Sunday, November 29, 2015

NQAC: Biweekly Update #23: Back Home for Christmas Preparations and Crafting

I was off to Montana for the week, but now I'm back to blogging (even though my body thinks it's hibernation time). I didn't take advantage of the Black Friday/Thursday sales- I really didn't see anything worth buying this year, but then I'm buying for specific people who I have rather niche ideas for as far as gifts. Cyber Monday may be more my speed- I'll just have to see what deals will be available then.

Recent Acquisitions (or the Piling of the-Piles):

the-pile Additions:

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
This was popular roughly ten years ago, and I've been wanting to pick it up since then due to its lovely cover.

A Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers by John Johnson Craighead

My mom and I like to know all the plants when we go walking, so this will come in handy. I read through it the other day and was able to identify some of the plants I've been wondering about.

Wolfskin (The Light Isles #1) by Juliet Marillier
A fantasy book with wolfhounds/deerhounds on the cover? That's auto-buy bait for me.

In the Walled Gardens by Anahita Firouz
I picked this one up since it was set in Iran. The Travel the World in Books Challenge has increased my book hoarding...

A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve
Anita Shreve is one of my favorite authors, despite having very hit-and-miss books. Hopefully this one will be a hit- it's set in Kenya.

the-invisible-pile Additions:

City of Stairs (The Divine Cities #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett
This one has been on my wishlist for some time now and recently went on sale. I can't wait to read it, though I may be trudging through some other books first.

Currently Reading:

The Red Knight (The Traitor Son Cycle #1) by Miles Cameron
I have a theme with my currently reading reads this week: they're both highly adored on Goodreads and they're both going very slowly now that I've gotten 'into' them. The Red Knight is irking me with it's random perspective changes- the author tells you who it is, but all I want to do is smack my head and scream "Not again!". There is such a thing as too many perspectives, and this book may have that issue in my case.

Desert Bound (Cambio Springs #2) by Elizabeth Hunter
I'm not sure why, but this book is getting on my nerves. Maybe it's the focus on shifter politics/dominance which is the sort of thing that usually rubs me the wrong way, or maybe it's too much of a mystery type book. I'll finish this one off, but it's beginning to irk me.

Finished These Books:

Not what I expected it to be, but that's okay. This year I've had a lot of trouble with having high expectations- I still have only rated one book this year 5 Stars, and I've read a fair share so far (80+). I wanted to love this one, but it didn't quite hit the mark with me.

So this began with bang, lagged heavily in the middle, but finished with panache. Definitely a recommendable nonfiction as long as you're willing to trudge through the excess detail.

A nice change of pace from your average historical romance. A former concubine is kidnapped by a warlord seeking to protect and/or use her for his political ambitions. I love that although some dynamics are the same as a Regency romance, it's still a lot different (as in, more action than your average romance). There were a few things I would've tweaked in this book, but it was pretty great overall.

What an adorable urban fantasy with a touch of sci-fi! I didn't realize how much I'd enjoy it based on the description and cover, but this one was really a gem. I'm looking forward to the next installment! I won't be doubting Ilona Andrews again!

In the Blogosphere:

None this week since I haven't been bookmarking/saving links diligently enough.

In My Life:

Christmas Preparations:

Outdoor/Porch Decorations
When we bought our house, it was covered in Christmas lights. Since the house was built in 1903, I've always felt the Christmas lights were gaudy, so I've always used ribbons instead. Someday I may add some evergreen garland, but for now it's very candy cane-ish. Poor Caucasian babydoll Jesus looks a little out of place, though.

The Tree Sans Decorations
Since we've gotten George, I've been anticipating his shenanigans during the holiday season because cats like Christmas trees a little too much. I haven't put any decorations on the tree yet, but I expect he'll be very interested in the shiny/sparkly ornaments, since he has a tendency to steal jewelry from my mother.


I began weaving a scarf for my mom with some black, gray, and white yarn. George enjoys trying to eat at my hands while I'm weaving, leading to a few time-outs.

I started my next Querkle, which will be varying shades of black to blue to aqua:

And on the holiday dessert front, my mom and I made our first batch of lefse without help from the lefse guardians (my grandmother and her sister):

For those not in the know, lefse is a Scandinavian dessert specialty that would be somewhat similar to a tortilla made of potatoes, but instead of a savory dish it is a dessert. You butter it then sprinkle it with sugar, roll it up, and eat it. It's the most honest cookie, since you add most of the butter and sugar afterwards, while other cookies disguise their devastating dietary blows.

Did you find any good bookish Black Friday/Thursday sales? Which holiday desserts will you be cooking/baking?


  1. Part of me wishes I hit the sales on Black Friday, but I just couldn't bring myself too. I try so hard to avoid shopping that day generally, but I'm on a tight budget this year and so am hoping to spread what little money I have in my budget as far as it can go.

    I am glad you enjoyed Clean Sweep. I love Ilona Andrews. I haven't read that one yet. It's too bad Desert Bound isn't working well for you. It sounds right up my alley. I haven't read the first book though, so maybe I should start there . . .

    Your porch is beautiful. We've decorated the inside of the house, but not the outside yet. That will probably come this next weekend. Cats and tress are so funny. My cat Gracie has already been scolded a few times for playing with ornaments on the tree.

    1. It seems like inflation has made everything so pricey that my budget doesn't cover what it used to either. Luckily I found a few things online that were cheap enough that my inner Scrooge didn't balk at buying them.
      Desert Bound ended up okay, but the middle was so frustrating- I usually don't skim, but I skimmed some of it due to my distaste. Ilona Andrews totally made my day with Clean Sweep: I love their stories.
      Thanks! I did the outside first to keep it looking cheery out instead of bleak (we had too much snow, earlier than usual). Gracie and George have that in common: he's already stolen a disco ball ornament from the tree for his toy trove. Darn cats!
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Wendy!
      ~Litha Nelle


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