Monday, December 22, 2014

Jólabókaflód

Interesting bit of information for all you bibliophiles...and all of us in general. In Iceland, in the run-up to Christmas, the country absolutely revels in its' annual jólabókaflóð; which is Icelandic for "Christmas book flood". This refers to the fact that new books are generally only published during the Christmas season in Iceland.
All newly published books are listed in a catalog-type annual called the Book News (bókatíðindi) and
distributed free to every household. On Christmas Eve, Icelandic people open their gifts (books, of course) and then spend the rest of the evening reading, snuggle up in bed with books and, perhaps, some chocolate. This is a traditional mainstay of the culture. The Icelandic passion for books and literature dates back to the Middle Ages. The volume of books published, purchased and read per year out-strips other countries by a significant margin. And it doesn't show any signs of slowing down.
To the good book-loving people of Iceland, I wish you a very Happy Jólabókaflod.
And to the rest of us, perhaps this is a tradition we may want to adopt...at least the reading all night Christmas Eve bit.....

Getting Ready for Santa

It's been so very, very busy this year! I can hardly believe we're at the 22nd of December. At home and at work, I've still so much to and I just know that, once again (like most of you) it will be right down to the wire.
I hope you've been enjoying the Advent Calendar of Books page. It's a joy for me each Christmas season. Todays' entry had to be How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We need a little reminder this time each year to remember why we enter into all this madness. Look  at all the little Whos surrounding you; enjoy the wonder and joy in their hearts and eyes and be a little bit more like that!
As Santa will be coming in just under 2 days (depending on where you are on the globe), once again it's time to prepare to track him on his voyage...fabulous fun. A big thank you to NORAD for setting this up all those years ago.
Here's the link so you can join in.... and work out when Santa will be arriving to your home! (I get soooo excited....)

http://www.noradsanta.org/

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tenth of December

Happy Book-mas!
I don't know what it is about this day. When we reach the tenth of December, everything seems much more real...it's actually happening. Here, in Galway, the weather has hit, the winds are howling, showers of rain burst out of the sky and we are all grateful to be warm... but we are all really busy!!! Don't let the rush of the season take over so easily. It's not about the money....it's about the time. Take the time to read with your children, have hot chocolate and biscuits in the evening before bed, wear warm socks...and ENJOY! This season comes but once a year.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Books for winter!

I hope you are all enjoying the Advent Calendar of Books. It is one of my favourite ways to share a selection of wonderful books to make the winter and the holidays a wondrous time. Nothing beats snuggling up with a great book. This is a habit I encourage from childhood through to old age.
In the bookshop, I've devoted a shelf in the 8-12 section. A small but fantastic selection to warm the heart, mind and imagination in the dreary winter months. I thought I'd give you all a glimpse.....
From left to right, the books are:
The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell...a favourite from last year, now out in paperback. And what a gem it is!
The Haunting of Charity Delafield by Ian Beck....a magical dream of a tale that transports you from Charitys' privileged isolated world into another realm.
Winterkill by Kate Boorman...The Councils' rules are strict and suffocating, but necessary for the good of the settlement. Grave danger awaits any who venture to the other side of the wall.  But when Emmeline hears the trees beyond the wall calling, she just may find a way to escape.
The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper....this is a masterpiece of a magical tale. There is a strange atmosphere in the village as Christmas approaches. But on the eve of his 12th birthday, Will makes a shocking discovery...it is up to him to vanquish the evil magic of the dark and bring back the light.
Moominvalley in November and Moominland Midwinter by Tove Jansson...quirky, exquisite, humourous and thoughtful; the Moomin books are wonderful! These two are the perfect winter reads.
The Winter Horses by Philip Kerr....In the midst of a freezing winter, Kalinka fights to save two rare horses from Nazi extermination.
The Black North by Nigel McDowell.....Twins Oona and Morris fight to save to save the Divided Isle from savage invaders from the Dark North. Eerie and consuming; based on Irish mythology and legend.
Waffle Hearts by Maria Parr... a tale of friendship, loyalty and adventure. There is something warming and reflective for this time of the year. A real gem.
North Child by Edith Pattou....based on the fairy tale 'East of the Sun, West of the Moon, an evocative telling of journey, self-discovery, love and sacrifice...enchanting!
Oh, yes....and Milo, our bookshop fairy wants to say hello and show off his seasonal decor. (He may have gone a bit over the top for some tastes, but I think it's great!)