Monday, December 20, 2021

Monday Malarkey - Merry Christmas edition

There were no book arrivals at all, this past two weeks, so you get a Festive Fiona Christmas pic to admire instead of a book photo. 

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
  • A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas
  • The Cat Who Saved Books by Sōsuke Natsukawa
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
  • Jane and the Year Without a Summer by Stephanie Barron
  • The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan

I read four old favorite Christmas books because I was having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit. The decorating wasn't getting done and I just wasn't feeling it, although I put out some cute little gnomes and bought some flickering curtain lights that drop about halfway down the windows (I figured full-length would be a cat hazard) and they're very cheering. The books helped! Our Christmas tree never did get fully decorated but when we plug it in at night you can't see that it's not as full of ornaments as it normally is. And after reading all those Christmas books, I finally got the mantle dusted and decorated, painted a few little wooden animals white and put red and white ribbons around their necks then set them marching across a shelf, wrapped gifts, decorated the entry table, and called it done. 

Currently reading:

  • The 2021 Short Story Advent Calendar by Hingston and Olsen (publisher)
  • In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren 

It's Sunday afternoon as I type and I haven't yet started to read In a Holidaze; it's what I plan to read next. I don't know if it'll take but if it does it should be my last Christmas book. I started an anthology of Christmas stories and poems a couple days ago but found it dull, so there was one DNF, this week. I don't know if I'll hang onto the anthology to try again in 2022 or just donate it. I'm leaning toward donating. 

Posts since last Malarkey: 

In other news:

I think I mentioned that we stopped midway through the second episode of Get Back. After a couple weeks of waiting to see if husband was willing to watch more of it, he admitted that he wasn't interested. So, I finished watching Get Back while he was in Denver on business, this week. I enjoyed it! Yeah, parts of it are either chaotic or a bit of a snooze but in general I found it fascinating and enlightening. I have a book of Beatles songs that I got from HarperCollins and never managed to review because the friend I was going to discuss it with passed away shortly after I received it but I think I'm finally at a point that I can pull it off the shelf without weeping over the loss of my friend so I hope to start on that, soon. 

A Dickens of a Holiday is a Hallmark movie that I watched, this week. We'd turned it on in the middle the week before and I thought it was intolerable without context, but starting from the beginning worked. It's about a couple of actors. The female has returned to her hometown and is in charge of directing the annual production of A Christmas Carol but when her Scrooge loses his voice and is told that he has to rest his vocal chords for a month, she calls on a local guy who has become famous to play the role. He's . . . pretty awful. Actually, I didn't even think he was a great Scrooge at the point that we were supposed to think she'd given him some great advice and he'd improved, but I thought the interaction between the two characters was fun and sweet. 

I know I watched another Hallmark movie and, in fact, loved that one. But, I can't remember what it was even about. This was definitely a movie week. 

Finding You is a movie I found on Prime. It's about a New York violinist who goes on a semester abroad in Ireland after her audition for music school is a failure. On the way to Ireland, she's seated beside a famous star and takes an instant disliking to him. But, when they end up in the same Bed and Breakfast and her host family is too overwhelmed with the new business to show her the sights, he offers to take her. She also gets some lessons from a local fiddler and has to do community service, acting as a companion to a senior citizen. I loved this movie for the hilarious scenes in which the actor is fighting dragons and the Irish setting but I also found it touching and sweet. I had tears absolutely streaming down my face near the end. It was a little triggering for me but worth it. 

Another Prime movie I happened across one day when I was in the mood for TV was Mistletoe Mixup. It's about a woman who has two men interested in her. One leaves his phone number but never texts back and the other follows up. She likes the guy who doesn't text back better. But, when the other fellow asks if she'd like to join his family for Christmas (she has no family), she's surprised when she shows up and the guy who didn't text back opens the door. They are, it turns out, brothers. Bit of a mess. I liked that. It's obvious from the beginning which guy she really clicks with and how it will end up, but that's the joy of romance, isn't it? You get what you expect and desire out of the story. I enjoyed it.

And, there's one more movie that I plan to watch, tonight: 

'Tis the Season to be Merry is a movie that I saw advertised while watching A Dickens of a Holiday. I don't know what it's about or whether or not I'll like it but I'll be in front of the TV at 7pm Central time, watching. 

Oh, and last week I went to see the local production of A Christmas Carol with blogger friend Brittanie of A Book Lover (not currently an active blog). It was fabulous! I was so impressed. We've talked about getting tickets to the New Stage Theater but just never gotten around to it so I was excited when Brittanie asked if I wanted to go. Husband was unfortunately on his flight to Denver but that's OK. Brittanie and I hadn't seen each other since before the pandemic and it was nice to catch up in person. 

I have one more review to do, maybe two if I do a post about all the short Christmas books, then I may be done posting till after Christmas. I don't know if I'll get around to posting another cat photo. We'll see. They're so cute, I probably will. 

Hope you're enjoying the Christmas season!

©2021 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. You and I seem to be on the same page with decorations this year. I had the kidney stone from hell which put me out of commission for way longer than you'd expect so it took me days to put the bare minimum on the tree. I only put out a quarter of what I own. But knowing that the kids would be here for Christmas forced me to at least call it done.

    I was just planning the Christmas meal but now I am thinking we will hit a Chinese restaurant. We never do that for Christmas but I am just not into it this year and everything is about to shutdown again.

    1. Yes, exactly! I just figured I might as well call it done, as you did. Some years we really go all-out and this year neither of us was really in the mood, but at least reading Christmas stories helped and I'm happy with what we've done. Or, I've done. I think husband is even less enthusiastic than I am, this year. He refused to get down the large wreath that normally goes over the mantle. I'm fine with that.

      I'm sorry about the kidney stone. I hear those are miserable. I'm sure it takes a while to fully recover. We've done the Chinese Christmas meal! It was fun because it was a change of pace. We did it pre-pandemic, though. The Asian market's little restaurant is in such a tiny space that I don't think we'll be going there for a while. My New Jersey son says they're already beyond the number of cases they had in their previous peak so stay-at-home days are coming. Blah. Enjoy it while you can, for sure.


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