For most of my friends and relatives, this weekend marks either the end of the Hannukah season or the beginning of pre-Christmas craziness. Therefore, before I do anything else let me say Thank You to everyone who is reading this. 

I know there are a bazillion items battling for attention, so the fact you chose to read my little posts means a lot. As you know, I’m not in the newsletter business. I’m not looking to monetize my posts or build a reputation as an influencer. I write these Friday posts to stay in touch between books and hopefully build a connection with people. Because as I’ve said before, marketing for me is about building relationships. 

So let me say definitively that I appreciate every single one of you.

This is my last post until after Christmas. It doesn’t matter what holiday you celebrate at this time of year. No one needs to read a blog on December 22. (December 29 is another story.)

man in Victorian top hat with mean expression.
Alistair Sim in 1951’s A Christmas Carol. Watching this movie at Christmas is a tradition in our house.

This Christmas is special for my husband and me because it’s our grandson’s first Christmas. At four months, he’s probably too little to appreciate the milestone, but we do! 

Part one of the holiday starts Christmas Eve when we enjoy an early dinner with my husband’s family before heading to Christmas Mass.

Then, the following day, my husband and I will drive north to spend the day with Captain Tattoo, his partner, and her extended family. She has nephews who are the perfect age to enjoy Santa. There is nothing better than watching young kids on Christmas Day. Santa Pete is supposedly bringing a train set for the boys to set up in the living room. Should be a good time.

Starting December 29th, I will no longer be sending weekly emails. 

I’ll continue publishing my Friday posts, including my book reviews, and anyone who wants to read them can do so on Substack or here on my website blog. Those of you who signed up for the email version of The Barb Wallace Bulletin will be receiving a special quarterly issue with reviews, news, and an original essay. 

We all have way too many emails in our inbox these days. We all have way too many emails in our inboxes. My gift in 2024 is to reduce that number by 48.

Queen of Exiles by Vanessa Riley. Queen in Exile is the story of Haiti’s Queen Marie-Louise Christophe, who escaped a coup to set up her own royal court in Italy during the Regency era. Every time I read one of Vanessa Riley’s historical fiction books, I ask myself why this woman isn’t on the top of the bestseller lists. Maybe that’ll change soon. Rumor has it Shonda Rhimes is adapting Riley’s first historical, Island Queen.

This would be a good time to remind you of the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod (meaning Christmas Book Flood). On Christmas Eve, Icelanders exchange books and treats like hot cocoa. The night is spent in the company of friends and families, reading, telling stories, and enjoying togetherness. Sounds like a fantastic tradition, right? I’m thinking of getting Captain Pete to give it a try.

December 15, 1944: The world said goodbye to Glen Miller, whose plane disappeared during a heavy fog.

December 15, 1965: Wally Schirra piloted Gemini 6-A into space. The launch was originally scheduled for December 12 but was scrubbed due to ignition failure.