Hanna’s Christmas Book Haul 2014

I know, right? I swear blind that my posts won’t falter over Christmas due to my supreme lack of life and then… complete radio silence. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure you weren’t all sobbing into your pillows or anything, but succumbing to flu (Actual Flu not just an overdramatic cold) means that I have five end-of-year posts overdue and some reviews to write that I really did want to have written before January 1st. Expect to be bombarded with blog posts over the next few days.


So, let’s begin with what I got for Christmas. How lucky am I?

Over Christmas, I learned that Laura is pretty much the best person ever. She was the person designated to send to me for the Secret Santa between myself, Laura, Katie, Ellie, Charlotte and Bex. I did actually take photographs because it was all wrapped and pretty and lovely… but then I lost them during the Great Phone Switch-Over of 2014. Speaking of, if you get confused who-are-you texts from me, just don’t worry about it ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m sorry, Laura. I really did love my package. It had an awful lot of chocolate (none of which exists anymore), the orange Pride and Prejudice notebook (that’s definitely going to be my next review pad), Horrorstรถr and The Haunting of Hill House.

Argh, I got so excited about Horrorstรถr it’s ridiculous. Does everybody know what it is by now? In case you’ve been living under a rock, it’s designed to look exactly like an IKEA catalogue, complete with in-page diagrams. I’ve actually read it already because I just couldn’t wait and it’s very… odd. I swear, Laura, it’s possibly the best book you could have sent.

I also received The Haunting of Hill House, as apparently she picked out my presents shortly after Halloween ๐Ÿ™‚ It actually works out quite well for me as I’m in a bit of a spooky-reading phase. Her review is here if you want to see what it’s all about.

Raising My Rainbow was a present from my offline best friend, along with The Jane Austen Book Club DVD. I’m really excited about this book and kept looking for it in every bookshop I’ve been in, so I’m glad to finally have a copy. Lori Duron, the author, has blogged about raising a ‘gender creative’ son for a while, but her experiences have been released in book-form and I’m really interested in this area.

Alright, let’s switch over to Spoilt Brat Mode for a few minutes. At home, we have a tradition where the three of us go shopping every Christmas Eve and my Dad… buys us stuff. There’s not really a more delicate way to phrase it, but it’s our favourite part of Christmas. We wrap up warm, go for breakfast and just generally spend time together. It’s nice, so don’t judge me!

These are the two books my Dad bought me. I’m going through a bit of a non-fiction phase, which explains both of these, although I’d planned on looking for Blood: A Biography of the Stuff of Life for Ellie as part of her Secret Santa. Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found was a complete whim-buy, but I’ve read it already and it’s really good. It looks at executions, shrunken heads, trophy heads… everything you want in a festive read, all ready for Christmas!
The other books are ones I bought myself with gift vouchers and completed Waterstones stamp cards (oh how I love those).

Neither Waterstones had any of the books I’d set out to look for, not one. I was actually getting pretty frustrated because it’s rare when I can’t find anything I want to read in there. Ready Player One caught my eye, so I had a quick flick through as I’d seen it around on the blogosphere quite a lot. Turns out that it wasn’t what I thought it was about at all and the page or so I read in the shop was pretty awesome. One book down.

I picked up The Berlin Novels out of desperation – I wanted to go home with something and I’d planned to read this at some point, so it may as well be now. I’ve since read a few pages and I’m actually looking forward to reading this!

Red Gloves had been reduced to ยฃ3 and didn’t seem awful, so into the basket it went.

This was the point where it started to get out of hand. I saw Station Eleven on a table and remembered Ellie and other trusted bloggers raving about it, so I picked it up. I’d had no idea what it was about, but the concept seemed amazing and I really liked the little I read. It helps that the sales assistant started telling me how amazing it was when I got to the check-out!

Only that book was on the ‘Buy One, Get One Half Price’ offer, so naturally I had to scout around for another book… and it turned out to be The Watcher in the Shadows. I’m not sure if I need to have read his earlier books or not, but I own them so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

So those are my Christmas books. However, that brings my TBR total to 311, which is unnacceptable under the rules of my 300 Before January 2015 Challenge. In my defence, I’d be down to 301 if it wasn’t for my Christmas books, so I’m still pretty proud of myself.

Tune in tomorrow to watch me cull my bookshelves!

What books did you receive this Christmas? Have you read any of the above?




  1. Laura says:

    I am going to forgive you for losing the photos because you called me the best person ever so all is well haha. ALSO the halloween books were totally top of your wishlist and I am a lazy lazy human/really wanted Horrorstor/really liked The Haunting of Hill House, so yeah! That explains that.

    Aaaaaand YAY BOOKS. Essentially. Your Christmas Eve sounds excellent, and not really any more spoilt than, like, all the presents everyone gets at Christmas? So it's all good basically hehe

    1. admin says:

      Haha, I think the Shirley Jackson one was only at the top of my wishlist because I saw it on YOUR blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Well, yes. Although I do still get the presents on Christmas as well, so that defence doesn't stand up particularly well…

  2. Ellie Warren says:

    I've got that Blood book on my wishlist already but Severed? What is this wonder? I might have to sneak that into my shopping basket at some point. Even though I've sworn to read more of my older books this year… Uh oh.

    I absolutely loved Station Eleven, hope you do to.

    1. admin says:

      The Blood book seems to be on everybody's TBR or wishlist at the moment and I can't think why, as it's not the usual type of book to be around everywhere.

      Oh, do read Severed! It's really good! You're allowed to buy new books if they're non-fiction – they're EDUCATIONAL.

  3. Ellie says:

    DUDE I NEARLY BOUGHT THE BERLIN NOVELS LAST TIME WE WENT SHOPPING and I'm fairly sure you were all, "Meh, don't buy it" about the whole thing SO I DIDN'T. If this turns out to be another It's Kind of a Funny Story, so help me… *gets rolled-up magazine ready to smack Hanna on the nose*

    I have Station Eleven from winning a readathon thingy just before Christmas, so yay. And I've had RPO forever because everyone says it's amazing, also yay. I might buy Horrorstor because quite frankly I don't think I can resist much longer. Watch The Jane Austen Book Club already, it's got Hugh Dancy in it and he's so loooovely. IS THAT EVERYTHING? Yes, probably, for now… ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. admin says:

      Really? I don't remember that at all :s Are you sure it was me? Also, you BOUGHT It's Kind of A Funny Story (not that you've read it), so shush, you!

      RPO IS AMAZING. I didn't even want to read it, but now I'm dreading finishing it because I won't able to read it again for the first time.

  4. I have Station Eleven on my Kindle and yet I still haven't read it. It's ridiculous. It was going to be my next read after…my last read. So I was going to be reading it now (gosh, I'm articulate this evening!) but I'm not because I got last book in Kagawa's vampire series this week and remembered how much I wanted to find out how that series ends so I'm reading that instead. But Station Eleven is up next because everybody seems to love it and I want to love it too, damn it!

    I read Red Gloves a few years ago and seem to remember it being ok. Worth ยฃ3, definitely.

    And now I need Ready Player One! Awesome.

    I need to do a Christmas post, mainly so I can show off your pretty perfect Secret Santa package ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. admin says:

      Haha, it seems we pretty much all own it! It was going to be my next read too but I've spent the day reorganising my bookshelves and there's SO MUCH I want to read and reread! I will read it SOON though… probably.

      Oh, you did? I assumed it was some obscure thing nobody had ever heard of. I feel mildly better now…

      YOU DO. IT'S SO AMAZING. I just wanted to be reading it ALL THE TIME.

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