In that spirit, I thought I'd share with you all the books I have bought for others this Christmas. Kind of like a reverse In My Mailbox, if you will.
For my eleven-year-old niece:
Switched (My Sister The Vampire, #1) - Sienna Mercer
Summary from Goodreads: When Olivia Abbott moves to town, she's excited to join the cheerleading team and make new friends. Then she meets Ivy Vega. At first, Ivy, pale and dressed all in black, looks like Olivia's opposite. Then the girls look beyond the glittery pink blush and thick black eyeliner to discover they're identical—identical twins!
Olivia and Ivy are brimming with plans to switch places and pull every twin trick in the book. But Olivia soon discovers that she and Ivy aren't exactly the same. Ivy's a vampire. And she's not the only one in town.
Seriously, how cute does this book sound? The fact is, my niece would have us believe she is not a big reader. And yet somehow, all the Jacqueline Wilson titles have mysteriously disappeared from the bookcase in my old bedroom. This is heartening to me. She reads!
Alas, she does not read sci-fi or fantasy. She also professes to not like scary books. Gasp! We can't have that. (Yes, I know I could leave her alone to form her own literary tastes, but I don't wanna.) So, I have bought her a middle-grade type book that basically looks like pretty awesome tween chicklit laced with... vampires. Yay for vampires!
For my sister:
My Love Lies Bleeding - Alyxandra Harvey
Summary from Goodreads: The Blakes are rather different to your usual neighbours. They are vampires and some of the members of the family date back to the twelfth century. One of the children, Solange, is the only born female vampire known and, as such, she poses a direct threat to the vampire queen. Her best friend Lucy is human, and when Solange is kidnapped Lucy and Solange's brother, Nicholas, set out to save her. Lucy soon discovers that she would like to be more than just friends with Nicholas. But how does one go about dating a vampire? Meanwhile, Solange finds an unlikely ally in Kieran, a vampire slayer on the hunt for his father's killer.
Like I said, yay for vampires. I regularly check the shelves of my local bookstore for titles that have magically appeared ahead of the publication date. This happens a lot, but still, it always feels like a little miracle in itself. So you can imagine my joy to spot my recent WoW pick, My Love Lies Bleeding - a.k.a. Hearts at Stake for those of us of the American persuasion - a whole two weeks earlier than I was expecting.
My sister Becky reads a lot of YA, mostly because she gets my hand-me-downs. (Sad but true: as a youngest child, she got used to this situation early in life.) She's become someone whose opinion I would trust on books. You know, if I hadn't already read them. I'm taking a risk in gifting her a book I haven't read myself yet, but it's a calculated risk because this one sounds so good.
Okay, I confess: I bought myself a copy of this one too. I couldn't resist.
For my mum:
The Behaviour of Moths - Poppy Adams
Summary from Goodreads: From her lookout in the crumbling mansion that was her childhood home, Ginny watches and waits for her younger sister to arrive. Vivien has not set foot in the house since she left nearly fifty years ago; the reclusive Ginny has rarely ventured out, retreating into the precise routines that define her days, carrying on her father’s solitary work studying moths. As the sisters revisit their shared past, they realize that their recollections differ in essential and unsettling ways. Before long, the deeply buried resentments that have shaped both their lives rise to the surface, and Vivien’s presence threatens to disrupt Ginny’s carefully ordered world. Told in Ginny’s unforgettable voice, this subtle and chilling debut novel tells an extraordinary story of how families are capable of undoing themselves—especially in the name of love.
Moral of this story? A book is a great gift for my mum. As long as it is accompanied by a receipt.
For my other half:
Zen and the Art of Running - Larry Shapiro
Summary by me: This book is about running. That is all.
I'm married to a runner. Yes, that's right, somebody who runs by choice. And - get this! - would rather read a book about running than The Hunger Games. In this way, we are a mystery to each other. And that is quite probably a good thing.
As I write this, it's five minutes past midnight on Christmas day here in the UK. I saw over on Rhiannon's blog that she was sharing her Christmas menu, and it sounded delicious. Mine is very much more British, and I expect to gain weight. In fact, I will be disappointed if I don't.
Starter: Er, starter? By this point I'll have eaten the killer breakfast known as the 'full English' (bacon, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, toast) and my own body weight in Quality Street chocolates. There will be no starter. Unless you count Champagne. Which maybe I do.
Main course: Turkey and stuffing, bread sauce, honey roast parsnips, brussels sprouts, carrots, the best roast potatoes in the Northern Hemisphere, gravy, and more Champagne.
Pudding: Seriously, I despise the traditional Christmas pudding. It's like 10 percent tar, 90 percent something-you'd-skim-off-a-pond. Ewww. So we eat a chocolate pudding in the shape of a Christmas pudding. Genius, huh? Except we never do. Because by then we are full from breakfast and the main course.
So... what did you all not get in your mailbox this Friday? And more importantly, what did you eat?
Merry Christmas folks!