Christmas Book Haul

Do you ever look at your bookshelves and feel like the luckiest person alive? Or is that just me? Books have always given me a warm, fuzzy feeling. The idea that I have books waiting to be read, worlds waiting to be explored, ideas waiting to be discovered, is simultaneously thrilling and comforting. Brad and I bought a new bookshelf over the holidays and immediately filled it with all the books that had been languishing in stacks on our floor (because we always outpurchase our shelf space). Seriously, between those books, books that were stacked in front of other books on other shelves, and the new books we received for Christmas the giant shelf is already completely full. And every time I walk by it, my heart swells with joy.

In the spirit of owning and loving too many books, I thought I would share the books I got for Christmas which all now happily reside on our new shelf. From my lovely husband, I received the books pictured below.  I’ve only read Mystery In White so far (read my review here). I’m greatly looking forward to the others! The Collector and Naomi’s Room were both on some top horror/scary/creepy books lists, so that’s pretty exciting. Bonus points for Brad, he also got me the bluray of The Collector (1965) starring Terence Stamp and Samantha Eggar as companion piece. The Louise Penny books are the first three in her Chief Inspector Gamache detective series. We watched a movie recently based on the first book called Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery (2013) and were intrigued. We are ALWAYS on the lookout for great new detective series in book or movie/TV format so I was thrilled to receive these. He did a great job. Thanks, Brad!

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Aren’t they pretty?

Since Brad’s family is big on giving gift cards for Christmas (I am not complaining!), I also got to pick out a slew of books for myself from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I am beyond excited to own the A.C. Crispin Han Solo trilogy. I read these books multiple times as a kid and LOVED them. Hopefully they hold up to my now (somewhat) adult brain. I’m slowly collecting all the Daphne du Maurier books I can get my hands on so when an opportunity like gift cards presents itself, I try to pick up a new one. Fire Season is a book I read about on someone’s “books everyone should read list” and immediately added it to my wish list. It’s about a man who lives 6 months of every year in a fire lookout high above a forest to watch for forest fires. It sounds fascinating. Of course I think almost everyone has heard of The Martian and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I’ve seen mixed reviews of The Martian, but I wanted to give it a try. And clearly with as many books as we own, I desperately need a book about tidying up. The Carson McCullers’ book was an impulse buy at B&N that used up the rest of my gift card. I enjoyed her short stories immensely but have yet to read one of her novels. I read about The Story Of My Teeth on a 2015 Best Books list and my interest was piqued enough to be added to the short list of “books to buy next”.

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Ahhh, lovely.

Same goes for the Alexandra Kleeman novel You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine. It was someone’s favorite book of 2015, and they said it got in their brain and never left. It had been on my wish list but that review bumped it to the top. The Shadow Of The Wind is another book that had been on my wish list for a while but I had just never picked it up. They had it in stock at my local B&N so now seemed the perfect time. I’ve been hearing about the Elena Ferrante Neapolitan series for some time now. I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not to read it, but another year-end 2015 review finally made up my mind. I purchased the first one, My Brilliant Friend, so we’ll see how that goes. I also read someone’s review of Tove Jansson’s Fair Play and purchased it forthwith. It is the story of two aging creatives who live at opposite ends of an apartment building, covering their lives and how art mirrors life and life mirrors art. I read Joan Didion’s article On Self Respect for the first time last year and knew I had to read more. Slouching Towards Bethlehem is finally mine.

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Just beautiful.

Last but not least, I bought myself a new Dr. Seuss book. I started collecting them a few years ago, but the collection quickly stalled at around 5 books. Dr. Seuss was a huge part of my reading life as a child, and the books will always have a very large place in my heart. I remember many days sitting in the little children’s section of my local library branch voraciously reading them over and over. One of my absolute favorites as a child was I Had Trouble in getting to Solla Sollew. It’s one that not a lot of people I have encountered have ever heard of, but I loved it. There’s a page where the main character dreams of being in a room completely filled with giant pouffy pillows, and that image has stuck with me all these years. Maybe one day I can sleep in a room filled entirely with giant pillows. What? We can all dream, can’t we? In reality, the book is actually a brilliant take on mindfulness (current buzzword alert!), and as this is something I frequently have trouble with, I think even my kid brain knew I should pay attention. The main character tries to escape his everyday problems by getting to the magical world of Solla Sollew where no one has any problems, only once he gets there he finds that (shocker!) they have problems too. He finally realizes that we all have problems, and that focusing on some mythical future where problems don’t exist will never make you happy. Happy is here, now, in the present, as long as you believe it, no matter what goes on around you. Oh, Dr. Seuss, how I love you.

Now I have to get to reading!!!

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