Saturday, 28 December 2013

Books for Christmas

If there's one thing I love to get for Christmas it's books. As this is a book blog I suppose a few people might be forgiven for thinking that a rather obvious statement - along the lines of Mary Berry is good cook or Dawn French likes a bit of chocolate... The thing is, it was only a few years ago I let the guilt thing over-rule my preferances, ie. knowing I owned a lot of books already made me think I shouldn't ask for more. Then I had a huge clear-out of books and the charity shops benefitted hugely. I had gaps on my shelves for the first time in ages. At the same time it occurred to me how nice and easy it was for my family when I made a list of books I wanted as presents. They could just pop over to Amazon, choose which ones they liked the look of and Bob's Your Uncle... I suddenly became the easiest person in the family to buy for at Christmas. So now I've stopped feeling guilty about this and happily ask for books at Christmas and for birthdays.

This year I made a list based partly on a few of the challenges I'm doing next year and partly on books I perhaps couldn't get at the library or just wanted to own.

These four books came from my eldest daughter and her husband. On the top row:

A History of Scotland by Neil Oliver. I'm a big fan of his history documentaries on TV although I don't think we watched this one. But this is perfect for my Read Scotland challenge for 2014.

Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers. I'm slowly collecting the Lord Peter Wimsey series and this title is apparently one of the best in the series. I'll be reading this for the Vintage Crime challenge I'll be doing next year.

Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees by Roger Deakin. This one I just fancied the look of.

A Thousand Miles from Anywhere by Sandra Clayton. I've read the first two books of this sailing travelogue from the library but, annoyingly, the library doesn't have book three. So on the list it went...

The Survivors by Amanda Havard is a paranormal story about the 26 children who were exciled after the Salem witch trials and what happens to them and their descendants. I'd never heard of this book and am so thrilled a dear friend in Scotland sent it to me for Christmas as it sounds like a brilliant read.

The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. This is a non-fiction about the dust storms of America's High Plains in the 1930. How the people who stayed survived and so on. I'll read this for my USA states reading project. This was sent to me by a lovely friend from Ohio.

The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Years and years since I read this and I don't own a copy so it will be lovely to read it again next year. This was also sent to me by my friend in Ohio.

Night of the Living Deed by E. J. Copperman. This the first book in the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series. It looks like huge fun and I'll be adding it to my pile for the 'mysteries' challenge that I'll be doing next year. This was also bought for me by my friend in Scotland.

So, all in all, I think I did very well indeed for books this Christmas and am very grateful to family and friends. I'm thrilled to bits with all of them and can't wait to get stuck in in 2014.



DesLily said...

ah yes! Books for Christmas! lol.. Fill up those spaces on the shelves you sis! Glad Christmas was a good one!!!

GeraniumCat said...

Just remember, as you work your way through Scotland's brutal, bloody and confusing history, the English are Always Wrong...

Well, that's what they taught us at school :-)

Margaret @ BooksPlease said...

You did really well - my family very rarely buy me books!

I've also got Neil Oliver's book - I think we did watch it, I'm a fan too.

I've been wanting to re-read Gaudy Night - it would be more like reading it for the first time as I read it when I was at school! So I'm looking forward to your review.

Wildwood was one I read with my local book group - parts are fantastic, but it's really better I think to read it slowly, a bit at a time rather than all in one go, as it were.

You had some good reading ahead! (I think I've got Hiawatha on the shelves somewhere - I remember we performed this at school - I was just in the choir and liked it more than I thought I would.)

Kailana said...

I have been concentrating on the Postal Reading challenge with my gift card buying. I think I have it mostly taken care of between those I have bought and those on my TBR. I am pretty excited about that challenge. :) I only actually got one book for Christmas. The fact that I have a crazy list on my blog is because of gift cards and money...

Travellin Penguin- Pam said...

I would love to reread the Song of Hiawatha. It has been years since I even thought about it much less read it. Thanks for the reminder. Looks like a lovely collection. I'll look forward to hearing about them during the following year. Pxx

Cath said...

Pat: Nooo, nooo... can't be doing with *spaces* on the bookshelves. Whatever next??? LOL

Geranium: Well. I'm probably going to be what the Americans call 'conflicted' when I read Neil Oliver's book because my grandfather was a Scot from Aberdeen. So whose side am I supposed to be on? Oh dear...

Margaret: I'm not sure how I came to miss it as I know we saw and enjoyed his series on the Vikings.

Most people cite Gaudy Night as the absolute best in the series so I'm looking forward to reading it.

I thought Wildwood might be that kind of book so thanks for confirming it.

Yes, we did Hiawatha at school too, but my memories are sketchy.

Kelly: I'm pretty excited about the postal challenge too. I used to be into penpals in a big way and overseas post was part of my life. It's a shame that since the advent of email I no longer do that much. I would be happy to exchange postcards with you as part of the challenge. :-)

Pam: Same here re: Hiawatha. In fact this year I quite fancy reading several books concerning Native Americans. It's a subject I've always enjoyed.

Nan said...

Tom read The Worst Hard Time and found it terribly hard to read. Great book, just sad.
As for DLS, because I wanted to read the ones with Harriet V in order, I looked it up:
Strong Poison
Have His Carcase
Gaudy Night
Busman's Honeymoon.
I loved SP. And I love Hiawatha.

Penny O'Neill said...

Books "do it" for me as well, Cath, and my Amazon wishlist just got a bit shorter this year with my own gifts of books. I couldn't be happier that to get a new stack to read and I think it makes gift buying easier for my family. Our sons-in-law both have lists as well, and prefer gifts from Amazon, so, there it is.

The Song of Hiawatha is a favorite here and from comments I see it is popular among several others as well. It will all come back to you as you read it.

I wanted to wish you a happy and healthy New Year, Cath. I enjoy your posts and you lead me to many books I might not otherwise read.

Cath said...

Nan: Thanks for the warning, I'll bear it in mind when I get around to The Worst Hard Time.

I too was recommended to read the HV books first. And like you the only one I've read is Strong Poison... I loved it too and now own several more to read this year.

Penny: I like to make things easier for my family. And I think there are worse things than buying new books. :-)

I read The Song of Hiawatha at school when I was 10 or so. I expect it will come nack to me, other books I read at that age and have reread in the last few year did.

Thank you so much, and the same to you too. I'm so pleased my book posts lead you to new books.