Tag Archives: Christmas

Books as Christmas Presents

8 Dec

I decided to put my money where my values were this year and bought a lot of my family and friends books from my local Indie Bookstore, Literati. Their shipping prices have fluctuated but have stayed low and it was cheaper than a lot of the other Indie bookstores I looked at. I thought I’d share this quick guide to what I got people so you could get some ideas and see what books might be good for someone on your list!

Father In Law: This guy’s a big reader, so he gets two books! He’s a big John Grisham fan and Literati had signed copies of A Time for Mercy so that was an easy pick! I also thought he’d like Moby-Duck by Donovan Hohn which I read and loved earlier this year. My FIL likes fast-paced fiction and nonfiction with a focus on history and biography.

Mother In Law: It’s hard to buy books for my MIL because anything with strong reviews is quickly picked up and finished. I was recommended to get her The Grammarians by Cathleen Schine. This is a newer release so I’m hoping she hasn’t found time for it yet. I warned the bookseller that anything at Target with a Book Club sticker on it, she’d read. Let’s hope this is right!

Nephew (6)- My sister-in-law just flipped through the two InvestiGator books by John Patrick Green that I got for my nephew and is so excited because they look like a blast. He’s very high energy so I’m hoping he can sit still long enough to read these two!

Niece (9)- My middle niece is super creative and my husband and I are encouraging her love for graphic novels right now. We got her Stargazing by Jen Wang and this one is also sister-in-law approved. We’re on a role!

Niece (11)- This one was easy. She wanted Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald by J.K. Rowling. A girl after my own heart. Though, and I could do a separate post about this, this movie was a huge disappointment to me.

Sister-in-law: My brother’s wife always gets us books for Christmas so I figured that I’d repay the favor. We talked a lot about mystery books and I remembered reading Derek B. Miller’s Norwegian by Night a few years ago and enjoying the sequel earlier this year. It’s a bit more literary than most murder thrillers, but I thought she might enjoy the change of pace.

Brother in-law’s fiancee: I’m not sure what the right term is for this person, but I say she’s about the be another ‘married-in’ to my husband’s family. I asked my BIL what she might like, and he said she’d enjoyed Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s feminist essay. I was happy to find she’d recently released another feminist work, Dear Ijeawela. That was an easy pick!

Husband’s Friend: My husband plays D&D with a friend whose birthday is around Christmas and we always get a gift for. This friend is gay and I thought he’d love V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic and its sequels. I adored this series and I couldn’t help but think of it as my husband told me about his latest D&D adventures.

I’m glad I’ve got all these books ordered or on-hand for everyone. I hope I’ve done something to help keep my Indy Bookstore in business through COVID. I want them there when I’m able to browse in person again.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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Giving Books for Christmas

18 Dec

This year, I came into a situation that should be a bibliophile’s dream. My brother-in-law and his girlfriend both asked for books for Christmas! However, I panicked and am getting them socks instead (sorry if they somehow read this!). But I had to wonder, why was I panicking?

I honestly don’t like getting a lot of books for Christmas. I feel an obligation to read them and sometimes they’re books I wouldn’t have picked out and don’t want to read. Sometimes, they’re amazing. But I’m feeling pessimistic because it’s the holidays so I’m going to focus on the negative.

I still have books for Christmas three years ago on my TBR. I have some from last year, too. I’m in no rush to get to them and that’s fine with me. However, every time I see those people (and one is my husband so it is quite often), I feel like I have to explain why I haven’t read their gift yet. It’s a bit overwhelming.

So I don’t want to give them stress for Christmas. Even more, I don’t want to get them books they already own. Or books they don’t want to read at all or have no interest in reading. I’m trying to help them live a zero-waste and zero-stress life. They live in Colorado, so I figure that’s what they’re after all the time.

So I’ve devised a plan. I’m going to put recommended reading lists in their stockings. That way, they can look at the book summary online and decide if it’s one they want to read. They can ignore my suggestions and I won’t be hurt. They can find the book at the library and not be stuck with it if they hate it. Best of all, they can ‘lose’ my list in the trip back west! It’s foolproof. Right?

Help me out, readers. What lists would you recommend to 25-year-olds who like fiction? I have a few in mind but I need to fill up these lists. The more, the merrier.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Novel Girls Holiday Party, NaNoel

24 Dec

Last Thursday my Novel Girls had our first annual Holiday party which KK accurately dubbed NaNoel (in the spirit of NaNovelGirls during NaNo). I really hope we can do this each year because this was hands down my favorite holiday party yet this year. That’s the best out of five so far, in case anyone wants to run an algorithm for this.

What made it so great? A large part was the people. My work Christmas lunch was great and my husbands Christmas dinner were nice, dont’ get me wrong, but the company is less intimate. Our white elephant with some college and work friends our age was an improvement for sure. SG’s Holiday wine and cheese party was great, too, though I didn’t know half the people there until two glasses in. But this party was reminiscent of when my girlfriends in high school would get together around the holidays and get each other gifts; the presents were so tailored to each of us that it was scary. Each one is my favorite Christmas gift so far.

KK was kind enough to host us so I made the trek out to her house after work and like the over-eager beaver I am, got there an hour before Nicole and SG. Once we all arrived there was pizza and laughing and a lot of amusing tweets (if you have the time, check out my Twitter feed, available on my right sidebar). I was just bursting and insisted that they open my present.

I’d gone back through our tweets since August and compiled. I used a picture from SG’s party of the four of us and made the image visible through the letters of the tweets. Make sense? SG posted a picture of it on Twitter so maybe that will help. It seemed so appropriate that our picture would be in words. Jay did the whole thing in Photoshop and I’m eternally grateful to him.

We opened KKs gift next. She’d ordered us each cuff bracelets with quotes from something we love on them. Mine says “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” Could this be more perfect?!?! I’m completely in love with it. SGs said “The world was hers for the reading” from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Nicole’s said “I’ll be the prince and you be the princess” from Taylor Swift’s Love Story. They’re so appropriate that I’m almost sickened.

SG gave us what every book nerd needs more of; books! I collect postcards and SG got me Everything is Connected– a collection of postcards with various instructions on them that the reader is supposed to leave around for others to find. It sounds super fun. KK got Alice in Tumblrland, re-told fairy-tales with a modern twist. This is so perfect for KK that I was surprised SG didn’t write it herself. Nicole, the lone poet among us, got a wonderful book of poetry by SG’s favorite poet. I love when books seem to choose the reader.

Continuing with the literary gifts, Nicole went for books and notebooks. I got a book about doing writers workshops, lotion, and a mug that says “Do not disturb, internal dialogue in progress.” I almost died laughing. We all got lotion that matched the colors in the rest of the gifts (because Nicole is coordinated like that). SG and KK got really nice notebooks, which was especially perfect because KK finished her old notebook in October, squeezing her NaNo outline onto the last page. How symbolic.

I’m still floating from such a great night with my friends. What was your favorite gift this year? Have you given a perfect literary gift? What was it? What’s the best one you received? I’m celebrating Christmas early with my family this year so I’ll (hopefully) be opening more books soon! I’ll keep you all posted.

Have a safe and happy holiday! Enjoy the time with friends and family.

Until next time, Reader, write on.