Dec 23, 2008

Last Two Down and Some Christmas Cheer

I completed my last two 2008 challenges: The Booker and the Mythopoeic Award Challenges.

Books Read:

Booker Challenge
Mythopoeic Challenge
Favourites: For the Booker Challenge, it was The Blind Assassin, closely followed by Midnight's Children. I enjoyed them all, though. For the Mythopoeic Challenge, if we don't count Anansi Boys because it was a re-read, it was Tamsin, or Thomas the Rhymer, or possibly Little, Big. But I also really loved The Wood Wife, and Summerland and The Young Merlin Trilogy. So yeah, you get the idea. I loved them all, and I can't wait for the much discussed Mythopoeic Project to become official.

I want to thank Foxywriter again for hosting the Mythopoeic Challenge. I had a lot of fun with it. The Booker Challenge was hosted by Dewey. I remember considering quitting it at some point in November. I still had two books to read and they were fairly chunky ones, plus I just wasn't in the mood to read them in the holiday season. But after she passed away, I kind of wanted to finish it as my own small tribute to her. I know she wouldn't have minded if I didn't finish, and that she had even dechallenged herself...but it still mattered to me. And I'm glad I did finish it, because those two last books were remarkable ones. And who knows when I'd have picked them up otherwise.

That's it for me when it comes to 2008 challenges. I still have the New Classics Challenge to finish in January, but there's only one book to go, and it's one I'll get to very soon - Watchmen. In fact, I have the feeling there's a copy waiting for me under the Christmas tree. Could that be because it's my present to myself? Perhaps, perhaps. The Japanese Literature Challenge also ends in January, and I'd like to read at least one more book for it. But there's time after the holidays.

I think I'm going to celebrate by starting to work on my huge Challenges for 2009 post.

Kailana and Melody tagged me for this Christmas Spirit Meme/Award. The rules say we have to list at least five things we love about Christmas, and then pass it on to other people. I've kind of lost track of who has been tagged already, though, so feel free to grab it if you want to. Here are my five things:
  1. Sufjan Stevens' Songs for Christmas. I guess I could make this more general and say Christmas music in general, but I want to highlight how much these songs in particular have done to increase my enjoyment of Christmas in recent years. They're fun, goofy, moving, serious, bittersweet and downright sad: filled with every emotion Christmas can inspire.
  2. Christmas trees! When the world is naked and dark, they are green and full of light, and looking at them always makes me happy.
  3. Presents. Who doesn't love them? Picking the right gift for the right person, being surprised by family and friends, seeing your gifts under the tree and trying to guess what's inside...I love it.
  4. Cinnamon! I love all the fact that almost every Portuguese Christmas recipe involves cinnamon. If you ask me, you can never have too much cinnamon, so I'll welcome any excuse to sprinkle it over everything I'm eating. Okay, so maybe not the main dish. But every Christmas drink and dessert for sure.
  5. The cosiness. This is a big part of what Christmas means to me. Being warm and cosy inside when the world is cold and dark. And human warmth is of course a big part of this. Sometimes I hear people say that we shouldn't need an excuse like Christmas to finally call that person we haven't talked to in months or even years, to be a little nicer, to show others what they mean to us. And fair enough, but sometimes it's nice to have one anyway.
And now for something a little different: Merry Christmas from Cthulhu!


  1. Congrats on finishing up your challenges for the year!

  2. Congratulations!! And Merry Christmas!


  3. Way to go! The first challenge that I signed up for has come to an end and I didn't complete it.

  4. Different indeed! But oh so very cool!

    When I clicked over here, I was so happy to see you'd finished the Booker challenge! Of course, I'm happy for you for finishing the Mythopoeic, too. But I knew you really wanted to finish up the Booker for Dewey, and I'm so glad you were able to do it. Even though she may be gone, she will go on being a part of our lives and will continue bringing us wonderful gifts, won't she?

    I love what you said for #5! I think that is what I truly love, too. For some reason I seem to have forgotten that this year and have driven myself to the brink of insanity. As if somehow by making everything "perfect" it would make this Christmas more normal or something. It was so not the right approach. But this week, I think my head's on straight again. Because what you wrote truly is what Christmas is all about for's about being cozy and surrounded by those you love. Know that even though you're thousands of miles away, you'll be right here in my thoughts and in my heart on Christmas Day! May your holiday be filled with joy and contentment!

  5. Becky and Lezlie, thank you!

    Bermudaonion: Well, I still think you did great.

    Debi: Isn't it cool? I love Lovecraftian Christmas songs :D And yes...she certainly always will. I'm really glad this week has been better for you. You will be in my heart as well! Have a wonderful, wonderful Christmas, my dear.

  6. Congratulations, Nymeth! I'm glad you had fun with them. A very Merry Christmas to you! Can't wait to see that huge "Challenges for 2009" post! :]

  7. Congratulations on the completion, Nymeth! You did GREAT!

    I can't wait to read Tamsin for the 999 Challenge next year. Weeee~~

  8. Congratulations on completing the challenges, Nymeth! I'm sure Dewey would be very proud of you!

    Thanks for sharing with us about your love for Christmas. I love cinnamon too!

    Hope you've a wonderful Christmas and Happy holidays!

  9. Ok, I'm still here :)

    Great job finishing your challenges for 2008! *Hides my head in shame for not completing mine* Kidding! I love the books you finished, really. I some of them and read a couple or so. Looking forward to reading Little, Big and your two favorite Booker books.

    Ooh, Santa Cthulhu! My Junior is effective humbled :)

    I love the smell of cinnamon as well and gee, if only I could eat cinnamon rolls all day, everyday uh I'll have tooth decay :P Sorry, another bad attempt at a rhyme :)

    Merry, merry Christmas to you! And a happy new year too! Thank goodness both our Christmas season lasts until early next year, we get to extend our joy! Then again, like you said, we shouldn't use excuses like Christmas to be a little nicer and to show others what they mean to us :)

  10. I tried to read Midnight's children but couldn't finish even 10 pages of it.

    Congratulations on the challenges completion.

  11. Orchidus: You'll all get to laugh at me and say "didn't you say you weren't cutting back on challenges"? :P Merry Christmas to you too!

    Alice: I have a feeling you'll really enjoy it!

    Melody: Thank you :) Merry Christmas to you!

    Lightheaded: I'm glad you're still here :P And nothing to be ashamed had fun and that's what counts. Unfortunately I don't own that Santa Cthulhu. I took that picture in Edinburgh last year. He was on display on the window of a lovely little comics, sci-fi and fantasy bookstore near my hostel. I wanted to have him, but he was a bit over my budget :P So I just took a picture instead. And lol, I like your attempt at a rhyme. About Christmas, I'm actually not too fond of saying that myself...because even though technically it's true, I think it's only human to need a little nudge from time to time :P

    Violetcrush: I know it's not a book that works for everyone, but I really, really enjoyed it.

  12. A very merry christmas to you. Here's to christmas trees and cinnamon, the best of the festive season (and mulled wine of course!)!

  13. congrats on finishing the challenges.

    there's nothing like the smell of a live christmas tree! (not that I have one.. but I have when I could and they were always the best!)

    Merry Christmas Nymeth! I hope it's all you want it to be.

  14. "Watchmen. In fact, I have the feeling there's a copy waiting for me under the Christmas tree. Could that be because it's my present to myself? Perhaps, perhaps."

    HiHI that made me giggle, but it's a very good idea:P

    You're so efficient, you got so many challenges completed!

  15. Mariel, Deslily and Valentina, a very Merry Christmas to you too! I love the smell of real Christmas tress too. Mine is fake, but I remember it from my childhood and it's one of those special Christmas-y smells. And Valentina, "efficient" is one way of looking at it..."obsessive" would be another :P

  16. Congrats on finishing your last two reading challenges.

    Off topic, thank you so much for hosting the book swap again. It was great fun. I keep wondering if my person got their gift as I mailed it week's ago and haven't seen or heard anything.

    Ana, you and yours have a magical, wonderful Christmas. I hope your holiday is the very best.

  17. Well done on finishing off your last 2 challenges, especially the Booker one!
    I've been enjoying the Christmas music and the Christmas trees and lights. They always make me happy too! And I know I've said it before, but yum, I love cinnamon!
    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas! :)

  18. Carl, I'll be happy to e-mail them for you and check. I got a few e-mails from people who are worried because they also sent their packages weeks ago. What I'm hoping is that the gifts did arrive, but people are waiting for Christmas Day to open them. So in a day or two we'll see. hopefully nothing got lost. Thank you so much for your good wishes. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas too :)

    Tanabata: Thank you and likewise :)

  19. Merry Christmas eve Nymeth!! I've come to love Sufjan Stevens' Christmas songs too since your post last year. I've always loved him, but haven't checked out the Christmas stuff until you told us about it.

  20. Congrats on finishing all of your challenges! Merry Christmas!

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  22. Merry Christmas, and a great holidays to you.

  23. Merry, Merry Christmas to you and yours, Secret Santa!!! :D

  24. A very Merry Christmas to you, Nymeth! Your friendship (and your blog) bring much joy to my life.

  25. Thank you so much for the Christmas wishes, everyone!

  26. congrats on finishing up the challenges :) You always read such an interesting array of books.

    Merry Christmas!

  27. You did much better at finishing your challenges than I did! LOL!!

    Hope you had a fantastic Christmas and that you will have a very Happy New Year!

  28. Oh my god, we and Alex love the Cuthulu song and picture! He has a similar teddy of him and a crochet one that my friend made for him on my behalf this christmas. I think I was with you when I bought him the one from Forbidden Planet.

    Congrats on finishing all your challenges. I missed out on the Classics Challenge but compelted all my others. I loved the Mythopoeic and can't wait to get started on all the winners. I'm glad you enjoyed The Blind Asssassin and Midnight's Children as much as I did too.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.