I am hard at work putting the finishing touches on my favorite books of the year list. I hope to have it posted in the next couple of days, probably right after Christmas. While I don’t celebrate Christmas, I do love making the Feast of the Seven Fishes for Christmas Eve, and a nice dinner for Christmas day. My husband is Italian, and while he is not religious at all, he does enjoy the holidays as I do.
Especially the cookies! I’ve been baking a different cookie every day since the library closed for the holidays. So far, Chocolate Babka Rugelach; Apple Cider Rugelach; Eggnog Snickerdoodles; Unfussy Sugar Cookies; Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookies From François Payard; and sugar free Iced Oatmeal Cookies – I subbed King Arthur Baking Sugar Alternative for the granulated sugar, and Swerve for the brown and confectioner’s sugar. Yum!
My son, daughter-in-law, and grandson were supposed to come down for a few days over the holidays. But I started getting really nervous about it as more news came out about the Omicron variant. They live in Brooklyn, New York, and it’s really bad up there now. I live in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the number of cases has doubled in the past week and we are now considered to be in the “red” danger zone. Plus we have a moron running the state who has outlawed mask mandates and vaccination mandates and anything that might keep people from getting sick and dying.
My son is worried about my husband, he has some health issues and it would not be good if he got Covid. We are worried about our grandson; he’s nine months old and cannot be vaccinated or wear a mask. The science just isn’t there yet on how much immunity a baby gets from its vaccinated mother – they know some is passed along, but not how much. And while most children who get Covid tend to have mild cases, not all do. I couldn’t live with myself if anything happened to that sweet baby or anyone in my family, so I told my son I would understand if they wanted to cancel their trip. They thought about it for a few days, and we all kept an eye on the news, and they decided to stay home. I was relieved, yet heartbroken. I miss them so much. We have plans to go to NY for his first birthday in March, and hopefully things will have calmed down again by then. Meanwhile, it’s just my husband, my daughter, and me, alone together again for yet another holiday. To be honest, it sucks.
My all time favorite series is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. These books are massive, well researched, and completely enthralling. They are those rare books that defy genre, encompassing historical, time travel, romance, and best of all, they are beautifully written. They have been turned into an amazing TV series on Starz, and I highly recommend it. It does start deviating from the books a few seasons in, but since it’s been so long since I’ve read the books that diverged in the TV series, I’m fine with it.
I’m rambling about the Gabaldon series because after waiting for seven years, the ninth book in the series, Go Tell the Bees I am Gone, is finally out. The reviews pretty much say it was worth the wait, which doesn’t surprise me at all. I am off from work until Jan. 3, and my plan is to read this behemoth before year end. It clocks in at 928 pages and generally these books are quite dense, not fast reading. By the way, this is not the longest book in the series! But I have loved every page so far, and will undoubtedly love this one as well. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to finish it that quickly, but I’m going to try.
Meanwhile, I only have a couple of reviews in the wings that I’ll be posting next week. And of course, my personal best books of the year list. Please be patient with me. My vision is impaired which has slowed down my reading and reviewing considerably.
I wish all who celebrate a very Merry Christmas! As always, thanks for reading and stay safe.