Meet the Team: Betsy at Christmas

As 2020 draws to an end, we know we’ve added a lot of new readers. So, just in time for last minute Christmas ideas, here is Meet the Team, Christmas 2020 edition!

Hayley plays interviewer to introduce the Redeemed Reader team. We continue today with our very own Managing Editor and Staff Writer, Betsy Farquhar.

1. What are some books you’d like to give this year?

Chapter Book

It’s a chapter book, but I’ll be passing on Skunk and Badger to my twin niece and nephew. They’re turning 6 in January and are the perfect age for this gem.


It’s crazy to think that all three of my children are teenagers! So, for Jolabokoflod this year, something that we’ve done for YEARS now, I’ll be giving all YA books! MindWar by Klavan and Peak by Smith are for my boys. The Daughter of Time by Tey is for my daughter, but that’s technically an adult book, not a YA.

Adult Nonfiction/Other genres

I have an aspiring young author who delightedly plowed through Adorning the Dark this fall. I’ve got a copy of Beate Not the Poore Desk by Wangerin headed my way from the Rabbit Room bookstore.*

*See Betsy’s post Books for Teen Writers

2.  Lots of good ideas! Now, what book would you like to receive?

In 2020, I set out to read 5 epic poems, and I did! (The Odyssey, Beowulf, The Ballad of the White Horse, Evangeline, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight). I’m going to do this again for 2021, and there are some super nerdy books on my wish list as a result. One of them is El Cid (a Medieval epic from Spain) and another is The Knight in the Panther Skin (a Medieval epic from Georgia). I’ve also got some gardening books and other miscellany on my wish list!

3.  What is a bookish gift you like to give (or receive!)? I like the gifts at Litographs—the entire book is often used! I’ve got one of their totes and a t-shirt. Someone needs to give me one of these sometime. 

4.  Yes, I want one of those as a necklace! Moving beyond gifts, what is an audiobook you have enjoyed recently?  To Kill a Mockingbird, read by Sissy Spacek. It was amazing, even though I’ve read this book multiple times before. I also listened to Just Mercy (Young Readers Edition) read by the author. It was quite well done as well. 

5.  Finally, most book lovers know the quote, “I can’t imagine a man enjoying a book and reading it only once.”  What is a book you have recently re-read?

 I re-read more books in 2020 than usual. Some (Antigone, Sense and Sensibility) were for my book club. Others were with my kids as audio books (like Echo, A Single Shard, and The View From Saturday). I listened to To Kill a Mockingbird in the spring because I was wanting to dive into a book I love just because. So often, most of what I read is for a more utilitarian purpose (such as the aforementioned book club or to review for Redeemed Reader). Relistening to an old favorite just because I wanted to felt luxurious, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

6. Bonus question! What’s a favorite stocking stuffer in your family?

We always include an orange in the toe of the stocking. We also often include a box of tea that the recipient especially likes. In a family of tea drinkers, it’s fun for each person to have a personal stash.

Well, I learned something new, and I’m sure our readers did, too. Thank you, Betsy!

What books or bookish gifts are you planning on giving this Christmas? And what books would you like to receive? Comment below to join the conversation!
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