A December list...

Hello! It's less than a week until Christmas, and while it's tempting to continue putting off a new newsletter/blog post until the January (because I love Big Official Timing), I decided I preferred an every-day-is-a-new-day approach. So here we go!

What I'm reading...

A few weeks ago I finished The Spy of Venice, by Benet Brandreth  and really enjoyed it! It's a novel that imagines what William Shakespeare might have been up to between the time his twins were born and when he shows up in London as a playwright. Perhaps he was involved in espionage in Venice??? The author is the linguist coach for the Royal Shakespeare Company, so what really shines in this novel is the setting and the language, which is Shakespearean, but more common and everyday (so more accessible). I also really enjoyed the characterization of Shakespeare and his companions. Up next is Starsight, by Brandon Sanderson (Young Adult sci-fi)  and

The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern. The Starless Sea is a library book, so that's probably the one that will get priority.

What I'm watching...

A lot of my favorite shows are back! Jack Ryan season 2 , The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 3, and The Crown season 3 .  The Crown has jumped ahead several years, so the actors are all re-cast, and I have to say as much as I liked the original cast, I LOVE the new cast.

What I'm listening to...

You get a bonus this month! I've got Sandra McCracken's album Christmas on repeat, and it's an absolute delight if you like acoustic guitar driven, folksy Christmas music. There's a great mix of contemplative, joyful, classic songs and originals. Love it.

I'm also really enjoying The Office Ladies Podcast. Real life best friends and former co-stars Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey are rewatching The Office and then talking behind the scenes goodness. It's so much fun! (side note - if you want a somewhat jarring experience, watch John Krasinsky in an episode or two of Jack Ryan, and then go immediately watch an episode of The Office).

What I'm grateful for...

So many things! But to name a few...upcoming travel for the holidays, four more book reviews on Amazon, and Christmas cards in the mail.

A little inspiration....

"Suddenly angels lit up the whole sky and a great choir sang it out loud...

It's time! He's come! At last! He's here!

And in the little town

in a little shed

in a little window

a candle flickered in the dark...

The animals stood around his bed. And the whole earth and all the stars and sky held its breath...

The One who made us has come to live with us!"

~ excerpt  from Song of the Stars, by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!