Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Sketchy Reader December Letters Reveal

Happy Saturday!  December's letters were so much fun to write and illustrate.  For December's favorite book I chose the first installment in the Flavia de Luce murder mystery series, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.  If you want to start an interesting and fun series for 2018, I highly suggest the Flavia murder mysteries.  Plus, the ninth novel in the series will be released at the end of January.

Here are the letters:

The Indie Next List selection is on the left: The Essex Serpent.  The favorite book is on the right: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

You can read my review of The Essex Serpent HERE.  

You can read my review of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie HERE.

I've picked my books for January's letters already, and I can't wait to get started on them!

If you want to subscribe to bookishly fun snail mail, or if you love a book nerd, please visit my updated Etsy Shop by following this LINK.  

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Friday, December 15, 2017

Literary Friday: The Hygge Holiday

Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!  This week I read The Hygge Holiday by Rosie Blake.  If you're ready to get comfortable for a cozy holiday read, look no further than this sweet book.

Reader's note:  If you've been living under a rock the past several months and you've never seen nor heard the word "hygge" before, it's okay....I'm here to help.  Read my post HERE for a comprehensive explanation!  ;P

According to Goodreads:

It's autumn in Yulethorpe and everyone is gloomy. It's cold, drizzly and the skies are permagrey. The last shop on the high street - an adorable little toy shop - has just shut its doors. Everything is going wrong for Yulethorpe this autumn. Until Clara Kristensen arrives.
Clara is on holiday but she can see the potential in the pretty town, so she rolls up her sleeves and sets to work. Things are looking up until Joe comes to Yulethorpe to find out exactly what is going on with his mother's shop. Joe is Very Busy and Important in the City and very sure that Clara is up to no good. Surely no one would work this hard just for the fun of it?

Can a man who answers emails at 3 a. m. learn to appreciate the slower, happier, hygge things in life - naps, candles, good friends and maybe even falling in love?

My Review:

When Joe's eccentric mother Louisa escapes to Spain for some sunshine and adventure, Clara is serendipitously available to housesit and care for Louisa's ginger cat Roddy and her naughty parrot Lady Caca.  Lady Caca is one of the most humorous characters, screaming famous lines from movies that are surprisingly spot-on, apropos commentary for the humans and their behavior.  But Clara has decided that she wants to do more for Louisa than housesit: She wants to turn her toy store around and make it a magical gathering place for the villagers of Yulethorpe.  She achieves her goal by creating imaginative display windows and refurbishing a large, cozy backroom into something very special.

Unfortunately when Joe catches wind of his mother's holiday and the strange foreign girl taking over his mother's shop, he's skeptical of Clara's motives and moves back to his mother's flat.  Clara is not a stranger to the rat race: She was a commodities trader until she had a wakeup call.  Joe is still working twenty hours a day or more, and is constantly checking his devices.  Clara is determined to win Joe over through the art of hygge, slowly but surely.

Yulethorpe has several colorful characters who make the story funny and exciting.  I love the setting, especially the time of year (Christmas).  This book serves as a sweet reminder to be mindful of nature and our surroundings; make time for all things cozy.  Although hard to translate, hygge is a reason why the Danes are ranked the happiest people on Earth, and there's no better time for hygge than the Christmas season.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill