Archive for December 2013


Happy New Year from Richmond!

December 31st, 2013 — 8:24pm

Henry and Mom and I are visiting Kirsten and Marcos and Emma Rose and having a wonderful time. We’ve mostly been lazing around in pajamas all day, playing QuizUp, watching a bit of TV, listening to music, and playing with the baby, who is a dear darling adorable 6-month-old squeezable dumpling! I brought along wool to knit her a red-and-white striped cardigan and finished it today, but I have to take it home with me to install a zipper. Photo soon.

Let’s hope 2014 is better than 2013!

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Merry Christmas to you all!

December 25th, 2013 — 7:25am

Merry Christmas! Today in my podcast feed I put a few of the Christmas carols that I sang for various LibriVox Christmas Carol Collections over the years. I am NOT a great singer, but I think they sound jolly anyway. Hope you like them :)

Sussex Carol
The Holly and the Ivy
Good King Wenceslas
Deck the Halls
The Boar’s Head Carol

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A Christmas Carol: 05 The End of It

December 24th, 2013 — 7:36am

A Christmas Carol: 05 The End of It

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Spiderweb for Two – Chapter 8 Prisoned in Ice

December 23rd, 2013 — 10:22am

Yay, I’ve just done my first recording since I got sick in November. I had to take several coughing breaks but I did it. :)

For all of you rabid Melendy fans, I present:
Spiderweb for Two 08 Prisoned in Ice

Enjoy! :)

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A Christmas Carol: 04 The Last of the Spirits

December 23rd, 2013 — 7:35am

A Christmas Carol: 04 The Last of the Spirits

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A Christmas Carol: 03 The Second of the Three Spirits

December 22nd, 2013 — 7:33am

A Christmas Carol: 03 The Second of the Three Spirits

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The Google Doodle today

December 21st, 2013 — 11:07am

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates 100 years of crosswords! They put up an actual playable crossword. It’s a good one, too — it felt like a Monday-ish NY Times puzzle. That is to say, easy but not STUPID :) I solved it in 13:30.

I’ll add a direct link to the crossword doodle when there is one (when it moves to their doodle archive).

Here it is: http://www.google.com/doodles/100th-anniversary-of-the-crossword-puzzle

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A Christmas Carol: 02 The First of the Three Spirits

December 21st, 2013 — 7:31am

A Christmas Carol: 02 The First of the Three Spirits

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A Christmas Carol: 01 Marley’s Ghost

December 20th, 2013 — 7:27am

It’s almost Christmas! Time for my recording of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.

A Christmas Carol: 01 Marley’s Ghost

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A Child’s Christmas in Wales

December 19th, 2013 — 7:30am

If you’ve never heard Dylan Thomas’s own reading of this, please seek it out. Mine is good, but his is, of course, perfect.

A Child’s Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas

When I was little, we had a little square book with woodcut illustrations by Ellen Raskin. This is the one — which I have now added to my Amazon wishlist because, miraculously, it’s still in print! (Edit: Mom found a copy for me!)

One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.

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William’s Christmas Eve

December 18th, 2013 — 7:44am

Sorry, tired. (I write these Christmas entries the night before they post.) No description this time. It’s a good chapter, though!

More William, chapter 14: William’s Christmas Eve

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The Dark is Rising: Christmas Day

December 17th, 2013 — 7:58am

See yesterday’s blog post for info about this lovely book.

Heads up, parents: this chapter might be too intense for very little ones — please pre-listen so no one gets scared :)

The Dark is Rising Pt2, Ch4 – Christmas Day, Part 1
The Dark is Rising Pt2, Ch4 – Christmas Day, Part 2

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The Dark is Rising: Christmas Eve

December 16th, 2013 — 8:16am

Again, I’m dropping you into the middle of a great book. Here’s the “Christmas Eve” chapter from the fantabulous “The Dark is Rising” by Susan Cooper. I re-read this book (or re-listen to my audio version) every year at Christmastime.

The Dark is Rising Pt2, Ch1 – Christmas Eve

Click the image to see the book on Amazon and buy your own copy. I’m serious. Do it.

Amazon blurb:

On the Midwinter Day that is his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton discovers a special gift — that he is the last of the Old Ones, immortals dedicated to keeping the world from domination by the forces of evil, the Dark. At once, he is plunged into a quest for the six magical Signs that will one day aid the Old Ones in the final battle between the Dark and the Light. And for the twelve days of Christmas, while the Dark is rising, life for Will is full of wonder, terror, and delight.

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Absolute Zero: the Christmas chapter

December 15th, 2013 — 7:24am

Today, something a little bit different. This is the last chapter (in three parts) of a hilarious book called “Absolute Zero”, about the eccentric Bagthorpe Family. I think it will be enjoyable even if you are unfamiliar with the book.

Quick summary up to this point: the entire Bagthorpe Family has become obsessed with entering competitions. Their dog, Zero, has had the most success, becoming the nationally famous spokesdog for “Buried Bones” pet food. In addition, through big sister Tess’s clever manipulation of the truth, the family has been named “Happiest Family in England”; because of this, they’ve had a film crew in their house for weeks and their “Happy” Christmas celebration will be broadcast live on television.

Absolute Zero 15a Christmas
Absolute Zero 15b Christmas
Absolute Zero 15c Christmas

(Seems to be out of print, so I’ll just link to the wikipedia page.)

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The Grinch in English

December 14th, 2013 — 11:39am

If you don’t want to hear The Grinch in German (see previous post) here is a little video, from a couple of years ago, of me reading it in English.

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Wie Der Grinch Weihnachten Gestohlen Hat

December 14th, 2013 — 8:14am

Today, in my Christmas Audiobook Extravaganza, a little something in German :)

Wie der Grinch Weihnachten gestohlen hat

Hint: “wie” means “how”. “Weihnachten” is “Christmas”. “Gestohlen hat” means “stole”. And “der Grinch” is… “the Grinch”. :)

I can’t find this book for sale anywhere, darn it. Well, read along with your English copy and you’ll learn a little bit of German, perhaps!

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The Sweet Smell of Christmas

December 13th, 2013 — 8:09am

The Sweet Smell of Christmas: a scratch-and-sniff picture book. I had this book when I was little and loved it! Sorry you can’t scratch-and-sniff while I read to you :)

The Sweet Smell of Christmas

Click the image to see the book on Amazon and buy your own copy!

Amazon blurb:

Christmas is almost here! Little Bear can smell it—and so can you! The air is filled with the aroma of gingerbread cookies, minty candy canes, the piney Christmas tree, and yummy hot apple pie. Celebrate the holiday season with this classic Golden storybook which includes six scratch-and-sniff scents.

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Dinah Washington: Ain’t Misbehavin’

December 12th, 2013 — 10:13pm

Ever get obsessed by a song suddenly and for no apparent reason? Today my Sudden Song Obsession was Dinah Washington singing “Ain’t Misbehavin’” (1947).

It’s a wonderfully intimate and sweet recording. According to the youtube poster (Overjazz Records) the trio is “Rudy Martin’s Trio (Rudy Martin (piano) possibly Hurley Ramey (guitar) Bill Settles (bass).”

So lovely.

I hooked up my laptop to the speakers and put the mp3 on repeat for a couple of hours and sang along. Not kidding. Sorry, neighbors.

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Spiderweb for Two: The Christmas Chapter

December 12th, 2013 — 8:04am

Another Melendy Christmas chapter for you! This time it’s a chapter from Spiderweb for Two, the last Melendy book. I’m in the middle of recording this book; I hope to finish in January if I can stop coughing!

Spiderweb for Two, 07 The Joyous Season

Click the image to see this book on Amazon and buy your own copy:

Amazon blurb:

Randy and Oliver Melendy awake one fall morning full of gloom. Their brother and sister are away, the house seems forlorn and empty, and even Cuffy, their adored housekeeper, can’t pick up their spirits. Will they have to face a long and lonely winter? But a surprise message in the mailbox starts a trail of excitement and adventure that takes them through the cold season. When summer finally comes around again, the children have found fourteen messages in all, and the end of the search brings them a rich reward.

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The Four-Story Mistake: The Christmas Chapter

December 11th, 2013 — 7:50am

Today in my Christmas Audiobook Extravaganza we have the Christmas chapter from a wonderful book called “The Four-Story Mistake”. If you like this chapter, you can find the rest of the audiobook on my “Kayray Reads to You” page.

The Four-Story Mistake, Chapter 8: Noel, Noel

Y’know, this is a fantastic book in a fantastic quartet of books. It would make a great Christmas present for your favorite kid (or adult who loves kids’ books)! Click the image to see it on Amazon. Get the rest of the Melendy books while you’re there :)

Amazon blurb:

Into the Four-Story Mistake, an odd-looking house with a confused architectural history, move the Melendy family — Mona, Rush, Randy, Oliver, Father, and Cuffy, the housekeeper. Though disappointed about leaving their old brownstone in New York City, and apprehensive about living the country life, the four Melendy kids soon settle into this unusual new home. Here, they become absorbed in the adventures of the country, adjusting themselves with all their accustomed resourcefulness and discovering the many hidden attractions that the Four-Story Mistake has to offer.

The Four-Story Mistake is the second installment of Enright’s Melendy Quartet, an engaging and warm series about the close-knit Melendy family and their surprising adventures.

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