Thursday's Things: Winter Edition

“Thursday’s Things” is a roundup of book related links I’ve come across while wandering down the rabbit hole that is the internet.

  • 10 Charles Dickens Novels Everyone Should Read – Whenever I think of Dickens or the bleak settings of most of his books, I think of winter.  Also, I read A Christmas Carol every year.
  • A Literary Advent Calendar – So, I know this is extremely late, it being the 21st, but I just rediscovered this post buried in my Pocket.  I’m making my way through it to get caught up as quickly as possible.  So far, my favorite story is from Dec. 8th.
  • Winter Tales – Here’s a whole list of stories that are a bit on the darker side.  Many of them are ghost stories, and the idea of curling up with a blanket and a giant mug of hot chocolate while reading them is so Hygge that I’m wishing I had come across this page the night it snowed here in Austin.
  • 45 Bookish Ornaments Of 2017 – I’m saving this list so that I can hopefully find several of these ornaments for when I have room enough for a life-size Christmas tree, instead of the tiny one that is currently on top of my coffee table.
  • 25 Stories to Put You In the Festive Spirit – I’ve read several on this list, and I’ll be looking to see if I can find a few of the others at the library to take with me on my trip to Arizona on Saturday.
  • A Pictorial History of Santa Claus
  • A Reading List for the Christmas Books Obsessed – This is an amazing list that I’m considering turning into an Advent calendar for next year.
  • Which Game Of Thrones House Would You Fight For?  Winter isn’t coming.  It’s here.  Today is the Winter Solstice after all.
  • 3 Cozy Fantasy Reads for Winter – I’ve already added the 1st and 3rd books to my wish list.

#COYER Winter Switch!

It’s time to get ready for another round of #COYER!  The challenge begins December 16th and ends March 9th.  I’ll be participating in the “Switch”, which is outlined below, but click on the link to get all of the details.

COYER Switch

There are 3 components: “The Strict”, “The List”, and “The One with the Twist”.  Each component will be done once, in any order, at one of the 3 phases:

  • December 16 – January 12
  • January 13 – February 9
  • February 10 – March 9

The Strict

  1. Every book you read must be an eBook or audiobook.
  2. Every book must be either free or less than $5.
  3. No library books, borrowed books, or Kindle Unlimited.

The List

  1. Make a list of up to 30 books you want to read.
  2. Every book on the list must be in your possession BEFORE you put them on the list.
  3. You can add 5 new books for every 5 books you read.
  4. Books on the list can be any format, any price, obtained any LEGAL way.

The One with the Twist

  1. You can read ANY book. ANY price. Obtained any LEGAL way.
  2. “The Twist” is that you have to stick with one format; audiobook, ebook, or physical.

I’m going to do “The List” first, from December 16th to January 12th, then “The One with the Twist” second, from January 13th to February 9th, and then I’ll wrap up this round of COYER with “The Strict” from February 10th to March 9th.  I’ve already put together my List on Goodreads, and I’m going to stick to my physical books for “The One with the Twist”.  I’ve created another list of the free/less than $5 ebooks and audiobooks I have for “The Strict”, but it’s a work in progress.
From now until #COYER starts, I’ll be trying to finish up all of my current reads so I can start fresh with a book from my list.  Are you participating in #COYER Winter Switch?  What do you think of the books on my list?  Are there any I should I read first?

The Twelve Books of Christmas Challenge

12 Books of Christmas

Shaina @ Shaina Reads has challenged those of us who wish to participate to read 12 books during the month of December!  I would have posted this earlier, but I refuse to do anything Christmas related, other than stashing away presents for those I love, before Thanksgiving.

The only rule is that the books have to be at least 100 pages in length.  So, I’m making up a rule for myself.  All the books I plan to read for the challenge will be Christmas or Winter related.  Some of the books on my challenge TBR are maybe stretching that a little bit, but it’s my rule, so I can do what I want 🙂  I doubt I’ll be able to read all 12 on the list since a couple of them are door stops, but I’m going to try.

My TBR List

  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (I read this every year.)
  • A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • Snowglobe 7 by Mike Tucker
  • The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson
  • White Fang by Jack London
  • The Winter Freak Show by Daniel Parsons
  • Greenglass House by Kate Milford
  • Around the World with Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis
  • Fire and Ice by Patty Jansen
  • The Girl from Krakow by Alex Rosenberg
  • Ice Demon by Elizabeth Watasin

I have several backups in case any of these wind up being DNFs.

Are you participating in the 12 Books of Christmas challenge?  Even if you’re not, are your December reads Christmas or Winter themed?  What are your favorite Winter books?  Comment below!

Thursday’s Quotables #11: Harry Potter

Harry Potter Christmas

This is the last Quotables of the year!  If you love Fantasy, you probably love Harry Potter.  It’s not a guarantee (I’m looking at you, Boyfriend.), but chances are you do.  I feel like the books are Winter books, so I decided to dedicate this Quotables to the Boy Who Lived and his friends.

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

These two quotes, when put together (if you know the context, of course), show that following the rules isn’t always the right thing to do.  That’s one of the many things I love about the Harry Potter books; the events and what Harry and friends do in response shows that it’s more important to think for yourself and do what your heart knows is right, rather than following along with what everyone else is doing.

“When in doubt, go to the library.” – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

In an age when it’s so easy to find all the wrong information on the internet, this is becoming more and more true.

“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

This quote is the truth, especially when it comes to fuzzy socks.  I don’t mind getting books, though.

There are way too many quotes to put them all here, so I’m sure I’ll return to them in a later post.  What are some of your favorite Harry Potter quotes?  Whether from the book or the movie, tell me in a comment 🙂


A Month of Favorites: Winter Survival

Throughout December, Estella’s Revenge, Girlxoxo, and Traveling with T will be sharing their fave bookish (and sometimes not-so-bookish) experiences from the year and they’ve invited their readers to join in on the fun! The schedule and details are posted at Estella’s Revenge.
Today is about the 5 Must Have items to survive Winter:
  1. Fuzzy Socks – They’re so soft and comfy and they keep my feet warm.  Often, they’re infused with aloe.  I find mine in the foot care section of the drugstore/HEB/Target/wherever there is a foot care section.  They last longer if I let them air dry after washing, but sometimes I just want to put them on right after they’ve come out of the dryer.
  2. Large Men’s Cardigan – The Boyfriend calls this my Hobbit Cardigan.  I put it on at the first sign of Winter temps and I don’t take it off again until it becomes uncomfortably warm.  Mine is originally from the Gap, but I found it on Ebay.  I will cry when the day comes that I can no longer wear it.
  3. Warm pajamas – My favorite pair of pajamas is a pair I found a couple years ago by Nick and Nora sleepwear.  Zooey Deschanel’s character, Jess, in the show “New Girl” started a trend of fun and comfy pajama sets that were, of course, way over priced.  Nick and Nora Sleepwear are just as fun and comfy and have the added benefit of not breaking the bank.
  4. Harney & Sons Holiday tea – I hope they never stop making this tea!  I’ve only been able to find their teas at Target, but if the day comes that I have to order online, I will do so with only a brief and mild complaint.  If anyone has ideas for what to do with the metal tins, please leave a comment.
  5. My Favorite Winter Reads – I could never survive the Winter without my favorite books.

A Month of Favorites: Five Fave Winter Reads

Throughout December, Estella’s Revenge, Girlxoxo, and Traveling with T will be sharing their fave bookish (and sometimes not-so-bookish) experiences from the year and they’ve invited their readers to join in on the fun! The schedule and details are posted at Estella’s Revenge.
Today is about my 5 favorite books from last Winter.  The links are to goodreads:
  1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – Though I read this in December of 2013, it still falls into last Winter, so I’m counting it.  It’s my top favorite book on my list of all-time favorite books, and I try to find time to read it every Winter.
  2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – This is another one that I read every Winter.
  3. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin – I’m not the type to jump on bandwagons, no matter how much the internet is talking about something, so one day long after season 3 of the show was already over, I sat down to give the 1st episode of the 1st season a chance because I didn’t have anything else to watch.  24 hours later….I started reading the book.  Well, I slept first, but then I started reading the book.  I’m really hoping to read the 2nd book before the end of this Winter.
  4. Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free by Charles P. Pierce – “Take the saddle off the dinosaur!” is my line for anytime I see something ridiculously stupid.
  5. Before the Chop by Henry Rollins – I usually read one of Henry Rollins’ many books during the part of Winter when I’m at my most grumpy and cynical.  It’s not so much because he’s grumpy and cynical (though he often is in his books prior to this one), but because he writes from an insightful human perspective instead of one slanted towards a political agenda, and he’s extremely well-read.

Tuesday’s Tunes and Things #3: Winter

It’s getting closer to Christmas, but I’m not quite in the mood for Christmas music yet.  So, I’ve included my “Winter” playlist in this Tuesday’s Tunes and Things instead.  Also, since many of you might still be looking for that perfect gift or stocking stuffer (or you want to treat yourself to a little something), I’ve included a second bookish holiday gift guide (otherwise known as my wishlist part 2).

Winter Playlist