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Around our house, we are in birthday mode. My sons have birthdays five days apart from each other, which means that chocolate frosting is on the agenda big time. Cory’s 18th birthday the other day was his last at home for a few years as he is a senior in high school, and I was just as sappy about this as you might expect. I already am thinking about how I will get a fudge marble cake to him at whatever college he attends! Greg’s 23rd on Monday is not any milestone, but makes me realize that soon I MAY have to give up telling people that I am 27.

Last Saturday, Tom and I went to see Zero Dark Thirty at a matinee before the marathon of football games started. The theater was really cold, which we attributed to it being the first show of the day, but it never warmed up. I had my knitting needles clicking away, so I was keeping up my body heat that way and Tom never took off his jacket, but by the time we left the theater, we were both still cold. We stopped to tell the manager on the way out, and he asked why we had not said something sooner. Tom said there was no way he was leaving that movie for a second. He is rarely that passionate about movies…usually that role belongs to me. All I can say is the nearly three-hour film never slowed for a second. And I never looked at my watch once. Yes, I liked it.

Even the sunniest of Januarys here in the New York area means it’s time for cocooning and more couch time than usual. With this in mind, I am going to ask you to take a few moments and think about your friends who are readers ---- and pass either this newsletter along to them or a link to our site. During January, there is lots of time for exploring new things --- and we hope will be one of them! We know that since we started in 1996 our audience has built organically, one reader at a time. And you all have helped with that. There was never a big ad campaign to drive readers to find us, but rather we have built our very solid audience by lots of word of mouth. And we love reading the stories of how we were “shared.” So if you can take the time to share us with your book-loving friends, I would appreciate it. At the same time, if you are on Facebook, “Like” us now (we hit 10,000 friends in December, which was a pretty happy moment), and if you are on Twitter, follow us. We share news on both throughout the week!

Did you miss us? While I enjoyed our break, I found myself writing little notes of things I wanted to share with you these past few weeks! First, a bit of trivia. Do you know that 2013 marks the first time since 1987 that a year does not have two or more of the same numbers in it? Leave it to my son Greg to have noted that --- and yes, I can see you all scribbling to see if it’s right. I personally was happy when 2010 hit, and we did away with those silly glasses that everyone peered through on New Year’s Eve from 2000-2009.