Thursday, November 30, 2017

Book and Bookish Presents I Think You Should Get: Holiday Gift Guide 2017

If you're part of a group/tradition that does gift-giving in the winter, you're probably being barraged with ideas, so I'm sorry to add to the pile up. But I looooooooooooooooooove recommending things and I love gifting, so I'm inserting myself into the melee.

Bookish Things Unabridged Chick Thinks You Should Gift People: 2017 Edition

Marissa A. Ross, Wine. All the Time.: The Casual Guide to Confident Drinking

I've bought this book for myself, and I plan on gifting it to people who are in their mid-20s and their mid-50s (translation: this book is great whether you're new to adulthood or old hat). This wonderfully irreverent and accessible guide has totally changed my relationship with wine, and I've had to stop myself from chasing people around liquor stores recommending this book. Imagine you have a non-snobbish friend who is well-versed in drinking good wine, and she knows you're on a budget but that you also have aspirations to eat/drink a little more fancy, or healthy, or both. Ross is that friend, and she walks you through every aspect of wine: types and why you should care; how to read labels; growing regions; tasting notes; and so on. She shook us out of our three-buck Chuck purchases, and so far, we've been well rewarded.

Girl of All Work: Classic Character Sticky Tabs

I was gifted a set of Great Gatsby character sticky tabs last year and I love them so much. They're great as small bookmarks or note-taking flags. Unabridged Toddler uses them on his toys. Pretty much, if you've got someone who loves office supplies and books, you need to gift them at least one set of these stickies. (And honestly, the rest of the stuff Girl of All Work does is also wickedly adorable, so apologies if you go broke there!)

Eric Carle Museum: Mo Willems' Pigeon Bumper Sticker and/or Eric Carle Bath Toys

If you've got a parent in your life, especially one who is in the early book portion of child-rearing, these two presents might be especially appreciated. The Eric Carle Museum's gift shop has adorable, unique book gifts I haven't seen elsewhere, so you'll likely get something they don't already have AND you'll support a great museum.

Unabridged Toddler was gifted the bath toys and they're just uh-dorable. As devoted Pigeon fans, this bumper sticker brings me non-stop joy. (The museum has a dedicated Mo Willems section that includes gorgeous, playful fabric inspired by his books. It makes me wish I could sew!)

Friend of [Your Town's] Library: Donation!

Libraries save lives. In addition to free access to media, most libraries also provide enormously important services in our communities. This year, our family realized we need to start demonstrating our appreciation for our libraries, and we're making a donation to the Friends of our local library branch. Almost all libraries have 'em. Donate in a beloved reader's name! (Lucky enough to have access to books and media without needing to use your library regularly? Make a gift anyway!)

And finally, I recommend most of the books I've read this year. I'll make my top ten list later in December, but there have been so many knockout reads this year, it's going to be a challenge -- and I'm not sure I could pick out one or two for this post. But if you are looking for recs, start there (or feel free to ask me as I looooove pairing people to books!).

What are some of your highly recommended bookish purchases for this year?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Midweek reads: cold temps, cozy home

I can't believe it's been so long since I've updated but I've been felled by a four-week cold that has just really started to clear up. I'm able to sleep through the night with only one bad coughing fit, and while I've lost my voice, I'm not barking like a sea lion every fourteen seconds. Whew!

With great help from a woo woo mystical Facebook group, I've decided to settle into the late fall/winter season and embrace it rather than dread it. Toward that end, I've tried to hygge up my life with coziness and what not. Last night, I pulled out a cup and plate set I bought while on a trip to Savona, Italy years ago (and forgotten about until I found them again), and I indulged in some panettone cake and coffee with my reading.

I'm about a third through Picnic at Hanging Rock, and the only reason I'm going slow is that I'm seriously lingering. I bought the audiobook and am listening to it, but I'm also concurrently reading it. The language is that good:

With her high-piled greying pompadour and ample bosom, as rigidly controlled and disciplined as her private ambitions...


Insulated from natural contacts with earth, air and sunlight, by corsets pressing on the solar plexus, by voluminous petticoats, cotton stockings and kid boots, the drowsy well-fed girls lounging in the shade were no more a part of their environment than figures in a photograph album, arbitrarily posed against a backcloth of cork rocks and cardboard trees.

I should speed up my reading as I'm ten books away from hitting my 2017 reading goal, and I'd really like to finish Middlemarch before the new year.

Anyway -- a midweek update of nothing much. What are you reading right now?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wordless Wednesday, November 8

I only approve of Christmas-before-Thanksgiving when it comes to Christmas-y foods. (Eggnog, panettone, and nougat-based treats are my particular weaknesses.)

Unabridged Toddler has a cold -- possibly croup -- and it's been a long, tiring week. I'm wicked behind on my NaNo draft and feeling the tickle of a cold in the back of my throat. Winter-ish weather has landed in Boston, which I don't mind, only I've still got AC units in the windows so it's a bit chilly in my house!

As usual, my Wordless Wednesday isn't so wordless but ... whatever, I can only do so much. What's going on with your Wednesday?