I didn't even get used to writing "2014" on my checks yet, and here it is the last day of this year. Wow.
We had a nice, low-key Christmas, with more emphasis on the good food and company than on Presents Per Se, and it was very warm but also finally cleared and got sunny--what a relief after a month of nearly unrelieved gloom. It's now cold--6 last night, 12 now, with no snow in the forecast, but perhaps some skating. We had a similarly good but mellow time at Mom's/Auburn; John and Beth had to leave early, but we had a nice visit overall, with J/B at the start and then T/E and Ann at the end. I especially liked seeing Alex, who has settled and grown a great deal. We played a lot of backgammon, and he told Ellyn that I'm his favorite aunt. :)
I am partway through Unbroken and I'm not loving it--he's an interesting character, for sure, but Hillenbrand's writing doesn't capture me and I am not looking forward to the upcoming half of the book that's all torture and suffering. Nate has also gotten me into "Sherlock," so we've watched three epis in the last two days, which is great for my knitting but not so great for my reading! I'm nearly up to the armpits on Nate's front, and I finished Susan's hat version #2 last night, so I'll sew in the ends and block it today, hoping to mail it (and get some money from her!) on Friday.
Nice long walk with Julie K yesterday, and I plan to swim around 10 today. Andy and I both put in two hours on school yesterday, and I hope to do that today and tomorrow as well.
In the meantime. . . . books!
The Handsome Man's Deluxe Café by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Fun, fast, fluffy. Interesting to see the characters of Charlie and Mma Ramotswe's assistant develop. Again, a pleasure!
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a great edition: it just asks to be picked up and read at night, before bed--I gave into its lures, and took it home from school (no idea why we have a class set there, but we do!). I think I've seen the movie version, but I don't think I've ever read the actual novel. Despite my predilection for mysteries, I never did the whole Agatha C. oeuvre, perhaps because my various libraries never had her whole collection. . . but anyway, I had the feeling that this was a classic twist story, so I pretty much knew the solution from the start, but it was interesting to see the plot unfold.
All in all, this was a pleasure to read: entertaining, detailed, bad guy as dead man, just enough complexity to keep me interested without demanding too much--a perfect novel for the busy days before Christmas!
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