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By November 29, 2017 One Comment
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By Jennifer Holberg

I read recently about a very charming holiday tradition that is celebrated in Iceland called jólabókaflóð. Literally: “Christmas book flood.”

I learned that most books are bought in Iceland during the fall after every household is mailed a Bókatíðindi, a catalogue of new books.

Come Christmas Eve when gifts are exchanged, everyone receives a book—and spends the rest of the night reading. Which sounds like a very merry Christmas indeed.

The comparison isn’t exact, I realize, but maybe we could think about a blog such as The Twelve as its own kind of “word flood” (or at least a robust stream)—a place where, day in and day out, our collection of writers tries to engage thoughtfully and faithfully with the world around us. A kind of ongoing Bókatíðindi announcing the latest in culture, the arts, religion, and more.

I guess what I’m asking is for you to help make our own version of jólabókaflóð possible for other readers. We’d be most grateful if you’d include us in your end of the year celebrations with a gift to The Twelve to keep the “word flood” coming.

And as they say in Iceland: “Gleðileg jól!

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Jennifer L. Holberg

I’ve taught English at Calvin College since 1998–where I get to read books and talk about them for a living. What could be better? Along with my wonderful colleague, Jane Zwart, I am the co-director of the Calvin Center for Faith and Writing, which is the home of the Festival of Faith and Writing as well as a number of other exciting endeavors. Given my interest in teaching, I’m the founding co-editor of the Duke University Press journal Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition and Culture (and yes, I realize that that is a very long subtitle). I also do various administrative things across campus. As an Army brat, I’ve never lived anywhere as long as I’ve now lived in Grand Rapids. I count myself rich in friends and family. I enjoy kayaking and hiking. I collect cookbooks (and also like to cook), listen to all kinds of music, and watch all manner of movies and tv shows. I love George Eliot, Jane Austen, Marilynne Robinson, Dante, E.M. Delafield, Tennyson, Hopkins, and Charlotte Bronte (among others). And I have a bumper sticker on my car that says: “I’d rather be reading Flannery O’Connor.” Which is true.

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