Post-Holiday Updates and a Brand New Year

Petits fours: Round 1.

Petits fours: Round 1.

You guys! I totally cooked Christmas dinner!! And by “totally cooked Christmas dinner”, I mean that I sat back, sometimes stirred potatoes, opened the windows to air out the smell of the delicious-but-odoriferous balsamic reduction, and ate many of the petits fours that my grandmother brought over before dinner, while my sister, my brother in law, and my dad cooked like the superstars they are.

I feel compelled to note that my real contribution to Christmas Day feasting was breakfast. That’s right, I made coffee for everyone. Second coffee, that is, since everyone made their first cups themselves.

Also I made the Barefoot Contessa’s apple turnovers, mostly myself, which, well, it’s kind of a big deal.

You might remember that my mom had some surgery in December? Which led to some apprehension on my part about my sister and I cooking Christmas dinner together, since she doubts my abilities, and despite the possible wisdom of her doubt, that never fails to irritate me? Well, all that worrying was for naught, because they left me absolutely nothing to do but eat! And clean up. I wasn’t going to mention it, but…

I hope each of you had wonderful holidays with your loved ones.

I love giving presents (I love receiving them too) and this year, the present I was most excited to give were booklists for everyone in my family. I put my librarian skills to work on them all year, building a list of possibilities for everyone, and then choosing the twelve books that I thought were most likely to succeed in pleasing the recipient, making it into a little “book of the month club” booklet. Pictures would be included, but…*

For everyone except my brother in law, I had far more than twelve books to choose from, but my brother-in-law reads mostly nonfiction. And often (so I understand) non-narrative nonfiction…and not books of essays, either. I’m all about the narratives, personally, and our war interests don’t even coincide: while I went through a deeply earnest World War II obsession in my early teens that lingers today, my brother in law (so I understand) is interested in the Civil War. So I ended up having to stretch his recommendations to make twelve months. Thankfully two of the books on his list were super long, so I figured it’s possible that they will take two months each to read. It still kind of feels like a cop-out though.

But that does bring me around to my 2013 reading resolutions. (I use the word “resolution” loosely.) In no particular order, they are:


  • Read at least one nonfiction book. I give myself a pass on the non-narrative portion, but ideally one I think my brother in law would read and enjoy.
  • Middlemarch. I will finish it or give up entirely before I turn 30, so help me!
  • See if we can’t get a long-distance book club off the ground in 2013 (this means you, E and M!).
  • And, after reading this article in The Guardian online, read at least one book in 2013 that was translated from a language other than English.

What about you? Did you make any reading resolutions for 2013?

* As the girl who left all her Christmas crafting to the last possible moment, pictures didn’t happen before the booklists were slid into stockings. And frankly, my blog resolution for 2013 is not to hold up posts for more than a day because of a lack of pertinent photographs, since my thankless family hasn’t responded to my plea for photographs with actual photographs. Perhaps they’ve thrown the booklists away and just don’t want me to know.


3 thoughts on “Post-Holiday Updates and a Brand New Year

  1. wenzer

    when we finally finish Middlemarch, perhaps we could move on to Anna Karenina. Then we both would have taken care of our mammoth books, and you could also read a translation! win-win.

  2. Pingback: One Pair of Hands | Ms. Grammarian

  3. Pingback: Reading Resolutions Revisited | Ms. Grammarian

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