Monday, February 11, 2019

Golden Child by Claire Adam

Golden Child by Claire Adams
Published by SJP/Hogarth ISBN 9780525572992
Hardcover, $26, 281 pages

Actress Sarah Jessica Parker's first book from her SJP Hogarth imprint at Penguin Random House is the brilliant debut novel by Fatima Farheen Mirza, A Place For Us (my review here). The second book from her imprint is also a debut novel, Golden Child, by Claire Adam, and it is another fantastic novel.

Set in Trinidad, we meet Clyde Deyalsingh, a hardworking man, and his wife Joy. They have twin thirteen year-old boys, Peter and Paul, and live in a modest home that they own in a rural area. The boys travel a long way daily to their Catholic school.

Peter is a brilliant young man, and his parents are very proud of him and hope to be able to send him to a good college. When the boys were born, the cord was wrapped around Paul's neck and it has resulted in him being considered mentally challenged by many.

Joy's brother Vishnu believes that Peter could do great things and encourages Clyde to support Peter, even giving him money to do so. Father Kavanagh from the boys' school does not believe that Paul is mentally challenged and is tutoring him.

One day Paul leaves home to go for a walk and doesn't come back. Did Paul wander off and get lost, did he run away, or has something nefarious happened to him, perhaps related to the recent incident when two men came into their home and robbed and tied up Joy, Peter and Paul?

Much of the book takes place as Clyde tries to discover what has happened to his son. Clyde has always been a strong husband and father, and has worked hard to make a good life for his family. As he pieces together what has happened to Paul, he is forced to confront an unimaginable choice, one that puts him at odds with his family.

Golden Child immerses the reader in the countryside of Trinidad. We meet the neighbors and family of the Deyalsinghs. The homes all have dogs and barred windows to protect them, and in the wealthier neighborhoods, (including where Joy's brother Philip, a judge, lives) security guards on site.
The reader senses the undercurrent of danger that surrounds them, where at any moment they may be accosted by someone looking for money.

There are some wonderful food passages here as well. Joy makes a simple dinner for Clyde of "melongene choka, with plenty of onion and garlic, the way he likes it, some cucumber salad, and some warm paratha roti wrapped up in dishcloth."

Clyde eats at the work canteen, "where they have all kinds of food: dhalpuri roti and buss-up-shut, chicken wings and drumsticks, pelau, corn-soup, callaloo." You'll definitely want to look all these dishes up online.

SJP has done it again with  Claire Adams' Golden Child- found a debut novel with a brilliant distinctive voice, one that takes the reader into a culture they may not be familiar with, yet deals with universal theme of what it means to be part of a family, and the joy and heartbreak that can bring. I highly recommend it.

Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on Claire Adams' tour. The rest of her stops are here:

Instagram Tour:

Monday, January 28th: @hotcocoareads
Tuesday, January 29th: @prose_and_palate
Tuesday, January 29th: @bookstackedblonde
Tuesday, January 29th: @dropandgivemenerdy
Wednesday, January 30th: @jennblogsbooks
Thursday, January 31st: @readingbetweenthe_wines
Thursday, January 31st: @bookishmadeleine
Friday, February 1st: @tbretc
Saturday, February 2nd: @eternalbooks_
Sunday, February 3rd: @bookclubwithbite

Review Tour:

Monday, January 28th: A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, January 29th: Rockin’ Book Reviews
Wednesday, January 30th: BookNAround
Thursday, January 31st: Amy’s Book-et List
Monday, February 4th: Run Wright
Tuesday, February 5th: @booksandpolkadots
Wednesday, February 6th: Book by Book
Thursday, February 7th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Monday, February 11th: Bookchickdi
Tuesday, February 12th: Books and Cats and Coffee
Wednesday, February 13th: Kahakai Kitchen
Thursday, February 14th: Lit and Life
Monday, February 18th: Booktimistic and @booktimistic
Tuesday, February 19th: Eliot’s Eats
Wednesday, February 20th: @worldswithinpages
Thursday, February 21st: Wining Wife
Monday, February 25th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, February 25th: @wherethereadergrows
Tuesday, February 26th: Tar Heel Reader and @tarheelreader
Wednesday, February 27th: @thesaggingbookshelf
Friday, March 1st: Thoughts on This ‘n That

Monday, February 4, 2019

Courage Between Love and Death by Joseph Pillitteri

Courage Between Life and Death by Joseph Pillitteri
Published by Fireship Press ISBN 9781611793888
Trade paperback,  $21.95, 295 pages

Joseph Pillitteri's novel, Courage Between Life and Death, appealed to me for two reasons- it is set in Buffalo (I'm from down the road in central New York) during President McKinley's visit where he was assassinated, and the main character is from a large Irish family.

Elspeth Shaughnesshey is a young nurse who feels lucky to have found a job working at the hospital at the Pan-American Exposition. Tourists have flocked to the Pan (as it's called) and although much of the day is dealing with children who have fallen and need stitches, it's an exciting place to be.

From a poverty stricken Irish family, Elspeth has seven family members she has to help support since her Da died. He owned the bar they lived above, but the bar has fallen on hard times. Her mother sewed beautiful dresses for wealthy women, but made little money from it.

The family is facing eviction, and six-year-old Katie is very sick. While handling all that, Elspeth also has to deal with the many doctors at the hospital who treat the nurses poorly. Dr. Kingdom fancies himself to be the smartest, most stylish doctor around. He also verbally abuses the nurses.

Dr. Gunner is kinder to the nurses, and some of them have a crush on him, like Harriet, Elspeth's friend, and a very competent nurse.

There is a charming party scene where President McKinley dances with Elspeth. I didn't know much about McKinley, but the author imbues him with a kindness and sense of humor. His wife is also a wonderful character who loves her husband very much.

The hospital scene where the doctors and nurses are desperately trying to save McKinley is gripping, and reading about nursing and hospitals in 1901 is fascinating. The race against the loss of sunlight in the operating room to finish the surgery was a page-turner.

I always like to find one fact in a novel that is interesting and new to me. In this book, it's that women will often have their wedding dresses turned into bassinette covers for their babies. What a lovely way to reuse a wedding dress!

The author's note at the end gives the reader some factual information that adds to the reality of the novel, including a photo of the head of the Pan hospital, Dr. Roswell Park, who went on to found Rosewell Park Hospital, a reknowned cancer hospital in Buffalo.

If you are a fan of historical fiction, Courage Between Love and Death is one to put on your to-be-read list. So many books cover WWI and WWII, this 1901 western New York setting is a refreshing change of pace. Anyone who is a nurse will enjoy reading about Elspeth's days at the hospital and what nursing was like back then. Fans of Charles Todd and Jacqueline Winspear will like this one.

Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on Joseph Pillitteri's tour. The rest of his stops are here:

Monday, January 28th: Jessicamap Reviews and @jessicamap
Wednesday, January 30th: A Holland Reads
Thursday, January 31st: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, February 4th: Bookchickdi
Wednesday, February 6th: Amy’s Book-et List
Friday, February 8th: Rockin’ Book Reviews
Monday, February 11th: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, February 13th: Laura’s Reviews
Monday, February 19th: Blooming With Books
Wednesday, February 21st: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Thursday, February 22nd: Lori’s Reading Corner – guest post from Adele Pilitteri

Friday, January 25, 2019

Two Southern Novels

Reprinted from the Citizen:

Setting can such an important part of a novel, it can almost be considered a character in the story. This month’s Book Report takes a look at two books with a distinctive Southern setting- Delia Owen’s Where the Crawdads Sing and Lisa Patton’s Rush. 

Owen’s Where the Crawdads Sing has garnered much critical praise, ending up on many 2018 best of the year books, and is currently on the best seller list. Reese Witherspoon not only chose it as one of her book club picks, she is also producing a movie based on the book. 

Kya is just six years old in 1952 when her mother puts on her best dress and walks out their house, and away from her family. Soon after, Kya’s older siblings leave one by one, and when her beloved brother Jodie leaves, it is just Kya and her violent, drunken father.

They live in a shack near a marsh on the North Carolina coast. Her father eventually disappears too, leaving the young child to fend for herself. She eats greens and whatever she can forage, and sometimes trades mussels for gas for her boat with Jumpin, who owns a small store. Jumpin and his wife Mabel are the only people to show her any kindness.

The rest of the town call her Marsh Girl, and she is subjected to teasing and torment from other children. She doesn’t attend school, and when she is fourteen, Tate, a young man a few years older than her, befriends her and offers to teach her to read.

Kya is a quick and eager student, and she and Tate bond over their love of nature and the marsh. When Tate goes away to college Kya is devastated, and soon falls under the spell of another man from the town- Chase Andrews, the town’s golden boy. He begins a secret relationship with Kya, one she mistakes for love.

When Chase falls to his death from a fire tower, Kya is suspected of killing him and she is arrested. The subsequent trial causes a huge sensation in the town, and fills the story with incredible tension.

Where the Crawdads Sing”is a stunning novel. Owens has written three nonfiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist in Africa, but this is her debut novel. She imbues Kya with such humanity, and because of her nature background, she writes the marsh as a living, breathing character. You will find yourself lost in this beautiful story, and Kya is truly unforgettable. 

Lisa Patton’s Rush is set in 2016, on the Ole Miss campus in Oxford, Mississippi. Pearl is a 44-year old black woman who has worked as a housekeeper for 25 years at the Alpha Delta Beta sorority house, along side her Aunt Fee, the house cook. After 25 years, she earns just $11.50 an hour, and barely makes it on unemployment during the three summer months when school is out. 

She loves her job, but it is hard work, cleaning and caring for the young girls who live in the house, and the four hundred girls who belong to the sorority but live elsewhere on campus. Pearl is the heart of the house, and the girls turn to her when they have a problem and need sage advice or a shoulder to cry on.

Lilith Whitmore is a former Alpha Delta Beta, now is scheming to make sure that her daughter gets invited to join the house during rush week. Lilith and her husband are beyond wealthy and use their money to get whatever they want.

Lilith contacts Wilda, a former sorority sister whose daughter Ellie is also going to Ole Miss and pledging the sorority. Wilda and her husband are upper middle class, and when Lilith hires a dorm room designer that costs $20,000, she bullies Wilda into sharing the cost, which is more than Wilda can afford.

Cali is a smart, ambitious young lady whose ultimate goal is to become governor of the state. She was raised by her grandparents, and she and Ellie become good friends. Cali wants to pledge a sorority as well, but Lilith intends to thwart those plans.

Rush tackles racism, class, tradition, mother/daughter relationships and the broken healthcare system. Even though I felt the ending was bit too tidy, I loved the characters (especially Pearl and Cali) and being dropped into this sometimes foreign world of sororities.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens- A+
Published by Putnam
Hardcover, 346 pages, $26

Rush by Lisa Patton- B+
Published by St. Martin’s Press

Hardcover, 410 pages, $26.99

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

What to Eat When by Michael F. Roizen MD & Michael Crupain MD, MPH

What to Eat When by Michael F. Roizen MD & Miachael Crupain MD, MPH
Published by National Geographic ISBN 9781426220111
Hardcover, $28, 352 pages

January is the month when people make their resolutions, and many people choose to get healthier as their top one. Dr. Michael F. Roizen and Dr. Michael Crupain (both of who have worked with Dr. Oz) have a new book What to Eat When to help achieve that goal.

What to Eat When gives the reader a 31-day plan to work on, as many other diet books do. What makes this book unique is that is also has chapters that deal with eating in specific situations- what to eat when you are stressed, experiencing grief, when you get a lot of headaches or when you are in pain.

They also have chapters on what to eat when you are taking a big test, going for a job interview, when you are on a first date, or on vacation. If you're  going to a party or a baseball stadium, they recommend making the rounds of all the food at the party or stadium before making a food choice. That way you'll be able to make the healthiest choice. They also suggest eating a healthy snack and drinking water before you go.

There are chapters for women on what to eat when you're trying to get pregnant or nursing, have PMS, or hot flashes. Men have chapters on what to eat to boost testosterone and improve fertility.
If you want to protect your heart, have healthy lungs, or reduce inflammation, they have chapters on that as well.

The most helpful advice I found was to eat within a 12 hour period each day, which means fasting for 12 hours a day. They do suggest to eat only when the sun is up, but as someone who grew up in a cold, snowy environment where it gets dark at 4pm during the winter, that is hard to do.

They also suggest eating three-quarters of your entire day's calories before 2pm, meaning a big breakfast and lunch, and only consuming 20% of your day's calories at dinner. That is a radical change for most of us. I did find that some of their suggestions would be difficult for many people to strictly follow.

There were many foods that popped up frequently on most of their menus- salmon, walnuts, extra-virgin olive oil, and avocado are tops on their list of the best foods. Unfortunately for many people, those foods are expensive. But their suggestion to drink more water is one that everyone can easily achieve (they also like coffee). They also recommend making a plan for healthy eating, stating that "planning is kryptonite to temptation."

At the end of each chapter is a chart that gives you healthy substitutions.- guacamole for cheese dip, whole citrus fruits for juice, extra-virgin olive oil for butter, corn on the cob instead of nachos or fries at the stadium- that will train you to think more carefully about your food choices.

What to Eat When has lots of good advice for those looking to get healthier, although following it strictly may be difficult for many people. Just making a few of their suggested changes though, will certainly help.

Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on this tour. The rest of the stops are here:

Tour Stops

Wednesday, January 16th: bookchickdi
Thursday, January 17th: Eliot’s Eats
Friday, January 18th: Instagram: @thebookishsisters
Saturday, January 19th: Beth Fish Reads
Monday, January 21st: Instagram:
Tuesday, January 22nd: Literary Quicksand
Tuesday, January 22nd: Instagram: @thehappyhungryyogi
Wednesday, January 23rd: Instagram: @megabunnyreads
Thursday, January 24th: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Friday, January 25th: Instagram: @thelastbiteblog
Monday, January 28th: Instagram: @ladyofthelibrary
Thursday, January 31st: What Is That Book About
Thursday, January 31st: Instagram: @giuliland

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Most Compelling Books of 2018

Reprinted from the Citizen:
At the end of each year, I reflect upon the books that affected me the most, the books that I can’t get out of my head. There are unforgettable characters, fascinating storylines and inspirational true stories. And so I present my list of the 12 most compelling books I read in 2018.
Three nonfiction titles made my list, starting with former first lady Michelle Obama’s “Becoming.” Mrs. Obama’s voice is so strong as she vividly recounts her childhood growing up in on Chicago’s South Side, where her parents instilled in her a strong desire for a good education as a pathway to success. Hers is an American success story. 
There have been many books written by former Obama administration officials, but Beck Dorey-Stein’s “From the Corner of the Oval” stands out. She got a job as a stenographer for the White House through Craigslist, and she takes us along as she rides on Air Force One and has an ill-advised affair with a man who strings her along. 
From the Corner of the Oval
Tara Westover’s “Educated” has made many best of 2018 lists, and it is clear why. Westover and her seven siblings grew up with her survivalist parents, working at dangerous jobs helping her father. After never having attended school, Westover takes the GED, gets into college and eventually earns a Ph.D. It is a remarkable achievement and a brilliant book. 
A good fictional companion piece to “Educated” is Kristin Hannah’s novel “The Great Alone.” Set in 1974, teenage Leni Albright moves to a remote area of Alaska and lives off the grid as her father grapples with his experiences in Vietnam, and she and her mother struggle with his increasingly violent behavior. 
The Great Alone
Leah Franqui’s brilliant debut novel “America for Beginners” takes us along on a road trip taken by Pival, an Indian widow looking for answers about her son’s life, the struggling actress who acts as her chaperone, and a young Bangladeshi immigrant on his first solo trip as their tour guide. Pival is an unforgettable character. 
America for Beginners
Amy Poeppel’s humorous “Limelight” tells the story of a recently transplanted Dallas mom of three who has to deal with her children’s anxieties, living in a crazy new city, and finding a job when she hits a car belonging to a Justin Bieber-like singer. Somehow she ends up as his personal assistant as he readies to star on Broadway. It is a laugh-out-loud funny story with a lot of heart. 
For something more thought-provoking, Jodi Picoult’s “A Spark of Light” is one of her best books yet, about people trapped in a woman’s health clinic by a gunman who has a grudge against the people who run the clinic. Picoult takes an issue that has divided this country and gives empathy to all involved with great skill. 
Spark of Light
There are two mysteries that made my list. The first is Laura Lippman’s “Sunburn.” Polly abandons her husband and 3-year-old daughter, changes her name, and takes a job working in a bar when she meets Adam and embarks on a torrid affair with him. But Adam is not who he says he is. Polly is an indelible character, and the ending is a corker. 
The second mystery is Lisa Scottoline’s “One Perfect Lie” about a high school teacher and baseball coach who appears to be up to something nefarious, recruiting his players for something much more dangerous than winning the sectionals. This one made the list for the brilliant twist in the middle of the book that upends everything. 
One Perfect Lie
Barbara Kingsolver is back with “Unsheltered,” a novel about a middle-aged couple who inherit a dilapidated house in New Jersey. They deal with unemployment, under-employment, parental health issues, the return of a prodigal daughter, and a son who drops his newborn baby off with them. It’s a big, meaty book you’ll want to savor as you read. 
Anne Tyler’s “Clock Dance” is quieter, but no less affecting. Sixty-one-year-old Willa gets a phone call to come and care for the young daughter of her son’s ex-girlfriend. She has never met the girl, but going there to care for her profoundly changes Willa. 
Clock Dance
And finally, the book that everyone from Oprah to Michelle Obama has been talking about: Tayari Jones’ “An American Marriage.” It’s the story of Celestial and Roy, married for a short time when Roy is falsely imprisoned. It’s about loyalty, love and faithfulness set against the subject of mass incarceration. It’s better than everyone says it is, a true American story. 
An American Marriage
Diane La Rue is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and blogs about books at You can follow her on Twitter @bookchickdi, and she can be emailed at

Friday, December 14, 2018

For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt

For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt
Published by Mira ISBN 9781488088544
Trade paperback, $16.99, 336 pages

Margot Hunt's For Better and Worse begins with Natalie and Will Clarke meeting in law school, and soon they fell in love and married. Natalie and Will were very different- she was serious, decisive and driven, knowing from the beginning that she wanted to be criminal defense lawyer.  Will was more laid back, handsome and athletic, and he made Natalie laugh.

On their first date they joke about committing the perfect murder, how to do it, how to cover it up and get away with it. Seventeen years later, it comes back to haunt them.

Nat doesn't know why Will is suddenly so angry with her. He hates her family organization calendar, hates knowing exactly what they are going to have for dinner every night. Nat notices that Will now uses a password for his phone and he is frequently texting someone. Is he having an affair?

That falls to the wayside however when their eleven-year-old son Jacob's school principal is accused of molesting a troubled student. Nat and Will doubt the accusation at first; they have known the man for twenty years, were good friends with him and his ex-wife.

When Jacob tells Nat that the principal molested him on a class trip, Nat is infuriated. She has defended people accused of this crime and she knows what trauma Jacob will be put through if he tells what he knows and has to testify at a trial.

The only solution to the problem as Nat sees it is to kill the man. She knows he did this and to prevent him from doing it to others and to protect her son's future, she concocts the perfect murder. When something goes wrong, she has to drag an unwilling Will into it and things begin to fall apart.

For Better and Worse is a propulsive thriller, and I read it in one sitting. The reader can put themselves in Nat's shoes, trying to protect their child. And once Nat makes the decision to kill the principal, you will hold your breath the rest of the way as you see things going from bad to worse.

The story is told first from Nat's point-of-view, and when it switches to Will's point-of-view, you'll find your heart in your mouth. Will doesn't understand why his wife would do this, and he begins to question who he really married. It is a roller coaster of ride from there.

You really don't know  how this will end, and I confess that I did not see that ending coming. It will be a topic of discussion.

That being said, if you are looking for a thrill ride of a book, something to take you away for a few hours, For Better and Worse should be next up on your TBR list. Just remember to breathe while you are reading. I highly recommend it.

Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on Margot Hunt's tour. The rest of her stops are here:

Margot Hunt’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, December 3rd: Tales of a Book Addict
Tuesday, December 4th: What is That Book About – excerpt
Wednesday, December 5th: @bookishconnoisseur
Wednesday, December 5th: @mountain_reader_
Thursday, December 6th: A Bookish Way of Life
Friday, December 7th: Not in Jersey
Monday, December 10th: @girlsinbooks
Monday, December 10th: Books & Bindings 
Tuesday, December 11th: @theliteraryllama
Wednesday, December 12th: Chick Lit Central
Thursday, December 13th: Girl Who Reads
Thursday, December 13th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, December 14th: Bookchickdi
Monday, December 17th: She Reads With Cats and @shereadswithcats
Tuesday, December 18th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Wednesday, December 19th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Thursday, December 20th: Caryn, The Book Whisperer

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Christmas on the Island by Jenny Colgan

Charistmas on the Island by Jenny Colgan
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks ISBN 9780062850072
Trade paperback, $14.99, 336 pages

Author Jenny Colgan introduced us to the residents of the tiny Scottish island of Mure in The Cafe by the Sea, which I found delightful. She revisits them in her wonderful new novel, Christmas on the Island.

Flora left her paralegal job to open a little cafe, Seaside Kitchen. She enjoys her shop, and her relationship with her former boss Joel is going well. Being back home with her family and friends has made her very happy.

But Joel and Flora's relationship hits a bump whe Flora ends up accidentally pregnant, and Joel doesn't react the way she had hoped. Joel had a very difficult childhood, and he doesn't know if he can be a good father.

Flora's brother Fintan found love with Joel's biggest client, Colton Rogers, an American multi-millionaire, who came to Mure and built a huge mansion. At first the town hated Colton and all he stood for, but he has since become a valued, beloved member of the community.

Colton and Fintan's love is interrupted by a severe health issue, and an unwelcome and unexpected visit from Colton's brother from Texas. Colton has had nothing to do with his family for years, so he is suspect about the timing of his brother's visit.

The newest member of the community is Dr. Saif Hassan, a Syrian refugee who has been relocated to Mure. Saif has two young sons who are trying to adjust to a new life in a very different place. Saif is also looking for his wife, who never made it out of Syria.

Saif has become friends with Lorna, his sons' teacher and Flora's best friend. Lorna is attracted to Saif, but his missing wife casts a pall over their burgeoning relationship.

Once again, we get mouthwatering descriptions of some of the treats made in the Seaside Kitchen, including recipes at the end for Lanark Blue Scones, Black Bun and Shortbread. I also enjoyed learning about the Christmas traditions of this tiny Scottish island.

Reading Christmas on the Island is like catching up with old friends. Jenny Colgan makes you feel as though you hopped on the ferry yourself and landed there to spend the holidays. While there is  joy, as with life, there are also sorrows. The way that Mure welcomed and accepted Saif and his sons is uplifting, but Colton and Fintan's story is very sad.

I loved Christmas on the Island and hope that we get to meet up again with the residents of Mure.
I highly recommend it.

My review of The Cafe by the Sea is here.

Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on Jenny Colgan's tour. The rest of her stops are here:

Instagram Features

Monday, December 3rd: Instagram: @simplykelina
Tuesday, December 4th: Instagram: @theliteraryllama
Wednesday, December 5th: Instagram: @girlwithnoselfie
Thursday, December 6th: Instagram: @direads
Friday, December 7th: Instagram: @basicbsguide
Saturday, December 8th: Instagram: @readwithkat
Sunday, December 9th: Instagram: @sweetbookobsession

Review Stops

Monday, December 3rd: BookNAround
Tuesday, December 4th: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, December 5th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, December 6th: bookchickdi
Friday, December 7th: Into the Hall of Books
Monday, December 10th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Tuesday, December 11th: Jackie Reads Books
Wednesday, December 12th: Thoughts From a Highly Caffeinated Mind
Thursday, December 13th: Instagram: @kate.olson.reads
Friday, December 14th: Kahakai Kitchen
Monday, December 17th: Staircase Wit
Tuesday, December 18th: Instagram: @worldswithinpages
Tuesday, December 18th: A Book a Week
Wednesday, December 19th: Books and Bindings
Thursday, December 20th: I Wish I Lived in a Library