November was about Portals.

As a Psychologist I cannot ignore the symbolism of my need for transport into other worlds right now.

I can’t believe I’m saying that it needs to snow, but it does.

My son is on quarantine for another week which changed my Christmas shopping plans, and even though like 90% of it is done AND I have made Christmas treats AND my halls are decked, I still need a decent snow to get in the spirit. My house even smells like pine trees from a delicious three wick candle that I waited all year to burn. Nope. No Christmas for me. We couldn’t decorate the village tree from being on quarantine and there is no Santa Breakfast. So please, Mother Nature, come through for me on this, the winter where I really can’t and shouldn’t go anywhere. Breathe a little wintry Christmas spirit into this soul.

So no one will be shocked that I don’t have a Christmas read planned until at least the very week of the holiday.

But what I have read is delicious so you should keep reading and see what I have next week. 😉

The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix Harrow

January Scaller is a brown skinned, half orphaned child living in privilege in the white world of 1800s America, in the home of a rich businessman who collects artifacts. Quickly into her young life she discovers a portal to another world, which she makes the mistake of talking about to the adults, who cut her off from anything whimsical.  But when she is a little older and finds a mysterious book, she can’t avoid finding out the truth about the existence of other worlds and of herself.

So if I was as prescient as I occasionally fancy myself to be I’d have admitted in November that it would be my month of portal reads.  I know this is a post on the first Sunday of December but I spent my Thanksgiving week in the thrall of this story.  It is an ode to stories, just like in The Starless Sea with the interwoven stories and the blurred lines between dimensions and worlds.  It is utterly magical and mysterious.  January is an outsider, living between worlds herself, a dressed up collector’s item, who finds her place in the world, which is such an important and hopeful lesson in YA literature.  I loved the other worlds, the characters, and the twists just kept on coming.  I was getting near the end and I am like why is there still this amount left? What left is there to happen?  And then things!  

Love interest was decent too.  Not too much of a rake or unbelievably sappy. And Ms. Harrow was excellent about tying up all the ends.  The story was a delicious, satisfying whole. And the cover, ermagherd.

This was her debut novel and she has since come out with Once and Future Witches, which I already felt interested in, and now having read her ability to write a witch and headstrong women, I am all about that.  I’ll definitely get back to her next book because I love her powerful characters. 

So, I said it. Wishing for snow so I can get my spirit rolling. Reading women’s fiction instead. I mean not that Christmas books aren’t women’s fiction, because they are.

Plus I have not talked about my writing in awhile but I think I have made some decisions about how I’m going to use that January to April creativity sprint when it sucks outside.

I do wish the Christmas spirit on anyone that can find it!

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