Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Advent photo 23 - Christmas books

Almost at the end of the Advent photos and in the absence of lovely snowy scenes I'm dredging the barrel to find something Christmassy to photograph.

So, here we have my pile of Christmas books. They live from one year to another on top of the bookshelves,
but will be moving with us, although the shelves are fixed and staying here.
The books have been gathered from charity shops and second-hand book sales over the years. Some are children's books and many are books with snippets of information about various aspects of Christmas - they came in handy when I compiled quizzes for the Suffolk Smallholders Newsletter. Lots of ideas for making food gifts or decorating cakes in some. If you've never read Jilly Cooper - How to survive Christmas, I can recommend it to make you smile. A Suffolk Christmas is one of a series produced to cover many of the counties of England. Unplug The Christmas Machine comes from the States from Amazon many years ago.
After taking the photo The Oxford Book of Christmas Poems stayed off the shelves to be looked at last night and I came across a poem by John Betjeman that I hadn't seen before.

Here are just 4 lines from the poem Advent 1955
..........................We raise the price of things in shops
                          We give plain boxes fancy tops
                           And lines which traders cannot sell
                           Thus parcell'd go extremely well.........................
So nothing changes! 

The jigsaw puzzle is finished just in time to be cleared away, all 1000 pieces present and correct - you can never be 100% sure when buying secondhand.
If my friend doesn't want it, we will probably put it back on Ebay.

I have been BAD - I bought myself some books from The Book People as my Christmas present from Col and have read one already! Well I had(!) to because I also bought the same set of 3 for a friend for Christmas and I needed to check they were OK. They were an author I'd not come across before  (from Canada- though born in England- writing books set in this country) but as they are crime fiction set in WWII I knew they were just right for my friend. The set of 3 were £4.99 and the author is Maureen Jennings. The first in the series is Season of Darkness. I can't say it was the best written book I've ever read -a few American-isms -  but saying that I did enjoy it and it's quite fat so took me several evenings to read. The 4th is due out next August and she has also written another historical mystery series set in Canada. My friend doesn't read this blog - she says- so I've not given the game away!

Back with the last of the advent photos tomorrow
Sue

31 comments:

  1. Hi Sue, just wanted to wish you a very Happy Christmas, hope all goes well for the move in the New Year, Marlene xx

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    1. Thank you and a very happy Christmas to you and your family

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  2. I'd never heard of that poem so read the whole thing. You're right, some things don't change, it's as true today as it was then!

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    1. I'm quite fond of JB's poems - always quirky. I knew about his Christmas one but hadn't read this one before. Advent 1955 would have been my first Christmas!

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  3. Nadolig Llawen i Ti ~ Happy Christmas to You. Hope all goes well with the move, even if the bookshelves have to stay behind it seems the perfect excuse to "up"scale with a bigger new one. Deb xo

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    1. Seasons Greeting from east to west.
      I had a though that books on shelves would make very good insulation, so we need to keep all 1000 books!

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  4. Sue,

    Oh I love that jigsaw puzzle - my mum sometimes wore a scarf tied around her head and always a pinafore.

    Happy Christmas to you.

    Sandy

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    1. My Grandma always wore one of those wrap round pinnies, but mum preferred a half apron. As I spend my time avoiding wearing good clothes I rarely bother!

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  5. Sue, repeat after me, "There is nothing bad about buying books!" Books, dear girl, last a lifetime and while they might take a few pounds, they don't add pounds to the hips, tum or bum. Also, unlike chocs, they will never go stale!
    I must get out my Christmas books, headed up by John Julius Norwich's Christmas Crackers and also John S Goodall's An Edwardian Christmas (pictures without words but an absolute delight.)
    Happy Christmas to you and Col,
    Margaret P

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    1. Buying books IS bad if your monthly income is less than £100!
      We had those John Goodall books when I worked in the library, I remember one about a picnic to. I guess he is the same John Goodall that illustrated the Miss Read books

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    2. Yes, that's the chap, Sue, he illustrated the Miss Read books. Yes, buying books is bad if your monthly income is less than £100. I can't dispute that.

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  6. Golly you get through a lot of books Sue.
    Have a good, healthy Christmas and here's to better health and a good move in the New Year.

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    1. Thank you Pat. Hope you and The Farmer have a nice restful Christmas

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  7. And Happy Christmas from Norfolk to Suffolk.

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  8. Great to read your Blog and finding out about traditions in other parts of the world. Have a very Merry Christmas!!

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    1. Happy Christmas to you, I'm glad you enjoy reading

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  9. I'm only hoping to survive without putting on three stone

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    1. More cycling will be needed if you do!

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  10. The book people is a great company! Your collection of books is so inviting. I'd love a look at the Beautiful Christmas Cakes one.

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    1. Normally I look at the catalogue, note down things to order from the library and then put it in the recycling but I ordered a couple of their collections of crime books just in time for Christmas

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  11. Merry Christmas and all the best for your future plans in 2016.

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  12. The book right at the bottom intrigues me.....

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    1. I think you would be disappointed as it's just recipes and decorations, I don't know why I still have it really

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  13. I love your jigsaw Sue. Can't wait to open mine on Christmas Day. If I don't 'speak' to you before, wishing you and Col a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. xx

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    1. Have fun with your jigsaw and a Happy Christmas

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  14. Every Christmas I bring out my favorite Christmas books.
    The Fourth Wise Man is my one of my favorite.
    I have enjoyed your Avent posts. Thank you.

    Merry Christmas.
    cheers, gayle and thehamish

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    1. I don't know that book, I'll look it up.
      Have a good Christmas

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  15. Bill and Violet are working on a jigsaw. They keep trying to get me in on it too, but I am rubbish. Might find one piece then get all stressed out, I just can't cope with the pressure!

    Love festive books. You have a goodly stash.

    It's Christmas Eve! Where is the snow?! :o(

    xxxx

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  16. I collected loads of Christmas books for the children and they come out once a year to be read over again, I love Mog's Christmas.
    Lisa x

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