currently … a little christmas, now

Trimming the Tree - Reading Elf

Things are getting back to normal after our family’s scare on Thanksgiving.  We’ve had some time to reflect on everything and how close it seemed to having our lives changed forever. I’d like to think I already was appreciative, grateful, thankful, etc. without a medical emergency as a wake-up call and that I wasn’t taking anything or anyone for granted, but this has magnified that. Needless to say, It has been an emotional week (on quite a few fronts, actually).

We decided to put the Christmas tree up yesterday because, as one of my favorite holiday songs goes, we definitely needed a little Christmas in the aftermath of the past week. Every single ornament has some personal, sentimental significance. There isn’t one ordinary ornament on the tree. If I had to choose a favorite, it’s the reading elf that’s pictured above.  I’ve had it forever; it was given to me when I was a young child. We don’t do outdoor lights or much decorating besides the tree.

Reading … 
Thirteen Ways of LookingYou all know how much I love Colum McCann.  I love everything he has written and I think he’s a brilliant author. I’m reading Thirteen Ways of Looking for a review and I am just completely in awe of this man. The title novella is probably one of the best pieces of shorter fiction I’ve ever read.

Listening …
Speaking of short fiction, my current audiobook is The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway, which I thought was on my list for The Classics Club, but it isn’t.  The only Hemingway I’ve ever read is The Old Man and the Sea, which was back in high school or something and left me unimpressed (like many people).  I was in the mood for short stories on audio when I picked this up at the library.   Some are better than others.  Of those I’ve read so far, the ones I thought were particularly well-done are “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” “Capitol of the World,” and “Up in Michigan.”

Sheila from Book Journey is planning to host her third annual First Book of the Year event on January 1.  Like Sheila, I always give a lot of thought to the first book I read in any given year. I like it to be something that, in whatever way, sets the tone for the months to come — whether that happens to be related to a goal, something to provide inspiration, or whatever.

ReadMyOwnDamnBooksbuttonI like having my first book of the year be one that I already own, because that gives me a personal sense of accomplishment that at least ONE book from my shelves will be read in any given year. And as luck would have it, there’s a “reading effort” that will help me with this.  Andi from Estella’s Revenge is hosting #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks, billed as a “you do you,” choose-your-own-adventure. No rules or requirements except reading your own damn books. So, I’m in … although I don’t know what my personal guidelines will be yet. I may just make it up as I go, with the objective being to read as many from my stash as possible.

If you’re participating in The Classics Club, it’s time to spin! This involves listing “your choice of any twenty books you’ve left to read from your Classics Club list — in a separate post. Tomorrow the organizers will post a number from 1 through 20. The challenge is to read whatever book falls under that number on your Spin List, by February 1, 2016. More details are here.

Since I never finished (or even started) my designated book for the last spin I joined, I’m highly tempted to reuse my same list for this go-around.  But it’s worth a revision, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings!

Thanks for sharing this post!

12 thoughts on “currently … a little christmas, now

  1. Bryan G. Robinson

    I like the idea of thinking about what the first book of the year will be and this year, I think I’ll have to give it some deep thought, although I think I have a few potential candidates. We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted and I’ll look forward to seeing whatever you choose.

    1. Melissa Post author

      It’s a nice way to start the year, Bryan. I’m leaning toward A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf for The Classics Club.

    1. Melissa Post author

      Yes, my husband collapsed immediately after Thanksgiving dinner … he got up from the table, said he wasn’t finished, and went into the bathroom where I found him practically unconscious and barely able to breathe. He’s doing fine now after two days of being in the hospital, but those were some of the scariest moments of my life.

      I love that idea of putting only female authors on your classics list! I need to remember that for the next Spin.

      Loved Let the Great World Spin too … I think if you liked this, you will like Thirteen Ways of Looking.

    1. Melissa Post author

      He’s a fantastic writer (although, I’m not sure if I would recommend Thirteen Ways of Looking for you at this time, Sheila. I know how fragile you are during this holiday season — and rightfully so — and this one is a little heavy.)

  2. Molly

    Oh my goodness – I am so sorry for your Thanksgiving scare, and so glad it worked out as well as it did.
    I’m certain this holiday season will be extra meaningful. Yes, you all do need a little bit of Christmas right now. Blessings…

  3. Belle Wong

    I just read about your Thanksgiving night – wow. I’m so glad everything turned out okay. It’s definitely the kind of wake-up call that leads to more appreciation.

    I haven’t had much time for reading lately, and haven’t even thought about my first book of the year! I’d like to read something from my own shelves, too.

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