Sunday, December 4, 2016

What's in My Christmas Bag of Books This Year? Lots!

One present I've looked forward to the past decade is my Christmas Bag of Books that I give myself.  Even though I buy the books and put them in the Christmas-themed bag and put it under the tree, I still get excited knowing they are waiting for me on Christmas morning.  Playing Santa to myself is quite rewarding, especially with all the books I have coming for this year's bag.  Sixteen books!  I promise I've been a good girl.

Crosstalk by Connie Willis  (Connie Willis' Historical Time Travelers Books are some of my most favorite books, so I thought I'd give this new book of hers a try.)

Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver (Introduced to Mary Oliver by author and friend Kaye Wilkinson Barley, I think I've found a new poet and essayist in which to indulge.)

Shell Shocked Britain: The First World War's Legacy for Britain's Mental Health by Suzi Grogan  (This nonfiction book was in the bookstore of the WWI Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, and since I was planning on reading more of Charles Todd's Ian Rutledge series this winter, I thought it would be a good companion read.)

The Last Days of Night: A Novel by Graham Moore  (Thomas Edison, Nicola Tesla, George Westinghouse, and J.P. Morgan all figure in the race to power the country when electric lights were
making their arrival.  I've long been interested in this particular piece of history, and a novel about it by Graham Moore is a no-brainer for me.)

Disappearance at Devil's Rock: A Novel by Paul Tremblay  (About Tremblay's novel A Headful of Ghosts, Stephen King said, “A Head Full of Ghosts scared the living hell out of me, and I’m pretty hard to scare.”  I've been wanting to read a Paul Tremblay novel since reading that quote, and I decided to start with this one.)

Out of Bounds by Val McDermid  (Available in the U.S on December 6th, I've ordered it from Book Depository instead because I like the UK cover better.  Val McDermid is a sure bet for a Christmas treat.  And, Erin Mitchel, who knows great books like nobody's business, says it is one of the best books she's read in 2016.)

Silent Nights: A British Library Crime Classic, edited by Martin Edwards  (I met Martin at Bouchercon New Orleans and was immediately smitten with his British accent and gentlemanly ways.  I know Martin has done lots of work with the series of British Library Crime Classics, and I'm sure I'll read more he's edited, as well as other edited ones.  I'm also interested in Martin's Lake District Mysteries and finally getting to his award-winning nonfiction book, The Golden Age of Murder )

Never Alone by Elizabeth Haynes  (This title is available in the U.S. in ebook, but I wanted the paperback, so I once again turned to Book Depository to order that.  Elizabeth is an author I've wanted to get to for some time, so I made her a Christmas Bag purchase to ensure I get to her sooner rather than later.  Elizabeth is a former police intelligence analyst who lives in Norfolk.  That hooked me.  Also, it's another recommendation from Erin Mitchell, my book guru, as one of her favorite 2016 reads.)

The Blood Card: Stephens and Mephisto #3 by Elly Griffiths  (Ordering this from the British Book Depository is a matter of impatience for me, as it doesn't come out until 2017 in the U.S., and I want to get to it even before I receive an ARC of it for the U.S. edition.  Besides, I try to collect both U.S. and U.K. editions of Elly Griffiths', a.k.a. Domenica de Rosa's, books, both the Magic Men series and my beloved Ruth Galloway series.)

Commonwealth: A Novel by Ann Patchett  (I love everything Ann Patchett writes, and I haven't read this latest one published in September of this year, so it must go into the Christmas Bag of Books.) 

 Classic Penguin: Cover to Cover, edited by Paul Buckley  (I am fascinated by book covers, from complex to simple, from textured to flat.  I often want different editions of books just for their covers.  Penguin is a long-time favorite publisher of mine where covers are concerned.  I have several different Penguin editions for certain books.  One of the latest cover types for Penguin was the Graphic Novel cover, and I purchased several of the classics in these covers.  And, this Classic Penguin has a foreward by Audrey Niffenegger.)

Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan  (You had me at bookshop.  Also, recommended to me by friend Lesa Holstine, a librarian and blogger extraordinaire.)

The Reek of Red Herrings by Catriona McPherson (Even though I need to catch up in this series, I couldn't resist buying this latest one in the Dandy Gilver series, as there's a wedding and people are snowed in, and, of course, it's set in Scotland.)

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon  (I love YA/Teen fiction and don't get to read nearly enough these days, as I'm so heavy into mystery and crime.  I couldn't pass up this one for my Christmas Bag of Books after a hearty endorsement by fellow YA/Teen reader, fellow mystery/crime reader, and kick-butt blogger and friend Kristopher Zgorski.) 

Under the Harrow  by Flynn Berry  (I'd had my eye on this one for a while, and with the great reviews and placement of it on many best lists, I know it will be a great addition to my bag.)

Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly MacRae  (This book is the first in the Highland Bookshop Mystery series, and I have a giant Scottish reading fetish, so I'm really looking foward to getting in on the ground floor of this mystery series set in Scotland.  Of course, it also helps that Dru Ann Love, an amazing blogger and book enthusiast and friend, just recommended this book on her blog.)


  1. I love this! I used to do this, and I'm going to do it again--thanks for the reminder. I do have a basket of books and magazines for reading around the holidays--looking forward to reading CROSS TALK also!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Patti. I've loved receiving books for Christmas since I was a kid, and I still feel the excitement of it. Cross Talk is one of the ones I'm most looking forward to, too.

  2. Great list, Kathy! I've added several to my TBR list.

    1. So happy to hear that, Jim! Look for my Favorite Reads of 2016 list coming out soon. I think you'll recognize a title.