2014 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. It’s only been up and running since August, but writing a blog has been lots of fun and a great learning experience, too. I look forward to posting more and more, and to hearing more from my followers and visitors alike! Happy New Year! ūüéČ

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,000 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 17 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Christmas Eve Book News

BBC News just released this¬†very interesting article, entitled,¬†E-books ‘damage sleep and health’ doctors warn.¬†CBC.ca has also published¬†an article on the subject, in Reading e-books at night may be ruining your sleep: study.¬†It’s not too late to return those e-readers…

Released four days ago on Huffingtonpost.com, their article,¬†Sadly, Rachel Maddow Just Insulted Every Independent Bookseller in America¬†is written by bookseller William Petrocelli who took offense at the comments made on the Rachel Maddow Show on December 19. Ms. Maddow likened Sony’s failure to release the movie¬†The Interview to bookstores in 1989 who refused to carry¬†The Satanic Verses until the public outcry caused the books to be sold again. Mr. Petrocelli does¬†not agree that this is a valid comparison.

A very merry Christmas to all who follow this blog and to casual observers! Thank You for making my first blog such a fun learning experience. I truly appreciate your interest and support, and wish you all the very best in 2015.

A Boon for Independent Bookstores; ‘Clifford’ author dies.

Author James Patterson completes donations totaling $1 million to independent bookstores. Click here to read Book News: James Patterson Makes Good On $1M Promise To Indies posted by NPR.org.

‘Clifford The Big Red Dog’ author has passed away at age 86. He had a fall about three weeks ago, and was¬†in a hospital in Martha’s Vineyard ever since. Read about his life and accomplishments in¬†Norman Bridwell, ‘Clifford The Big Red Dog’ creator, Dead At 86¬†at HuffingtonPost.com.

All I Want for Christmas…

Is there one book that really stands out as a gift that made a lasting impression? There is one book that immediately comes to my mind that I received when I was 8 years old. It’s called,¬†My Big Christmas Book¬†by Hayden McAllister and my dad gave it to me for Christmas. I poured over it that year and continued to read and re-read it for years after. It has many short stories, as well as songs and recipes, all interspersed between 24 installments of “Muffit, the little angel,” and it’s a whopping 327 pages!


The illustrations are charming, and the stories are heart-warming. It was a wonderful gift, and I’ve treasured it all these years.

IMG_1479      IMG_1480

Is there a special book (it doesn’t have to be about Christmas) in your collection that someone gave you? What makes it special?

“Another E-Book Dip” – Publishers Weekly

This article was released on Dec. 12, 2014, but these stats have been out for a while. I think it’s worth posting here because it is interesting to see how eBooks are faring in book purchase statistics. As a paper book lover at heart, I always cheer inwardly just a little when I hear that eBooks haven’t taken over yet.

Click ¬†here¬†to read Publishers Weekly’s article,¬†Another e-Book Dip.

Book Art for Christmas

To some of us, books are sacred objects, and should be left in their natural state. To others, however, re-inventing or up-cycling a book can bring new life to one that would otherwise have sat unused and unread, gathering dust and providing no new joys or insights to its owner. With that in mind, I found some delightful tutorials on how to make festive holiday decorations using old books. May your books be merry and bright!

1. How to Make a Holiday Tree Using a Paperback Book by Jeannie Nadja

2. Recycled Book Wreath Tutorial by MadeByMarzipan

3. Christmas Crafts: Hand Made Christmas Tree Ornaments by Heather Minnow (2 out of the 3 ornaments use books)

Coffee Table Books for the Christmas Season

Sometimes it doesn’t really¬†feel like Christmas until your¬†books are Christmas too. If your coffee table hasn’t embraced the holiday season, maybe some of these titles will help make your space a truly festive one.

The Little Book of Snowflakes by Kenneth Libretto

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 3.25.51 PM

This book is on the small side, measuring about six inches square. But don’t let its size fool you. Full of astounding photographs of magnified snowflakes, many people have expressed their wonder and disbelief thumbing through this one. It’s a definite conversation-starter! Click here for more info.

The Christmas Tree Book – A Collection of Fantasy Trees by Sharon Hays

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 3.16.18 PM

This book is beautifully done, filled with full-page photos of¬†celebrity Christmas trees and trees from landmark¬†places like Biltmore and Graceland. It was published in 1998, so it is now out of print, but click here for some used copies. Well worth every penny, this is a lovely book to spruce up any table. (8×10″)

A Fairy Tale Christmas by Karen Anderson. Decorations by R. A. Pesce

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 3.10.24 PM

Set in Lyndhurst, in New York state, each of the 15 rooms is themed after a different fairy tale and viewed through a Christmas lens. There’s an Alice in Wonderland tree, a Sleeping Beauty tree, Princess and the Pea, Peter Pan, and many more. Vibrant, full-page photographs are beautiful and captivating. Click here for more info. (8×10″)

Christopher Radko’s Heart of Christmas by Olivia Bell Buehl

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 3.11.11 PM

If you are at all familiar with the art of Christopher Radko’s Christmas ornaments, you will want to make sure this book is part of your collection. Excellent photography depicting spectacular trees and beautiful decorations, this book will add some holiday cheer to any room when it’s on display. Printed in 2001, it is still easy to find. (8×10)

And Lastly, even if you’re all grown up, there are always those classic children’s Christmas books that we never get too old for. One of them is unquestionably,¬†The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg.

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 3.13.41 PM

This book makes¬†people’s hearts smile, and¬†I guarantee your guests¬†will start flipping through it just to see those familiar illustrations one more time. We all¬†know this classic: it brings to life every child’s dream of meeting Santa. For that reason, I recommend adding¬†it to¬†your Christmas d√©cor. Young or old, we all love it!