I cannot believe we are well into December again! I see Christmas decorations all over on the streets and at my home, but I’m still mentally somewhere back in September (and in September, I still felt like it was June . . . do we ever catch up?). I’m looking forward to the next few weeks, in which I have plans to slow down a bit, hopefully settle into the season, and focus my energy on family and . . . The Mookse and the Gripes! Next week I will be publishing my annual year-end list. It will be the tenth! There are several books I’ve read but have yet to review that should be on the upcoming list, which may cause me to stray from my convention of listing only those which I’ve already reviewed. Regardless, hopefully I’ll also get a chance to write some of those reviews before the year runs out.

As for 2018, I’m looking forward to the new year. Most things here will stay about the same. I’m going to continue to work on getting the archive posts up to date with my current blog format. The reviews will continue. Tomorrow, Betsy and I are posting our thoughts on Alice Munro’s “Wigtime,” the last story in Friend of My Youth, and then we will take a few weeks off before starting Munro’s Open Secrets at the beginning of January. The site will celebrate ten years in July, but we’ll deal with that, probably without much fanfare, at that time.

The main thing that will be different in 2018 is the reiteration and re-launch of The Mookse and the Gripes Podcast. Things there are progressing nicely and pleasantly. I’ve got the first episode well underway, and I plan to publish it sometime in mid-January. I intend to post one main episode per month, and I’ve outlined all twelve for 2018. They vary from the author-centric episodes (the first is about the start of Anita Brookner’s fiction-writing career when she was in her early 50s) to the general survey of some topic (Early American Short Stories, for example). I am having a lot of fun putting them together since it is mainly allowing me to dig into something I’m personally curious about. I hope they will be fun to listen to.

Relaunching the podcast has been made possible by the generous support offered by donations through PayPal and through Patreon. I do not have the authorization to publicly thank those of you who’ve donated through PayPal, but thank you all the same. For those who’ve become patrons on Patreon, I did say I’d thank you publicly here, so here goes.

Thanks to Laura Brown, Alan Teder, Paul Fulcher (who also allows me to publish some of his great reviews here!), and Daniel Friedman.

These contributions mean a lot to me and literally allowed me to restart the podcast.

If you don’t know what Patreon is, I invite you to check out The Mookse and the Gripes Patreon page here. Patreon allows you to make a monthly contribution to The Mookse and the Gripes. You can donate as little as $1 per month, and you can stop your patronage at any time. I also have rewards set up for donors at certain levels. I’m still hoping someone signs up for the $26.66 level so I can send out some chocolates and a bookish surprise! I may have to rethink things there, though, because I would love to send things to folks from other reward levels as well.

I appreciate your support however in all forms, whether by donating money or by reading the site. Thank you!

I’m going to the library tonight to continue work on Anita Brookner, and I look forward to celebrating the remainder of the year with you!

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