New books for 2020

A stack of four books. Titles are visible for the top three: "Cleopatra's Daughter" by Michelle Moran, "City of Stars" by Robert Jackson Bennett, and "Paleofantasy" by Marlene Zuk.

One aspect of my life hasn’t changed: I still get books for Christmas!  The pile above is all gifts from my awesome wife.  The large flat book on the bottom is Jeanette Nyberg‘s Draw Your Own Damn Coloring Book, which feels very right for me right now.

New books for 2019

It’s time for my annual “books I got for Christmas” post.  Here they are:

A stack of two books: "How to be a Victorian" by Ruth Goodman, and "The Calculating Stars" by Mary Robinette Kowal.

How To Be A Victorian is non-fiction and extremely interesting.  I’m already 160 pages in.

What are you reading?

A pile of new books: late additions

I have two late additions to this year’s “books received for Christmas” pile, courtesy of my mother-in-law, who presented them in person when we saw her last weekend.

Marie Kondo's book "The Life-Changing Magic of Cleaning Up" sitting on top of Caroline Fraser's "Prairie Fires."

Don’t worry, I asked for both of these; the Marie Kondo book is not some kind of passive-aggressive mother-in-law comment on my tidying skills.

A pile of new book(s), 2018 edition

The book Artemis by Andy Weir.

Not really a “pile” this year, just the one book.  (A book that I’m quite excited to read, since I absolutely loved The Martian.)  I received some other excellent Christmas gifts, including LEGO’s Women of NASA set and a beautiful framed photo set from my spouse.  I’m still working on last year’s books, plus an extra bunch sent mid-year by fellow blogger Leah, so I’m not in any danger of running of things to read any time soon.

Five children's books.

Little Boy got a more pile-like quantity of books for Christmas.  The picture above includes only the new stuff; my mother also gathered up a half-dozen books from my childhood and sent them home with us.  (She also found and gave us my old Sesame Street sheets and my brother’s Thomas the Tank Engine towel, all in remarkably good shape.)

What are you looking forward to reading this year?

A pile of new books, 2017 edition

A stack of nine books received for Christmas 2016.

My personal library did well this holiday season, thanks in large part to my husband buying up half my Amazon wish list.  I also just received my much-anticipated, limited-edition, signed copy of Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi, but that didn’t make it into the Christmas-gift pile because I pre-ordered it for myself back in July.

(Side note: In unintentional preparation for reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I’m currently re-watching the A&E miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice, and it is delightful.)

What are you looking forward to reading next?

Free books are the best kind of mail

Just had to share a little bit of excitement: I won a book!  And it arrived today!  That’s right, my mailbox today contained a free, signed copy of author and blogger Kellie Doherty‘s debut novel, Finding Hekate.

My copy of Kellie Doherty's book, Finding Hekate.

AND it came with a matching bookmark.

At this point, all I can tell you is that the cover is awesome, the description is intriguing, and I got a free book in the mailbox and mail really doesn’t get any better than that.  Except for maybe the fancy sock yarn that arrived earlier this week as a late Mother’s Day present.  It’s been a good week for mail.

What I’m watching/reading/listening

On the reading front, I’m busy with Notorious RBG, about the life and legal opinions of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  (You may recall that this was one of the books I got for Christmas.)  RBG is an amazing woman; her biography is also a sobering reminder that it really hasn’t been that long since women were expected to quit their jobs when they became pregnant and it was assumed that we couldn’t be family breadwinners.

Next up on my reading list and still on its way to me from Amazon is Push Back: Guilt in the Age of Natural Parenting.  I suspect I’ll be writing more about this one when I’m done.  I’m a big fan of the author’s blog, The Skeptical OB, and her (paraphrased) message of “parent the way that works for you, but don’t think it makes you a better mother than anyone else.”

When it comes to listening, I’ve let my obsessive side out and am binging on the Never Not Knitting podcast.  It’s good to have on during my commute or when I’m making tedious figures for my thesis—the podcast is cheery and fun, and I can keep up if I miss a word or two here and there.

I’m also binge-watching the first season of House on Netflix.  Don’t ask me why—it’s a good show, but not great—but I just keep turning it on.  (Note that “binge-watching” for me means two or three episodes a week; who has time to watch multiple hour-long episodes in a row?!)  We also have a regular roster of current shows on the DVR: The Flash, Supergirl (and the crossover between those two, which was hilarious and wonderful), Agents of Shield (meh), D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow (yes, there’s definitely a theme here), and The Big Bang Theory (yes, we still watch this).

What are you reading/listening/watching lately, readers?  Any suggestions for me?

New books for my toddler, too

Five kids' books, including Made by Raffi.I wasn’t the only one to unwrap a bunch of new books for Christmas.  Shown above are only about 1/3 of the books Little Boy received—the rest were already scattered around the house and car by the time I thought of taking a picture.  You might recognize that the second book is the classic The Polar Express, lovingly selected by my husband, who has fond memories of its magic.

And look!  Santa brought Little Boy his very own copy of Made by Raffi, which, as you may or may not recall, I reviewed on here a while back.  It is positive, colorful and—in what is a definite plus when you’re giving a book over to a toddler—doesn’t have a dust cover.

A pile of new books

A stack of nine books.

I got a whole pile of new books for Christmas—hooray!  The stack of “books to read” on my nightstand, which had gotten dangerously low in recent months, has been replenished.  Even better, these are all books I very much want to read, thanks to proper management of my Amazon wish list over the course of the year.

What are you looking forward to reading next?