In My Mailbox #40 – Birthday Edition!

So I’ve been a bad person lately – all these people sent me lovely, thoughtful birthday presents and cards and I couldn’t be arsed to thank them in a blog post. Well, no. It’s true that I couldn’t be bothered, but I’m in the middle of exams that I didn’t know I had to sit until recently and I’m struggling with a range of health problems from the merely inconvenient to the downright humiliating.
Add to that a mild dose of depression (although whether chemical or circumstantial, I haven’t figured out yet) and uhh… you don’t get a blog post.
To all those people who sent me nice things and got a mumbled text/Tweet in response – I’m sorry. I really did appreciate everything you did for me. I look at that pile of goodies and it makes me smile that I have friends online who actually know me better than most of the friends I have in the ‘real’ world. Thank you for putting so much effort in.
And I’m crying.

Anyway, this is what I got for my birthday.

Ellie, from Musings of a Bookshop Girl, sent me the most thoughtful package ever. It was all neatly wrapped up, with a card and an actual non-book present! She’d bought The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick (and the DVD to match!) and Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Food Critic by Ruth Reichl, which is fitting because I think I found out about it via Ellie’s wishlist in the first place!

The heart-shaped plaque in the image above was an Ellie-present as well. Two books, a DVD and a shoe related present. That girl knows me well!

For the Ninja Book Swap last month, Laura from Devouring Texts actually hand-crafted me an owl that was reading a copy of Pride and Prejudice. I’d show you a picture if I wasn’t typing this at the Law School. That should give you an idea of who this girl is – someone that would sit outside in the horrible Summer heatwave, stitching together tiny bits of fabric as a present.

No owl for my birthday, but she did send me two books! She must have delved quite deep into my wishlist because Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist was very, very close to the bottom. I love getting books that I’d forgotten about completely – makes it even more of a surprise when I open the package! 

She also bought Relish by Lucy Knisley. Her last graphic novel-y thing, French Milk, was really interesting, so I’m really looking forward to reading her next food-related installment. 

Oh Charlotte. How do I love thee; let me count the books.

I bought The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry a few months ago but naturally hadn’t touched it since. As you do. But when I read the plot of Rachel Joyce’s new book, Perfect, I was desperate to read it immediately. I have actually read the first book now (despite wanting to shake the characters so hard their eyeballs rolled out), so I feel justified in starting the newer one that Charlotte was lovely enough to send!

She also also also sent (three ‘also’ = very excited) Steadfast by Mercedes Lackey. This arrived separately and a little bit later, which made it an even better surprise when I opened the package and this fell out. I adore this series; it’s just proper, adult fantasy that’s written perfectly with a completely unique system of magic. See Reserved for the Cat and Unnatural Issue to understand just how thrilled I was to receive this.

As if that weren’t enough, she also put a great deal of thought in and chose something that wasn’t on my wishlist – a Moleskine book journal! Look how pretty! It has even sections for comments and if you’ve lent the book out to somebody, all organised in nice, alphabetical order (yeah, I’m a purist).

 Nearly there!

Bex from An Armchair by the Sea is not only a wonderful person, she’s a wonderfully talented crafter too. She’s sent knitted bookmarks to me before and even has her very own Etsy shop. This explains why, upon opening my birthday present, I found hand-made wrapping paper with frogs.

How thoughtful do you have to be to decorate wrapping paper with the recipient’s favourite thing!?

Bex, I ironed this and folded it and it now lives on my shelf until I can find a use for it. I don’t know what yet, but god damn it, I will.  

Oh, and there was a book. Which is also excellent, obviously. This is So Many Books: Reading and Publishing in an Age of Abundance by Gabriel Zaid, and it’s such a cute little thing. I love books about books, but I’d forgotten about this one until it arrived on my doormat. It’s the perfect thing for picking up for a few minutes between exam revision.

 I had a great birthday, so thank you to everybody named above and everybody else that texted/Tweeted to wish me a happy birthday.

I should also mention that I got £80 in book vouchers from various relatives, as I’m that rare creature that actually likes such things. I then also filled in the last stamp on my Waterstones card, so I got a £10 voucher there as well. Funnily enough, when I’ve spent my £80, I’ll also have filled in another card, so I’ll get another voucher.

Ha. I see a lot of books coming my way in the future! I haven’t touched them yet, as I’m dangling them in front of my face as motivation for finishing my exams. Watch this space for a huge influx very shortly!

Thank you again everybody. Not just for the books, but for your effort and thoughtfulness.


  1. miki says:

    You are sure Loved ^^ and it's great so don't give up^^

  2. Sorry you've been ill and feeling rotten lately, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY! What a lovely pile of presents (and yay for book vouchers: you get the fun of buying books but someone else pays – double gift there!)

  3. Laura says:

    Hehehehe, I definitely did dig on your wishlist because I like to buy people books that I have some reason for giving them (if that makes sense…) and ALSO that I know and guuuurl you have a lot of books on there that I was just like 'what?! Huh? What even IS that?' about (not that they're not excellent, probably! I just didn't have a personal connection to them and I feel like this whole comment is making me sound CRAZY).

    But anyway- You are so not a bad person you are lovely and awesome and deserve all the books and also shoes in the wooooorld 🙂 xx

  4. Hannah says:

    So glad you got some lovely lovely things. I still feel TERRIBLE that I couldn't even send you so much as a card and no you can't stop me feeling bad, in a nasty downward spiral right now and all I want to do is make people smile, so when I miss out on an opportunity to do so.. sad times.

    Love you Hanna. I hope you feel better soon. *cuddle*

  5. Sarah says:

    Well, first off happy birthday!!! A bit late, but there we have it. And sorry that you've been having such a rough go of it lately, but YAY for awesome blogging friends who send you such awesome presents! What lovely gals 🙂

  6. Ellie says:

    *drive-by wave* YOU'RE WELCOME I LOVE YOU LOOK AT ALL THE PRETTY THINGS! Also, I'm totally reading that Zaid book soon. And I apologise again for the weird capitalisation going on on the sign, I KNOW I KNOW BUT THE SENTIMENT IS PERFECT. Also, I saw a girl in the shop today who was basically you, but about seven years younger. Same hair, same awesome dress sense, same love for books, same accent even. Only difference is she wasn't in heels. HANNA FROM THE PAST. Now… here, carry this box. *zooms off again to make another list and try to get all the things done quick* 🙂

  7. Oh you like the book journal 😀 I stared at it for literally about half an hour because I knew that *I* would love it but I also know how particular I am about things like notebooks and stuff so I had this sort of worry that you'd get it and the pages would be too small or it wouldn't fit how you make notes or something…so phew for you liking it!

    Also I can't BELIEVE how long the Mercedes Lackey book took to turn up! At least it gets to be one of those "YEY, extra birthday present" moments? Maybe? I love how much you love that series so I couldn't resist getting it!

    (I was actually writing this while you were tweeting me about Perfect so you already know that I'm reading it and that I like it so far so I won't repeat myself!)

  8. Happy belated birthday!!!

    On the health front, I really hope things calm down for you soon, lady! I'm sending good thoughts your way!

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