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…in which a variety of Santas *do* bring books!

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After the recent birthday bonanza of books, I wasn’t necessarily expecting a huge book haul over the festive period. However, I was delighted to receive several gems and surprises, as well as a lovely Secret Santa – I’ve been very blessed with books recently!

First up, OH surprised me with some unexpected titles (as he always manages to!):

bright particular

This rather appealing sounding book is nothing I’ve ever heard of – but as I’ve not read a lot of non-fiction in 2014, it’ll be ideal for next year!

russian books

He also tracked down a couple of Russian titles – one I’d heard of and one I’d not. Fascinating fact of the season – I went to school with Catherine Merridale! She was in my form at Grammar School and ended up being our Head Girl – small world!

colette

Middle Child came up trumps with this lovely new Colette title. I put it on my wish list recently to try to restrain my buying impulses, so I was very excited that she chose this – thanks, MC!

george sand

This was from my lovely friend J. who decided it would be a Good Thing for me after I reviewed my first George Sand book earlier in the year. Translated by Robert Graves, no less! 🙂

humans covenant

These two lovelies came from a work colleague and an old friend – I know nothing about either but they sound varied and interesting so that’s got to be good!

plath drawings

And from mother-in-law (with a little help from OH I suspect!) Sylvia Plath’s drawings – very exciting!!!

Last, but most *definitely* not least is the Virago Secret Santa. On the LibraryThing Virago Modern Classics group some of us do a Secret Santa every year, and my wonderful gifts came from the lovely Genny T (who I’d been lucky enough to meet up with earlier in the year at a London get-together). The parcel arrived adorned intriguingly with tape quoting L.M. Alcott:

pkg 2

pkg 1

Inside were three beautiful packages wrapped in bookish paper plus a card:

vss parcels 1

vss parcels

The contents turned out to be as fabulous as the exterior!

vss2014

“Bid Me to Live” by HD is probably the Virago I’ve been most keen to find but have failed most miserably to get, so I was *so* excited to receive this! And the Persephone is “Flush” by Virginia Woolf which I also don’t have! The tape is emblazoned with a Woolf quote and as Genny surmised will come in very handy this year! I was bowled over by my lovely VSS gifts; they’re just perfect – thanks Genny!

So Mount TBR gets a little larger and creakier – I will *definitely* have to do more book pruning in the new year….. =:o

Christmas Lovelies – and Wonderful Secret Santa Gifts!

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(Actually a slightly misleading title, as there are birthday gifts included here too!!)

Christmas this year was full of lovely treats, the best of which was having Eldest Child, Middle Child and Youngest Child all together under one roof with us! As they get older, I often think they may soon want to spend the festive season with partners etc, so we make the most of this while it still happens.

However, there was still plenty of time for bookish joys, and I have been unbelievably spoiled with readable treats this year and first up are some birthday treats:

The fun thing was that I shared my Amazon wish list for the first time with my family and they responded rather beautifully with a varied selection of books covering Paris, Russia and the Cairngorms!

These were birthday treats too – I was pretty sure someone would get me the Morrissey book, the Neil Young one was a pleasant surprise as I didn’t know it existed, and the Laurens van der Post “Journey Into Russia” is a lovely first edition – as it’s a journey into Iron Curtain Russia, it’s going to be right up my street!

Christmas brought more treats – the French Market Cookbook was actually for my birthday, the Dylan book should be a fun read, and the third volume is from my old friend V who always surprises me every year with a book I haven’t got!

The Wainwright fellwalking books have been on my wish list for a *long* time – not that I’m likely to go fellwalking any time in the near future, as I live nowhere near the Lake District, alas. But they’re such beautiful books that I shall sit and read and gaze at them for hours!

 

And obviously my children have been paying attention to the wish list, as I’ve been wanting these three gems for a while – “Metropole” sounds fascinating, the condensed Dickens (!) should come in useful if I forget any of the plots and the Everyman Book of Russian Poets is just lovely.

These came from OH, who knows of my love of Poirot. I think David Suchet is the quintessential Hercule and I can’t wait to read his recollections. The other book is about Andover in Hampshire, where I grew up – should be a fascinating read!

And last (but definitely not least!), my very generous Virago Secret Santa, Liz at Libroediting, sent me such wonderful gifts:

This is the ‘before’ picture as the lovely packages sit under the tree.

 

Notice all the little notes? Liz sent messages about why she chose particular books which made the gifts even more special!

There were a couple more items not pictured, because I shall be writing about them soon. However, I feel thoroughly spoiled and very lucky to have family and friends who know what I love – thanks to all!

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