Weekly Update for December 4, 2022

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Weekly Update at Introverted Reader

Welcome to my weekly update for December 4, 2022!

I hope everyone who celebrates had a wonderful Thanksgiving! My husband and I were on our own on Thanksgiving day but we flew down to San Diego the following Saturday to spend a long weekend with his cousin. They’ve taken us in and treated us like royalty for a lot of holidays since we started traveling in early 2019.

If you like reading Sarah Addison Allen’s books (as I do), you should check her out on Instagram this month. Last year she shared a tiny Christmas story every day in December on that platform as a sort of virtual advent calendar. The stories were delightful. I was so excited to see that she’s doing it again this year!

We felt late to the party but we drove in to Sacramento just before Thanksgiving to see Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience. We loved it! There were actually two different immersive van Gogh shows in town at the same time but this one was rated slightly better. The display is on about an hourlong loop. It was magical to watch his artwork come to life all around us. The soundtrack was fantastic too. We loved it so much that we hung around and watched it twice. I can’t speak for all the different immersive shows but we highly recommend this one if you like van Gogh’s art! These shows travel all over the country so if you haven’t seen one yet, check the website I linked to or do a search and I bet one will be coming to your area soon.


  • Sunbeams striking San Diego Bay
  • The Star of India sailing ship outlined with white Christmas lights
  • Colorful mural that reads, "Live in the Sunshine, swim in the sea, drink in the wild air"
  • Brown mini dachshund peering from beneath a Christmas blanket

All images © Jennifer G. at Introverted Reader 2022

  1. I love walking along the Embarcadero in San Diego. This day was cloudy but these sunbeams broke through in the late afternoon.
  2. The Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship, docked along the Embarcadero
  3. I liked this colorful mural we saw in San Diego, created by @heysarahtate
  4. My husband’s cousin’s miniature dachshund. We hadn’t seen her in almost two years so we weren’t sure if she would remember us but she did! She jumped on our knees and asked to be picked up as soon as she saw us outside the airport! She loves nothing more than snuggling under her blankets.


‘Tis the season…for reading challenges! I’m hosting the Books in Translation and Southern Literature reading challenges again this year. The basic challenges are the same as past years but I’ve also added reading categories to add a different element for those who like that sort of challenge.


I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe in beautiful Asheville, NC. I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase merchandise through links on my site. 

The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis Book Cover

The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis 🌟🌟🌟 (Link goes to my Goodreads review)

Currently Reading:

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, translated by Richard Pevear

Shadow Princess (Taj Mahal #3) by Indu Sundaresan, read by Sneha Mathan

The Yosemite by John Muir

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie–I had to return this to the library and since I’m tied up in some other big books, I keep postponing my turn

Up Next:

I’m almost finished with The Yosemite so I’ll be looking for another nonfiction book. I’m also hoping that A Lot Like Christmas by Connie Willis will be available soon. I like Christmas/holiday reading but don’t have much patience for overly-sentimental or poorly-written books that are rushed out to make a quick buck. The ones that fit my criteria are rarely available at the library. Any recommendations though?

What did your week look like?


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz hosts The Sunday Salon and Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer hosts Sunday Post. Kathryn at Book Date hosts It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Other Posts You May Enjoy:


  1. We missed the Van Gogh show when it was in Portland, and it’s not going to be anywhere nearby. Maybe it will be somewhere that we travel to in 2023.

    Great pictures of San Diego! Make me a bit homesick, though. We lived there for 20 years! I used to run from my downtown office (HBJ Publishers) to Seaport Village, and along the Embarcadero. Such a beautiful area.

    I may join your Southern Lit challenge. I’ll scour my TBR shelves and see if anything works, but maybe I’ll just reread Beach Music, which has been on my reread list FOREVER.

    Hmmm, if you need a rec for a nonfiction book, I may know just the one. 😉

  2. It sounds (and looks) like San Diego was a successful trip. It’s been a while since I’ve been down there.

    I loved the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit and agree that the music and art were amazing. We also saw the Immersive Frida Kahlo, which I highly recommend.

  3. I dug out some old Christmas posts and came up with Rumpole at Christmas (and/or A Rumpole Christmas) by John Mortimer, Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners by Gretchen Anthony, and A Christmas Day at the Office by Matt Dunn. I also liked Christmas Days by Jeannette Winterson.
    (P.S. The comment box didn’t show up for me either, until I switched browsers.)

  4. I’ve read (and enjoyed) A Lot Like Christmas by Connie Willis. One of the things I like about it is that it’s short stories, and so I could read it in small bites. I also really enjoy her Take a Look at the Five and Ten. That one is set at Christmas, but focuses on people and it was one of my favorite reads the year that I first read it. (I think that was 2020?) I’m planning to read it again this year.

  5. The Van Gogh exhibit was here a while ago but I missed it–it was right after things started opening up again and I didn’t feel comfortable going. Oh well! Perhaps it might circle around again. Have a great week!

    1. We were able to go on a Monday afternoon when it wasn’t very crowded at all. We’re still just dipping our toes into indoor events. I hope you have a chance to see it at some point in a setting you feel comfortable in!

      1. My comment box is all the way at the bottom. Unless it randomly disappeared when you visited? Sorry for any inconvenience but thanks for commenting anyway!

        We adore the little dachshund! She has personality to spare. Sorry you didn’t get to visit the Van Gogh exhibit.

  6. I visited a Van Gogh experience last winter with my family and it was so cool. Glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with family as well. Love those cool pics.
    I like my holiday reading to be informative or a bit scary! I’m reading the Battle for Christmas by Stephen Nissenbaum. Really fascinating history of the Puritans attempts to disassociate Christmas from its pagan origins.

  7. OOo neat! I am glad to hear that the Immersive Van Gogh was good! I am taking Wyatt to the Immersive Nutcracker this month – I think he will love it.

    And thanks for the Sarah Addison Allen tip! I love her!!

    1. I adore Sarah Addison Allen’s books. She lives in my hometown so I’ve been fortunate to attend several of her book launches. She’s a delight.

      I hadn’t heard of the Immersive Nutcracker. That sounds awesome! Have a great time!

  8. My husband is hoping we can make a trip to San Diego next year. There’s supposed to be some sort of really good rock hunting site nearby. Your photos look beautiful.

    I’d like to read a Christmas book this year, too, but sappy doesn’t work for me either. I wish I had a good recommendation.

    I listened to My Summer in the Sierra last year and I thought it was beautifully written.

  9. I’ve been to San Diego a couple of times and love it there, especially walking along the waterfront!

    Thanks for mention the Sarah Addisson Allen insta feature. I will definitely be reading along!

  10. I took a trip to San Diego with my family back in March. Hadn’t been in years, but I need to go back. It’s not that far from me, but somehow, I just never seem to make it. I think I make it longer than it really could be.

  11. I love that ship! Cool pic. and glad you had a nice holiday. I love that Advent idea too. I’ll have t pocheck out her IG.

    Thanks and have a great weekend!

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