Every year, I participate in the LibraryThing Secret Santa, charmingly called “SantaThing”. I posted a little bit about this last year, but in quick review – for SantaThing, you pay in however much money you want spent on you (anything from $20 to $50) and the website pairs you up with a Santa who has a similar library to you. The Santa then chooses books for you based on your specifications from whichever affiliated bookstore you’ve chosen.
There are two things I love about SantaThing.
- They check your Santa’s choices to make sure these are books you definitely don’t already have and would most likely like. There’s a website staffer in charge of this, but there’s a whole running thread where the community Elves pitch it.
- LibraryThing deals with the whole hassle of ordering and shipping. I love not having to worry about this stuff. You just do a little research, make you picks, and bada bing bada boom, you’re done! 🙂 It’s so easy.
Of course, there’s always that lingering question of “Okay, but I could buy the books myself…” but surprise books are so much fun. I’ve never done an unhaul post for this before, but I’ve had really good luck in previous years.
In 2016, I received:
- Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
- Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
- The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin
In 2017, I received:
- The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
- The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
- The Magicians by Lev Grossman
- The Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
- Witch & Wizard by James Patterson
Now, I’ve obviously not had the best track record with reading the books I’ve gotten for SantaThing, but I’m always THRILLED with the results. In both the years above, there’s been a healthy mix of books from my TBR and books that weren’t on my radar.
For this year, in the interest of my poor TBR, I asked exclusively for my Santa’s favorite picks from it. Here’s what I got!
So first and foremost, I have to apologize for the image quality here. I got this box after dark, and was so excited to open it that I didn’t wit for good lighting, and all these pictures have been heavily edited so you can sort of see things.
Then because I’m very clever, I took a bunch of shots for Instagram? Seriously, I am so smart. They’re all these gorgeous layouts that need to be edited to the point of insanity.
BUT LOOK. It’s a box!
Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar
I will be surprised if many of my readers have read this book, or even heard of this author, but I’ve become a definite Lindsay Eagar fan over the last couple years. I have been fortunate enough to receive advanced reading copies of both Race to the Bottom of the Sea and The Bigfoot Files and have recommended them both several times over. I really enjoy her writing style, and she has such an original twist on her stories… I’m looking forward to reading this one a lot.
Heist Society by Ally Carter
I, shamefully, have never read Ally Carter. She has written SO MANY THINGS that SO MANY PEOPLE love, so I’m a bit ashamed… but lets all just agree now that there is never a bad time for a girl gang of art thieves. This was one of the books on my TBR that I was unable to borrow in audiobook from Overdrive or get easily from my local library, so I’m super excited to have a copy to read!
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Okay, I have to admit, this was the only one I pulled out and looked at weird, because I didn’t think this one was on my TBR. But I checked it and yup – absolutely. I believe I added this one because Ilsa reviewed it on Goodreads, calling it “a strong mix of Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl”. While I know this is going to be a little young for me (huzzah for MG novels!) I cannot resist those two!
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
I’ve read both Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and Leah on the Offbeat this yeah, and I enjoyed them, so I’m sure that The Upside of Unrequited is going to be great as well! I put this one on my TBR over the summer and I’m looking forward to checking out another of Becky’s contemporaries!
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
This was originally added to my TBR because of #coverlove before it was even released, but I’ve heard really good things about Words in Deep Blue since then. Cait @ Paperfury has given this one a glowing review… twice. Plus, it’s a book about bookworms and bookstores, and I’m already relating.
Besides, this is still one of my favorite covers ever.
So that’s my SantaThing haul this year! I think that my LibraryThing Secret Santa once again did an incredible job. My bookstore of the year was Print, an indie bookstore in Portland, Maine – and I can’t believe how quickly they shipped! I love Portland, but I’ve never been to this bookstore, so the next time I’m up there, I’m going to have to check it out!!!
This week’s Book Blogger Hop asked:
-Do you get any books for Christmas? If so, name the titles.
Short answer: Yes! I got all the books listed above! I’ve also bought a few for myself which haven’t arrived yet, including Sleeping Giants and Heartless. I’m instituting a book buying ban on myself for next year, so I’m sorta stocking up now. Haha.