Thursday, December 6, 2018

24 Festive Tasks | Door 12: St. Andrew's Day

(November 30)


12/06/2018:  Honestly, I had a hard time with the tasks for this door.   They're not easy ones.  But I've got a completion for Task 2, and a book chosen for the Book Task.  The rest are still being considered.

Task 1

Nominate someone for sainthood. Who? Why?

This one will require some thought.

Task 2

St Andrew is revered in many countries, particularly in Eastern Europe, where he worked as a Christian missionary, long before his relics were brought to Scotland centuries later. – Tell us: Is there a book (regardless whether fiction or nonfiction) for which you would basically walk up to strangers and tell them: “Read this!”?  What would you say and do to get people to read that particular book?
-- COMPLETED 12/06/2018 --

I'd hate to copy Broken Tune's response to this task, but this is exactly the same way I feel about recommending books to people.  I'm usually hesitant, if only because I don't like to push recommendations without knowing what someone else likes to read.  There are really only two people in my non-cyber life whom I truly feel comfortable recommending books, because we have discussed books with each other so thoroughly that I know what kind of tastes they have, based on what they've read, and what they've enjoyed.

Without this knowledge, I feel presumptuous just randomly walking up to a stranger and marketing a book to them.

In a different approach to this task, however, I can turn around and say that, if a stranger (or even an acquaintance) asked me for a book recommendation... I do tend to ask them a bunch of questions about their preferences.  What books have they read recently?  What books have they liked?  What kinds of stories do they prefer?  Do they like romance?  Mystery?  Action thrillers?

After establishing some sort of background, I will proceed to let them know what books they might like, such as how "so-and-so author has a lot of witty dialogue," or how "there's an excellent mystery twist in this cozy," or "this book doesn't have a whole lot of romance in it," or "this romance doesn't have any graphic sex scenes."  I like to appeal to their interests.

Yeah... I give them a freakin' survey just to get a feel for what kind of reader they are.  Call it paranoia, or overthinking, or whatever, but the last thing I want to do is recommend someone a book that they'll end up hating.

Task 3

Legend has it that the saltire or St. Andrew’s cross (white on an azure background) – which constitutes the national flag of Scotland – originated as a cloud formation, symbolizing St. Andrew’s being crucified on an X-shaped cross rather than an upright one.  Do you have any pictures of unusual cloud formations?  If so, share them with us!

I'm sure I don't have any pictures of unusual cloud formations, at least none that have caught my interest.  If I decide to do a Google search for kicks, I may come back and update.

Task 4

The town of St. Andrews, where the saint’s bones ended up in the course of the spread of Christianity to Scotland, is also famous for its golf course and tournament.   List your 3 favorite books where golf is key to the plot.

You know, off the top of my head, I'm not sure I've ever actually read a book that involved golf... except maybe as an aside to some rich, side character's favorite past time, which usually had little to do with the central plot.

Book Task

Andrew was the first apostle; read the first book in a series. OR: Andrew and Peter were brothers; read a book about brothers.  OR: Read books about or set in Scotland or by a Scottish author, or set in Charleston, South Carolina (which is where the celebrations as we know them today began – by a group of Scottish expats – according to

I am totally going to try to get this book listened to for this door.  I'm so happy that I came across the fact that Alan Cumming is Scottish.  I confess, even though I already owned this book for some time, and even though I instantly loved his narration of Dr. Seward in the full-cast production of Dracula, I didn't really know much about Alan Cumming.

As soon as I finish Jurassic Park, I'm going to move right into this one!

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