The Sunday Salon: The Christmas Books Edition – 12.26.10

The Sunday
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful day. I am having a great time in Michigan with my family. We spent Christmas Evening at my mom’s, Christmas morning with the Ben’s family, Christmas dinner #1 at my aunt’s, and Christmas dinner #2 back at the inlaw’s. Today will be spent relaxing and enjoying the wonderful presents I received this year.

And speaking of presents, I know you all are dying to know what books I got, so here I am to share. I had a very bookish Christmas, receiving all of these:

From top to bottom:

  • The Inimitable Jeeves by PG Wodehouse (audio)
  • Readings by Anne Fadiman
  • Finny by Justin Kramon
  • Emily of Deep Valley by Maud Hart Lovelace
  • Carney’s House Party and Winona’s Pony Cart by Maud Hart Lovelace
  • Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper
  • The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
  • Rampant by Diane Peterfreund
  • My Man Jeeves by PG Wodehouse
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (Lydia Davis translation)
  • Red Hood Road by Ayelet Waldman
  • Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay
  • Apollo’s Angels by Jennifer Homans

These are all such wonderful books that I don’t know where to start.

Also, I am now the proud owner of my internet avatar. Ben got me this mug:

I know a lot of you are taking breaks from blogging this week but I am doing the opposite. This week will be my week of Top Fives. Each day, you will see five of my favorite things this year in various categories. And (*fingers crossed because I am away from my books*) it will culminate in my end of year books post.

Did you all have a wonderful book-filled Christmas as well? What are you most excited to read first?

The Sunday Salon 12.5.10

The Sunday
Happy Sunday. As I mentioned in my previous post, November was not my favorite month this year but December is here and that makes for a very happy Michelle. Ben and I decorated yesterday. Here are some pictures. Please note: I am in love with our tree this year. I feel like we’re real grown-ups.

I started my shopping this morning and bought my plane tickets earlier this week. I’m ready, Christmas.

As for books, I’m getting a little bit of reading in again. Here’s what’s going on in my bookish life right now.

Most Recently Finished:



Currently Reading



On Deck


Not sure at this point


Three Cups of Tea

More Christmas Goodies: Reading Accessories Edition

I got several book-related Christmas gifts that I’m super excited about and want to share with you all.

I first heard about reading wedges on twitter. I’ve been having trouble finding a comfortable reading position because my back has been just generally sore lately and I think my poor posture while reading may be part of the problem.  So the solution was to ask for a reading wedge for Christmas.  My mom bought me the Brookstone Bed Wedge Pillow and I’m already in love with it. I carry it from my bed to the couch to the chair and basically use it wherever I go.  It has made sitting down and reading a book or watching tv or typing on my laptop much more enjoyable.

Another problem of mine has been that I married a high school teacher who gets up very early in the morning.  This generally means that he goes to bed much earlier than I do.  Now, thanks to my new LightWedge reading light, instead of going to sleep at an absurdly early hour, I can happily read the night away without bothering him.  I wanted this type of book light because I thought it would be subtler.  I have only used this in the car so far and it seemed a little bright for the driver (although Ben kept telling me it was fine).  I will test it out further next week when school starts back up.  This was a gift from my in-laws who generously gave me both the original and the paperback size.

Finally, and what might be my favorite gift of all, is my University of Michigan Snuggie.  It’s another gift from the in-laws (my mother-in-law went to Michigan State so she must really love me).  I know you all are thinking, “what does Michelle need a snuggie for, she lives in Florida and it’s never cold there.” Well, (a) I currently have the heat on and while it may not be freezing, it is definitely chilly, (b) I am always cold and the air conditioning is usually set way too low for my comfort, and (c) you can put that maize “M” on anything and I will use it.  If only I had a bowl game to watch while wearing it. [Do you think that’s why the guy in this picture looks angry?].

And there you have it: my reading accessories.  I’ve been in a little bit of a reading rut these last few weeks, so hopefully the opportunity to use these new toys will get me reading again.

Did you get any fun reading-related gifts over the holidays?

What I Found When I Was Wrapping Gifts

As I checked the mail for the last time before leaving for vacation, I was a little disappointed.  I still had not received my Book Blogger Holiday Swap Gift. It looked like I was just going to have to wait until after Christmas.

[Insert 19-hour drive from Florida to Michigan]

The day after I arrived in Michigan, I went over to my in-laws to pick up the packages that I had shipped there from Amazon.  I took them back to my mom’s and happily sat down to wrap all the gifts.  As I opened one, it was already wrapped.  I didn’t remember asking for gift wrap on any of them so it was a little strange.  I had Ben inspect it to see what it was.  Turns out it was my Holiday Swap gift!  I figured it would be sent to my home in Florida because that’s the address I provided on my form, but my Secret Santa outsmarted me by purchasing it off my amazon wishlist and sending it to the address listed there (BTW, I am very glad that it was not sent to any of the bad addresses on my amazon account – I’m not sure what would have happened if it ended up at my parent’s old house or a random apartment in San Francisco or Tarpon Springs).  What a pleasant surprise.

I think I’ve deduced who my Secret Santa is (tell me if I’m wrong), so thank you Amy of Amy Reads Good Books for my present.  She got me:

I am very excited to get to this last installment of the Betsy-Tacy books. I am also thankful for the two new blogs to read as a result of the Holiday Swap.

Happy Holidays!