10 Blind Dates: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

10 Blind Dates by Ashley ElstonWhen her parents decide to spend Christmas with Sophie’s very pregnant older sister, Sophie plans to stay behind for some quality time with her long-term boyfriend Griffin.

Unfortunately, Griffin isn’t as excited about this plan as Sophie had hoped. Heartbroken, she retreats to her grandparents’ house where her nonna proposes a radical plan to help Sophie get over the sudden breakup: For the next ten days Sophie’s entire extended family can sign up to set her up on blind dates.

Sophie doesn’t know what to expect from the dates, especially with her boisterous relatives involved, but it soon becomes obvious that Nonna’s crazy plan might be the perfect way to avoid wallowing for her entire vacation.

With dates including an elite underground party, a living nativity, and a drive through that does not bear further mention, Sophie’s in for a whirlwind of excitement and maybe even some fun with her estranged cousins.

But with Griffin suddenly keen to win Sophie back, a boy who is probably not available, plus the suspense of waiting for her baby niece to arrive, Sophie will need more than her family’s support to figure out what really matters this holiday season in 10 Blind Dates (2019) by Ashley Elston.

Find it on Bookshop.

10 Blind Dates is a standalone contemporary set over the course of Sophie’s hectic winter break with chapters for each day (and date). Sophie is an approachable, authentic narrator who handles (almost) everything her family throws with a lot of humor and grace.

While she’s slow to realize her breakup might not be the end of the world, Sophie’s growth throughout the novel is obvious as she begins to understand her own role in the awkward space that has grown between herself and her cousins and their childhood friend. Even better, Sophie starts to realize her priorities need to shift and puts in the work to make some necessary changes.

10 Blind Dates is as funny as it is festive. A delightfully entertaining novel filled with memorable, lively characters and lots of seasonal shenanigans. Recommended for anyone in search of a sweet holiday romance that will leave them smiling.

Possible Pairings: Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway; 29 Dates by Melissa de la Cruz; Snow in Love by Melissa de la Cruz, Aimee Friedman, Nic Stone, Kasie West; I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo; Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks; Everything All at Once by Katrina Leno; Save the Date by Morgan Matson; My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins; My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma; Recommended For You by Laura Silverman; This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura

*An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher for review consideration at BookExpo 2019*

Snow in Love: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

cover art for Snow in Love by Melissa de la Crus, Aimee Friedman, Nic Stone, Kasie WestSnow in Love (2018) collects four holiday stories for the first time. Find it on Bookshop.

“Snow and Mistletoe” by Kasie West: Stranded at the airport without a car, Amalie finds unlikely help from a former classmate, Sawyer, who offers Amalie a ride when she needs it most. Can one detour filled road trip, numerous pit stops, a secret crush, and special gifts lead from a snowy mess to new beginnings? You’ll have to read more to find out but I’ll tell you that this story was a banter filled delight.

“Working in a Winter Wonderland” by Aimee Friedman: If Maxine can save up for the perfect party dress, she knows that everything else will fall into place–including finally catching the eye of her crush. There’s only one problem: The only job Maxine can find on short notice is working as an elf in a department store’s holiday department. This story was a lot of fun. Maxine is Jewish and completely overwhelmed by the way Christmas everything seems to take over once December rolls around. After years of being a wallflower, Maxine is ready to make some changes and I love that while she gets everything she wants, none of it is quite what she expects.

“The Magi’s Gifts” by Melissa de la Cruz: Kelsey and Brenden are still figuring out what it means to be in a relationship over the holidays. As both of them try to find the perfect holiday gift they realize that showing someone how much you love them sometimes means sacrificing what you love most. This retelling of O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi” is one of the shortest stories in the collection. It’s an interesting spin on a familiar tale but some of the details never quite come together.

“Grounded” by Nic Stone: Leigh is more than ready to spend the holidays on a beach with her family. The problem? She’s stranded at the airport during a snowstorm. And so is her childhood friend Harper. Leigh fell hard for Harper when she was fourteen but not knowing if Harper would reciprocate (or if Harper even liked girls), Leigh tried to shut that down. Now as she leads Harper on a scavenger hunt through the airport before they reconnect, Leigh has to decide if now is the time to take a leap or play it safe. Nic Stone is one of the best contemporary voices around right now. This story is snappy, sweet, and a really smart examination of intersectionality (Leigh and Harper are both black and Leigh is also Jewish) and being true to yourself. And did I mention it was also a sweet romance?

Snow in Love is a effervescent collection of stories sure to leave you smiling–a perfect choice to get you in the holiday spirit at any time of year.

Possible Pairings: Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love edited by Elsie Chapman; Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan; 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston; To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han; Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle; My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins; Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks; Recommended For You by Laura Silverman

*An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher for review consideration*

My True Love Gave to Me: A (Festive!) Chick Lit Wednesday Review

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie PerkinsOnly in a short story anthology can organization, elves, the holiday season, and some other things besides come together to create a delightfully seasonal assortment of stories. My True Love Gave to Me (2014), edited by Stephanie Perkins, brings together YA authors at the top of their game in this festive collection of romantic stories set during the best time of year.

Find it on Bookshop.

If you enjoy Christmas, especially the decorating and the food look no further than Stephanie Perkins’ “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown” for a story that combines the wonders of home organization with a first encounter that might lead to something more. “Welcome to Christmas, CA” by Kiersten White is a sentimental story about finding home with some delectable food thrown in to taste.

Not a fan of Christmas? That’s okay too. “Midnights” by Rainbow Rowell is a heartfelt New Years’ story while “Krampuslauf” by Holly Black and “The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor are fantasies set in December without being Christmas specific. Although Kelly Link centers her story around annual Christmas parties, “The Lady and the Fox” is more a Tam Lin style story than a specifically holiday story.

Don’t celebrate Christmas? Gayle Forman’s “What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?” and David Levithan’s “Your Temporary Santa” both offer a look at the season from a Jewish perspective.

Humor is also prevalent in many of these stories, none more so than “Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus” by Myra McEntire.

Themes of family are just as prevalent in this collection as romance which can be seen in “Angels in the Snow” by Matt de la Pena and Ally Carter’s “Star of Bethlehem” both of which offer very different (but true) takes on what it means to find or just think about the importance of family over the holiday season.

The story I have thought about most since finishing this story is by Jenny Han. “Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me” offers a tantalizing look at what life might be like on the North Pole for Santa’s daughter in a story that I can only hope will one day become a full-length novel.

Considering the range of authors and writing styles in this anthology, My True Love Gave to Me is a stunningly solid collection with a high quality of writing that spans every genre and story presented. This is a delightfully festive (and often secular) assortment of stories with something that will appeal to everyone. Perkins has done an admirable job of editing and organizing this anthology where whole exceeds the sum of its parts and is sure to leave every reader with a smile on their face.

(Careful readers may also want to examine the cover to find their favorite couple on the ice rink. The ARC I read also promises interior illustrations which I can’t wait to see.)

Possible Pairings: Ex-Mas by Kate Brian, Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love edited by Elsie Chapman; Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan; Snow in Love by Melissa de la Cruz, Aimee Friedman, Nic Stone, Kasie West; 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston; To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han; Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones; Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle; Recommended For You by Laura Silverman; Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford

Tour de Christmas 2012: In which I (belatedly) share photos of NYC Holiday displays

[It took an entire year to get these posts up on the blog but finally, finally I can say my 2012 Tour de Christmas post is up.]

I love Christmas and in recent years I’ve been working on making my own traditions. That has meant hosting a cookie swap party every year. It also means something I call Tour de Christmas which is a one-day blitz of all of the likely NYC tourist destinations in Manhattan including holiday trees and windows.

My friend Nicole (AKA The Book Bandit) joined me once again for this second annual Tour de Christmas.

This year Nicole and I started at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where we headed to the Renaissance wing to see the museum’s Angel Tree.

The tree arguably looks the same every year but the landscape beneath the tree seemed especially intricate this year. Also, there was an elephant:

And of course photos with both myself (left) and Nicole (right) to prove we were actually there:

After that we saw a classy gingerbread house in a store window by FAO Schwarz before heading over to Bergdorf Goodman:

Bergdorf’s 2012 windows theme was the BG Follies of 2012 with each window comprising a different act. I always love Bergdorf’s windows but some of these were my favorites not just for 2012 but ever.

Act VIII featured two handsome dancers–possibly doing a tango?

Act VII had a walrus tamer (or perhaps a trainer):

My personal favorite, ACT IV had a dog trainer:

Honestly I took so many pictures at Bergdorf that this post would be a mile long if I shared all of them so consider these the highlights (I link to all of my photos at the end of this post if you’re into that kind of thing).

Here’s Nicole with a different BG window called “By Request”

And here I am with the “Naughty or Nice” window (I was obviously nice!)

We then passed Bulgari’s strange diamond snake on our way to Tiffany’s (only to see the windows, alas).

Tiffany’s again did cute little miniature windows this time with room interiors featuring jewelry, decorations and that signature Tiffany blue.

After that it was a short walk down to Rockefeller Center. We passed a few holiday displays on the way:

Including a lego Christmas window just begging to be photographed!

Until finally we came face to trunk with the Rockefeller Center Tree.

And took some obligatory quasi holiday card shots like this one:

We will leave Rockefeller Center with a final shot of the tree that I took risking life and limb (and getting yelled at by the Center’s diligent security guards):

Then we did the Lord & Taylor windows which were okay. Unfortunately the store sets suck a high standard with their displays that this year’s windows seemed weak by comparison.

And then the Macy’s windows which were so jumbled that even now I’m still not sure what I saw. Their displays have taken a significant dip since the designers started relying so heavily on smart screen technology.

And then after the Macy’s window displays it was truly the end of the Tour de Christmas 2012.

 

 

I hope this post finds  everyone in good health and high spirits whether you celebrate Christmas or a different holiday entirely (or perhaps even several at once). Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you, dear readers.

If you would like to see all of my photos from the Tour de Christmas 2011, you can find them on my website.

In which I get some lovely gifts and promise some others.

It may not be Christmas yet but I’ve already gotten some early gifts that I get to share here on the blog.

First, I partipated in Reddit’s  secret santa gift exchange which was interesting as it also introduced me to Reddit. (I understand about 30% of it as this point I think.)

I have no idea who my santa was BUT I have gotten this delightful print:

reddit print gift

Since you, dear readers, are my people most of you will already recognize this print for what it is: The Police Call Box from Dr. Who printed on a dictionary page. I love dictionary page prints. And I’m fond of the call box in Dr. Who. (I like Dr. Who but I stopped watching after Donna Noble’s departure because OMG DONNA NOBLE.)

This year I also participated in the Cold Nights and Warm Books holiday swap which was a blast. I had so much fun putting together my gift and got a very lovely gift myself. Thank you so much to Enna at Squeaky Books and Emily at Emily’s Reading Room for putting this together.

Then, of course, thank you to Mariah at A Reader’s Adventure for my wonderful gift!

(And of course read on for pictures!)

2012swap1

Since this was a book swap, books are to be expected. Mariah was very generous sending not only Book of a Thousand Days and The Last Dragonslayer (both of which I’m looking forward to reading) but also pre-ordering Paper Valentine for me!

2012swap2

Then I also got a ton of cool postcard and bookmarks (including a signed one for The Archived, yay!), two rubber bracelets (the green one is for Beautiful Redemption and I’m wearing it right now), and some adorable penguin cookies.

Thanks again Mariah!

Also, in a very serendipitous turn of events, my swap package from the Book Blogger Holiday Swap came the same day I was exchanging gifts with Nicole of the Book Bandit’s blog. I say serendipitous because that swap did not run quite as smoothly this year and also because for that swap I was giving gifts to Nicole, my real life friend as regular readers might know. How crazy is all of that timing and matching!?

Thank you so much to Steph of The Fake Steph for my lovely gifts. She sent me a beautiful, soft, handmade purple scarf that is as warm and comfy as it looks, a copy of Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel, which I get more excited about every time I see it, and a chocolate orange which I am very eager to try.

swap2012b

Thanks again Steph!

Now for the gifts I’m promising:

My blog is getting very close to 100,000 views. When that happens I’m going to be doing a couple of things:

First: As always I will be giving away books. This includes an ARC of Prodigy, a signed ARC of The Raven Boys and some other cool books that you will definitely want.

Second: I over-estimated my holiday swap gifts so I have two wrapped mystery books to give away as part of the 100k celebration. ALSO if you happen to visit the blog and catch the stat counter at 100,000 and send me a screen shot–that’s an auto-win. Instant mystery book. Currently the blog is hovering near 96,450 views so I’m hoping to hit 100k in February. (January would be more exciting but I don’t want to over-reach.)

So there you have it! Thank you again so, so much to my lovely gift givers. I hope you all get equally lovely things this holiday season.

Cold Nights and Warm Books Holiday Book Swap

Well, dear readers, it’s that time again. I’m excited to be part of the

This is a great opportunity to give some books to people who share your interests, and GET some books to add to your library! But it only works if lots of people sign. Up. You can sign up either at Emily’s blog or Enna’s blog. Sign ups are open until November 22nd.

Tour de Christmas 2011: In which I share photos (and videos!) of NYC Holiday displays

The holiday season is my favorite time of the year. Today, Christmas Eve, is arguably one of my favorite days of the entire year including other holidays and my own birthday (Christmas day is probably my favorite). One of the best things about the holiday season is spreading good cheer and giving gifts.

In the spirit of giving, I have some fun things to share in this blog post.

Earlier this month my friend Nicole (AKA The Book Bandit) and I took a day to look at what I deemed all of the noteworthy holiday trees and window displays to be had in Manhattan. There were multiple modes of transportation, maps, and itineraries involved but the end result was a really fun slice of holiday cheer in something I’m calling the Tour de Christmas. I fully expect to make the Tour de Christmas an annual part of my holiday activity.

And, now, I also plan on sharing some of the fun with you, dear readers.

To begin the Tour we first had to get to 81st Street.

American Museum of Natural History: Origami Tree

After a trip through the maze-like lower level and first floor of the museum, Nicole and I found the giant canoe that shares space with the museum’s origami tree during the holiday season. The tree is filled with origami animals every year (previously it had just been cranes but this year there was a whole assortment of animals and even key pieces from museum exhibits).

Even the base of the tree had some fun origami art:

An important part of the Tour de Christmas is documenting the sights as well as posing with them.

After leaving the Museum of Natural History we moved crosstown through Central Park to

The Metropolitan Museum: Angel Tree

The Met’s tree is enormous and has point of place in the museum’s Renaissance Wing for the entire holiday. The tree is well-known for its beautiful 18th Century angel ornaments as well as the creche that surrounds the base of the tree.

Because the tree is in a section of the museum that is always kept dark to preserve the historic items on display (and perhaps because much of the Met’s gift shop items around this time of year document the tree), photography is not allowed. I, however, may or may not have very carefully ignored that rule to take a very quick shot of the tree with my iPhone.

Upon leaving the Met this year’s Tour was a straight shot down Fifth Avenue.

FAO Schwarz: Fifth Avenue at 58th Street

FAO is fun most times of year but they did have a special Lionel Train display set up for Christmas:

Conveniently located directly across the street from FAO is Bergdorf Goodman.

Bergdorf Goodman: Fifth Avenue at 58th Street

While I have never stepped inside Bergdorf, I make it a point to check out their holiday windows annually. Every year the store has a different theme and creates stunning, artistic windows in the spirit of that theme. This year’s theme was Carnival of the Animals. I took about a million pictures of theses windows because they were all so fantastic but here are some of my favorites:

This one (above) was made entirely of paper and features a Boston Terrier in the lower left.

I really loved both of their “all white” windows this year.

This one (above) has lots of metal items. It felt very steampunk to me with the flapper-esque mannequin and coppery tones.

One of Bergdorf’s last window’s didn’t relate directly to the others (sometimes with smaller or sides street windows the store does something slightly different). I’d be hardpressed to pick any one as my favorite but I really enjoyed this tall lady and her giraffe:

Originally Bergdorf was the last stop until Rockefeller Center at 50th Street. But then something caught our eyes across the street.

Tiffany & Co: Fifth Avenue at 57th Street

Although the actual windows were tiny, Tiffany went all out with a carousel theme in their windows that even extended to the exterior of the store. Inside each carousel-like marquis was a window display (several of which were animated) bordered with mirrors.

If you are so inclined, you can also watch my recording of the Tiffany windows to see what they look like animated. (This adventure was my first ever experiment with making and editing videos so you’ve been warned!)

After Tiffany’s it was a quick trip down Fifth Avenue, past the Cartier building wrapped up in its famous bow, to get to our next stop.

Rockefeller Center: Fifth Avenue at 50th Street

We took about a million pictures of New York’s most famous tree because it was really exciting to be there aside from being quite good looking this year. But really it just takes one to see the magic of the place:

And, because I can, one more view of the plaza facing away from the tree which proved to be an excellent spot to pose for photos. (We had to wait about ten minutes for our turn.)

Having photographed the Rockefeller Center Tree from every possible angel numerous times, we were ready for to cross the street.

Saks Fifth Avenue: Fifth Avenue at 49th Street

Except for this one, sad, photo the Saks windows were actually moving too fast to photograph with any degree of quality. I did, however, make a video of all of the Saks Christmas windows to document their frenetic animation.

After that it was time to head farther down to the next stop on the Tour de Christmas.

Lord & Taylor: Fifth Avenue at 38th Street

Fun Fact: Lord & Taylor is the only store in New York City (at least the only one that does holiday windows–maybe the only one period) that has moveable windows. Instead of having to crawl inside the displays to install the sets and figures, Lord & Taylor window designers can lower the windows into the basement of the store to install the windows. For this reason, and perhaps because the designers are awesome, Lord & Taylor always has really beautiful, well-realized windows. This year was no exception.

Each of the windows looked at what Christmas was made of (as seen by children whose drawings framed each animated window display):

By this point I was finally getting the hang of my video camera. So you are welcome to view my video of the Lord & Taylor Christmas windows.

Lord & Taylor was the penultimate stop on the inaugural Tour de Christmas. For anyone who has ever seen Miracle on 34th Street, the Tour’s last stop will probably not be a surprise.

Macy’s: Herald Square

Macy’s windows are sometimes wonderful and sometimes just bizarre. This year, happily, they were delightful. The windows were bright and sparkly (not to mention a little bit steampunk!) and told a clever story of the journey ornaments take.

As you can probably imagine, I also made a video of these windows for your viewing pleasure.

With all of the trees documented, and all of the windows viewed, there was nothing left to do but call it a day and declare my first ever Tour de Christmas a success.

I hope this post finds  everyone in good health and high spirits whether you celebrate Christmas or a different holiday entirely (or perhaps even several at once). Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you, dear readers.

If you would like to see all of my photos from the Tour de Christmas 2011, you can find them on my website.

For your convenience here, again, are the video links:

Tiffany’s 2011 Holiday Windows

Saks’ 2011 Holiday Windows

Lord & Taylor’s 2011 Holiday Windows

Macy’s 2011 Holiday Windows

Dash and Lily Day: A Book Adventure

I had big plans for the holiday season this year. Part of those plans included planning and hosting my first ever Cookie Swap (which went really well–it was the first Sunday in December and we’re finally out of cookies!). Another part included something that quickly came to be known as Dash and Lily Day.

This year my friend The Book Bandit and I read Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. We both really loved the characters and the story. Even more fun, the book takes place at Christmas right here in New York City.

One of the cool things about living in New York is that a lot of books are set here. This year, The Book Bandit (Nicole) and I decided to make the most of that. Earlier this month we picked a Sunday to recreate some of the more memorable moments from Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares if not in perfect accuracy at least in perfect alignment with the spirit of the book.

Being a book-centric blog, I thought it would be fun to share the itinerary for the day for any curious readers or any New Yorkers who might want to do something similar:

With festive clothes and cameras in tow, we began where the book started–The Strand in Union Square.

The Strand

While we did not find any girls wearing Majorette boots or surly boys checking up on their favorite book, we did spot the book that inspired our adventure.

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares book

After The Strand we started to modify the itinerary on the fly.

First stop: the Holiday Market at Union Square to admire all the festive things for sale (because you know Lily would be all over that).

Photo taken by The Book Bandit (Nicole)

Initially after browsing Union Square, we planned on stopping at Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man.

We did get close enough to take pictures in front of it.

(That’s Nicole on the left and me on the right.)

But we couldn’t even get near an actual table.

So we did what any intrepid traveler would. We went up to Times Square to catch a movie. Not just any movie, of course, but Hugo in 3D.

Photo taken by The Book Bandit (Nicole)

While the movie was much longer than either of us expected (causing a 3D-induced headache for me), it was a lot of fun. I sorely missed the voice over narrative structure of the book as well as some of the more memorable illustrations from Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret but overall the movie was a lot of fun. One of the coolest things was seeing the silent films that play such an important role in the story being played out as actual films instead of as still shots. Definitely a must-see for fans of the book and film enthusiasts.

I’m still sorely disappointed that the Pixar movie about office supplies in Dash and Lily is not a real movie, but Hugo more than made up for it.

Our next stop was the Build-a-Bear store to . . . build bears. (Dash has Lily make a puppet in the book so this seemed like the obvious, and more affordable, alternative.)

At first it was difficult to make the right choices, but as often happens, the right bears found us.

Nicole made a blue bear and named her Lily (for obvious reasons) while I made a brown bear and named her Clarice (because Nicole and I decided it really was the most festive name choice–you know, because of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.)


(Lily and Clarice: BBF–Bestie Bears Forever)

Conveniently located right next to Build-a-Bear, Nicole and I found Little Miss Matched–a delightful store that sells socks in sets of three. Because they are designed to be worn without matching. What could be better? Honestly, very little. We enjoyed picking out socks and admiring some of the sillier hats (I actually bought that pink one–it’s super comfy).

We had bigger plans after building bears and buying socks. A ceremonial trip to FAO Schwarz uptown. A pilgrimage to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn to admire the Christmas lights.

Unfortunately in addition to being a long, activity-filled day, Dash and Lily Day was also one of the coldest days of the winter season (which is really saying something since it’s only been serious winter weather for about a week all told). Defeated by fatigue and the increasingly cold night air, we packed it in with our bears and our socks before finishing Dash and Lily Day with a nice diner dinner.

But fear not, I more than made up for the lack of Christmas-decoration-viewing with my Festivity-packed itinerary for the Tour de Christmas. But that, dear readers, is a story for another blog post. Soon.

Ho-Ho-Holiday Swap: In which I present my . . . presents

I haven’t been that great with non-review posts (or tweets to be honest) BUT I have been fully entrenched in some good old fashioned Holiday Cheer. One relatively new tradition for me has been participating in the Book Blogger Holiday Swap each year.

I am happy to say I have on good authority that my gifts were well-received and I am also happy to say here that I’m simply delighted by the gifts I received as part of this year’s swap from Christi the Teen Librarian.

I’m trying to get back into taking pictures again so I submit for your enjoyment some photos of my swap gifts.  (Now might also be a good time to mention I still love getting mail, even as an adult, so I was very excited to not just see a box for me but a BIG box when this package arrived.) Inside the box I found a festive Santa gift bag:

Inside the bag I found many festively wrapped gifts:

And inside all of those wrapped packages I found . . .

  • An Eeyore Christmas Card (Eeyore and Tigger are my favorites from Winnie the Pooh!)
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas book and tree kit (I have a mini collection of mini books)
  • A glittery jingle bell Christmas tree (which was immediately put into a place of honor among our other Christmas decorations–it fits right in)
  • Not one but two fabulous pairs of seasonal socks (I only wear socks with fun designs now and I was looking to fill a void for Christmas themed socks so I was really excited about these)
  • A beautiful initial bookmark (it doesn’t show up super well in the photo but trust me, it’s really cool)
  • And, of course I got books. Because it’s a book blogger holiday swap and that’s how we roll. Now I have a shiny arc of How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr and an even shinier copy of Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (which I am SO excited to read because I loved Anna and the French Kiss).

Thanks again for all of the lovely gifts Christi!

I end this post that everyone receives equally lovely gifts from their friends and family (and secret santas!) this holiday season.

Book Blogger Holiday Swap is back

Once again it is time for the Book Bloggers Holiday Swap and I’m excited to sign up for my second year. The Swap is open to any and all active book bloggers, posting a minimum of 5 times in the last month, and those who have completed prior swap commitments are welcome to participate.

It’s a lot of fun so if you’re a book blogger I highly urge you to sign up and get in on the action!

But be sure to hurry because sign ups close November 11, 2011.