Dec 26, 2012

Bookish Presents!

Hello everyone. I hope those of you who celebrate Christmas had a wonderful time. Today I’m observing what has become a Boxing Day tradition here on the blog, the sharing of my Christmas book loot. I’ll start with a general panorama of my gifts:


My loot! Except for the two t-shirts, which were actually gifts I gave.

A close-up of the books:

  • The Geek Manifesto by Mark Henderson and Unnatural Selection by Mira Hvistendahl, from my two favourite science book givers :D
  • Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt - yay!
  • Sonny’s House of Spies by George Ella Lyon - This has been on my wishlist for a good three years, so double yay!
  • A Mind of Its Own by Cordelia Fine - Cordelia Fine has another book! Why in the world have I not read it yet? Thank you for encouraging me to fix this, Santa :D
  • Olivia by Dorothy Strachey - a lgbtq classic, and another perfect contender for Long-Awaited Reads Month.
  • The Seas by Samantha Hunt and The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren: These two books arrived on Christmas Eve in a Book Depository package, which means the sender wasn’t identified. I know they’re a gift from a blogging friend, and I’m 99.9% sure I know who, but I’m just going to wait for her to step forward because it would be really embarrassing to be wrong :P Thank you, though! It was a lovely surprise, and I’m so looking forward to reading them.
  • Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste by Carl Wilson: as per Nick Hornby’s recommendation.

Also! The little stack on the left in this picture contains the American editions of the Avatar: The Last Airbender DVDs. Unlike the UK editions, which unfortunately have no extras whatsoever, these have lots of exclusive material – so yeah, very exciting gift :D

I’m very happy to report that my first Christmas away from home was a complete success. I confess I was a bit apprehensive even though I did my best to stay positive, especially because all through December I felt homesick and a little sad. But the cottage where M and I are staying is absolutely perfect (seriously, I want to live here forever), I managed to get all the Christmas food I was cooking just right, and all our efforts to create a sense of home paid off. And of course, there was also the fact that many of my friends went out of their ways to do something nice for me this Christmas because they knew I was going to be away from home. They know who they are, and hopefully also how much I appreciate them.

A few more Christmasy pictures below:


The reading material I brought with me, though not much reading got done so far.

 


Nom nom nom.

 


Chocolate fondue: a new Christmas tradition we’re definitely going to keep :D

 


The view from my window.

 


And the countryside around the cottage.

 

Again, I hope you’re all having a great holiday season – and if you’re off between Christmas and New Year’s, fingers crossed that you get to do lots of reading and relaxing. My blogging will be scarce until the end of the year, but I will be back at some point later this week with a list of highly anticipated 2013 releases and of course with my Year in Review post. See you then!

33 comments:

  1. aw these pictures are lovely and everything looks so cozy and bright! You got a lot of really great presents and your Christmas photos show someone who is truly loved. :) Happy Holidays, Ana!

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  2. Merry Boxing Day of Book Loot! I myself received two pie books. :D Happy New Year, too!

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  3. I'm impressed how much food you managed to get up in the end. Glad you had a lovely Christmas (and btw I also got Tell the Wolves...).

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  4. Glad you had a great Christmas! And, are those sheep outside the cottage?!?!? :p Pretty birds, too, and all the indoor photos look so cozy and yummy!

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  5. Amy: Thank you so much, dear Amy *hugs*

    Care: yay, pie books :D Happy New Year, Care!

    Jodie: I don't think I've ever cooked so fast in my life :P But everything tasted right and just like it does at home, which made me really happy - a small Christmas miracle, I guess :P And yay, book pressie twins!

    Hannah: Yep, there's sheep just outside the sitting room window, which is both awesome and strange :P And there are some lovely birds around here! We went for a stroll today on a nearby nature reserve that's really popular with bird enthusiasts. If only I were better at identifying them!

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  6. Oh Ana, this made me smile sooooo much! So much I had to go back and read it/look at the photos all again before commenting. I'm sorrier than ever that Rich and I didn't just crash your getaway though. :P I'm so so so so so so soooooo happy that you two are having such a lovely time!!!!
    *HUGE CHRISTMAS HUGS* *AND THEN SOME GOOD OLD I LOVE YOU HUGS TO FOLLOW THEM UP*

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  7. I love the look of your cottage and can see why you like it so much! I'm glad you had a wonderful Christmas!

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  8. So lovely! I am so glad you had a nice Christmas in spite of being away from home... sometimes the extra effort to takes to make an away-from-home Christmas extra-special really pays off.

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  9. Wow! The cottage and the scenery surrounding are just beautiful!!!! Looks like a great haul. Enjoy!!!

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  10. Merry Christmas Ana! What a lovely cottage and look at your presents! And the food you cooked looks delicious:)

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  11. Hope you had a great Christmas, Ana (it looks like a lovely cottage)!

    You look to have go some great books in there. (I bought myself a copy of Tell the Wolves a few weeks ago (entirely Chris' fault!) and and looking forward to starting it properly in the new year.

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  12. How lovely! I am so jealous that you spent Christmas in an adorable Christmas cottage - or is that just where you live ALL THE TIME? Either way, I am jealous.

    I read Tell the Wolves I'm Home and really enjoyed it, and I think you will, too. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - I am glad everything worked out so well for you on your first Christmas away form home :-)

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  13. How lovely! I am so jealous that you spent Christmas in an adorable Christmas cottage - or is that just where you live ALL THE TIME? Either way, I am jealous.

    I read Tell the Wolves I'm Home and really enjoyed it, and I think you will, too. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - I am glad everything worked out so well for you on your first Christmas away form home :-)

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  14. Amazing gifts you got! Loved the pictures, the view from your window is beautiful!

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  15. Thank you for sharing such lovely pictures! You've made everything nice & cozy for the holidays! And the food looks amazing! Love the gargoyle on the wall! Happy holidays!

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  16. I didn't get any bookish gifts. :( That looks like a very nice cottage!

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  17. Oh my God, Snow Fairy. I'm an enormous LUSH (with a tiny budget), so I only buy my shampoo and conditioner from them, but I smelled Snow Fairy for the first time this year and I was so tempted. It is the greatest.

    I'm sorry I don't have any bookish thoughts, other than that looks like an amazing haul, but now I'm just thinking of the smell of Snow Fairy. Mmm.

    The Christmas noms look delicious, and I love the idea of fondue. Eating strawberries in winter is just so decadent.

    Happy Christmas!

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  18. Debi: I so wish you had! There's a nature reserve just a few miles away that you'd both have loved. I shall e-mail you properly very soon, but in the meantime, thank you again for making my Christmas so much better *hugs*

    Kathy: We're leaving on Sunday, and seriously, I don't want it to ever come. New goal in life: to one day live in a place like this :P

    Daphne: Yes, definitely!

    Andi: I will :D Thank you!

    Sakura: I was very pleased with how it all turned out, especially since there were some things I'd never cooked on my own before :D

    Darren: Tell the Wolves is literally Chris' fault in my case, too :P Really looking forward to reading it!

    Aarti: Nope - I WISH I lived here all the time :P Tell the Wolves I'm Home does sound wonderful. Between you, Jenny and Chris I'm sure I'll love it. Thank you for the good wishes and likewise!

    Thalita: Thank you! This is really a gorgeous area; I'll have to come back in the Spring/Summer and do more outdoors exploring.

    Alexia561: Thank you! I thought the gargoyle outside the cottage was adorable too :D

    Tasha: Aw, I'm sorry to hear it. I hope you had a nice Christmas anyway, though!

    Clare: No sorry, it's nice to have someone to share my Lush excitement with :D My budget doesn't allow for more than the occasional bath bomb either, so I was over the moon with my mother sent me a box full of Lush stuff. Snow Fairy does smell wonderful, and there's some blackcurrent shower jelly in there that I'm just in love with. And agreed re: strawberries in winter - I'm usually a bit more mindful than this about not getting fruit from halfway across the world, but Christmas is all about being decadent :P

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  19. What a cozy place -- I just love it. And you certainly had a lovely Christmas in a beautiful place.

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  20. Yay for Christmas book hauls! I was able to buy sixteen books with the gift cards I received.

    I'm glad you had a nice holiday--the photos are really nice!

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  21. So glad you had such a wonderful Christmas! And what a view! Very nice book presents. I love your little crochet kitty too, so cute!

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  22. Wonderful pictures, Ana. The food looks delish and your presents are all lovely. Have a Happy New Year!

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  23. Wonderful photos - so comfy and Christmassy. And your scenery is gorgeous. Have a Happy New Year!

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  24. What a lovely cottage - perfect for Christmas! Your bookish loot is wonderful, too. I've heard nothing but praise for Tell the Wolves I'm Home.

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  25. Wonderful pictures! Is it okay that my main response to all this was to wish you'd hurry up and read Tell the Wolves I'm Home so you can write a review of it for me to enjoy? :p

    (Not really! No pressure! I just really, really think you will like it.)

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  26. Lovely pictures! Great to hear you had a nice Christmas. :) And what a nice pile of books you got! I've only read Olivia. It truly is a classic and well worth reading.

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  27. Sorry I am woefully late. I'm in another world right now. But Happy Holidays to you! It appears you were a very good girl this year...wow! And I have to tell you that I love your apartment. I just want to go there and curl up. :)

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  28. Merry Late Christmas, Ana. I am so delighted that everything turned out better than you had hoped. That is so good to hear. I'm so pleased and happy, and that your food turned out, and the cottage is dear to you already, makes is so special.

    I LOVE all the books you got, I'm about to do my post about my Christmas loot too. I have Nick's book now (in my loot) so I'll go read what he wrote about the book you got that he recommended. And then I'll go look up some of the other books you got too, since they look interesting! Have a wonderful time before New Year's, Ana, and thank you for sharing how good Christmas was for you. Many hugs, my friend.

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  29. Happy belated Christmas, Ana. And although we don't celebrate it here in the US, Happy Boxing Day. :-) The theme of your Christmas loot is pretty much the same as mine: books, chocolate, and DVDs. Enjoy!

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  30. It looks like you had a lovely Christmas -- beautiful pictures! Glad to see your wonderful bookish gifts... nobody gives me books anymore, too risky ;) But I did get some bookmarks and bookish gift cards, and I was able to give some books to others, so all is well! :)

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  31. Looks like you had a lovely Christmas!

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  32. Aw, it looks like your Christmas at the cottage couldn't have been any lovelier - or more picturesque. Happy belated Christmas & New Year :)

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  33. I just love your photos, Ana! Looks like you got a lot of great bookish presents. Tell the Wolves I'm Home is really good :)

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.