Friday, 30 December 2011

The books I received for Christmas......

Here are the books I bought all autumn for my gift box to myself.  I had so much fun!  I would see a book, and instead of feeling guilty for buying myself a book in the midst of shopping for others, it became a present to myself.  In the end, the family 'gave' me the box, and it became my big present because I bought so many books!  They all shook their heads, not quite believing that this was all I really wanted.    It was most delightful to open the lid and see all the books waiting for me. My children for the first time selected gifts at their school fair for us, and next to their carefully chosen gifts, my books are my favourite gifts of this season.

The titles:
The Secrets of Pain - Phil Rickman
All Clear - Connie Willis
Winter of Secrets - Vicki Delany
Right-Hand Magic - Nancy A. Collins
The Curious Gardener - Anna Pavord
Graceling - Kristin Cashore
Ashes to Dust - Yrsa Sigurdardottir
 Real Cooking - Nigel Slater

Smokin' Seventeen - Janet Evanovich
The Shadow Woman - Ake Edwardson
Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop - Otto Penzler
Dark Matter - Michelle Paver
The Hanging Wood - Martin Edwards
Die With Me - Elena Forbes
The Magicians and Mrs. Quent - Galen Beckett
The Whale - Philip Hoare
******My son gave me three books for Christmas, and even asked me for a list. I was thrilled!  They are the ones lying in the front:
The Face of a Stranger - Anne Perry
The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction - Alan Jacobs
Ship of Magic - Robin Hobb

I am also the very lucky recipient of some book gift cards, to and to our Chapters store here in Ottawa.  I haven't finished using them yet, so I will let you know what else I buy for Christmas in books! 

 Using surgery is a fine excuse, don't you think?
As I am facing my knee surgery (just a day operation, a scope to remove the piece of floating cartilage) on January 16,  I am facing a week at home, on crutches for the first two days.  I think that's a perfect reason to be buying books, don't you?  For my layover....plenty to read then!  With that in mind, I confess that I went second-hand book shopping today, after my pre-op visit to the hospital this morning. It was to the Book Market, a second hand bookstore which has several outlets in the Ottawa area.  My first job when I moved to Ottawa was at the main store in the downtown area, which sadly recently closed. However, close to the hospital I was at this morning, I saw there was one of the other outlets I had never been to before.  So what's a girl facing surgery going to do?  More book shopping!!  Here is what I found today:

The Museum of Horrors - edited by Dennis Etchison
Brimstone Kiss - Carole Nelson Douglas
A Sudden Fearful Death - Anne Perry
Borderline - Nevada Barr
Condition Purple - Peter Turnbull
The Wisdom of Father Brown - G. K. Chesterton
Playing with Bones - Kate Ellis
Evil Angels Among Them - Kate Charles
Graveminder - Melissa Marr
Thirty-Three Teeth - Colin Cotterill
Bryant and May on the Loose - Christopher Fowler
Ae Fond Kiss - The Love Letters of Robert Burns and Clarinda
Identity Theory - Peter Temple
Just After Sunset - Stephen King

I even got a discount  today, because I bought so many at once!  She said it was the season....

Advent Calendar of Books
By my count, that's 33 new books in my house this month!  Counting the ones my son bought me.  If I don't count them ( I didn't buy them!), then that's one book per day.....with one day off for Christmas. It's like having my own advent calendar of books!  Only I 'bought' one every day, instead of opening a calendar. I like it, what do you think?

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Boxing Day smorgasbord

Good evening my Gentle Readers. Here I sit, full of turkey and peace.  I had a lovely quiet Christmas, and hope you did too. I will be posting about the books I picked out received in the mystery box of books I filled all fall, tomorrow, when the pictures are loaded from the camera onto the computer.  At the moment there are several little films of Holly-Anne performing in her school play on the camera also, and it takes quite a while to download onto the computer.  It's late here, so for now, I am eating chocolate and just about to start one of the books in that box: The Secrets of Pain, by Phil Rickman.  It's a hardcover, so I can't carry it with me, and just the thing to take me through more snow falling tomorrow night. Ghosts and snow, chocolate and on holiday, what could be more perfect?

I came across this lovely interview with Elly Griffiths, author of the Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries, here on Kittling Books. It's just the interview to get me ready for ordering her House at Sea End, which is out in softcover next week.  Yaaay!

Mystery Challenge or, how to make your mouth water over mysteries.
Wendy over at Musings of a Bookish Kitty is hosting a challenge.  And not just any challenge:  a mystery challenge.  Irresistible!  It's called Merely Mystery Reading Challenge 2012. The sign-up Link is here.  I have been thinking and thinking about what challenges to join, and here is one that I'm leaping at.  I can read in 12 categories of mysteries to choose from!  This is like a cornucopia of mystery books for me.  Any kind of mystery I want, as much as I want.  A smorgasbord of mystery reading. Since this is what I read most of, this is like a tiny piece of heaven for 2012. Of course I'm going to overdo it - who doesn't at a feast??? even diabetic me has been eating too many chocolate biscuits the past two days, - so I'm going for Shamus who Has Seen It All.

This means reading at least twelve books, one from each category.  The hard part isn't finding the mystery books - 9 of the books I put in my mystery box, are mysteries!!- it's putting them into their categories.  So I will do a longer post with the books I am thinking of, though here is a rough initial list:

Shamus Who Has Seen It All
Cozy:      Bury Your Dead -  Louise Penny
               Death of a Celebrity - MC Beaton
               Death of a Perfect Wife -  "    "
Historical WhoDunnit -   any of:   - Sovereign by CJ Sansom
                                                    -   The Face of a Stranger - Anne Perry
                                                   - The Janissary Tree - Jason Goodwin
Police Procedural - any of:  Deadlight - Graham Hurley
                                        -   Roseanna - Maj Sowall and Per Wahloo
                                        -   Looking Good Dead - Peter James
Whodunnit:                 -   The Hanging Wood - Martin Edwards
Locked Room Mystery:       Bloodhounds -  Peter Lovesey
Caper Stories:   any of:        Dancing Aztecs - Donald Westlake
                                              Doors Open - Ian Rankin
The Spy Novel:                     Our Kind of Traitor -  John Le Carre
The Professional Thriller:  any of:      Winter Study - Nevada Barr (Anna Pigeon is a Park Ranger)
                                                     -       Ashes to Dust - Yrsa Sigurdardottir (lawyer)
                                                   - House at Sea End - Elly Griffiths (archaeologist)
Hardboiled/Noir:  any of:          -   The Impossible Dead - Ian Rankin
                                                -     The Snow Leopard - Jo Nesbo
                                                 -  Devil's Peak - Deon Meyer
Inverted Detective Story - can't think of any at the moment, need to look through my shelves when I can get off the chair. 
Psychological Suspense:  any of:  - The Private Patient - PD James
                                                     -  Nightlife - Thomas Perry
                                                    -  Truth - Peter Temple
Spoofs and Parodies:      another hard category for me.  Something by Jasper Fforde, most likely.  I think I have the last one in the Thursday Next series to read.

Isn't that a list to make your mouth water???  I'm so excited!  some titles may change, this is from a quick survey of my book shelves and books I had previously lined up to read.

The sign-up is open all year, so if you aren't decided on joining this, there is lots of time. There is also a category for reading at least two books only, from any sub-genre.  So if you wanted to try a mystery, here is a challenge to get you to try it. 

Well, this was unexpected, like unwrapping a late gift!! 

Now I'm off to see if I can finish another book tonight and creep ever closer to my goal of 100 books this year.  92 books read, 8 left to read, and 5 days.  Nothing like a challenge, right?? 

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

It's that time of year, gentle Readers.  Time to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a very happy 2012.  I wish for each and every one of you, new books to read, gift cards to go buy books you really want to read, and a joyful holiday, whether you are with family, friends, or enjoying some solitude. Wherever you are, may peace be part of your day.

                                                  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Girls who read are COOL

I should be writing my list of favourite books I read this year, which I promised in my last post.  Sadly, I find that my brain has shut down for the evening.  We are finally ready for Christmas - more or less, all the wrapping still awaits, and I'm about to watch A Christmas Carol (Alistair Sims version) with my daughter.  I love the creepy effects. 

In the meantime, I thought I would give you this link to a wonderful post on why it's good to date a girl who reads, here.  I have to thank Terri Windling for the original link, it was on her post a few days ago.  I wish I had had this post to read when I was younger.  It would have saved me when all those people rolled their eyes at me when I said I like to read. Or who asked what I was reading and yawned as soon as I showed them my book. I have never been ashamed of reading, good heavens no!  It's others who have turned away from me because I read, that startled me.  I have often felt alone in my reading habits, especially as a teenager and young adult, before I began working in bookstores and discovered there was a whole world of readers out there, book lovers like me. Now I find through here that there are so many of us who love the pages and bindings and words as much as I do.  How many of you had your own library card when you were twelve?  How did the writer of that post know that I did?

May you find a book you've always wanted to read, under YOUR tree this year, my Gentle Readers!!!  And remember: it's easy to buy gifts for girls who read.  All we want are books!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Folktales to begin the new year, and the books I didn't read (again)

Books I Can't Wait for in the New Year
So there I was on Friday, looking through the Guardian book site on my lunch time at work.  This is always a dangerous thing to do, since I am always finding out about books I haven't read yet.  This is what happened

on Friday.

It's not out here until the beginning of January, but honestly, after reading in the Guardian this review by Neil Gaiman on this Alan Garner new book, who could resist this?  It looks so good, so perfect, a lovely way to begin the new year. 

Among Others by Jo Walton is out on Jan 3 in softcover.  I've been waiting 8 months for this.   All of you who've read it - Carl, Memory, Nymeth,  have loved it.  I so want to read it too!  Two weeks now, and counting......
 The House at Sea End by Elly Griffiths is also out in softcover Jan 3. I think I like this day already.  This is part of the ongoing Ruth Galloway series which I am really enjoying.

Since I don't own these yet, I thought I'd ask you, what books are you waiting for to come out in the new year?

Random thoughts from other people's blogs:
In news around the book blogging world, Carl has a wonderful post up on books he thought he would have read by now, and hasn't, and wants plans to read next year.  If you have some of your own (and I dare any book reader to not come up with a list of those!), let Carl know what they are.  My  post today is in answer to some of the questions he asked in his wonderful, thoughtful post.

Nymeth also has a wonderful post on books she wants to read as soon as they are out next year.  I've already checked out the Diana Wynne Jones book on writing, which Amazon sadly isn't even listing here yet.

****Edited to add: I had to get off the computer in a hurry as the children were waiting to use it to search for cheats for their Star Wars Wii game.  While I was off, I remembered I had read Care's lovely post about how she failed at reading certain books this year, and challenges, here.  So if you are like us, drop us a line so we don't feel quite so guilty alone about not being the kind of readers we think we should be.  It's all in fun, I know, both wanting to be more well-read, and the plans we make for reading.  It's awfully fun to cross books off the to-read list!!!*******

Some books I thought I'd read this year, and haven't:
Certainly I have books I thought I would have read by now - indeed, Ulysses is top of that list, since I started it last winter, and it languishes on my to be read pile, along with Samuel Pepys Diary, which I also really want to read, started two years ago, and then got sidetracked.  That's only two.  Any Charles Dickens this year - and I'd better finish A Christmas Carol this year, or I am in trouble with myself! **I just checked, and I now own 4 novels by Dickens, PLUS Drood by Dan Simmons, which I also haven't read.  Points finger at self: read Charles Dickens in 2012, Susan! I haven't read either of the annotated Jane Austens I picked up,  nor have I finished the House by The Thames by Gillian Tindall, which I started reading when I got it out of the library, went out and bought my own copy, and now it sits on the same shelf. I wonder if it's possible to have ADHD  when it comes to reading??? Kraken or Perdido Street Station by China Mieville.   I really can't believe I haven't read Boneshaker by Cherie Priest yet.   Or Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb - I have loved the other two series.  So how have I missed this series?  Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden. Oh, there is so much I planned to read this year and haven't yet!  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Settlefield. A Visit from the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan.

 Books I thought I'd read by now in my life, and haven't.  That's a harder question to answer.  Ulysses, certainly. Any novel by Ursula K LeGuin.  The Gentleman's Daughter by Amanda Vickery.  London the Biography by Peter Ackroyd. Bleak House by Charles Dickens.  Anything by Neal Stephenson - I own Cryptonomicon, Anathem, and Quicksliver.   Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A Heinlein.  I can't believe I haven't read Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist, when I loved the Swedish version of the movie so much that I bought it, and everyone who has read the book says it is one of the best vampire novels ever, and I loved  his Handling the Undead earlier this year.  I really can't believe I haven't read Boneshaker by Cherie Priest yet.    Anything by Anthony Trollope. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. War and Peace, on every 'I will read this year' list I've ever done. Emily Dickinson.

100 books?
So for the next week, I am setting some reading goals for 2012.  I've been looking at all the challenges surfacing, and thinking over joining some.  I did discover that I read more when I have lots of room for spontaneity.  While it's still in question if I will reach 100 books read this year - 10 books in 10 days, more or less....Christmas and New Year's in the midst of that......I remain optimistic that I will.  I already have had the best reading year in the past 15 years that I've been keeping a book list.  That is something, my friends, something indeed. So I am very proud of what I've accomplished, even if I might fall just short of my goal. My next post will be on the books I did manage to read this year and there are some that I am delighted I did get around to reading, and some new ones that thrilled me.

Meanwhile, Gentle Reader, let me know - are you happy with your reading year?  Is there anything you are really looking forward to coming out in 2012?

I hope you are finding some reading time today, on this Sunday before Christmas!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Mortal Love, Peter Lovesey, and The World's Wife - reviews!

I have been remiss at writing on here.  I plead shopping for birthdays and Christmas.  And another trip to the emergency room last week.  All that aside,  I have so many books I want to write about that I've read this year!  I've debated on writing about each book separately, or choosing a character series, or grouping them.  I still can't decide, so meanwhile, here are 4 that I have wanted to write about for the past couple of weeks, all of which I highly recommend and really enjoyed.

Mortal Love by Elizabeth Hand.  Remember when I wrote about this book in November, and I was disappointed in it about halfway through?  I am here to say that this is probably the number one reason I don't often blog about a book while reading it - I am often wrong in my assessment, and I am delighted, completely thrilled to say now, I was wrong.  Ok, the beginning of the book is slow, and feels muddled because we are getting viewpoints and stories set in different times.  It all works so very well at the end.  What the book is about, is art, and faerie, and myth, and how when we get a glimpse of the Otherworld, it can shatter us for our daily reality.  It's about how some people spend the rest of their lives trying to capture that moment, that beauty, over and over again.  It's also about how other people find a way to hang on to their sanity, to let the strangeness of the glimpse of the other realm wash over them, and change them so that daily life is enriched, vibrant, and tinged with melancholy because it's not what was glimpsed.  It's about art, and how art changes our perceptions.  And it's brilliant.  I don't want to say who the myth is who is brought to life, because that is part of the mystery and enchantment of this story.  The myth is so well written and brought to life so beautifully that it works.  The reason myths are so powerful is because somewhere deep within us, we know them, we relate to them - this is what gives the myths their power.  It's an archetype we instinctively, deeply in our minds, know without having words to fully explain how and what we know. Mortal Love is about this deeply held knowledge, and how it inspires longing for whoever glimpses the myth.  I highly recommend this book, especially for anyone who enjoys art and wants a glimpse of what it is like to have to write, to paint, to sing, to create.  Once again, here is Nymeth's excellent review which convinced me to try the book.  Thank you, Nymeth!

This leads me to The World's Wife, by Carol Ann Duffy.  This is a collection of poems that take the myths we all know, Greek and Roman and Norse, and give the woman's point of view - the hidden voice, the other, the silent one.  The wife.  The one we never hear about.  What was it like to be married to Aesop?  to Darwin?  to Midas?  to be Penelope, waiting for Odysseus to return - or maybe not. The poems are filled with the voices of real women.  Penelope isn't waiting for Odysseus, pining away - she is enjoying her solitude, and using her cunning in weaving to keep all the suitors away, so she can be alone.  How clever!  and then she hears Odysseus' footsteps and her precious private life is gone.  Mrs Midas is about what it was like after Midas made his wish to turn everything to gold.  Of course he can't touch her, he can't touch anything. She misses the touch of his skin so much.  One of my favourites is Little Red-Cap, which opens this book of poems.  I love how the wolf lures her by holding - what else?  a book of poems.  Poetry.  And how he has a wall of books, and how in the end she becomes free.  It's a true poem, about how knowledge is always the lure, and with enough wits and courage and hunger to know, you can survive the wolf and the woods.  Brilliant.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book of poetry.  It has given me a new way to look at the fairy tales and myths. It  reimagines the world through the eyes of the women who don't explore (or make) the world but who through loving men, and determining if they stay or go in the marriage, find that determination is just as exciting as anything their more famous husbands have done. 

The last book I want to talk about is really an ongoing mystery series by Peter Lovesey,  featuring Peter Diamond.  Last year I reviewed The Last Detective, here.  Now I want to talk about the next two in the series, Diamond Solitaire and The Summons. In Diamond Solitaire, Diamond is on his own.  He quit the force at the end of The Last Detective, and we see him struggle to find his place in the world.  He tries being a Santa Claus, one year!  And it's being a security guard that leads him to find a silent girl asleep in the department store he is guarding.  He is fired as the security guard since he didn't notice her before, and of course it is not as simple as the girl wandering away from her parents.  This little girl is from Japan, and very special. It is delightful to see how protective and caring Diamond is of this abandoned little girl, and when his suspicions are aroused by the people who claim her, he follows them all the way back to Japan.  A very solid second book in the series.  The Summons opens with Diamond depressed because he has not been able to find any permanent work  It's been two years now since he left the force.  Unexpectedly, a summons arrives: a criminal Diamond helped put away, has escaped, and is holding the daughter of the ACC hostage and has asked specifically for Diamond.  The criminal claims he is innocent of the charges.  This is the book about how Diamond discovers he made a mistake, and that he is a policeman through and through.  How he gets his job back, and what he learns while going back over the case and reinvestigating the original crime, makes for a solid mystery with excellent characters and very good dialogue. It's fast-paced and while I spotted who was involved early on,I didn't know for sure, nor why, and I was thrilled when I was right at the end!  which makes for a feeling of being clever (and a really good mystery writer makes the reader feel clever, I find).  I really like this series.  This has to be one of my favourite discoveries in the past year, and I thank Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise for reviewing the 10th book in the series - Skeleton Hill - last year and pointing me to this character. I also find it hard to resist a series that uses the real life author Jane Austen as a sort of ongoing backdrop to the series.  In The Summons, it is one of Jane's supposed houses that she lived in while in Bath, that plays a part in the book. 

If you have reviewed any of these, let me know and I will link to them.

I hope you are ready for Christmas, and enjoying the season.  We are planning a games party for the children on Saturday, as a way to give them something to do and share in the excitement leading up to the holidays.  As it's my daughter's 9th birthday on Christmas Eve, the tension excitement around here is so high in the final weeks to her birthday that this is when we build our gingerbread houses and try to keep them busy.  We don't have any snow yet, so there is no playing outside and making snowmen. I am enjoying the lack of snow, utterly content to not see any this winter, while my knee continues to heal. No snow means no slippery hats, and no boots either!  I could get used to this!

Happy reading moments for you, my Gentle Reader, in the build-up to the big day.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Book covers - art for story's sake

I don't usually buy different editions of books.  I'm happy with one good edition - normally. However, lately Penguin have begun really tempting me with new illustrated covers on their Penguin Deluxe Classics that are beguiling, intriguing, artistic, and totally fabulous.  Today I found at Books on the Ceiling blog two more covers of books that I really want:

Sense and Sensibility has this gorgeous pink cover with a tea cup.
Persuasion has this cover by the Audrey Niffenegger:  I love it too.

Then over at the Penguin site (I linked it above) there is this one for Pride and Prejudice, which I think is perfect:

and then just because it's gorgeous, here is Jane Eyre

 This cover of Wuthering Heights might make me dare to face the boring Catherine one more time - I read it for Heathcliff and the descriptions of the moors and the weather, NOT for Catherine.  I once yelled at her out loud I was so mad at her wimpy teary character.

This cover though, could tempt me.

So what about you?  Have you ever been tempted by covers?  Do you own multiple copies of a book simply because the covers were beautiful? I could really do with owning all of the above!!! They are so pretty, so moody, so interesting and lovely. I wonder if one or two might find their way into my Christmas box of books?

And why not dream over owning beautiful editions?  That's partly what makes books so irresistible - we can change the cover, and illustrate some part of the theme or text or character, differently than other editions do. I've often bought specific books over other editions because of the artwork on the cover. And then referred back to the cover often, to gaze at it while I mull over something I'm reading in the text. Covers are - can be - part of the experience of reading the book, when they are done right. I think that is one reason why I am against the kindle - I don't get that experience of the book from cover to cover, from seeing the front and letting it work it's way through my imagination while I read the story itself.  Artwork and storytelling build on one another, at least in books, or they ought to.  Even though the above covers are more representational than representing an actual scene in each of the texts, to my mind each of the covers instantly reminds me of the story in some way.  That's what great artwork on the front of a book can do.

So, are there any special editions you are dreaming of for Christmas?  Any covers you've seen recently that tempted you, or were irresistible?  Do you agree with me about covers, or could you care less, so long as the story inside is good?

Thursday, 1 December 2011

'Tis the season for the sense of wonder - Virtual Advent Tour 2011

 Welcome to Dec 1, and the countdown is on!

I love the season of Christmas and the New Year.  The snow, the tree, the lights, the music, they fill my heart with beauty.  What I also love is the sense of comfort that the traditions around Christmas bring.  It's funny, for I am 48 years old this year, and I find I am creating more new traditions for this time of year than I did twenty years ago.  Back then, I wanted to keep everything the same as my original family did.  Right up to opening stockings only on Christmas morning, and all presents after breakfast.  As I've grown up and away from my first family of childhood, though I am creating traditions that are for now.  I like the mix of the old and the new, I am discovering. 

Here is a tradition that I started last year:  I found this right before Christmas, a tiny wood tree with ornaments to hang in it.  This year, the kids put the ornaments on. It's so adorable.

A few years ago, a friend at work gave me these three lighted houses.  As you can see, the village is growing:

One year, the people kept turning up on top of the houses.  I asked my daughter - she was 3 or 4 at the time - if she was moving them.  She said yes, and I asked why they were on the roofs.  "Because there is a flood coming, Mommy!" she said seriously.  We love this little village, and add to it every year.  This has become a new family tradition now.

One of the things the kids like most is their advent calendar.  My mother is a quilter, and she made them each an advent calendar when they were babies.

Now, the kids rush every morning to see what is waiting for them to start that day.  That's a lovely way to start any day, isn't it?  With a little present waiting for you?  It's usually some chocolate, as the squares are small and its' difficult to find anything small enough to fit in.  My kids don't really care - it's the surprise they like.  

The new tradition for this year is a surprise: the kids don't know.  Holly-Anne and Graham will wake up tomorrow to find this waiting for them.
Yes, that's right, the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar.  I really bought it because of the Yoda Santa Claus figurine.  I love it!  I'm really excited.  I know my kids won't let me build it with them, though I will be right alongside with them each day as they open each door.  One day when they are older and beyond this, I think hope that the calendar will stay with me - I know I will love putting this together every year.  I'm so excited for tomorrow, to see their faces! 

And this is what makes me think about what I also really love about this time of year: surprises.  I used to lay awake before Christmas when I was a child, thinking about what I wanted, wondering what would be under the tree for me. If I get a present early now as an adult, I keep it wrapped and save it for Christmas Day with NO peeking!, to open and so really, I can savour that sense of surprise and waiting and anticipation.  That's what I think this time of year really means for me: a sense of wonder.  Anything can happen.  It's the closest time for all of us to be that little child again, and let that little child come out and play, and no one bats an eye.  So you might find me playing with Yoda Santa Claus when no one is looking.......

And because this is a blog about books and you know that it wouldn't be Christmas for me without new books, I decided a couple of years ago to give myself a box of books every year.  Through the autumn, I buy books that I want to read, and into the box they go.  Even though I know the titles, I'm not allowed to read them, or to look at them once they're in the box.  Just knowing that the latest Phil Rickman - The Secrets of Pain  - in hardcover no less! -

is among the many books waiting for me on Christmas Day, makes me excited.  The joy I feel opening that box, the sense of wonder and yes, a little greed as I hold all the new books in my hands and wait for Christmas dinner to be over (I'm the one cooking it so I have to wait until it's all over with!) so I can read, deciding all day which of them will be first.  There's nothing quite like knowing there is a whole boxful of new books waiting to be read, is there? Some others I've added are  Michelle Paver's Dark Matter in paperback, and Yrsa Sigurdadottir's Ashes to Dust (finally! I waited most of the year to find this!), Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop, among some did I say greedy?  no, I'm not greedy or I'd add more books to the box! others.

I think this is a most lovely time of year, when we remember to look in the faces of the ones we love, and share in their delight, when we make memories that become suffused with love and tenderness as the years go by.

May your holiday season be bright, and filled with love, and joy, my Gentle Bloggers.  Thank you for stopping by.  I'll see you tomorrow as we go through Day 2 of this lovely Virtual Advent Tour. I can hardly wait to come see what you like or want to talk about, this year! Happy Holidays!