Ho ho ho!

I’m home on maternity leave, and this means a few things: I don’t get a lot of sleep, my day is broken up in to frantic moments where I try to get as much accomplished while Freebird is sleeping, and when I am able to get a moment on the computer, I’m shopping online because I’m not supposed to take the small unvaccinated man out into the wild world of crowds, germs, and head colds.

So I’m doing me some serious online shopping, and I was wondering: What books are on your holiday list this year? What books do you want to receive – or, better yet, what books do you want to give?

Personally, I tote a book with me all over the house and I’m reading in snippets as I feed, change, soothe, lather rinse repeat. I keep looking at my giant copy of Northern Lights which has been squatting on my TBR for months, mostly because my arms are too puny to cart it around. But most of my reading is the ARCs and review copies authors and publishers are kind enough to send me.

But I’m also eyeing Janet Evanovich’s Alaska romance Manhunt (which would be a nice thematic reading series with Roberts’ big ass hardback, also set in Alaska). After a quick survey of the Amazon.com new releases recommended for me based on past purchases, I also noticed new MaryJanice Davidson issues, as well as a late-fall release from Eloisa James and Nora Roberts (who has both new and re-releases out).

Who else is coming out with new books you crave for the holidays? And what’s your book that you think everyone must read, and that, if you had the money, you’d buy a copy for everyone you know (at least, everyone you know and like enough to buy books for)?


Random Musings

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  1. 1
    Tonda says:

    Bella Andre’s TAKE ME! I bought copies for all my girlfriends already. It’s HOT (Romantica, not straight romance), and a totally entertaining read.

    The first friend I gave it to called me the next morning and proclaimed me “Smut Queen” (she meant it as a compliment!).

    I just started STRAPLESS about Sargent and Madame X, and I highly recommend that for all you bio freaks.

    I’m hoping that someone splurges and gets me the new Beau Brummell bio by by Ian Kelly (not yet out in the US, hence the “splurge”) and SON OF A WITCH by Gregory Maguire.

  2. 2
    Suzanne says:

    I just ordered Elizabeth Berg’s newest “The Year of Simple Pleasures”.  Was recommended to me by my daughter.

  3. 3
    PC Cast says:

    I’m going to (finally) get myself Diana Gabaldon’s newest.  I’ve been holding off because I’m only reading YA whilst I’m writing YA, but I’ll be done with the first 2 books in my 3 book contract by Jan. 15 (or I’ll gnaw through my wrists and pray I bleed to death before someone finds me), which means I can let myself read about Jamie again.

    I’ll also get MJD’s newest Undead because I adore her (and her writing).  Plus, she makes me smile.  I’d like to splurge and get Nora’s newest on CD, but we’ll see how much my daughter’s next tuition check is…sigh.

    Sarah – I enjoyed Northern Lights a lot, by-the-by.

  4. 4

    This is going to sound odd, but if I felt like blowing money on a book tomorrow it wouldn’t be a romance.  For romance novels I either buy them in paper, ask the library to order them, or if they’re by a “must buy” author like Mary Balogh, I’ll buy them in hardcover and not wait for a special occasion.

    If I was spending beaucoup bucks on books this season I would buy The Other War of 1812—The Patriot War and the American Invasion of Spanish East Florida by James G. Cusick.  It’s a University Press of Florida book, and because it’s not a huge bestseller retails for about $55.  I’m not prepared to drop that chunk of change, even for a book I can write off as a business expense, so I keep checking it out of the library.

    I did buy for myself Lynne Truss’ Talk to the Hand and the graphic novel The Rabbi’s Cat by Joann Sfar, then decided to give them to my sons with the ulterior motive that when they go back to college after Winter Break they’ll leave the books behind and I’ll read them then, Bwahahahah….

    Deviousness.  It goes with motherhood.

    Oh, and the romantic-theme novel I recommended to everyone last year, but it should be out in paper now, is The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

  5. 5
    Claire says:

    Hm.  “The Time Traveler’s Wife” is definitely out in paperback and sitting on my bookshelf.  I love that book.

    “Talk to the Hand” sort of disappointed me, but maybe only because I’m not as much of a manners freak as I am a grammar freak.  :)

    I think “Strapless” looks great, mostly because I’m an art geek.

    As for books I want for myself….  Well, my TBR list is 15 miles long and growing.  So pretty much any book anyone gives me would be on it.  :)

  6. 6
    Nicole says:

    I already read the new Eloisa James book and just loved it.  Definitely have to read Much Ado About You before it or you’ll be completely confused, though.

    This weekend I’m buying Forbidden Magic by Cheyenne McCray, Deception by Terri Lynn Wilhelm, The Midnight Work by Kassandra Sims, Her Sexiest Mistake by Jill Shalvis, and A Vision of Murder by Victoria Laurie.

    No clue if they’ll be any good, but these are the ones I really want.

    Giving…probably another humor book for Nick.  I always get him at least one.  Might get the Darwin Awards II.  For some reason we have the first and the third, but not the second.

  7. 7
    Suisan says:

    My gift-giving books this year are various books of poetry by Billy Collins. They’re small books, and his poetry is very direct. Also it’s a gender-neutral gift. (“Go on! Be a REAL man! Read poetry!”)

    I can’t think of one book I’d give to everyone on my gift list, because I know so many different types of readers.

  8. 8
    Lisa says:

    Books that I want for Xmas:
    Batman: Hush Vol 1
    The Elements of Typographic Style
    Dixieland Sushi by Cara Lockwood
    A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Gabaldon (though really I’ve lost interest in her books. But I will finish them… one of these decades)
    The Asian Mystique by Sheridan Prasso

    There’s not a whole heck of a lot of romance in my list, just because not a lot is catching my interest. The last good book I read was JR Ward’s DARK LOVER, and even that one I had issues with.

    As for giving, I have some silly coffee table and humor books to give, but I don’t generally give people books. Most of the friends I have read a ton anyway, and buy the books they want almost immediately. Gift certificates, I tell ya’!

  9. 9
    Bonnie says:

    Since my birthday is in December, I always treat myself to a b’day/xmas prezzie without the usual guilt-fest of overspending on books! This year I ordered thru Amazon.ca: the new Eloisa James, Nora Robert’s Red Lily, the reissue of The Secret Pearl by Mary Balogh, the new Sherilyn Kenyon, AND the reissue by Jennifer Crusie, “Anyone But You”. 

    Best part of it all, free shipping ‘cause I ordered over $39. Worst part, the free shipping feature is only if the order is sent together, and since 2 of the books aren’t released ‘til January, I won’t get the entire order ‘til all the books are out. WAH!!!!!!! I *will* be patient and look forward to the reading glom I intend to go on come the New Year …

    Oh, and I’m trying to get a reasonably priced copy of Why Men Have Nipples, as a Christmas gift for my sister. Other than the usual Alibris, Abebooks, & Ebay, where else do people order from??

    — Bonz

  10. 10
    Suisan says:

    OK. I just asked this question on a chat.

    Resounding answer received was: “One book? Only one? For everyone? Well, then. The Bible.”


    Those that want probably already have. (Heck, I’ve got four Christian ones, plus the Jewish Bible.) Those that don’t want aren’t likely to open the cover. And I was really looking forward to getting some good suggestions. Bleg.

  11. 11
    Robyn says:

    It’s not new, and I already got it, (I’m impatient) but my gift to myself this year was Peter Ackroyd’s London: The Biography. 2,000 years of London’s history. 760 freaking pages, so this will probably be a work in progress interrupted by other stuff for a long time. I was thrilled when I bought it.

    I’m a hopeless geek.

  12. 12
    Candy says:

    There are many, many books I want. What else is new? But what I really, really, REALLY covet for Christmas are some expensive as hell volumes:

    The Complete Far Side Collection (I bought the Complete Calvin and Hobbes about a month ago, and HOLY CRAP that thing weighs a ton)

    The Sin City Library I and II

    As for the book I’d make everyone read, I think Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth might very well be it. That, or The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.

  13. 13
    Darla says:

    Books I want?  That’s a tough one—if I want it enough, I’ve probably already ordered it.  It’s the only thing I splurge on.

    But I’m giving lots of books this Christmas:

    A nice hardcover set of Jim Butcher’s first two Codex Alera books to my not-a-son-in-law (Furies of Calderon and Academ’s Fury, which, damnit, I bought too late to get signed).

    Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About by Mil Millington for my sister-in-law. 

    A couple of how-to books: How to Be a Villain and Jay Leno’s How to Be the Funniest Kid in the Whole Wide World (or Just in Your Class) plus Gaiman’s Coraline for my younger son.

    Zombie Survival Guide and Bat Boy Lives! for the older son.

    Gaiman’s first Sandman graphic novel and How to Cook Without a Book for my daughter.

    The True Stella Awards and The Great Possum-Squashing and Beer Storm of 1962 for my husband.

    There may be more if the mood strikes me.

  14. 14

    I love giving books as presents. Anyone who’s ever read a “classic” work of English literature will usually get Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next books from me. This year he’s going to my cousin. A stressed-out friend who’s seriously considering a life-altering career change will get Annie Hawes’ Extra Virgin and Ripe for the Picking, ‘cos they’re some of the best writing of their kind.

    Then, besides a big pile of non-fiction to be divided among various friends and relatives (one for you, one for me), Peculiar Uncle R. has insisted on a copy of The Price of Temptation after being rushed to casualty with spleen damage brought on by convulsive laughter the time I sent him the link to your gay romance covers snark. And finally, just squeezed into the glove-box of the big Amazon lorry is a copy of Storm Watcher. I’ve not read any of Lilith S’s other books but have wanted to for a while. Since I can only find them online here it’s had to wait for a nice big order so I can save the postage.

    (SBTB – claim your fees now!)

  15. 15
    La Karibane says:

    I’ve just started to keep my wishbook in calendar form, by month so here’s what was on it the last time I bothered to type in something:

    December picks

    Pippin, Morag McKendrick – Blood Moon Over Britain
    Roberts, Nora – Red Lily
    Stewart, Mary – Touch Not the Cat
    Resnick, Laura – Disappearing Nightly *
    Enoch, Suzanne – An Invitation to Sin *
    Gellis, Roberta – Roselynde*
    James, Eloisa- Kiss Me, Annabel*
    Saxon, Samantha – The Lady Killer (new to me)

    the (*) indicates books I want more than others listed. Of course, being overseas, and not paid in USD, I usually wait for the mass market paper back or *gasp* buy used!!!!

  16. 16
    Robin says:

    “Best part of it all, free shipping ‘cause I ordered over $39. Worst part, the free shipping feature is only if the order is sent together, and since 2 of the books aren’t released ‘til January, I won’t get the entire order ‘til all the books are out. WAH!!!!!!! I *will* be patient and look forward to the reading glom I intend to go on come the New Year …”

    When I recently purchased books from Amazon, I got an offer for a three month free trial of their priority (two day) shipping servive (normally 79 bucks a year).  They started it with that order, which I placed on Sat and received on Monday morning!  I plan to order A LOT over the next three months, and then we’ll see.  Amazon is much slower with their economy shipping than Barnes and Noble (bn.com), which promises three days, even on those econo orders.

    Anyway, I highly recommend anyone getting the deal from Amazon if you can, and using it heavily over the holidays.  Heck, if I’m happy enough with it, I might just pop for the 80 bucks at the end of the trial period!

  17. 17
    dl says:

    Suisan…consider small bibles, mine gets used much more than I originaly thought.  Handy for dragging to bible study class, travel, my kids even borrow it.

    The one essential cook book…Joy of Cooking.  I have many other useful and fun cookbook, but Joy is the can’t-do-without.

    Daughter wants her own copy of “He’s Just Not That Into You.” Enjoyed the library copy, and at 17 it’s very relevant.

    Poetry…great idea, Thanks!

    My TBR…Jory Strong, Diana Gabaldon, Elizabeth Lowell (re-release).

    I’m off to Borders for the new Cheyenne McCray, and check if EE Knight titles are out early.

  18. 18
    Caryle says:

    It’s tough for me to buy books as gifts because my reading tastes are nothing like anyone in my family (Dad reads war/action books, Mom reads non-fiction, etc.).  I tend to buy cookbooks as gifts more often than not.  Although, I bought one of my best friends Son of a Witch for her birthday.

    My personal want-it, need-it, got-to-have-it book list for this month is:

    new releases

    Nora Roberts: Red Lily
    Sherrilyn Kenyon:  Unleash the Night

    and the books that have already been released

    PC Cast’s Goddess of Spring
    Kim Harrison’s Every Which Way But Dead (just started reading this series)
    Rachael Ray’s 365 Meals No Repeats (or whatever it’s real title is)  :)

    And because I’ve heard nothing but glowing reviews, I’m splurging for:
    Holly Lisle – Talyn: A Novel of Korre -

    Enough rambling for me… :)

  19. 19
    Tonda says:

    Darla, I bought both the “Zombie Survival Guide” and “Bat Boy Lives!” for my sister! Maybe she should date your son. LOL!

    Last Christmas I got her “The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death” which is great (doll house murder scenes used to train dectivies!).

  20. 20
    jmc says:

    To Be Bought or Read:
    Windfall by Rachel Caine
    The Secret Pearl by Mary Balogh
    Undead & Unreturnable by MJDavidson
    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
    Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

    To Be Finished:
    Red Lily by La Nora.  Bought it at the airport yesterday and am half-way finished.  I wasn’t sure I really wanted to read it, because NR’s paranormal trilogies are a little too woo-woo for me; plus I have issues with the secret baby-withholding pregnancy thing that the heroine did.  But the book is okay.  I’m not sorry to have paid full price for it, unlike a couple of the other books I’ve read lately.

    Books that don’t even tempt me:
    A Breath of Snow and Ashes.  Finally read Outlander all the way through.  My opinion:  completely overrated.  And it was SO completely a romance novel, not just historical fiction, Diana Gabaldon!  Get off your pretentious literary high horse!

    Books that I’d make everyone read:
    The Time Traveler’s Wife (I’ve pimped it to several people)
    The Curse of Chalion (pimped out to my brother in law)
    Any of the Vorkosigan books (ditto)

    Books that EVERYONE MUST READ:
    The Complete Calvin & Hobbes.  Seriously.

  21. 21
    Heather says:

    Go with the new Eloisa James. I just finished it and the hero is yummy. YUMMY! (But I concur with an earlier comment…read “Much Ado About You” first.)

    And I also give a thumbs up to “Northern Lights”. It only looks big—it goes quickly. It’s got a quirky heroine, crazy townspeople and a good mystery.

  22. 22
    Carrie says:

    Just found your site and I’m loving it. I’m a romance novel mongrel for the past 12 years. Can’t get enough. But I’ve recently found a site with a book being published from it that I think every woman in the world could appreciate, and many men if they’d get over their machismo. It’s called, Post Secret. Borders carries it that I’ve seen so far. And its filled with post cards with people’s secrets from around the world. If you ever feel alone and that you are the only one dealing with your life, read it, you have so much in common with the world. Post Secret.

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