when we talked about having to cut back on drinking, we’d be sitting at the kitchen table or out at the picnic table with a six-pack or whiskey.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon, in 1938. His father was a saw-mill worker and his mother was a waitress and clerk. He married early and for years writing had to come second to earning a living for his young family. Despite, small-press publication, it was not until Will You Please Be Quiet Please? appeared in 1976 that his work began to reach a wider audience.

 

Raymond Carver’s most popular books on BookLikes 
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love - Raymond Carver Cathedral - Raymond Carver Short Cuts: Selected Stories - Raymond Carver, Robert Altman The Best American Short Stories of the Century - John Updike, Philip Roth, Bernard Malamud, Martha Gellhorn, Vladimir Nabokov, Gish Jen, Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, Cynthia Ozick, Tim O'Brien, Harold Brodkey, Robert Penn Warren, Joyce Carol Oates, Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner, William Saroyan, Saul Bellow Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? - Raymond Carver

 

 

If you like gin and tonic read J.K. Rowling or F. Scott Fitzgerald’s. Both authors highlighted this drink as their favorite.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

J.K. Rowling
JK Rowling grew up in Chepstow, Gwent where she went to Wyedean Comprehensive. Jo left Chepstow for Exeter University, where she earned a French and Classics degree, and where her course included one year in Paris. As a postgraduate she moved to London to work at Amnesty International, doing research into human rights abuses in Francophone Africa. She started writing the Harry Potter series during a Manchester to London King’s Cross train journey, and during the next five years, outlined the plots for each book and began writing the first novel.

 

J.K. Rowling’s most popular books on BookLikes:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling The Silkworm - J.K. Rowling, Robert Galbraith The Tales of Beedle the Bard - Beedle the Bard, J.K. Rowling

 

F. Scott Fitzgerald
First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.

F. Scott Fitzgerald was one of the major American writers of the twentieth century — a figure whose life and works embodied powerful myths about that nation’s dreams and aspirations. Fitzgerald was talented and perceptive, gifted with a lyrical style and a pitch-perfect ear for language. He lived his life as a romantic, equally capable of great dedication to his craft and reckless squandering of his artistic capital. He left us masterpieces such as The Great Gatsby and Tender Is the Night; and a gathering of stories and essays that together capture the essence of the American experience.

 

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most popular books on BookLikes:
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald Tender Is the Night - F. Scott Fitzgerald The Beautiful and Damned - F. Scott Fitzgerald The Love of the Last Tycoon - F. Scott Fitzgerald Gatsby Girls - F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

 

Jane Austen was well known for her feminist life approach, her language was witty, actions full of determination and books ground-breaking. This also refers to her culinary preferences. She adored ices and red wine.

 

Jane Austen
But in the meantime for Elegance & Ease & Luxury . . .
I shall eat Ice & drink French wine, & be above Vulgar Economy.

Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature.

 

Jane Austen’s most popular books on BookLikes
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen Emma - Jane Austen, Fiona Stafford Mansfield Park - Jane Austen Jane Austen's Letters - Deirdre Le Faye, Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice: The Wild and Wanton Edition - Michelle M. Pillow, Annabella Bloom, Jane Austen

 

 

J.R.R. Tolkien admitted to be a beer lover. C.S. Lewis is known for his love to this golden liquor as well. Not so strange then that those two spent enjoyable time in pubs reading and discussing their writing, having several pints and paying close attention to what they were drinking. Reportedly, Lewis liked a good draft bitter off the wood, disliked bottled and hated canned beer. 

J.R.R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

 

J.R.R. Tolkien’s most popular books on BookLikes
The Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien The Two Towers - J.R.R. Tolkien The Silmarillion - J.R.R. Tolkien, Ted Nasmith, Christopher Tolkien The Children of Húrin - J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien, Alan Lee

 

C.S. Lewis
I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.

Clive Staples Lewis was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year.

 

C.S. Lewis’ most popular books on BookLikes
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis The Magician's Nephew - C.S. Lewis The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes Prince Caspian - C.S. Lewis The Silver Chair - C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes

 

 

Honore de Balzac’a coffee addiction may be too much even for a hard-core coffee lover — the author is believed to drink up to 50 cups a day! L. Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, was much more moderate coffee drinker with four or five breakfast cups of sweet white coffee a day. How about you?

 

Honoré de Balzac
As soon as coffee is in your stomach, there is a general commotion.
Ideas begin to move…similes arise, the paper is covered.
Coffee is your ally and writing ceases to be a struggle.

Honoré de Balzac was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the 1815 fall of Napoleon Bonaparte.

 

Honoré de Balzac’s most popular books on BookLikes
Père Goriot - Honoré de Balzac Cousin Bette - Francine Prose, Honoré de Balzac, Kathleen Raine Eugénie Grandet - Christopher Prendergast, Honoré de Balzac, Sylvia Raphael Lost Illusions - George Saintsbury, Honoré de Balzac, Ellen Marriage The Unknown Masterpiece; and, Gambara - Richard Howard, Arthur C. Danto, Honoré de Balzac

 

 

If you prefer a hot aromatic tea than cocktails or coffee, make sure to follow George Orwell’s golden rules of making a perfect cup of tea

 

George Orwell
One strong cup of tea is better than twenty weak ones. All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes.

Eric Arthur Blair who used the pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic. His work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and commitment to democratic socialism. Commonly ranked as one of the most influential English writers of the 20th century, and as one of the most important chroniclers of English culture of his generation, Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction, and polemical journalism. He is best known for the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) and the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945).

 

George Orwell’s most popular books on BookLikes
1984 - George Orwell, Erich Fromm Animal Farm - George Orwell The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever - John Updike, George Eliot, John Stuart Mill, Thomas Hobbes, Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett, Carl Sagan, Mark Twain, H.L. Mencken, Christopher Hitchens, Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie, Joseph Conrad, Ibn Warraq, Martin Gardner, Karl Marx, Bertrand Russell, A.C. Grayling, Pe Homage to Catalonia - Lionel Trilling, George Orwell Shooting an Elephant - George Orwell

 

Sources:

 

Original post: 15 authors to read based on your favorite drinks – Themis-Athena’s Garden of Books — reblogged from BookLikes

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