It’s Boxing Day!!! 😀
Okay, okay, there’s no reason for me to be this excited for Boxing Day, especially since it’s not celebrated in the U.S., but I still have some leftover energy from last night’s Christmas dinner so WOOHOO BOXING DAY!!! 😀 😀 😀
I do hope you all had a wonderful Christmas day. Mine was filled with lots of love and cheer from family and friends and a strong mug of Moscow Mule. Have you ever had that cocktail? It was my first time trying it last night and now I love it. Anyway, I’m here to celebrate Boxing Day on my blog by doing a couple of Christmas-themed tags in one post. Yes, I like to group such things so settle in to receive some book recommendations, most of which I’ve mentioned often on here. 😛
Christmas Book Tag
I found this one over on Rachel’s blog, Life of a Female Bibliophile. (Hope you had a great Christmas Rachel with lots of pepperminty snacks!) The tag was created by the Moor Maiden, whose blog seems to be down.
Merry Christmas Everyone: A book set at Christmas
The Elves and the Shoemaker by the Grimms brothers
I got a bit anxious there because I was like, “Ah! The first question and I don’t have an answer!” I thought I hadn’t read any books set at Christmas, which is silly because that’s totally untrue but my mind likes to freak me out sometimes. Anyway, I googled an answer and found this post on Medium which lists several Christmas books and on it I found The Elves and the Shoemaker. It’s been years since I read this story, probably since I was a kid back in JA. I enjoyed it back then and might give it a reread soon if I have the story in one of the Grimms compendiums on my shelves.
O’ Christmas Tree, O’ Christmas Tree: A book with red and green on the cover
Wildwood by Colin Meloy, illus. by Carson Ellis
The first novel in a middle-grade fantasy trilogy written by the lead singer of the band called the Decemberists. It’s about a girl who goes on an adventure to rescue her brother, who was kidnapped by a murder of crows.
I love the illustrations on this cover and it sort of gives me a Christmas feel too. The images of the man and the fox squaring off at the bottom makes me think of the Nutcracker. I own the book, but haven’t yet read it.
Jingle Bells: A song you wish was a book
Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Theme Song
Y’all, I think I love video games. I haven’t even played one since the mid-1990s when my cousin got his first PlayStation. I was still living in JA then and would only play it on Saturdays. I think I played Gran Turismo and Spyro the Dragon. I now wish I’d continued to play them or knew someone who plays video games. I’m interested in the story in Assassin’s Creed and I LOVE the Skyrim Elder Scrolls theme song. LOVE IT!! So, if a song should be a book, I want this one to be made a trilogy or something.
Saviour’s Day: a book with a religious protagonist
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
A YA fantasy novel about a girl who remains steadfast in her belief in the fey to protect her village.
There are many religious characters in this story and the conflict between religion and folktales/common beliefs is one of the most interesting aspects of the story.
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer: an animal companion
Fool’s Errand is the first in Robin Hobb’s Tawny Man trilogy, which is part of the larger Realm of the Elderlings series. In this book, a prince disappears and old friends reunite to get him back.
Instead of going with Nighteyes, who’s always my favorite animal companion (he’s a wolf from the Farseer trilogy, which precedes the Tawny Man trilogy), I chose Fennell because he’s new and made me want to get a cat. I think I’m a cat person. If I could, I’d get one as a pet.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside: a book with a cold/wintery setting
Above the Timberline by Gregory Manchess (illus.)
A dystopian novel set in the future where the world has entered a second Ice Age. In the story, a guy searches for his father, who went on an expedition into the ice Wastes but hasn’t returned.
I enjoyed reading this one and loved that the story is accompanied by large paintings depicting the scenes described in the story. The entire story takes place in an arctic scene with snow and ice stretching on for miles. There’s even a cool illustration of an ice cave. The character’s journey through such treacherous land shows how deceiving snow and ice can be. Sometimes the ground seems quite firm, but too much vibration (like driving a machine over it) can cause it all to fall apart.
We Three Kings: a character who is royal/a book set at court
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
A historical novel about how the Boleyn family got entangled with King Henry VIII.
That’s probably not the best description of the story, but I’m going with it because the story is about how Anne and Mary Boleyn got involved with the dude. I chose this novel because it’s set at court and is seeped in all the conniving that goes on at court to curry the king’s favor. I loved the story when I first read it and completed it in just a few days. I read it with such a feverish intensity back then that I thought something was wrong with me, and I think it was around Christmas/New Year that I read it too. I’d like to give it a reread to see if I still like it.
Mary’s Boy Child: a book with a child protagonist
The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin, illus. by Luis Royo
An illustrated children’s book about a girl who befriends the fabled ice dragon.
It was interesting to read a children’s book by Martin. It’s not as gruesome as his Song of Ice & Fire books, but there is a sad tone to it. …It’s always best not to get attached to Martin’s characters though that’s hard to do.
Last Christmas: a book that broke your heart
Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb
The third in the Farseer trilogy in which the bastard son of a prince becomes an apprentice to the king’s assassin.
I think all of Hobb’s books have broken my heart in some way. Something awful always befall the characters I like and in this book it’s sad to see all that has befallen Fitz, the protagonist, because he could have been much more. He could have been a very powerful and respected person in his world. I mean, he’s still powerful, but he could have been more and that became more apparent when I read Fool’s Errand.
Silent Night: a book that sent you to sleep
Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind by Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire
A nonfiction book about creativity.
I’m interested in the topic and really want to read the book, but every time I pick it up to read, I fall asleep. Every time. Smh.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: a book that would make a great Christmas movie
Lucy by Randy Cecil (illus.)
Probably Lucy, if it was set at Christmas. It’s a sweet illustrated children’s book about a stray dog who befriends a girl and her dad. I think it’ll make a sweet, heartfelt animated movie.
All I Want for Christmas: a book you want for Christmas
Assassin’s Creed: The Complete Visual History by Matthew Miller
I wanted it, so I bought it for myself. Yeahie! 🙂 No one gifts me books, except me.
Dani, who runs the blog Perspective of a Writer, tagged me for this one. Yeahie! Thankie, and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, Dani!! 😀 (I totally copied her and kept the emoticons with the headings. So cute!)
The tag was created by Lefty, the Left-Handed Book Lover.
Jingle Bells 🔔 — A fun, light-hearted book/series
Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass and Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe, illus. by Roc Upchurch
A fantasy comic book series about a group of female mercenaries kicking ass.
I don’t know if the entire series is fun and light-hearted, but the first book certainly was and I enjoyed reading it and loved the illustrations.
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus 🎅 — A book/series with a scandalous romance
Unteachable by Leah Raeder
A new adult romance novel about a high-school student and teacher who enter a romantic relationship.
The romance between the student and teacher is scandalous and taboo and has made some readers dislike the story. But I liked the novel and loved the writing and consider it a favorite.
I’ll Be Home for Christmas ⛪ — A book/series you are determined to reread
Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
The third book in Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle series, a fantasy series about a farm boy who becomes a dragon rider to stop a tyrant and start peace in his world.
I’m determined to reread this series. The second in the series, Eldest, almost made me give up earlier this year because it was such a bore, but I’m optimistic that the story gets better as it goes along. Before rereading, I remembered the characters fondly and wanted to return to them. That’s why I started the reread. I believe it gets better in this book, Brisingr.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town 🥛 — Your most anticipated release of 2018
The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale
A historical fiction novel set in 1917 about a homeless girl who joins a family of toymakers.
I don’t know if this is middle grade or young adult, but the cover and synopsis has me interested. It’s slated to be published on February 8.
Silent Night 🕯️ — A beautiful book/series that everyone knows
The Tale of Shikanoko series by Lian Hearn
An epic fantasy series set in medieval Japan that is inspired by old Samurai stories.
The books are all beautiful and are all illustrated by Yuko Shimizu. I only own the first two: Emperor of the Eight Islands and Autumn Princess, Dragon Child. My plan is to read those first to see if I like the series before purchasing the last two. To see more beautiful books, check out my BBC posts, which feature beautiful and creative book covers. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of those posts, so I might publish one soon.
Winter Wonderland ☃️ — A book/series with great world building
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
The first in Jordan’s Wheel of Time fantasy series about a farm boy who’s destined to fight an evil being and save the world.
It’s often for negative reasons that I include Jordan’s series in book tags, so I decided to use it this time for something positive. It does have great world building and that’s the only reason why I want to continue with the story at this point. It’s also what has kept my interest this whole time because the writing does wear one down after a while.
Go Tell it On the Mountain ❄️ — An under-hyped book/series that is so great you want to tell everyone about it
Normal by Warrn Ellis
A techno-thriller set in present day at a mental institution in Normal Head, Oregon, where scientists and social scientists who study the future are sent when their jobs become too distressing.
I haven’t seen many bloggers talk about this one, so I think it could use more buzz. It’s a short story, more like a novella, and it touches on timely things that affect our society, so I recommend it.
I Saw Three Ships 🛳️ — Favorite trilogy “of the year”
Well, I didn’t read an entire trilogy this year or completed one, so here’s my favorite fantasy novel of the year:
The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
A fantasy novel about a veteran who returns to his hometown in search of a quiet, uneventful life but is assigned tutor and secretary to a princess and must protect her from those who want to manipulate her.
I enjoyed reading this book because the protagonist, Cazaril, is unlike the protagonists I usually encounter in fantasy novels. I also like how the gods operate in the story and that the magic system is tied to religion. It all made for a very interesting read for me.
Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer 🦌 — A book/series with an underdog protagonist who rises up
Definitely Bilbo from The Hobbit, which I reread about a week ago by audio book. Though I didn’t like the narration much, listening to the story made me realize how humble Bilbo is toward the story’s end. He’s willing to forgo all the riches he’s gained just to go back to his comfortable hobbit hole.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas 🎁 — A book/series that helped you get through troubling times
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Gilbert’s memoir about overcoming a divorce and traveling to Italy, India, and Indonesia.
I loved this book when I first read it and each time I’ve reread it. Whenever I’m having a hard time in life, I reread it because it’s helpful to see someone else overcome a difficulty in their life and move on to happiness. It gives me hope. It wasn’t until years after first reading it that I learned it had received lots of negative reviews. Even so, I still love the book.