Christmas Haul 2013

And so this is Christmas.
And what have you done?

Well, I have been unwrapping books and I like that. I love receiving books as gifts – especially when it’s books I have been wishing for for a long time. So here’s my Christmas Haul!

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  • Octavia Butler: Kindred. A sci-fi novel dealing with slavery. How could I resist that? Besides, everyone who has read this one, has been raving about it and it sounds really intriguing. A modern black woman is taken from her time and transported back to the South because of a drowning white boy. She’s apparently his nanny – and a slave! I’m so looking forward to reading about how a modern black woman deals with living in this time.
  • Khaled Hosseini: And the Mountains Echoed. I have only read The Kite Runner but it was so good and I have been regretting that I haven’t bought A Thousand Splendid Suns yet. I was hoping that it would become available together with Hosseini’s new book, but so far, no such luck. Still, I have the new one and it’s supposed to be wonderful as well so I will probably love it!
  • Edith Wharton: The Age of Innocence. This year’s Christmas Classic (the classic, my boyfriend gifts me for Christmas) is Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence. I am so looking forward to reading it and I hope I like it because I have received  the Norton Critical Edition so essays about the book takes up more pages than the actual novel itself in this edition! This will be my first Edith Wharton novel and I have so high hopes for both this novel as well as her other novels.

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  • Stephen King: Doctor Sleep. I have been eagerly awaiting this novel. I love The Shining, both the book and the movie, and when I heard that King was writing a sequel, I of course needed to get it. And here it is, looking all pretty with a cat on it’s cover?! My boyfriend also wanted to get me The Shining but apparently it’s sold out and we have to wait for a new edition. I really want to read them back to back so I think I’m going to wait with this one until I get The Shining.
  • Donna Tartt: The Goldfinch. Donna Tartt is a wonderful author and I have loved both The Secret History and The Little Friend. I have been waiting for this one for a couple of years and it’s finally here and looking big and amazing and I hope to get around to this one really soon.
  • Ib Michael: Himlen brændte. (The sky burned) Years ago, I attended a lecture about one of the biggest natural disasters in the history of the earth. On June 30th, 1908, there was an explosion in Tunguska in Siberia and it completely destroyed a huge area of the tundra. And the explosion is still a mystery. I have fascinated by this ever since and when I saw a novel about this event, I had to have it.

And finally, the debut novel of Selma Lagerlöf: Gösta Berlings Saga. I got a pretty old edition of this book, first published in 1891. I have never read Selma Lagerlöf and only know her as the author of Niels Holgersens underbare res a venom Sverige (The Wonderful Adventures of Niels). I don’t know what this one is about but I’m looking forward to getting to know more of Lagerlöf’s writing.

So this was my haul this year. Some amazing books and I’m really looking forward to reading them! How was your Christmas? Did you receive any books or other great gifts? I also got some cool plates and a backpack and the kids had a wonderful time (although we now have two Furbys in the house…!) so this was a great Christmas!

Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me

I think this week’s Top Ten topic is the easiest one ever! At least it is to me since I have put a lot of books on my Christmas wish list. The only difficult thing this week is to limit myself to only 10 books. But I will try my best! As always, the Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and here is my list for this week.

  1. Ken Follett: World Without End. I read and loved The Pillars of the Earth earlier this year so of course I’m hoping to get this book so I can see what happens next.
  2. David Mitchell: Cloud Atlas. Some years ago, I stood in a bookstore and debated whether to buy Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas or Ghostwritten. I ended up getting Ghostwritten and I’ve kind of regretted it ever since since Cloud Atlas seems to be the big thing. However, I chose Ghostwritten because I thought it sounded better so I definitely want to read that too. But after watching the trailer for Cloud Atlas, I’m just sold. I so badly want to read that book.
  3. Diana Gabaldon: Voyager (Outlander #3), Drums of Autumn (Outlander #4). I’ve read the first two of the series but with some years in between and I tend to forget how much I like these books. So after reading Dragonfly in Amber, I decided I wanted to read more books in the series – and soon. So I’m wishing for the next two.
  4. Alexander Dumas: The Count of Monte Christo. I loved The Three Musketeers as a child. Loved, loved, loved. I really want to reread that book at some point – as well as the other books in the series. But even more, I want to read The Count of Monte Christo. I keep hearing so much good about it so that’s my Classic wish for this Christmas.
  5. Joyce Carol Oates: Zombie. I’ve always been fascinated by serial killers. And this is written by one of my favorite authors. I really, really want this one!
  6. Toni Morrison: Beloved. I’ve never read Toni Morrison. It’s about time, right? I got intrigued by reading a review talking about how a woman in the book kills her baby girl because some fates are worse than slavery.
  7. Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451. Bradbury recently died and that sparked a lot of people talking about him and his books. And I’ve never read anything by him. This one is about book burning and it sounds like something I will just love. Crossing my fingers I get this one!
  8. J.K. Rowling: The Casual Vacancy. It’s J.K. Rowling’s new book. Of course I want it!
  9. Salman Rushdie: Joseph Anton. I could write almost the same thing as just above but it’s not entirely true. I have not read a lot by Rushdie but I’m loving his Twitter personality, I really want to read more by him because he’s a very impressive author – and I find it very interesting to learn how he coped with the fatwa.
  10. Olivia Butler: Kindred. This sounds a bit similar to the Outlander series in plot. It’s about time travelling too but in this book, a woman travels back to the time of slavery in the US. I’ve heard so much good about it so on the list, it went.
  11. Andrea J. Buchanan (ed.): It’s a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters. I have two girls, two daughters. I like getting inspiration on raising them, learning more about how to make sure we all survive when they become teenagers and just how I can be the best mom I can be. This book sounds very interesting.
  12. Peggy Orenstein: Cinderella ate my daughter. My oldest daughter is 4, she loves princesses, she talks like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty – and I am not sure that’s necessarily a good thing. So I want to read this book to maybe get a bit of perspective on this whole princess thing and to see if it will become a problem when she grows older.
  13. Rachel Joyce: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. This sounds like an intriguing book. A man writes a letter to a woman dying of cancer –  but instead of mailing it, he decided to walk across England to deliver it himself. It was longlisted for the Man Booker and yeah, I want it.
  14. George R.R. Martin: A Game of Thrones (Song of Ice and Fire #1). I want to know what all the fuss is about. And I want to read about the dragons. And the big wall. And what happens when winter comes.
  15. Freda Warrington: Midsummer Night (Aetherial Tales #2). I read the first one, Elfland, and liked it. I’ve been meaning to get this one for a while but just haven’t seen it anywhere.

Yeah, I know. I lied. I didn’t try my best. I realized I had 14 books on my wish list so I just went with it… These are the 15 books I would love to find beautifully wrapped underneath my Christmas tree on December 24.

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