My 2013 Reading List-short but sweet

I love books.  There’s something about the smell of them, and the way they feel in my hands.  But I’m not opposed to embracing modern technology.  I received a Nook last Christmas and love it.  It’s easy to down load books on to it.

Waaay to easy.

So easy I have more books to read than time to read them.  Dare I say books are my compulsion? What’s a girl to do?  Keep buying more books, of course.  I’ll get around to reading all of them someday.

Here’s a short list of what I managed to squeeze on to my reading list for 2013.  Hopefully, 2014’s list will be longer.

Agnes and the Hitman and Maybe This Time, Jennifer Crusie.  I LOVE anything by Crusie, and hadn’t realized how behind I was on her backlist until I bought these two.  Definitely need to catch up.

Oxygen, John B Olson & Randy Ingermanson.  I don’t normally read scifi, but co-writer Randy Ingermanson is the “snowflake” method of structuring a novel so I had to give it a go.  Glad I did.  It was very good.  I bought the sequel, The Fifth Man,  but haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

The Damsel in this Dress, Marianne Stillings.  I love a good romantic comedy and this one definitely fit the bill.  This just may be a repeater.

Bloodstained, C. J. Lyons. This is the second in Lyons’ Lucy Guardino FBI Thrillers. Fast paced, smartly written, I can’t wait to read the third one.

Keep Me Ghosted, Karen Cantwell. Another entertaining romantic comedy and the first in the Sophie Rhodes Ghostly series.

What did you read this year?


Holiday Music

I like a sappy Christmas tune as much as the next would-be Santa, but not while the pumpkins are still out.  Call me Scrooge if you must, but I’m a firm believer the holiday season should begin with Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Period.  End of story.

So since it IS the holiday season, and I posted a few of my favorite movies last week, I thought I’d share some festive music from my iTunes playlist.

Warning, some of these are not your Granny’s Christmas songs.  But I bet she’d be tapping her foot along with them, anyway.

Silent Night, Elvis Presley.  This is by far my favorite rendition of this classic Christmas Song.

Mrs. Santa Claus Ain’t Got Nothing on Me, Little Jackie.  With a little bit of soul, a little bit of R&B, and a little bit of pop, our girl lets her “inner elf hustle on out” and does “twelve days of Christmas in twelve hours”.  Granny knows what I’m talkin’ ‘bout.

Milk and Cookies (‘Til Santa’s Gone), Clint Black.  This five-year-old knows Santa’s favorite snack, but is worried the man in red won’t be able to fit everything he asked for under the tree.  Especially the horse.

Merry Christmas, Baby, The Ramsay Lewis Trio.  This is one sexy tune that.  One can almost picture a couple slow dancing in front of a roaring fire, a silky red dress falling softly to the ground, and …  Ahem.

Baby It’s Cold Outside, Dean Martin.  This may be more of a winter song than a Christmas song, but hey, it’s Dean Martin, whom I’ve always thought the best of all the “crooners”.  Yes, even better than Frank Sinatra.

Get Down for the Holidays, Jennie O., This is from the Target commercials a few years back.  Not sure what it is about this song I like.  Maybe it’s the Simon & Garfunkel-esque sound they’ve got going for them.  Yep, that’s it.

I’ve left out a bunch, I know, but these are my current faves.   The list changes every year.

What gets your bells a jingling’ while you’re trimming, wrapping & shopping for the holidays?

(Fun fact:  Jingle Bells was originally written to celebrate the American Thanksgiving and was titled One Horse Open Sleigh.  And it was the first song broadcast from Space.)

Holiday Movies

Ready or not, folks, the holiday season is once again upon us.  It’s  not as if were shouldn’t have been prepared, what with Christmas music on the radio since November 1 and tinsel and garland next to the Halloween costumes.   Kinda takes some of the specialness out of the season, doesn’t it?

What better way to put some oomph back into your Christmas spirit than by sitting down with a cup of hot chocolate (spiked or not, your choice), a bowl of popcorn and a holiday-themed movie?  Here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order.

It’s a Wonderful Life – George Bailey struggles with the path his life has taken and gets an eye opening look at how things could have been from his guardian angel, Clarence.

The Santa Clause – If you were Tim Allen and you found Santa flat on his back on your lawn and reindeer on your roof wouldn’t you “put on the suit”? I love the way this film give an old tale a fresh look.

White Christmas – Not only does this classic movie have a great score and top notch cast, it has Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye rolling up their pant legs, grabbing feather fans and singing “Sisters” to help out a pair of pretty sisters.  And they get to put on a show and save the day for their old WWII commander.

Rudolph – Do I really need to explain why this one is on the list?

The Town Santa Forgot – I doubt anyone remembers this one.   The movie’s message was about spoiled brat Jeremy Lake, being greedy and giving rather than receiving.  But for my son, who had been particularly obnoxious that day, it was an eye opening reminder that Santa didn’t bring toys to kids who were bad.

I could go on and on:

Christmas in Connecticut (1945 version) – Food writer Barbara Stanwyck has lied about being the perfect homemaker and now finds herself hosting her boss and a soldier for the holidays.

Miracle on 34th Street – Edmund Gwen is Santa Clause.  That’s all I gotta say

Elmo Saves Christmas – Elmo loves the holiday so much he wishes it could be Christmas everyday.  He soon learns it would take the specialness out of the holiday and keep people from doing their everyday jobs, everyone would also miss out on all the other great holidays.

What are some of your favorites?

Keep in mind what my husband always says: If you believe, you shall receive.