Thursday, December 29, 2016

December 2016 Book Report and Recap

In this Year of Our Lord 2016 I reviewed 59 books. Not too bad.

The Thousandth Floor (2016) by Katharine McGee

Very interesting idea. Way in the future, Central Park in New York is covered by an enormous building. Inside is basically an entire city. Stores, apartments, parks, etc. Weather is controlled. The higher up in the building, the wealthier you are to afford the fabulous apartments. The richest family lives on the thousandth floor. Luxury unlimited. Everything is also very high-tech. The story is basically about typical teen angst, but in a setting that is unique. I loved the idea of it and would love to see a movie made from this book. I believe this is the first of a trilogy.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Muddle Earth (1993) by John Brunner

Cute little sci-fi book about a man brought out of cryosleep in the far future. He didn’t even know that he was going to be frozen in the first place. He discovers that Earth is now solely a tourist destination. It’s sort of like Disneyland with many themes in various parts of the planet. You have the Renaissance, the Middle Ages, the Stone Age, etc.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
The Falling Woman (1986) by Pat Murphy

Liz is an archeologist that can see the people that inhabited the digs she goes on. She can see the ancient Mayan woman making bread, the stone worker making a grave marker. No one else can see these people, just Liz. And the ancient people don’t see her. On the latest dig, she realizes one of the long-dead women CAN see her and can talk to her.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
To a Tea (2016) by Vera Dodge

A tearoom mystery. Jan and Elaine are preparing to host a wedding when the groom disappears shortly before the big day. The side story is trying to find another person to help out at the tea room.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Frozen in Time (2015) by Emily Thomas

Blue Hills library. Ben decides he needs a metal detector so he can find treasures and get rich. The community is about to have a special event to honor a famous architect who is now deceased. His son is to accept the honor.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Those Who Trespass (1998) by Bill O’Reilly

Top notch mystery by the co-author of the “Killing” books. New York police detective O’Malley tries to pin down TV celebrity Shannon Michaels for the murders of several back-stabbers in the TV industry.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

That’s it for this year. Happy New Year and keep on reading!!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas From A to Z – part 4

U – Unwrap
Unwrapping presents was a BIG production in my family. Someone would be Santa and hand out the gifts one by one. The first person with a gift would unwrap it while everyone looked on. The gift would then be admired by all. Then the next person would get a gift, and the same procedure would take place. It would take a LONG TIME to get through all the gifts. There was no hurry though. And of course I kept to that tradition when I got married.

V – Vacation
I loved Christmas vacation SO MUCH when I was in school!! OMG!! TWO WHOLE WEEKS!!! It wasn’t as thrilling once I got into junior and senior high, because there was usually some kind of homework that was “supposed” to be done during the break. Ha!

W – Wise Men
Yes, I know there wasn’t an actual number of sages that came from the East. Don’t care. One of my favorite Christmas productions is “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” an opera in one act by Menotti. In 7th grade the music teacher, Mr. Williamson, played a recording of it. I loved it! At some point, a production of it was on TV. Many years later, I was able to find a DVD of it.

X – Chi Rho
Here is the Wikipedia description: ‘A monogram of chi (X) and rho (P) as the first two letters of Greek Khristos Christ, used as a Christian symbol.’ I grew up seeing this symbol a lot on the altar cloths at church. And even though people have used this explanation to justify using an X in the word Xmas, I don’t care for it.

Y – Yule log
Instead of a huge log to put on the fire, we would usually have a smallish branch with 4 holes drilled part way into it to put Advent candles in.

Z – Zion 
1 Peter 2:6 - For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

Christ IS our cornerstone! Blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas From A to Z – part 3

N – Nativity
Again, there isn’t much to add to this. The only reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Christ.

O – O Holy Night
Just about the best Christmas song of all time. Hearing a really good tenor or soprano singing this will bless your socks off!

P – Pickle
Wonderful little German tradition. Strangely though, I never heard of it until I was an adult, even though I grew up in a German family. I made sure this was a part of Christmas for my kids. Sarah now has her own pickle to put on her tree.

Q – Quilt
I’ll admit I had a little struggle to come up with a “Q” thing for Christmas. So here’s a Christmas quilt!

R – Rudolph
Santa would have been in deep “stuff” without the help of good ol’ Rudolph. And yes, I can name ALL the reindeer!

S – Stockings
We never did much with stockings when I was young. I made sure to remedy that when I had my own home.

T – Tree

There is no greater smell than pine! There is no greater task so hated than vacuuming up all the needles after Christmas!! And since we have always tried to leave the tree up until Epiphany, there was that fear of the tree going up in flames. So yes, we got a fake tree. ASK ME IF I CARE!!! (BTW, you do NOT want to ask!)