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Bookish Gifting

I was having a discussion with my co-worker the other day about holiday book gifting. She said her husband traditionally gives only books at Christmas. Just books. They sit down together and carefully pick out a book for each person in the family, tall to small, and then place one whopping Barnes & Noble order. She mentioned they'd chosen Fangirl for one of his sisters at my recommendation (ah, the tingles, I hope she loves it as much as I do). Someone else was getting The Fault in Our Stars, another The One and Only Ivan. A litany of lovely reads.

As I mentioned in my last review, this holiday season I've enjoyed rereading a couple of my favorite Christmas novellas from last year as well as discovering a new favorite or two. Silent in the Sanctuary has been calling my name as it always does at Christmas, and I've snuggled up in the light of the tree on several occasions. I've also been busy plotting and acquiring my bookish gifts for friends and loved ones. And since I love hearing what books you guys are giving away, I thought I'd share mine.

As always, Sharon Shinn is headed to multiple homes. As is Robin McKinley (The Outlaws of Sherwood this year), Liza Palmer's Nowhere But Home, Sherry Thomas' The Burning Sky, and Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl. Madeleine L'Engle's And Both Were Young, Mary Stewart's Nine Coaches Waiting, Jodi Lynn Anderson's Tiger Lilyand Laura Florand's Amour et Chocolat series also make appearances. I love buying them, wrapping them, sending them off, and hoping each will find their way to where they need to go.

What books are you gifting this year?


  1. I wish I could give books. I already passed on FANGIRL to my niece. Nothing has equaled that. I buy Robin McKinley's and Sharon Shinn's book for myself. But I haven't been able to interest anyone else in their books. Otherwise, I'd give SHADOWS (McKinley) or TROUBLED WATERS (Shinn).

    1. Ooh. Has she read it yet? Did she love it?

      McKinley & Shinn are just lovely. Have you read the new Shinn, the sequel to TROUBLED WATERS?

    2. (creeping on the conversation here) I read the sequel to Trouble Waters and really loved it (although the two main characters were not as interesting as Zoe and Darien). SHADOWS however...I really disliked that one, and I'm a McKinley fan myself. Have you had a chance to read SHADOWS yet? I'd be interested to see your take on it, especially since you love Sunshine so much.

    3. Lol. Creep as much as you like!

      I haven't read the sequel yet. I need to get on that.

      I haven't read SHADOWS yet. Will def let you know my feelings on the matter as soon as I do.

  2. I can not wait to get my hands on Fangirl, I would say hurry up January, but I love Christmas too much.
    This year I've given Longbourn, The Chocolate Kiss, Shadows by Paula Weston, and MANY picture books. My favourite that I have bought for my son is Scarface Claw by Lynley Dodd.
    Hope you get lots of lovely books under the tree :)
    Happy Christmas and thanks for all the great recommendations this year.

    1. Alexa. You are going to be mindless with love for Fangirl.

      What did you think of Longbourn? I've waffled so much on picking it up.

      I really think I'm going to have to give in and reread The Chocolate Kiss this month. THAT BOOK.

      I haven't seen Scarface Claw, but I'm always in the market for a great new picture book for the kiddos. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

      Merry Christmas to you, too! I love talking books with you.

  3. How do you (or your co-worker) make sure that the recipient hasn't already read the book you've chosen? My mom refuses to give my gift cards to the bookstore, preferring to buy me an actual book instead. But without fail it is always one that I've already read, and while I appreciate the thought, it's sometime frustrating. That's why I always give bookstore gift cards instead of an actual book.

    1. You know, that's a good question. I probably spend an inordinate amount of time tracking what people have read, lol. Most of the people I give books to don't buy a lot on their own or they tell me about whatever they're currently reading, so I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what they have and haven't.

      But the reason you bring up is a valid one and I actually think it's exactly why people are reluctant to buy books for me! I understand. It's a risky business. And a disappointment to receive ones you've already read and/or own. I'm just as happy to receive gift cards. It's a giddy thing walking into the bookstore with a giftcard in hand. :)

  4. This is tough, because there is nothing I hate more than giving someone a book and then they come back to me to say they were offended by its content. *Ugh!* I've had to be really careful about what I give out, so I have started giving out gift cards for books UNLESS, I really know the person and the book will match up well.

    This year, I am giving out Me Before You to a couple of people that I know will really love it and eat it up. Other than that, it's gift cards so that I don't have to roll my eyes and get the silent judgment thing going (from both camps--mine and there's) when they say it had this scene or that scene that they didn't approve.

    Do you ever have that issue? It drives me a little crazy sometimes. I gave someone Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, because I adored it, and they were offended by it? Now, I don't remember there being anything gratuitous in it, but they felt that it was suggestive in several places. First, I decided never to give that person a book ever again, and second, I've determined that teaching high school has permanently desensitized me! LOL.

    1. Oh, Becky. It is the worst feeling in the world and, yes, I am familiar with it. I try to avoid it as much as possible these days. But when it happens I have to restrain myself from incredulously interrogating them as to how they could possibly feel that way when everything about the book is clearly wonderful. SIGH.

      I need to give Me Before You a try. I felt . . . uneven . . . about her earlier one. But the writing was lovely, so I should give her another shot.

      I honestly feel like Anna and the French Kiss is so innocuous. Had to laugh over your teaching comment. I feel for the situation you're in. I know it's a constant struggle and balancing act.

  5. I gifted House of Hades to my younger cousins, and am considering giving Nostalgia to my sister - it seems like her sort of thing. I gave a close friend How to Tame a Wild Fireman, because of course.

    1. HA!

      Now I have to go look up this Wild Fireman book. Because of course.

  6. I'm giving DWJ's THE DARK LORD OF DERKHOLM to one brother, and Patrick Ness' MORE THAN THIS and Jonathan Stroud's LOCKWOOD & CO.: THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE to another. Diana Peterfreund's ACROSS A STAR-SWEPT SEA is going to my sister, and my dad is getting HANDLING THE TRUTH by Beth Kephart and a historical gardening book. I also gave Beryl Markham's WEST WITH THE NIGHT, Allie Brosh's HYPERBOLE AND A HALF and Miranda Kenneally's RACING SAVANNAH to friends. So I guess it was a very bookish Christmas after all!

    1. Loveliness. Thank you so much for sharing, Cece.

  7. Books do make for great gifts. We do not celebrate Christmas but that does not stop me from buying books for myself :)
    I got a few Sharon Shinn and Andre Norton for the holidays. SFF is the best way to spend the holiday week, Also a couple of non fiction titles.

    1. It's been awhile since I've read some Norton. What did you pick up?


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