The annual Christmas book haul.

You knew it was coming! In fact, I might have been motivated to post my Christmas recap just so I could talk about the new books that showed up under the tree. One of my favorite things about the end of the year is my renewed desire to read! Read all the things! And right now it feels like I own at least half of all the things. Heh.

My stash. Santa was really good to me! I got a few books that I have already read, but wanted to add to my shelves. I got Ron Chernow’s Washington and David McCullough’s John Adams, both of which I read in my quest to read a biography on all U.S. presidents. (Yes, I’m nuts. But you love that about me.) A copy of Eats, Shoots, & Leaves from Kim that I had been coveting forever. A copy of David Gillham’s City of Women, which was one of my favorite reads this year. I got gorgeous copies of the classics The Scarlet Letter, Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Anne of Green Gables. They have stamped, embossed, beautifully and artfully designed covers that I will keep forever. Gracie got her own copy of Anne of Green Gables and Bee got a copy of Wizard of Oz. Kim and I each got a copy of Bad Feminist – Roxane Gay’s grand-slam collection of essays on politics and pop culture that was quite possibly the best book I’ve read this year. I can’t wait to discuss it with Kim. I also got a copy of Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, because I don’t know where my copy ended up. And Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – definitely another of my top 3 books of the year.

I got a few reference booksBirds of North America and The Complete Survival Guide, one I’ve read and one I haven’t. They’ll go well with my growing collection of survival gear, something that’s grown from my tornado survival kit to…more. It’s fun, really! Half serious and a great source of amusement and always a chance to laugh at ourselves. Gracie even gave me a great little kit from Bear Grylls to throw in my car or the zombie tornado backpack. I’ll be sure to give you guys a run-down of my favorite survival tips when I finish the book!

Books I haven’t read yet: Corrie gave me a Will It Waffle? cookbook to go with the waffle iron from my mom. I would prefer that Corrie keep feeding me her delicious waffle creations, but I supposed learning to feed myself wouldn’t kill me. Probably. And Kim gave me a gorgeous copy of Great Walks of North America: New England to mosey through when I’m feeling homesick. I got a few writing books (because of course): Kim gave me Meet the Writers: The Steinbeck Project 1978-2002. She also gave me Pat Conroy’s My Reading Life; I always enjoy reading about people’s personal reading adventures. Santa picked up The Junior Officers’ Reading Club: Killing Time and Fighting Wars on clearance; I can’t wait to explore how our military men spent their time reading and what choices they made. A few other non-fictions books – Katherine Boo’s behind the beautiful forevers that I resisted reading for so long because it’s so incredibly sad; Eve Ensler’s In the Body of the World that I have picked up and put down more than a few times; and a clearance find, Moms Who Drink, which might make me feel like a better mom. Heh. Then there are the novels: Nicholas Sparks’ The Best of Me (so I can picture Zac Efron)(and feel old and dirty); The End of Alice (because I really enjoyed A.M. Homes’ work); John Irving’s Last Night in Twisted River; Donna Tartt’s The Little Friend (I loved Goldfinch and didn’t care for Secret History, so this one will break the tie); David Nicholls’s One Day; What Was She Thinking? by Zoe Heller; Patrick McGrath’s Trauma; Orhan Pamuk’s Snow; Jennifer Egan’s Look at Me (which I haven’t heard anything about, but I really loved other novels I’ve read by Egan); and Jonathan Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You, which I’m really looking forward to.

Then there are the books the girls received that I also plan to devour!

Gracie got nonfic books like Presidents: Every Question Answered (we’ve already had several trivia challenges)(that was actually given to Gracie and I); The Cruise of the Blue Dolphin, about a family who took their family off the grid and spent a year during the Great Depression sailing around the world (this was given to the family); National Geographic Kids Almanac 2015; Barack Obama; Crime Scene Investigators. Some graphic novels like Jason and the Argonauts; Nevermore; and Night of the Crash Test Dummies. And some fun novels: The Enchanted Castle; Judy Blume’s Here’s To You, Rachel Robinson; N.D. Wilson’s 100 Cupboards; Michael Buckley’s The Sisters Grimm; Holly Goldberg Sloan’s Counting by 7s from J. and N.; and Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming, which I might steal before she reads it!

Bee got a Choose Your Own Adventure, which confused her, but I think she’ll really enjoy once she understands how it works. She got a Geronimo Stilton: Secret Agent book that I love because SPIES. J. and N. gave her Flora and Ulysses, which I’ve been dying to read (what a coincidence!). And a couple graphic novels: Muppet Peter Pan, and three Lewis Trondheims – Monster Christmas, Monster Turkey, and Monster Dinosaur. I think they’ll really motivate her to read!

It’s a fantastic, fantastic haul and I can’t wait to dive in! If you need any book recs, ask any of us – we’ll have plenty!

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