Monday 20 December 2010

Christmas Library Loot

Happy Christmas week to you all. I hope the run up the festive season is treating you a little better than us.  We have had an igloo for a house all weekend as our boiler packed up on the weekend, leaving us without any heat.  Luckily we did have some electric heaters, a fire and immersion heater for the water, but it is terrible what you get used to.  I am so thankful for central heating and feel for anyone who doesn't have it. It made me feel very appreciative of what I have.  I wasn't even upset when the ceiling in the dining room started to crack due to a leaky pipe in the bathroom. Normally that would have really upset me, but the house finally being warm, had me happy as Larry.

We have had a busy weekend. We took the girls ice skating on Saturday which was lovely and then went to the pantomime yesterday.  Hubby had to miss the pantomime in order to stay at home and make sure our pipes didn't freeze and burst, so I felt rather bad going without him.

I had great plans for this week on my blog, but I think I am going to have to play this week by ear.  I have yet to buy food for Christmas, or to do the baking I had planned. Presents are still to be wrapped and the girls are supposed to be having a sleepover tomorrow, as well as family staying over Christmas. Don't even ask me about my Christmas journal, as I may snarl with anger!!!

I did manage to get to the library to pick up some festive books for the season.  If I get to read them I will be impressed, if not they will make lovely coffee table additions over the Christmas period.

1) Jane Austen's Christmas by Maria Hubert - this book gives you an insight into what Christmas would have been like for Jane and has details from family letters in it, describing their Christmas past times.

2)  Dicken's Christmas by Simon Callow - this is written by the actor who you may remember being the only one to die in Four Weddings and a Funeral.  This is an account of Christmas in Dicken's time and also has A Christmas Carol in it.

3) A Christmas Guest by Anne Perry - this is a Victorian crime novella and is brilliant. It reminds a little of the Agatha Christie style murders.

4) All I Want For Christmas by Amy Silver - pure Chick Lit Christmas Comfort Read!

I also have Comfort and Joy by India Knight, which is the funniest Christmas book I have ever read.  If you are a stressed mother during the festive season, then this book is for you.

 As you can see, my cat decided to help whilst I took photos of my library loot. He was determined to be in the picture. He looks like King Kong.
As some of you may know I am not committing myself to any challenges next year as I failed miserably. Instead I hope to devote each month to different genres and authors.  I have decided to make January my Young Adult month.  That doesn't mean that I won't read other books as well, but I hope to spend January predominantly reading Young Adult books. So I went to the library to pick up a few extra which is a bit of a joke as I have far too many unread Young Adult books on my shelves and I know I am probably getting more for Christmas!

1) Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith - angel YA in an alternate reality where vampires and werewolves do exist.

2) White Crow by Marcus Sedgewick - a modern gothic thriller. Clover at Fluttering Butterflies recently reviewed this and it sounded fantastic.

3) Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. I have been wanting to read this for a while since Ana reviewed it. Ella Minnow Pea is a girl living happily on the fictional island of Nollop off the coast of South Carolina. Nollop was named after Nevin Nollop, author of the immortal pangram,* “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Now Ella finds herself acting to save her friends, family, and fellow citizens from the encroaching totalitarianism of the island’s Council, which has banned the use of certain letters of the alphabet as they fall from a memorial statue of Nevin Nollop. As the letters progressively drop from the statue they also disappear from the novel. The result is both a hilarious and moving story of one girl’s fight for freedom of expression, as well as a linguistic tour de force sure to delight word lovers everywhere.

4) The Drowning by Valerie Mendes.Sixteen-year-old Jenna wants to dance - not just in dance class or in her bedroom, but professionally, in London, under the eyes of the best teachers in the world. But a fatal accident blows her family and Cornish life apart and, guilty and grief-stricken, she puts all her plans on hold. Until a chance meeting with someone who was there with her that tragic afternoon. Who is he, and how can he help her? Will Jenna find the courage and determination to follow her dreams?

5) The Maze Runner by James Dashner - Dystopian fiction. When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he's not alone. He's surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade - a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze. Like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they came to be there - or what's happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything - even the Grievers, half-machine, half-animal horror that patrols its corridors, to find out.

These should keep me occupied over the festive season.  I hope to show you some festive photos tomorrow.

Have a great day.


  1. Oh no, poor you! I hope you stay warm for the rest of the festive season. I like the idea of using the books from the library as coffee table books if you don't have time to read them. and I'm looking forward to seeing your festive pics soon!

  2. In the US, Ella Minnow Pea is marketed as adult fiction. I read it back in early 2009 and adored it!!

    And grr, I want to read White Crow so badly, I have since Darren reviewed it months ago, but it's not available in the US until NEXT SUMMER. Gah!!!!! I can't even get it on interlibrary loan, and the book depository has no copies of it. How irritating is that?? I hope you like it so that I can anticipate it even more!!

  3. Any more of this and there would be no need to take the girls skating - it would have been cold enough indoors and icy enough if the pipes had frozen and burst.
    I hope the rest of your week is better.

  4. And why oh why have I not seen your kitty before? He's absolutely gorgeous.

    I hope you have a great week, Viv. My goal is to not try to freak out before Saturday with all that needs to be done. ;)

    The Anne Perry novel sounds great and I've been hearing wonderful things about Ella Minnow Pea. Enjoy!

  5. I'm loving the sound of Jane Austen's Christmas! I've been trying to read some festive books, too, as the big day draws near. Hoping you have a wonderful holiday!

  6. Cats always like to get involved at the most inopportune moment!

    Had no heating last year, so I can sympathise. Blankets and a book on the settee for me.

  7. Cool Xmas loots at the top :D I sure wish I had one to read this yea. Was so fun last year

  8. Ooooh, not good to have no heat. Sounds like you are really busy -- try not to get too crazy getting ready.

    Enjoy all your books. I'm doing the same this year - my own challenges. I just have to choose which I'm going to focus on and do a post or two.

    I love your cat - black cats and dogs are my favorite.

  9. Verity - luckily the heating has been fixed now, so we should be toasty and warm.

    Amanda - Ella Minnow Pea was with our teenage fiction, so now I am confused. I had better read White Crow first then!

    Petty Witter- it is like the Carribean in our house now. We have the heating on high just because we can now. Going to walk around in my swim wear now.

    Trish - he normally is rather camera shy and avoids all publicity. I am feeling less stressed as the jobs get knocked off my list.

    Meg - it does look good. Can't wait to read it soon.

    Jo- It was a nightmare, but luckily shortlived. My cat is always around when there is cotton wool or books!

    Blodeuedd - it does make Christmas feel more festive.

  10. Darlene - the heating is thankfully fixed now. I am going to play it by ear with my own challenges. I would like to try and read more of my own books this year. All our animals are black, the cat, the dog and the rabbit.

  11. Vivienne, I'm glad your house is warm again. :) I sure would like to read Jane Austen's Christmas -- I have so much to do, and reading is a near impossibility right now.

  12. What a newsy post, although I'm sure you could have done without all the dramas. I still have so much to do before Christmas, once again ... not at all organised but I just keep telling myself ... breathe and relax LOL

    Your Christmas loot is making me drool :) I also have Maze Runner and Eternal on my reading pile for early next year!

  13. Oh that's terrible about having to deal with no heat. That happened to us one year although it was due to the electricity being down all in our neighborhood for some crazy reason. It was only for an evening but it was awful. Glad to hear that's sort out now!

    I don't typically read seasonal books but that library loot looks fun :)

  14. Yikes....keep warm! I love you Christmas library loot, and well your black cat is just precious.

  15. All the Christmas books sound wonderful! I hope you find the time to read them this holiday season.

    I thoroughly enjoyed Ella Minnow Pea. I am curious to hear your reactions once you have had a chance to read it.

    I hope you and your family have a joyous Christmas, Vivienne!

  16. Ah that elusive thing I have heard of called central heating - not going to want to come home when my room is sorted as that's heated and home isn't :P

    Sounds busy, busy, busy. Can hardly believe it's this saturday!

    White Crow has been on my radar for ages - does sound so good and so does The Maze Runner - not heard of that one.

  17. Great Christmas loot. Happy reading.
    The cat is too cute. It's been too long since I read good YA.

    Hope your heating issues are fixed now. What a pain that is!

  18. Your kitty does look a bit like King Kong!! Hope the pipes are fixed now!!

  19. I didn't know you had a at! And I love the idea of YA January (even though that's mostly ALL I read these days!) I'm glad you picked up White Crow, as I really liked it and am hoping to read more of Marcus Sedgwick in the near future.

    I picked up Ella Minnow Pea in my adult fiction section as well, I don't think it's very YA at all. It is absolutely CHARMING though, I hope you love it :)


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