27 December 2007

A Little of Everything ...

Which is, incidentally, what I had for Christmas dinner - YUM! Our Christmas Day was just perfect, the only thing that could have made it better would have been a couple of inches of snow. But, as I am not in charge of the weather, there wasn't a thing I could do about it ...

Booking Through Thursday

I've missed this for a few weeks, but today I had no excuse not to participate.
Here's the question:

It’s an old question, but a good one . . .
What were your favorite books this year? List as many as you like … fiction, non-fiction, mystery, romance, science-fiction, business, travel, cookbooks … whatever the category. But, really, we’re all dying to know. What books were the highlight of your reading year in 2007?

Here's my list, in no particular order:

1. Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her, by Melanie Rehak.
2. Suite Francaise, by Irene Nemirovsky.
3. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver.
4. House of Spirits, by Isabel Allende.
5. Some Danger Involved, by Will Thomas.
6. Bookseller of Kabul, by Asne Seierstad .
7. Letters from Yellowstone, by Diane Smith.

As you can see, no particular themes or relationships. But to me that's part of the joy of reading - it can be whatever you want, whenever you want it!

Happy Kwanzaa!
Today is the second day of Kwanzaa, and every year I think of a story that makes me laugh. Let me say in my defense, that though I know a lot of African-Americans, I do not know any who celebrate Kwanzaa. So this story is funny for that reason, not because I am trying to offend anyone!

A few years back, The Tim spent a year teaching 5th grade in the Philadelphia public school system. He had, as I recall, about 30 students, and all of them were African-American. He loved the kids (well, most of them at least), and from what I could tell, he was pretty popular with them. Anyway, one of the things he tried to do throughout the year was familiarize them with different holidays, who celebrated them, and why.

So it got to be the time of year for the winter holidays, and they were discussing Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, and Christmas. Before he could even get to the topic, one of the kids raised his hand, and when The Tim called on him, he said, "Hey, Mr. _____! Can you tell me, what is the deal with Kwanzaa anyway???" To be honest, I don't remember what he told me his response was, but I'm sure it was very informational and responsible. But the story makes me laugh whenever I think of it.

A Gift Decided ...

As you may recall, I had been thinking that the felted bag I finished a month or so ago would make a good gift for someone, but I wasn't sure who might like it. The more I looked at it, and thought about it, the more I thought it would be a good birthday gift for my niece La Liz, whose birthday is December 25. So I wrapped it up for her, and sent it to my sister's house with all the other birthday and Christmas gifts, since all the nieces would be there for Christmas. La Liz called on Christmas to say how much she loved it, and how she couldn't believe that "the bag on the blog" was hers! It made me very happy to hear her say that, and regardless how she decides to use it (or not), I'm glad I sent it to her.

Sad news at a happy time

I felt bad to her about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto this morning. I had just read an interview with her in a magazine last night, and though I'm not 100% sure how I felt about her in the larger sense of things, I think she was a very courageous person. I would like to think that I would be willing to take on people who wanted nothing less than my death, believing that I could help others, but I'm pretty sure I would wimp out in the end. The world is not a happy place unfortunately. Though I'm not sure that it ever was.

I am purposely not watching news reports, because I fear that I will hear someone say something to the effect that she should have realized that being a woman would automatically mean that some people would think she had no business in politics. Because that is crazy talk, and also because I didn't want it carried out to somehow ending up being about Hillary Clinton. Of course, it would be coached in terms that made it seem like the eggheads were only thinking of their safety, but in the end, it seems to me that any woman - anywhere - who is "too smart" has something wrong with her, and by extension, really invites any misfortune that comes her way. Don't get me wrong, I'm not the head of the Hillary Fan Club, but I do think she is a smart woman, and I admire her for having skin thick enough to play with the others who want to be president.

I have thick skin to a point. Then everyone must pay.

Yep, everyone.


Carol said...

Some sh*t, no? I agree, I wonder if times seemed as damned and scary to our parents, or life is just plugging along "as per usual". Anyway, hope you guys are enjoying the season still, and getting in some time for relaxing.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure things were just as scary to our parents and their parents and their parents before them. Life is pretty scary. We're not getting all that much more enlightened either.

I was so sad to hear about Benazir Bhutto.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I was also sad to hear about Benazir Bhutto.

Interesting book list, Suite francaise is on my TBR, I'm really looking forward to it, have only heard good things about it. I really enjoyed Bookseller of Kabul, which I read a while ago and I'm going to re-read House of Spirits soon so that then I can read the other two novels that follow on from it.

knitseashore said...

I was sad to hear about Bhutto as well. I hope someday we can live in a world where women are as respected as men in their professions.

Do you like Nancy Drew? She's one of my favorites. Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

And how the offenders would pay!!!!

Good to hear your Christmas was a good one.

The cheeseball was a hit. Enjoy yours on New Years Eve.

Brigitte said...

Benazir Bhutto had more stones than most male politicians in this world. It was a sad day...