Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Books of Christmas (Just) Past

Technically, it's only the seventh day of Christmas, so it's okay to still be posting about it.

Fa la la la la.

Books I gave this Christmas

The latest illustrated Harry Potter, to my daughter, to read together.

The latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid, to my son.

A signed copy of Thick as Thieves, to my sister.

Want by Cindy Pon and Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson to my TBTB Secret Santa.


I helped my daughter pick out Death by Toilet Paper and another book that I have temporarily forgotten to give to her cousin.

Born a Crime, to a good friend who has a December birthday.

Bookish Gifts I Received

Unbored Games, for my family from my sister's family. It looks quite good.

A 1946 edition of a Latvian poetry book for exiles, gifted, according to the inscription, to a fifth grade student, from another sister's family.

#NotYourPrincess and Dear Martin, from my TBTB Secret Santa.


A book of essays about knitting (including one by Sue Grafton, whom I am truly sad about losing) from my colleague.

This pair of socks, from an old friend. Where do I wear them? Not to school, sadly.

And--grand finale!--the promise of my very own painting of the Oregon bookshelf of my dreams, done by my talented and creative husband. 

Very excited about this. Which reminds me, I need to finish knitting him his socks.

Bonus Section: Late December Favorites

Since I wrote up my best-of lists for 2017 I came across two more 5 star gems. 

The Language of Thorns
I have loved two of the author's books and been too bored by another to continue that particular series, so I had no idea if I'd love or hate her book of fairy tales told within her fantasy world.

LOVED IT. I really need to make another attempt at the Grisha trilogy, because I've been so blown away by everything else Bardugo has written. These tales are beyond fractured or twisted; she takes familiar stories in entirely new directions, unveiling secrets and hidden truths I never would have imagined. I also loved the illustrations, which grow mysteriously along with the tales.

The Watsons Go To Birmingham--1963
Somehow I always thought this book looked like one of those awkwardly earnest "race" books of my childhood. I also thought, fairly enough, that it would be mostly about the trip to Birmingham, when actually the first 2/3 of the book is a mostly hilarious, sometimes poignant, look at family life in Flint. All of which only highlights the horror of the events in Birmingham. I wonder how much is autobiographical. The brutal older brother seems too intense for a light-hearted fictional family.


  1. Wendy, I am glad to see you posting again! Yours is one of my favourite blogs.
    I am a fellow teacher from Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands -currently teaching in Bulgaria- I wish you a lovely start of the year 2018! Good health, great reads and plenty of laughter :-)

  2. Aw, thank you, Yurena! I hope 2018 goes well for you also.

  3. Haha, I love those socks. I didn’t get or give any books for Christmas, but I did get a gift card. I have to figure out what to buy with it.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  4. Those socks! Not wearing them to school? Such a surprise. And I'm SO excited that your hubby's making you a bookshelf painting---that will be way more special than one you could buy!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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