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    A quiet Thanksgiving. No house full of relatives. No dinner cooking for hours. Nope. Not even my traditional shrimp. We had takeout Thanksgiving dinner from a local restaurant (turkey, ham, stuffing, squash, and mac & cheese).

    And then we broke out the Christmas decorations.

    Since we moved out of Charlotte back in 2006, we have lived largely without neighbors (unless you count bears, bobcats, horses, cows, etc.). We decorated the house, but it wasn’t the same since we were the only ones who saw it.

    But now we are back in a neighborhood. We saw the first Christmas tree go up weeks ago in the front window of a nearby house. We were eager to go, but waited until the “official” (in our minds) start. The Day After Thanksgiving.

    We let everyone else worry about Black Friday. We weren’t going anywhere near stores anyway. Christmas trees went up. Yes, plural. Garland was strung. Lights were plugged in. We even have a pair of giant decorative candy canes attached to a palm tree. A touch of “Southern Christmas.”

    It’ll probably be similar to Thanksgiving—just us having a quiet dinner on Christmas Day. But it’ll sure look festive.

    Books I’m Reading

    A crime scene investigator is called to investigate a murder in What Have You Done by Matthew Farrell and discovers he knows the victim. She recently broke off the affair they had been having, urging him to work things out with his wife. He calls his brother, a fellow Philadelphia police officer for help because he has a major problem—he can’t remember where he was at the time of the killing. Without telling anyone else his connection, he processes the crime scene and finds evidence pointing to only one suspect—himself. Did he commit a murder he didn’t remember?

    Anne Frasier’s Find Me follows a former FBI agent as she hunts for the buried victims of a prolific serial killer—her father. Her guilt is compounded by her role in his crimes. When she was five, he asked her to play the role of a lost child to lure the women to their deaths. Though she never understood what happened back then, she feels compelled to find the victims as her penance. Things get complicated when fresh bodies are found in the old burial sites.

    Amazon affiliate links result in a small commission to me, though they have no impact on your pricing.

    Book Links

    Audible Updates Royalties Policy On Returns—Last week, I mentioned a dispute between authors, voice artists, and the largest distributor of audio books over the clawing back of royalties on their generous return policy. Audible adjusted the policy this week to clawing back royalties only if the book is returned within 7 days (the same as their ebook policy). Some authors applauded the move. Others did not, citing the continued marketing of exchanges as a benefit of the program and the lack of reporting around returns. Stay tuned.

    Is a Writer Born Or Made?—The age-old nature versus nurture argument is brought to light by an author’s collection of stories written when they were a child. The only promise I can make is that the very first novel I wrote, way back in high school days, will never, never, never see the light of day.

    The History of Dust Jackets—I once asked my newsletter subscribers what they did with those dust jackets wrapping hard cover books (I tend to keep them). Here’s a little history of how they came to be.

    Corporate Jargon—One of my former employers loved to “acronym” things so much we even turned the word into a verb. We also said something needed a TLA or FLA (three letter acronym or four letter acronym). One enterprising employee created a dictionary of “TLA’s” used regularly in her division. So put this one in your TBR stack. Ahem—To Be Read.

    Virtual Library Tour—I haven’t been inside a library in months. I miss it. Here’s a virtual tour of Newnham College Library, University of Cambridge.

    Gratuitous Dog Picture

    Landon had one job. Stand still long enough for me to take a photograph of one of our Christmas trees. Standing still is not high on Landon’s skill set. So please accept this slightly blurry image as this week’s gratuitous dog picture.

    Background title image courtesy Jason Dent via Unsplash

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    1. Jean Burkhardt on November 30, 2020 at 8:24 am

      I LOVE reading anything you post Hu-Dad about the Herd. I think your Thanksgiving was wonderful and glad you broke out the decorations! NOT sure about Landon though-LOL! Blurry a little but still nice to look at.

    2. Debbie and Ruby on November 30, 2020 at 9:37 am

      I enjoy all things you post. A quiet Thanksgiving is sometimes the best. My decoration day is 12/1. Let the fun begin.

    3. chris on December 1, 2020 at 11:16 am

      Supporting small businesses at this time is important but what about making the food for the holidays. The best part of our tradition is making the food all day long (sweet potatoes, cheesy hashbrowns, turkey, homemade stuffing, homemade apple pie). It is just the three of us (husband, wife and daughter) but what fun we have in the kitchen on the holidays. And the dogs too who of course get to sample it all. Our dogs have always eaten people scraps besides their raw diet.

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