Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Hope Santa Brings

20 Dec

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme run by The Broke and the Bookish. My list is cheating a little bit because I didn’t tell any concerned parties about these books, so I have no hopes of Santa bringing any of these. However! I DID ask for gift cards to Powell’s, so it is entirely possible that Santa may bring me some of these books, although indirectly. My random reading interests will be on full display here.

Louisa May Alcott’s Christmas Treasury: I love Christmas. Like, a lot. I like what it represents, I love all the traditions, I like all the wintry goodness, I love the memories. Hence, I like Christmas books. I wasn’t a huge Little Women fan, but this treasury of her Christmas-themed short stories appeals to my love for American classical literature. I plan to read this with my cranky cat and some hot chocolate.

The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss: Let me explain this one a little bit. Tim Ferriss has a rather interesting blog about, well, tons of stuff. I read it when I need inspiration for work issues, or just a dose of confidence in general. Ferriss wrote the popular 4-Hour Work Week, and this is the follow-up aimed at more personal issues, including health. My workouts have been in a slump lately, and I could use some new ideas.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness: I need something to tide me over until Susannah Clarke decides to publish a follow-up to Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. This book involves a library (squee!), an alchemical manual, a heroine coming into her own, and magic. Done and done.

Red Glove by Holly Black: Having just finished the first book in this series, White Cat, I am extra excited to revisit the world of curse workers. Red Glove continues Cassel’s story, including his complicated relationship with Lila, who has been cursed into loving him, the death of his older brother, and the mob’s unhealthy interest in him.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin: I’d heard this book’s praises sung all over the blogosphere, but it was Jemisin’s Smugglivus guest post that clinched it for me. Her recommendations were spot on, and everything she described, I wanted HARD. If she can do that with just a book recommendation, I’m anxious to see what she can do with a whole book.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: This one is a stretch for me, but I know a lot of people love Patrick Ness. His Chaos Walking trilogy is beloved, but it always seemed a bit too dark for me – when I read YA, usually I like to keep it in the light-hearted realm. Apparently A Monster Calls deals with grief and loss, and I feel like I’m sufficiently emotionally stable right now to handle the sobbing. 🙂

The Pleasures of Reading by Alan Jacobs: Jacobs is a nonfiction writer who seems to specialize in theology and morality (how’s that for light-hearted?). This deviation into the role of reading in a person’s life celebrates the importance of reading for pleasure, regardless of the subject matter. I do so love to read, and books about books is a favorite subgenre of mine.

In for a Penny by Rose Lerner: Rose Lerner is a new-to-me author of historical romance – I’ve heard both this book and her A Lily Among Thorns praised to the heavens. I’m going with this one because it involves a marriage of convenience slowing evolving into a real relationship, which I don’t come across too much in romance.

Alcestis by Katharine Beutner: This retelling of the Greek myth delves into Alcestis’ reasoning for agreeing to go to the Underworld in the place of her husband. Traditionally told to highlight the ideal wife who sacrifices herself for her husband, Beutner instead makes Alcestis a woman out to find her dead sister in the Underworld.

Mrs. Tim by D.E. Stevenson: Man, this is a hard author to find. She writes the quintessential comfort book (for me, at least), focusing on pre-WWII life in Scotland and England. Bloomsbury has recently reissued a Mrs. Tim book (there are apparently four), and hopefully that will make this series more easy to come by.

10 Responses to “Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Hope Santa Brings”

  1. Ingrid December 20, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    I would love to read The Pleasures of Reading! I hope you get all these books for Christmas! 🙂

    • Amanda December 20, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

      Thanks Ingrid! I hope my Christmas gift cards are sufficient. 🙂

  2. Laura December 20, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    Interesting list. I haven’t read any of the books on your list, although I did start Discovery of Witches on audio and liked it, but I had to return it to the library before I could finish. Happy holidays and I hope you get some great books!

    • Amanda December 20, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

      Thanks Laura! I’ve seen Discovery of Witches floating around everywhere – it’s like it’s begging me to read it!

  3. Rebecca December 21, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    I’ve see Discovery of Witches everywhere, too. That one was hard-core pumped by the publishing house. I want to pick that one up.

    I’ve read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (she was a Number One Novels author, along with Katharine Beutner), and I really liked it, but for some reason that I can’t pinpoint, I’ve had no urge to pick up the sequel. However, when I followed the link you gave and saw that she’d started something in a different series, I got excited. It may be my current mood, but stories about gods aren’t that appealing to me right now, so it must have been a character turn-off (despite liking the book).

    I read through the majority of 4-Hour Body. It’s got some interesting things in it. Let me know what you think about the cat barf exercises. I need to get back into doing those!

    • Amanda December 22, 2011 at 8:20 am #

      Sometimes I balk if I feel like a book is being pushed down my throat by a blog tour or publishing push, but Discovery of Witches really does look right up my alley.

      I’d heard Hundred Thousand Kingdoms recommended a bunch, but honestly wasn’t too interested until I read her post at Book Smugglers. I liked her passion and humor, and now that I know that you liked it as well, I’m so in.

      Oh dear god, cat barf excercises? I’m scared….but intrigued. 🙂

  4. Rebecca December 21, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    I just spent way too long over at The Book Smugglers reading all the best-of posts. It’s addictive to see what people put at the tops of their lists, especially when they give great reviews to books that were so-so for me or straight-up dislike books that I LOVED. So bizarre. Also, I really want to make a cool author photo like Lev AC Rosen ( (He’s another NON author, but his publicist handled EVERYTHING. I guess when you’ve got one of the publishing house’s top titles of the year, you get special treatment. That only happened with a few of the authors I interviewed.)

    • Amanda December 22, 2011 at 8:21 am #

      Man, I forget you have all this insider knowledge because of NON! You end up interviewing so many of the authors I like. This is my obsession with book blogs: I LOVE to hear what other people like and dislike about different books. It’s so fascinating what works for some people but not with others.

      I giggled at that picture of Lev AC Rosen too. Tres cool.

  5. Rebecca December 22, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    I think you should give us your top ten of 2011. What were the best books you read this year?

    • Amanda December 22, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

      Ooh, I hadn’t thought of that! Maybe I’ll work on that for next week…

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