|Gerardus Mercator's Map of the North Pole 1595|
Welcome to Delightful December and our birthstone of the month, Turquoise. We have much to celebrate this month with St. Nicholas Day, Advent, Hanukkah, St. Lucia Day, Christmas, arrival of Winter as well as Festivus for the rest of us, Iceland's Jolabokaflod, Sweden's Julbok (Yule goat) and Finland's Joulupukki. I'm in the mood to go to the North Pole and do some cooking with Mrs Claus.
If cold December gave you birth—
The month of snow, and ice, and mirth—
Place on your hand a turquoise blue,
Success will bless whate'er you do.
~Author unknown, "A Gem for Every Month," c.1883
Speaking of Turquoise, our birthstone of the month, you may choose to spell out the word, reading one book per letter or read a book with the name or the colors of the stone in the title. Perhaps find an author whose name is Topaz or spell out the word using author names. You may decide to find a book set in the time period where the birthstone was discovered or surrounding the myth and lore or set in countries where the birthstone is currently found.
This month, I think I'll join Harold and his purple crayon as he goes in search of the north pole in Harold at the North Pole.
Unfortunately we won't find any penguins there, but we may find the occasional polar bear, ringed seals and Arctic foxes roaming about.
You may want to bundle up before you read about Arctic expeditions to the North Pole with Hampton Sides - In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette or Bruce Henderson's True North: Peary, Cook, and the Race to the Pole as well as Fatal North: Murder and Survival on the First North Pole Expedition.
Or take a thrilling fictional trip with Alistair MacLean in Ice Station Zebra, Jack London in Call of the Wild or Lincoln Child's Terminal Freeze. Read more about the North Pole in the New Yorker's Literature's Arctic Obsession and Ali Shaw's The Written World: The North Pole.
Be sure to check out Goodread's list of Popular Arctic books as well as the Listopia of North Pole books.
Have fun exploring!
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