16 Tasks of the Festive Season


I guess I will regret because I famously fail at book challenges (well apart from the yearly one on Goodreads) but this one just looks like so much fun. It’s hosted by Themis Athena and Murder by Death all the rules can be found on Athena’s blog.

Now on to some ramblings what books from my tbr pile could fit the bookish tasks:

Día de Muertos/All Saint’s Day: A book that has a primarily black and white cover, or one that has all the colours (ROYGBIV) together on the cover.

Carol Berg’s Revelation is quite high on my tbr-pile and has a (mostly) black and white cover. Yay!

Calan Gaeaf: Read any of your planned Halloween Bingo books that you didn’t end up reading after all, involving witches, hags, or various types of witchcraft –OR– read a book with ivy or roses on the cover, or a character’s name/title of book is/has Rose or Ivy in it.

I could always re-read one of Terry Pratchett’s witches books but that not exactly from my tbr-pile. I have some fantasy there but nothing focuses mainly on witches.

Guy Fawkes Night: Any book about the English monarchy (any genre), political treason, political thrillers, or where fire is a major theme, or fire is on the cover.

Alas I already read Melanie Clegg’s Minette about the daughter of Charles I and the other unread books of her I own are about the French monarchy. And in general my royal interests lie with the Habsburgs and Wittelsbachs…But wait! I have When Christ and his Saints sleep but that’s quite a doorstopper and I’m not sure if I could finish that in time

Bon Om Touk: Read a book that takes place on the sea, near the sea, or on a lake or a river, or read a book that has water on the cover.

Does Scott Lynch’s Red Sea under Red Skies count? (Hey…it actually has sea AND fire on the cover…I guess I won’t get two points for one book :P)

St. Martin’s Day: Read a book set on a vineyard, or in a rural setting, –OR– a story where the MC searches for/gets a new job. –OR– A book with a lantern on the cover, or books set before the age of electricity. –OR– A story dealing with an act of selfless generosity (like St. Martin sharing his cloak with a beggar).

There’s nothing that immediately springs to mind but ‘set before the age of electricity’ shouldn’t be too hard to find (are we going with the invention of the lightbulb as beginning here?)

Veteran’s Day/Armistice Day: Read a book involving veterans of any war, books about WWI or WWII (fiction or non-fiction). –OR– Read a book with poppies on the cover.

Well this biography of Elisabeth of Habsburg/Windisch-Graetz/Petznek is about someone who lived through both world wars but I guess that’s stretching the topic a bit too far…

Penance Day: Read a book that has a monk, nun, pastor / preacher or priest as a protagonist, or where someone is struggling with feelings of guilt or with their conscience (regardless over what).

I can always re-read one of my Cadfael books.

Thanksgiving Day: Books with a theme of coming together to help a community or family in need. –OR– Books with a turkey or pumpkin on the cover.

I’m absolutely lost with this one.

Advent: Read a book with a wreath or with pines or fir trees on the cover –OR– Read the 4th book from a favorite series, or a book featuring 4 siblings.

I doubt I’ll manage to read the first three Bridge of D’Arnath books in time and Five Daughters of the moon is…well one sibling too much

Sinterklaas / St. Martin’s Day / Krampusnacht: A Story involving children or a young adult book, or a book with oranges on the cover, or whose cover is primarily orange (for the Dutch House of Orange) –OR– with tangerines, walnuts, chocolates, or cookies on the cover.

But then the Five Daughters of the moon are six, eleven, fifteen, sixteen and twenty-two so some of them are still children. Alternatively, Restauration has an orange cover.

Book themes for Bodhi Day: Read a book set in Nepal, India or Tibet, –OR– which involves animal rescue. (Buddhism calls for a vegetarian lifestyle.)

I definitely don’t have any books set in those places on my tbr pile and almost certainly none involving animal rescue.

International Human Rights Day: Read a book originally written in another language (i.e., not in English and not in your mother tongue), –OR– a book written by anyone not Anglo-Saxon, –OR– any story revolving around the rights of others either being defended or abused. –OR– Read a book set in New York City, or The Netherlands (home of the UN and UN World Court respectively).

Well, I always have some Alexandre Dumas for non German/English. There’s also Tacheles about a Jewish Policeman in 1934 Vienna which would also fit.

Saint Lucia’s Day: Read a book set in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden – and Finland for the purposes of this game) or a book where ice and snow are an important feature.

This will also be hard since I’ve given up on the ScandiNoir genre. The Walls of Dalgorod sounds a bit like it’s rather icy but I’m not completely sure.

Hanukkah: Any book whose main character is Jewish, any story about the Jewish people –OR– where the miracle of light plays a significant part in the stories plot.

Well…or I use Tacheles here. But the first story in Hamilton’s Batallion also features a Jewish hero and heroine.

Las Posadas: Read a book dealing with visits by family or friends, or set in Mexico, –OR– with a poinsettia on the cover. –OR– a story where the main character is stranded without a place to stay, or find themselves in a ‘no room at the Inn’ situation.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the protagonists are stranded at one point or other in Stalking Darkness because it’s the kind of series where stuff like that happens but I doubt it’ll be a major plot point.

Winter Solstice/Yaldā Night: Read a book of poetry, or a book where the events all take place during the course of one night, or where the cover is a night-time scene.

I’m not a poetry person and I’m fairly certain I have nothing that takes part in one night. I might have a night-time cover somewhere.

Book themes for Mōdraniht: Read any book where the MC is actively raising young children or teens.

Again, I don’t think I have anything that fits.

Yuletide: Read a book set in the midst of a snowy or icy winter, –OR– set in the Arctic or Antartica.

Is Asgard snowy? Again, I think it’s a bit of a stretch.

World Peace Day: Read a book by or about a Nobel Peace Prize winner, or about a protagonist (fictional or nonfictional) who has a reputation as a peacemaker.

The MC of An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors has a peacemaker-protagonist but I’ve already read it. This is just me mentioning and recommending this book at every possible opportunity because I enjoyed it a lot.

Pancha Ganapati: Read anything involving a need for forgiveness in the story line; a story about redemption –OR– Read a book whose cover has one of the 5 colors of the holiday: red, blue, green, orange, or yellow –OR– Read a book involving elephants.

Death Comes to Pemberley is very yellow.

Soyal: Read a book set in the American Southwest / the Four Corners States (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah), –OR– a book that has a Native American protagonist.

Now that is not actually on my tbr-pile but I had my eyes on The Way of Thorn and Thunder for a while.

Dōngzhì Festival: Read a book set in China or written by a Chinese author / an author of Chinese origin; or read a book that has a pink or white cover.

Black Powder War starts off in China but I think they leave it pretty quickly (the previous book in the series Throne of Jade is definitely China-centric. In case anybody wants to read it…ehem and has read the first Temeraire book already).

Festivus: Read anything comedic; a parody, satire, etc. Books with hilariously dysfunctional families (must be funny dysfunctional, not tragic dysfunctional). Anything that makes you laugh (or hope it does).

If a Terry Pratchett book doesn’t make me laugh I don’t know what will.

Saturnalia: The god Saturn has a planet named after him; read any work of science fiction that takes place in space. –OR– Read a book celebrating free speech. –OR– A book revolving around a very large party, or ball, or festival, –OR– a book with a mask or masks on the cover. –OR– a story where roles are reversed.

Now I’m sure I have something that matches this theme but right now I can’t name a single one.

Christmas: Read a book whose protagonist is called Mary, Joseph (or Jesus, if that’s a commonly used name in your culture) or any variations of those names (e.g., Maria or Pepe).

Coming back to Melanie Clegg: look! A book on Marie Antoinette!

Hogswatch Night: Of course – read Hogfather! Or any Discworld book (or anything by Terry Pratchett)

I guess I could really re-read Hogfather. Even if that does nothing for my tbr-pile ^^

Dies Natalis Solis Invicti: Celebrate the sun and read a book that has a beach or seaside setting. –OR– a book set during summertime. –OR– set in the Southern Hemisphere.

Pffff. The sun is evil. (Let’s not go into the places and times of the year I have managed to get a sunburn…). And I really don’t have any sunny books as far as I know.

Quaid-e-Azam: Pakistan became an independent nation when the British Raj ended on August 14, 1947. Read a book set in Pakistan or in any other country that attained sovereign statehood between August 14, 1947 and today (regardless in what part of the world).

Going by this list both Poland and Hungray qualify since the (re)gained souvereign statehood in 1989. That means I could read A Country in the Moon or The Phoenix Land.

Newtonmas: Any science book. Any book about alchemy. Any book where science, astronomy, or chemistry play a significant part in the plot. (For members of the Flat Book Society: The “Forensics” November group read counts.)

Is this the place where I recommend An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors again? Though tbh despite the title it’s more math and steampunk than alchemy. I also have lots of forensic science non-fiction but nothing I haven’t read, yet.

Boxing Day/St. Stephen’s Day: Read anything where the main character has servants (paid servants count, NOT unpaid) or is working as a servant him-/ herself.

There are servants in Jane Austen…otherwise: nothing springs to mind. I don’t think Winds of Winter will come out within the next month…

Kwanzaa: Read a book written by an author of African descent or a book set in Africa, or whose cover is primarily red, green or black.

If you haven’t read it: can I interest you in Born a Crime by Trevor Noah? I already have and unfortunately, I have nothing else Africa-related. My copy of -tada- The Red and the Black is mostly black but I doubt I’ll get through that in time.

Hogmanay / New year’s eve / Watch night / St. Sylvester’s Day: a book about starting over, rebuilding, new beginnings, etc. –OR– Read anything set in medieval times. –OR– A book about the papacy –OR– where miracles of any sort are performed (the unexplainable – but good – kind).

I still have some Gil Cunningham mysteries which are set in medieval Glasgow.



So…if I just manage to read the books on my tbr-pile that definitely fit one of the squares I should manage a decent number of points. If…

28 thoughts on “16 Tasks of the Festive Season

    1. Ahh, thanks (I saw that she is on BL and wanted to link to her as well but then I got distracted and forgot XD). I added a link to her side to the post as well

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