Monday, December 30, 2013

December 2013 Book Haul

So Stacking the Shelves is a lot like this: listing the books that are new to my shelves. But I decided that it would be fun to do an end-of-the-month book haul post, detailing only the books that I bought/was given, and mentioning why I bought it, when I intend to read it (or maybe if I have already read it), et cetera. Because this is a December book haul, it's pretty big. I was on a book-buying ban this month, and I did a good job of obeying it. . . .for about three weeks. Then it came to a sudden and very big end. Not counting my Christmas books, I bought a total of 19 books. December also equals Christmas, and while my actual Christmas haul isn't until January (and will therefore be included in January's book haul), I still got a fair number of books. But I'm going to start with the ones I bought first.

Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes
The sequel to Falling Kingdoms. I adored Book #1 in this series - it was just so amazing. All the different characters and the world; I can't go on enough about it. Rebel Spring was a planned buy of the month (unlike most of the books in this haul), and I'm sad that I wasn't able to get around to reading this one this month. But it's definitely getting read in January. I can hardly wait!

"Who Could That Be at This Hour?" by Lemony Snicket
Book #1 in the All the Wrong Questions series. I bought the sequel in November because I was tired of waiting for the library to get it in. I've been trying to finish buying book series this month because I hate not having a complete series, so I went ahead about got this book so I wouldn't have to do it later. I just love Lemony Snicket's books so much. They're fun, bizarre, original, and bring back a lot of childhood memories.

The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood
Book #2 in The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series. I have books #1 and #3, and with Book #4 coming out this month, I knew I needed to get Book #2, or I would be driven mad by the incomplete series. Barnes & Noble, those clever people, happened to send me a 20% coupon right around the time my book-buying ban was weakening. I still had a gift card from way back, so it was easy to justify getting this book. I'm glad I did, though, 'cause now the series is complete! :-)

The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail by Richard Peck
This was most definitely not a planned buy. Well, okay, it sort of was. This book had been sitting in the kids' section of the bookstore I work at for a while, quietly calling my name. I don't do faith-buys (at least, I didn't used to). However, I did enjoy Richard Peck's Secrets at Sea and it is hard to go wrong with animal fiction. So I'd added this book to my book-buying-ban list - I could buy it only after I had read six books. This book is what officially broke my ban. I told myself that I had been very good, so I should reward myself. It was a spiral from there on out. But I do really look forward to reading this; it sounds charming and cute and a perfect relaxing read.

The Colossus Rises by Peter Lerganis
Book #1 in the Seven Wonders series. I was able to meet the Author way back in June, I think it was, when Jennifer A. Nielsen was on tour. I didn't have the money to buy his books that night, but I definitely stored them away to check out in the future. Due to the Christmas season, a lot of customers have been coming into the store asking about books that are similar to Riordan's. I had been told that the Seven Wonders would appeal to Riordan fans. And since my ban was officially broken, I decided to pick this book up and actually read it so I could recommend this series on more than just what I had heard other people say about it.

Lost in Babylon by Peter Lerangis
Book #2 in the Seven Wonders series. We had the sequel to The Colossus Rises in the store, so why not buy both books? I plan on marathoning these in January, or maybe after Christmas at least. Book #2 also happened to be part of the shop's Holiday Catalog, and I've been trying to read all of the YA and Middle Grade books in it so I can recommend them to shoppers.

Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Who can resist a new Kate DiCamillo novel? I mean, really - who can? Certainly not me. I didn't plan on buying this book, but it's been so popular in the bookstore and it sounded so cute, and my ban was broken already, so why not? It's also always really good to have a fast, easy, relaxing read among one's TBR pile, so one can rest after a lot of hard reading. I've always liked this Author's books, so this was a faith-buy I knew couldn't go wrong. And hopefully I'm right. ;-)

Longbourn by Jo Baker
This is actually an adult novel. As many of you know, I don't often do adult novels, though that is starting to change a bit after working at the bookstore and having my coworkers flood me with great recommendations. I have my eye on three more adult novels there, but am forcing myself to wait until January. I was originally going to get Longbourn from the library. But it had 70+ holds and we just happened to have a copy in the store. It's hard to go wrong with Austen fiction, and this one sounded like a really good one. I may save this one for February.

William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher
Okay, I have had my eye on this book for a while - ever since it came out, in fact. I kept telling myself that no, I really didn't need to buy it. I'm not a Star Wars fan, but I am a Shakespeare fan, and I do find Star Wars satire amusing. This book has been selling like crazy at the bookstore, and I had read snatches of it whenever I went around straightening shelves. And finally, I couldn't resist: I had to get it. I haven't read the whole thing yet - maybe in February - but what little I have read, the Author has done a bloody good job. And it's just too hilarious to pass up!

Around the World is Eighty Days by Jules Verne
I try and buy these little Collector's Library classics whenever I find them. They're pocket-sized and perfect for toting around in one's purse - or one's pocket. :-) It's a great way to collect classics without spending tons of money; most Collector's Library editions are $7.99 to $12.99, depending on how long it is. And they're not abridged. And who doesn't like Jules Verne? The pioneer of steampunk and adventure novels, you've got to love his books.

The Lost Kingdom by Matthew J. Kirby
This was another book in the bookstore's Holiday Catalog, and I had heard only good things about this book. This was a complete faith-buy. While this Author's other book is on my TBR, I have never actually read anything by him. But this looks exciting, and it's hard to go wrong with Middle Grade books. Especially adventures.

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
I originally got this from the library, but I got tired of having to return it before I could read it, and not being able to renew it because it has so many holds on it. I loved Elizabeth Wein's other book, so I knew that this was a faith-buy that I wouldn't regret. I hope to read Rose Under Fire later this month (cross fingers), but definitely in January if I can't.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
I bought Elizabeth Wein's new book, so obviously I had to buy her other one, too, right? I loved this book; it was one of the best reads of 2012. Despite some of the little complaints I had (not every book is perfect), it has to be one of my favorites. It's just so moving and amazing and has great characters.

Ashfall by Mike Mullin
Book #1 in the Ashfall Trilogy. So this was a total faith-buy, and I am desperately hoping that I don't regret it. The story: the bookstore received an ARC for the third book in this trilogy, and because I'm the YA reader, I was elected to read it (not complaining; I volunteered myself). However, I hate reading things out of order, I hate delaying the reading of ARCs, and the library was going to take forever to get Ashfall in. Now, I had originally rejected Ashfall for reasons I can no longer remember. Re-reading the synopsis, it sounds like something I would normally read, so I don't know where my head was before. However, it's also one that I wouldn't normally buy, because it does have the potential of being stupid. But I have the ARC of Book #3 to read, and I could get Book #1 in really fast if I just bought it . . . . so I bought it. Cross fingers, people, that it wasn't a mistake. Because as you all know, I only buy hardcovers, and hardcovers aren't exactly cheap.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
Book #7 in the Harry Potter series. This was another unexpected buy - probably the most unexpected. I am in the process of buying all of the books so I can read this series, but I'm buying them all used because brand new is too expensive. And I'm in no hurry to get all of them. But there just so happened to be a hardcover of Book #7 at the bookstore, and I just happened to decide that I needed it. So it went into my to-buy pile. Sigh. So glad I got a Christmas bonus. But now I really do have to buy the rest of the series, because I hate having Book #1, #2, and then #7.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Evil Barnes & Noble sent me another 20% coupon (or maybe it was 30%). Time to start buying Ruta Sepetys' books! I still had money on my gift card, so I went for it. Between this book and Out of the Easy, Ruta Sepetys is easily becoming one of my favorite authors. She writes terrific characters and great historical fiction and has such feeling in her style. I will undoubtedly buy Out of the Easy in January.

The Interrupted Tale by Maryrose Wood
Book #4 in The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series. And also the newest. I did plan on buying this book in December, and it's also why I bought Book #2 when I did. I will be reading it in January, and I'm excited to see what happens next to the plucky governess and the children. Do I expect anything to be answered? No. There's still a lot of books to go in this series.

Hild by Nicola Griffith
Yet another faith-buy - and an adult read at that! It was recommended to me by one of my coworkers, and it had been sitting on the bookstore shelf for so long . . . I felt bad for it. So I bought it. Even though I really shouldn't have. But look at it! It's historical fiction, its got great cover art - how could I pass that up?

Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin
The sequel to Ashfall, and Book #2 in a trilogy. So because I have the ARC of Book #3 waiting to be read, I figured why not buy the second book as well as the first? So that's what I did. And I'm still hoping I don't end up hating this trilogy, because I've spent quite a bit on these two books!

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal
I have gotten this book a total of three times from the library, and I just never found the time to read it before I had to return it again. I've heard great things about it, I just love the idea, and I figured that it was a faith-buy that probably can't go all that wrong. It just happened to come into the bookstore in our regular shipment, and it wasn't a special order, so I was free to buy it if I so wished. I just so happened to have the exact amount I needed in my pocket . . . . So, yeah, it came home with me. And I can't wait to read it.

So now we get into what I got for Christmas! I was just going to do my books, but I decided it would be fun to show off all of the hedgehog-related things I got as present as well (and I got quite a few). Books first, though!

Heather, Oak, and Olive by Rosemary Sutcliff
I'm always scouring for Rosemary Sutcliff's books, especially in hardcover. Unfortunately, one usually has to go online to find them in hardcover. Thankfully, though, my sister is as into Rosemary Sutcliff as I am, so she gave me a collection of three short stories by said author. Can't wait to read it!

Brother Dusty-Feet by Rosemary Sutcliff
More Rosemary Sutcliff! Also given to me by my sister. Not about Romans or ancient Britains, this is one of her Elizabethan novels, and it's awesome. I'm really looking forward to re-reading it next year.

Song for a Dark Queen by Rosemary Sutcliff
And more Rosemary Sutcliff! :-) This is a paperback, but I'm not complaining. Sutcliff books are not easy to find. I'm really excited to read this one because it's about Boudicca, and she's always been a fascinating figure of history to me.

Here is a picture of some of the other goodies I got for Christmas! I only did the hedgehog-themed stuff because it fit in with the blog. So, the backdrop is a flannel hedgehog blanket my mum sewed for me. Then we have a pretty blue sleeping bag for Hedgie (he adores it), a "Looking Sharp" hedgehog magnet, a big plushie hedgehog, and a little hedgehog knick-knack made from natural items that just sits in my library looking cute.

What books and book-related (or hedgehog related) items did you get for Christmas?


  1. If you're going to keep getting this many faith-buys and collection completion books, it may be time to wean you off pristine hardcovers. ;)

    1. You might be surprised at how many Oliver Twists (i.e. unpristine) hardcovers I actually have on my shelves. While I am picky about condition, and there are a lot of "isms" I have about my books, I actually tend to ignore most of those isms when a book is 1)one I've been looking for for a long time, and 2)if the price is right. However, I'll never go back to buying paperbacks. Never! ;)

    2. Then it is definitely time for you to convert to cheapskate book buying. :)

      Better World Books is having an end of year sale ... ;) Not their best (I prefer the 40% off 5 Bargain Bin books), but it's 40% off 10+ Bargain Bin books or 20% off 5+ of the same.

      Definitely look for the hardcovers, and used library if you can. You're always playing roulette with condition, but hardcovers tend to take the wear better than paperbacks and ex-library books, thanks to their plastic shields, tend to be in pretty decent condition.

      Or you could limit yourself to to one or two hardcovers a month. Whichever's easier. ;)

    3. Do you know anything about Bargain Books - I think it's what it's called? Or maybe it's Book Depository.

      I'm limiting myself to 4 books a month, plus 2 impulse buys if I have enough money after my budgeted-for 4 books.

  2. I love the hedgie things!! So adorable! There was an adorable stuffed hedgehog at work that I really wanted to buy. Everyone kept buying them and this one lady was like "I can't stop petting it!" haha ;) I got lovely things for christmas. The Hobbit extended edition, a pair of awesome 30's style shoes and a new pair of boots. A new scarf and some little things. My mom also made me a Thorin plushie ;) So I've been working on a Fili, Kili and Bilbo to go with him haha

    1. Hedgehog stuff - especially stuffies - are just adorable. A plushie Thorin . . . . Okay, you have to send me a picture of that. New Year's Day I get the rest of my Christmas presents - a trip to Powell's!

    2. I'll send you a pic when I get all of them done ;) And I hope you have an awesome time at Powell's! *so jealous* haha

  3. BetterWorldBooks and/or Amazon Marketplace are my preferred online shops for used books. Book Depository is a subsidiary of Amazon (based in the UK, I think) with free worldwide shipping, but no used books.

    Good luck sticking to the plan!


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