I wanted to use today as an opportunity to share with you the books I received as a Christmas present from my family, and which I will be reading and reviewing at some point in the future (or have already reviewed…). The majority of my Christmas presents were books (unsurprisingly!). This is the first haul I have posted, and I will not do them often, as it actually embarrasses me when I sit down to gather the books that I have obtained within a certain amount of time, and I realise that I own far, far too many (side note on that front: I am not spoiled or filthy rich, I just buy cheap secondhand books, and I work in a charity shop which gives me extra opportunity to claim books). Also, I know that hauls make some people uncomfortable, as if they are just opportunities for showing off. However, I am a big fan of hauls, as I am nosy and want to know what other people own (especially as it gives me ideas), and it is Christmas, so I am going to reveal this little collection to you.
‘The Complete Chronicles of Narnia’ by C.S. Lewis
I have read ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’, albeit a very long time ago, but something that I have always regretted is that I never read the whole of the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ when I was younger. I am going to make up for that now, by marathoning all of the books from this gorgeous illustrated edition. This present, alongside everything else book-related that I received, was one of the books I placed in an Amazon wishlist for items I would like for Christmas – I never tell people a specific present that I would like to receive, but rather direct them to a jam-packed wishlist, so that I have the element of surprise when I get a gift.
‘The Hobbit: Graphic Novel’ by J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Dixon
I love Tolkien. ‘The Hobbit’ is one of my favourite books, and I do love ‘The Lord of the Rings’, but it has been so long since I last read it that I have made it a challenge for 2015 to reread the entirety, as well as reading ‘The Silmarillion’ for the first time. Having recently seen ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’, I was very much in the mood for more of ‘The Hobbit’, without rereading it in its entirety, as I last did so in September. I have also just got into graphic novels, and do want to start reading them more frequently. I was surprised to find this under the Christmas tree, and actually read it when I was able to on Christmas Day. I loved the illustrations in this graphic novel, and of course the story was brilliant. I wasn’t as keen on the layout, as the multiple text bubbles in close proximity could get rather crowded and confusing. However, I really enjoyed this graphic novel and gave it 4 stars.
‘The Best of Miranda’ by Miranda Hart
‘Miranda’ is one of my favourite TV shows at the moment, and the fact that the New Year’s Day episode will be the last greatly upsets me. I got this as a present for my best friend, and I was secretly rather jealous that I had to give the book to her. So I was delighted to receive this myself. It is a guide containing 6 of the best ‘Miranda’ scripts, with some additional bits from Miranda Hart. I adored reading this both before and after the Christmas Day episode, and I loved reading the annotations and changes on the scripts. I gave this 4 stars.
‘The Hogwarts Library Collection’ by J.K. Rowling
This was the biggest shock for me! I have had this on my wishlist for ages, and I was desperate to own these three books (‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’, ‘Quidditch Through the Ages’ and ‘The Tales of Beedle the Bard’) even though I have already read them. I am a massive ‘Harry Potter’ fan, and yet I did not own these books, so I really felt that I needed these to complete my collection. And I certainly was not expecting the hardcover set! These now sit alongside my ‘Harry Potter’ boxset in pride of place on top of my bookcase.
‘My True Love Gave to Me’ by Stephanie Perkins and Others
The most apt book to receive as a winter gift. I was kind of hoping to get this book (especially as it is such a beautiful book! I mean, bright pink page edges…). I have already read this book, and posted a full review of it here, but it was basically a very good read for the festive season with stories from many of my favourite authors, and there were some brilliant stories in here, although there were also a couple of not-so-good ones too, so my average score balanced out to a respectable yet average 3.625 stars (rounded to 4).
‘Doll Bones’ by Holly Black
I am rather fond what I have read of Holly Black’s books, so I had two of her books on my wishlist, ‘Doll Bones’ and ‘The Coldest Girl in Coldtown’. This book is very short, so I am definitely hoping to read it soon, as I do want to get as many of Holly Black’s books as possible read in the next few months.
‘Cross Stitch’ by Diana Gabaldon
Any Americans or general TV fans reading this will know this as ‘Outlander’, however the UK title of this book has always been ‘Cross Stitch’, and when I read a book with many different titles, I like to get the title under which the book was originally published in the UK (that, and the fact that this book cannot be purchased under the title of ‘Outlander’ on Amazon UK). I have heard a lot of hype about this book, and I want to jump into it as soon as possible and understand why everyone loves it.
‘The Secret of Chimneys’ by Agatha Christie
I am a big Agatha Christie fan, but I have not read a book where the main detective is not Poirot or Marple. I was especially keen to read this book as it is not a Marple or Poirot, but it was adapted to a Marple story for TV, and that particular TV episode is one of my favourites. I thought that if I read a Christie mystery without either of her flagship detectives, this one would be a good place to start. I was kind of expecting this one from my mother, as she is a big Agatha Christie fan herself, so it was not really a surprise to get this as a gift.
‘Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods’ by Rick Riordan
I have mentioned countless times to my parents that I would like to gain a better understanding of Greek mythology, and they know that I am working my way through Rick Riordan’s books, so this is really the best of both worlds. It will give me a basic start to Greek mythology with that funny and familiar voice of Percy Jackson, so I am excited to give this book a read! This leads on perfectly to what was my largest (and possibly the best) present this year…
‘The Complete Heroes of Olympus Box Set’ by Rick Riordan
Aahhh! I am really, really excited about this! I have mentioned before that I love the first three ‘Percy Jackson’ books, but I am forbidden from continuing until my best friend owns the next two books. However, I have been planning ahead and debating buying the first of Rick Riordan’s ‘spin-off’ ‘Heroes of Olympus’ series, ‘The Lost Hero’, however I have to say that I really hate the UK covers of the series. The US hardcovers were so pretty, and our covers are hideous, so I was considering paying extra and getting the first book in the US cover shipped over, but I am always reluctant to do this, as it is so much more expensive and I am very short of money anyway. I was ecstatic when my dad bought me not just the first book in the US hardcover, but the entire set! Now, I am desperate for my best friend to allow me to finish the ‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians’ series so I can plough through this, and I am sure that both series will be going on my ‘Finish That Series’ final tally at the end of next year (see here for information on the ‘Finish That Series’ challenge).
That wraps up the books I received for Christmas. I also got a couple of ‘How to Write Fiction’ kinds of guides, but I decided against showing them in this haul. I am incredibly happy and grateful to have received these presents, and I cannot wait to read the ones which I have not already started!