Another holiday season is almost over and done with, and I hope yours has been all that you wanted it to be. Denis and I spent a quiet and lovely Christmas Day together watching some favorite movies-- and a couple of new ones that we gifted each other.
Sometimes I wonder how many book lovers prefer receiving gift cards over real books as gifts. It's been my experience that those who don't know me well just know that I love books and buy me anything they think I might enjoy reading (usually disasterous); whereas, those who know me well buy me gift cards to my favorite book-buying places. Any wish lists I have aren't paid much attention to, but then I really don't go out of my way to advertise them.
I love gift cards, probably because one of the best parts of obtaining books is the thrill of the hunt. As you can see in the photo, I've been experiencing that thrill-- and I still have a gift card to The Poisoned Pen that's burning a hole in my wallet. I hope all of you received lots of wonderful books and gift cards this holiday season-- and that 2016 will be a fabulous reading year for you!
In the mean time, those links out in the corral are getting restless. Head 'em up! Moooooooooove 'em out!
►Books, Movies & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- Good for Maryland! The state will be mailing free books each month to Baltimore's children.
- It's a new year and time to take a page from Iceland's book and start a new tradition next Christmas Eve: the Jolabokaflod.
- eBooks have fewer spatial landmarks, making it harder to concentrate.
- Librarians are excited about eBooks that don't expire, and they should be because libraries actually drive eBook sales.
- New technology is making X-ray vision a reality for $300.
- This Japanese bookshop stocks only one book at a time.
- A German vending machine will exchange unwanted gifts for books.
- Pope Francis has called for ending the tax-exempt status of churches that don't help the needy.
►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
- Will DNA tests finally settle the controversy surrounding Russia's last tsars?
- A Vero Beach archaeological site may rewrite Florida's history.
- An appraiser describes finding a Beethoven sketch leaf in a Connecticut home.
- A recently discovered dinosaur's back sail may have aided it during migration.
- This 5,300-year-old body has the world's oldest known tattoos.
- An archaeological find in El Salvador tells a whole different story about Maya society.
- This exhibit of gold artifacts has the Midas touch.
- Historians say that the remnants of a cedar log highway could date to the Civil War era. (Can you imagine how uncomfortable it would be to travel upon?)
- Radioactive jockstraps?!?
- A powder horn believed to be Alexander Hamilton's was put up for auction.
- Naukratis was ancient Egypt's version of Hong Kong.
- Bouncer and local historian Anthony Thomas may be rewriting the history of the Welsh town of Merthyr Tydfil.
►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
- 2015 was a big year for animals riding other animals.
- A wild otter swam into an aquarium's tide pool and gave birth to an adorable pup.
- A wild orca named Pickle has swum next to his kayaker buddy for years.
►The Happy Wanderer◄
- 15 places that look like they're on another planet.
- 12 cozy holiday cabins. I want to rent all of #11 and invite a huge group of family and friends.
- 12 of the most stunning images captured by drones in 2015.
- Abandoned since 1932, this French castle is still hauntingly beautiful.
- A southern Arizona resort had a dine-in gingerbread house this Christmas.
- We Arizonans also do our own Christmas version of "if life gives you lemons, make lemonade" with our tumbleweeds.
- You just can't make this stuff up. A pensioner in England was locked in a restroom for four days. You won't believe what she did to pass the time. (I may start doing this just in case I'm in a similar circumstance and my Kindle runs out of charge....)
- Mary Anning, the paleontologist whose life inspired a tongue twister.
- How Joel Poinsett, the namesake for the poinsettia, played a role in creating the Smithsonian.
- Will 100-year-old Stephanie Rader finally be recognized for the hero she is?
►I ♥ Lists◄
- The 100 best photographs ever taken without Photoshop. (There are some stunning ones!)
- 9 books to read if you like the TV series Outlander.
- The complete list of where to buy or listen to digital audiobooks.
- The joy of children's Christmas books in pictures.
- The best book covers of 2015.
That's all for now! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.
Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!