All the Christmas books I’ve read to date

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by ThatArtsyReaderGirl!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is ‘holiday freebie’, so I’ve decided to literally just list all the Christmas books I’ve read, in order of how much I liked them, because I gotta tell you, it’s fewer than ten. This doesn’t include like, picture books my parents read to me when I was little for Christmas. Chapter books, yes. Picture books, no.

So in order of least favorite to most favorite:

The Autobiography of Santa Claus as told by Jeff Guinn – This one is technically cheating, as I DNF’d the thing. I got about two thirds through it and had to put it down. It had gotten weird and basically started to pull a Bill and Ted, where Santa went around collecting people.

The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans – This one I read a while ago but I remember enjoying it. It follows a widow and her family as they find this Christmas box. It’s wholesome (but then again, so are most of the ones on this list).

Santa & Pete by Christopher Moore and Pamela Johnson – My mom read this book to me when I was little, one of the few I remember her reading. Usually it was my dad that read to us and mom would do other things to spend quality time, but in this case it was her reading. This story is told through a grandpa telling his grandson a tale while driving around on a city bus. I still reread the thing every few years.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – This one’s a classic and I feel like it’s not even worth going into what it’s about. This is really nice to read, though.

The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans – Out of the two Christmas books I’ve read by this guy, this one is my favorite. It’s a kinda-sorta Christmas Carol retelling? Kinda? It’s pretty good I think!

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson – This is my favorite Christmas book, hands down. It’s also for the youngest audience. The cover above is not the one I have, but I chose it because the one I have on Goodreads is teeny tiny and wouldn’t resize well, so pbtbt. But this is another book I’m pretty sure my mom read to me. It’s about a town trying to put on a kid’s Christmas pageant and a bunch of rambuctious “problem” children get cast as the main roles. It’s about understanding the backgrounds of other people and wanting to help them anyways. It’s really sweet and I like it. My copy is riddled with holes and all ripped up. Yes, actual holes, apparently 8 year old me at some point took a hole puncher to the thing. Bad Emily.

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And that’s it! Like I said, I didn’t have ten. I’m always on the hunt for new Christmas books though – I try to read one every year. This year I’m rereading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, but if you have any suggestions, do let me know! Happy Blogmas!

Fall Bucketlist 2020

Bonus Friday post! I couldn’t find where else to squeeze it in, so HI AGAIN I’M GLAD YOU’RE HERE.

It’s fall! Hooray! Fall and winter is the best time of the year. Technically, my ‘favorite time of the year’ goes from August 1st, which is my wedding anniversary, to January 1st, for obvious reasons. So now that we’re pretty far into the best time of the year and the weather is actually starting to feel like fall, I’m making a bucketlist again!

Last year, I did a Fall and Winter bucketlist, but then I never followed up on it. So this year, I’m dividing it – my fall bucket list will go from today through Black Friday. That day I’ll go over what I did and post my winter bucket list (which if we’re being honest is just a Christmas/holiday list, so shh). I’ll follow up on that sometime in January.

So here’s my fall list. Some of these are already done, as it’s the end of September, but work with me here.

Also, most of my bucket list is food. Pbtbtbt.

Fall Bucket List

  • Pumpkin spice latte
  • Pumpkin cream cold brew – Complete
  • Pumpkin beer – Complete
  • Octoberfest beer – Complete
  • Participate in fall beer exchange – Complete
  • Pumpkin cookies – Complete
  • Break out the fall scented candles
  • Apple cider
  • Buy spoopy decorations for Halloween – Complete
  • Decorate the house all spoopy
  • Buy turkey decorations for Thanksgiving
  • Decorate the house all turkey-y
  • Break out Christmas decorations and do inventory to see if anything new/replacements are needed
  • Organize a list of blog posts to write from now til Black Friday – Complete
  • Organize a list of blog posts for Blogmas 2020 – Complete
  • Pre-write November posts, because Nanowrimo
  • Pre-write at least five Blogmas posts
  • Participate in Nanoplanmo
  • Participate in Nanowrimo
  • Go to an applefest (if possible, the plaaaaague, aaaaah)
  • Get pumpkins
  • Carve pumpkins
  • Hand out candy on trick or treat (if possible, the plaaaaague, aaaaah)
  • Get fall flowers
  • Gobblerito
  • Pilgrim sandwich
  • Turkey and Stuffing
  • Slow cooker hot chocolate
  • Fall nail art
  • Buddy read Vita Nostra with Katy @Bookbinderway
  • Watch The Lord of the Rings
  • Watch Harry Potter
  • Watch a scary movie
  • Hang all the framed art that’s been sitting on the ground, leaning against the wall since I moved in three years ago
  • Buy a new car
  • Read three of my remaining 10 in 2020 books

So you can see a lot of them are food, a lot of them are fall-specific, and a lot of them are blog related. There are a few though that are just ‘you gotta do this soon’, most the car one. My car is about dead, I need to buy a new one soon.

If you have a fall bucket list, or something even remotely similar, lemme know what you plan to do this season!

 

Seasonal Favorites aka the best time of the year | #3

Blogmas 2019

Today is the final installment of my seasonal favorites posts! If you’re interested, you can see part 1 and part 2 here.

Food

Irish Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks – Man, I’ve been living off these things. They. Are. Delicious. I’ll be sad when they’re gone.

Rooibos tea – I think this has made my faves list before, back when I did them as a normal monthly thing. It’s my favorite tea ever, perfect year round

Cookies – These are the cookies that Meredith @Allboutthembooksandstuff sent me! I’ve been munching on them since they got here earlier this week, and it’s making my tummy jiggle extra. Whoops

Crunchy Cookie butter – see above for what it’s doing to my tummy, yo.

Games

Terraria – (game play trailer above). I’ve been playing this for years, but this past month I’ve really jumped back into it. It’s kinda like… Minecraft? But way better, man.

Other Stuff

Weighted blanket – my husband kindly got me a weighted blanket for Christmas this year. As you can see I’ve already forfeited ownership of it to the cat. It was good while it lasted.

Phipps’ Winter Lights Show – Phipps Convervatory in Pittsburgh decks out its greenhouse every year with Christmas decorations, resulting in essentially a wonderland. Really, it’s gorgeous. If you’re ever in Pittsburgh during December, it’s worth going, man.

Not so subtle plug to my instagram, but here are the rest of the photos I took there too, if you’re interested


And that’s it! This was a fun series, and I hope to do it again next year! For now, we’ve got the boring part of the year to look forward to. Until next August when it starts to get fun again. 😛

The Joy of Christmas book tag!

Blogmas 2019

Happy Wednesday! Today’s tag was created by Sam @Sam’sNonsense. I wasn’t tagged, I just needed content, so he were are. :”D

1) Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating?

O Maidens in Your Savage Season 5

O Maidens vol 5. Technically I think this came out yesterday, but I’m still anticipating it because I don’t have it yet.

2) Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but sing it’s praises?

His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1)

Naomi Novik, author of the Temeraire series, Uprooted and Spinning Silver. I think the lowest rating she’s ever gotten from me has been a four stars.

3) Gingerbread Houses: What book or series has wonderful world building?

Golden Fool (Tawny Man, #2)

Literally anything by Robin Hobb.

4) A Christmas Carol: Favorite classic or one that you want to read

Frankenstein

Frankenstein. This is one of the few classics I’ve enjoyed thoroughly. Nothing against classics but usually, usually they’re not for me.

5) Christmas Sweets: What book would you love to receive for Christmas

That’s a spoiler! I’m making a whole post about it this weekend.

6) Candles in the Window: What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling

Ella Enchanted (Ella Enchanted #1)

Ella Enchanted. It was a childhood favorite and I still love it. I should reread it!

7) Christmas Trees & Decorations: What are some of your favorite book covers?

The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1)

I really love the covers of the Lightbringer series. All five of them!

8) Christmas Joy: What are some of your favorite things about Christmas And/Or some of your favorite Christmas memories?

Man. I think I’ll just link my bucket list, and my first and second seasonal favorites posts to answer this one. I’ll get to the third seasonal one, soonish. But all of the above.


And that’s it! If you’d like to do this, consider yourself tagged!

Are you ready for sweater weather? Tag!

Blogmas 2019

Hi! I got tagged in a tag so I’m gonna do the tag! I was tagged by the Orangutan Librarian (thanks pal!)

Hot Chocolate – What is your comfort book?

Ella Enchanted (Ella Enchanted #1)

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine – I read this countless times as a young teen, and it always was such a nice experience. I haven’t picked it up in a while, but just thinking about it makes me all warm and fuzzy.

Pumpkin Carving – What is your favorite creative outlet?

Honestly? Probably this blog. My job is very logical and doesn’t leave a lot of room for personal style, and when I get home I usually just read or whatever. I used to paint my nails a lot – I did nail art and all sorts of stuff, but I kinda fell out of that. Maybe I’ll do a nail art for blogmas, we’ll see if I get inspired. I also used to draw a lot – I worked in charcoal, mostly – but I haven’t done so in a long time. This is my favorite thing I ever made:

Used one of my favorite characters for my drawing midterm a couple years ago - charcoal 18x24in.

Falling Leaves – Changes that appear bad but you secretly love?

This one’s easy: The weather, and it’s no secret. I love the cold, I love the ice, I love the snow. I don’t even mind snowy roads when driving to work because luckily, I can work from home if that happens. So it’s like childhood snow days all over again for me.

Pumpkin Spiced Latte – Something you love that other people judge

Sticking with the season, I’ll say the season! And I say this because while I love everything October-December: the temperature, the snow, the holidays, the seasonal drinks, the seasonal beers, all of it, my husband is the exact opposite. He likes the warm weather and the sun, so during the summer I suffer and he’s in his element, but during the winter I thrive and he suffers. And he totally judges me for it.

“HOW CAN YOU LOVE IT WHEN YOU CAN’T STOP SHIVERING?!” he says. I just do, man. I just do.

Bonfire Night – What makes you explode with joy?

Books! Cats! Coffee! Beer! Dogs! Vacations! Sleeping in! Cheese! Chocolate!

Fright Night – Favorite scary book or movie

The Library at Mount Char

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins – This is the only book on my favorites list that’s a horror, so it fits the bill. This is the weirdest book I’ve ever read and I recommend it.

Halloween candy – Favourite thing to eat

Gyros. Picture courtesy of… me! That’s my arm!

Scarves – Your autumn ‘must have’ accessory

Matching socks. You have no idea how hard it is to achieve some days, man.

Fire – A book or film that burns your soul

Castaway on the Moon. Really, you should watch this movie. I think about it all the time.

Toffee apples – a book or film that seems to one thing but really has a different inside

Vanilla Sky. Honestly before I watched it, I thought it was a romance or a rom-com or something. Nope. Watch it. Really. Don’t let its appearance deceive you.


And that is it! If you’d like to do this tag, consider yourself tagged! Otherwise, I tag BookbinderWay and AllThingsMommaBlog!

Seasonal Favorites aka the best time of the year | #2

fall post.png

Hello! Today is part two of a three part series I’m going to do. Basically ‘monthly favorites’ but focusing on fall, because, as the title says, it’s the best time of the year. Fight me on it.

You can find part one here, if you’re interested.

This is what I liked this month!

Food

They are all Thanksgiving-related items, does this shock you. Does it.

The first item is the Gobblerito, a seasonal special of Mad Mex, which is a Pittsburgh-based restaurant (these… will all be from Pittsburgh-based things, come to think of it). But basically it’s a burrito as big as your head, filled with turkey, corn, black beans, stuffing, and then coated with turkey gravy and served with a bit of cranberry. Heaven on a plate, I’ve never been able to finish one in one sitting. (Photo credit of madmex.com)

The next right below it is the pilgrim sub, a seasonal special of Get Go, which is actually a gas station similar to a Sheetz or Wawa or whatever you have near you, owned by the local grocery store Giant Eagle in Pittsburgh. It’s turkey, cheese and cranberry all loaded up into stuffing bread, and it’s delicious. (Photo credit of GetGo’s twitter account)

The final picture is the coveted Smoked Turkey Waffle, available seasonally by Pig Iron Public House, which, you guessed it, as Pittsburgh based. The waffle itself is made of stuffing, and then on top there’s smoked turkey, gravy, and friend mashed potato-and-cranberry balls. It. Is. Delicious. (Photo credit to ME. I TOOK THE PICTURE)

There’s one more Thanksgiving item I haven’t gotten to yet, called the Gobble Gobble burger, sold by the Pittsburgh burger joint BRGR… if I get to it in the next month, I’ll mention it in the next faves post. 😛

Games

Just a flash game this month. I’ve been hooked on it: Blendoku, which I know is at least available on the android app store, maybe the apple one as well? Who knows.

It’s a game kinda like a mix between sudoku and a crossword puzzle, but instead of placing numbers of letters, you place colors in a way that they blend into each other well. It’s fun!

Television

Honestly, the two I mentioned last month, Food Wars and My Hero Academia are still up there. Otherwise:

Supernatural. Man, I’ve been watching this show from the beginning. It’s just started it’s final season – the 15th one – and it’s all comin’ together. Note, do not watch the above trailer unless you’re caught up or you don’t mind spoilers that you’ll have no context for until you actually watch the show. If you don’t mind the no-context spoilers, it gives a really good vibe about what the whole show is about. Honestly when I found it I watched it twice and let my feels be feels.

Queer Eye. This is a Netflix show that I picked up maybe two weeks ago… and have since binged all four seasons plus their four-episode Japan special. I’m obsessed. Everyone is so wholesome and kind and loving and wonderful and augh ❤ Season 5 is coming out soon and I’m pumped for it.

Music

Lately, I’ve been using a playlist on spotify for my Nanowrimo projects, called ‘Epic Instrumental’ where it’s just what it sounds like. This is it!

Also, this song’s been pretty good lately:

Other Stuff

JonTron. A youtuber that’s been around for ages. He does comedy videos, and while I’ve liked him for a while, one of his latest videos, the goop video above, cracked me up. So he’s a favorite this month.

My Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations. I don’t get super festive for both of these holidays, despite the fact that I love them both, haha. On the left is my one candle – Caramel Pecan, and a box of leaves. On the right is my jackolantern this year.


And that’s it! One more of these posts mid-to-late next month, and that’ll be it. It’ll be back to the boring times this month.

Happy falling and wintering!