Merry Christmas, everyone!
Regardless of whether you celebrate or not, I hope you’re all having a wonderful time with family and friends! And, since it’s Christmas Eve – which just so happens to be my favorite holiday ever – I thought I’d pop in here and spread some festive cheer!
Both Marta @ Monogamist Reader and Maria @ The Character Study were kind enough to tag me in something Christmas-related, so, thanks to them and my great generosity, you’re getting two tags today! (Okay, well, that and the fact that I have a feeling you’re supposed to do these tags before or on Christmas and I really don’t want to leave them sitting in my drafts folder until next December… 😁)
So let’s go ahead and get straight into the questions!
❄️ The Bookish Christmas Tag ❄️
Thanks again, Marta, for tagging me, and to Callum McLaughlin for creating this tag in the first place!
🎄 Father Christmas: Name a book you received as a child that you treasure to this day. 🎄
Lippels Traum by Paul Maar. This is a German children’s book about a boy called Lippel, whose evil babysitter takes away his copy of the Arabian Nights as punishment for reading past his bedtime. So obviously, the only solution is for Lippel to continue dreaming the story every night when he goes to bed…
To this day, I absolutely adore this book. Both the real-world and the dream-world storylines are complex and engaging, and Lippel is just the most relatable bookworm protagonist ever 😊 And additionally, I met Paul Maar when he did a reading at our local library a few years ago, and he signed my copy for me! Which obviously means that there is no way I’m ever getting rid of it now, no matter how badly battered it has become over the years.
🎅 The Ghost of Christmas Past: Is there a book or series you like to revisit each year at Christmas time? 🎅
Yes – all of these:
They’re the best Christmas stories ever, and without them, the holiday season just wouldn’t feel complete!
And also, Harry Potter. But then again, I basically continuously reread Harry Potter year-round anyway, so I’m not sure if that counts.
🎄 Christmas Tree: Name a series that reaches new heights with every entry. 🎄
The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden. Just go read it already if you haven’t yet! After all, what better way is there to get into a wintry mood than reading fairytalesque fantasy books set in medieval Russia?
🎅 Friends and Family: Name a book with fantastic characters. 🎅
Since this question is about family, how could I not mention The Penderwicks? The Penderwicks are pretty much the best fictional family ever, and all of its members have such distinct personalities!
I know, I know, I gush about this series so much you’re probably tired of hearing about it at this point. But it’s sooo good, guys!
🎄 Decorations: Name a book with a gorgeous cover you would proudly display on your shelves. 🎄
I mean, have you seen how gorgeous this Sherlock Holmes edition is??? 🤩 I want it so badly!! Never mind that my brother has a complete Sherlock Holmes set that I can borrow any time I want – I’ve probably read it more times than he has, at this point – but I just think this would be such a great addition to my book collection!
** Tries to remind herself that she just spent agonizing hours trying to trim down said book collection and probably shouldn’t add any more books to it unless absolutely necessary **
🎅 Christmas Cards: Name a book that carries a great message. 🎅
Let me introduce you to my newest obsession: The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune! 😍😍😍 I JUST ADORE THIS BOOK SO MUCH, GUYS!
And while it has plenty of great messages – such as that we should accept people for who they are and not for what they look like or where they come from – I think my favorite one is that sometimes, it’s okay to deviate from what you think society thinks you should be doing and take risks. Because if you never reach for what makes you happy, how are you ever going to be content with your life?
🎄 Ice and Snow: Name a book that you were hoping to love but which ultimately left you feeling cold. 🎄
The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri. When I heard that this was supposed to be a super political fantasy story inspired by Indian mythology, I knew I needed to read it immediately!
And then I ended up hating it. Or not loving it, at any rate. The writing style drove me absolutely nuts. The countless characters whose emotions were never explored in great detail bored me to tears. And although everybody else was gushing about the wonderful sapphic romance, I thought its development was mediocre at best 🙈
🎅 Christmas Lunch: Name a book that was big and intimidating but oh so worth it in the end. 🎅
The Way of Kings of Brandon Sanderson! Are you really surprised? Unless you’ve been living under a rock or are new to my blog, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve become slightly obsessed with The Stormlight Archive in the past few months 😄
Even though all of the books in it are well over 1,000 pages long, reading them is so worth it! This series has one of the coolest fantasy worlds I have ever come across, and to say I am invested in the lives of its characters is a gross understatement…
Have I ever mentioned how much I love Kaladin? Because I absolutely LOVE Kaladin, guys! 🥰
🎄 Mince Pies: Name a book you found sweet and satisfying. 🎄
The Girl Who Saw Lions by Berlie Doherty, which is dual-narrative novel following a young girl from Tanzania and a British family who wants to adopt a child. Maybe me thinking this is sweet and satisfying is a sign that I’m not completely right in the head, because at times this book was so sad that it had me in tears. But I don’t think those emotions are mutually exclusive, okay! Part of what makes this story so sweet and satisfying is the complete and utter pain it puts you through along the way 😭
🎅 Presents: What book do you wish you could give everyone to read? 🎅
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. With hauntingly beautiful writing, this story follows a pair of refugees who are forced to flee from their home country, and I think there would be a lot less bigotry and hatred in the world if certain people had come across this book earlier on in their lives…
🎄 Spreading the Festive Cheer: Tag some friends to help spread the festive bookish love. 🎄
If any of you want to do this, I tag you! But I’m not going to deliberately put pressure on people to spend their Christmas trying to finish this tag on time 😉
❄️ The Joy of Christmas Book Tag ❄️
Which brings us to our second tag of the day! This one was created by Sam @ Sam’s Nonsense over on BookTube, and a huge shoutout goes to Maria for tagging me!
🎅 Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating? 🎅
To be honest, 2022 is probably going to be more of a backlog reading year for me, because my favorite authors apparently all want to torture me and haven’t even given my most highly anticipated books release dates and/or titles yet! Apart from the very obvious Doors of Stone and Stormlight Archive #5, I desperately need to get my hands on the sequels to Tempests and Slaughter and Winterkeep, but I just don’t know when that’s going to happen…
In the meantime, though, I’m also looking forward to The Latinist by Mark Prins (January 4, 2022) because it’s slowly paced dark academia, To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara (January 11, 2022) because A Little Life absolutely destroyed me in the best way possible, and Bloodless Ties (The Marionettes #3) by Katie Wismer (November 15, 2022) because I love working with Katie on her books, am probably going to be beta reading this one, too, and the last book in this slightly gruesome paranormal fantasy series ended on a cliffhanger that has me dying to find out what happens next!
🎄 Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but sing its praises? 🎄
The Betrayals by Bridget Collins 🥰🥰🥰 I think it’s been at least a month since I last mentioned it, so it’s high time I brought it up again! It’s dark academia, it’s weird, it’s set at a school, it’s political, it’s mysterious, it has flawed characters that you can’t help but fall in love with, and the writing is really lyrical. Just go read it!
🎅 Gingerbread Houses: What book or series has wonderful world-building? 🎅
** wants to mention Brandon Sanderson again and say Mistborn, but thinks it might be a good idea to give people at least a bit of variety**
The Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks! This high fantasy series has a fascinating magic system based on the colors of the light spectrum, and it is wonderfully political as well.
🎄 A Christmas Carol: Favorite classic or one that you want to read 🎄
Do you know how freaking hard it is to choose a favorite classic when there are so many that I love??? Like all of these, for instance:
But, if I had to choose, I think I’d go with Anne of Green Gables. I love the entire series so much that my (second) copies are not far removed from falling apart 😅
As for a classic I really want to read, that’s easy: Anna Karenina. Now that I’ve read Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, I really want to try something by Tolstoy as well. I need to start my Russian classics journey somewhere, so why not go for the extremely famous authors whose books have withstood the test of time first?
🎅 Christmas Sweets: What book would you love to receive for Christmas? 🎅
I love everything the man has ever written, so please, please, please, can Anthony Doerr’s Cloud Cuckoo Land be under the Christmas tree tonight? Pretty please? 🥺
🎄 Candles in the Window: What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling? 🎄
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. It’s obviously the best Narnia book, never fails to make me hugely nostalgic, and how can you not feel warm and fuzzy inside at the thought of tea with Mr. Tumnus?
🎅 Christmas Trees & Decorations: What are some of your favorite book covers? 🎅
And all of these books are pretty great, too, by the way 😉
🎄 Christmas Joy: What are some of your favorite things about Christmas? 🎄
Everything! I love everything about Christmas!
First, there are all the wonderful traditions leading up to it, like baking Christmas cookies, decorating the house with pyramids and nutcrackers and stars and arches, opening advent calendar doors, going to Christmas markets, singing carols and strumming along on the guitar until certain family members give you the evil eye, fighting with your siblings over who gets to light which candle on the advent wreath, finding your boots stuffed with sweets on Saint Nicholas Day even though your parents keep saying you’re probably too old for this by now, watching holiday movies that get decidedly less terrible the closer it gets to Christmas Eve, snow falling outside while you’re sitting in a warm room with a mug of hot chocolate or mulled wine…
(Before you start lecturing me on COVID-restrictions, the Christmas market picture was taken in 2019, before the whole world went to pieces. All Christmas markets in my area are currently shut down, so I couldn’t even go if I wanted to 😪 And in case any of you noticed that the gnomes on the advent-wreath-middle-strip-thingy are upside down, that’s my parents’ fault for lighting the wrong candle first. My siblings and I take no responsibility!)
And then there’s Christmas Eve! 🎄🥰🎄 In the morning, my siblings and I always decorate our tree, and then we spend the whole day playing board games, watching movies, and eating a TON of food while we wait for it to get dark. Then, after church, we have cheese fondue – during which you have to pay attention like a hawk unless you want to have your bread pieces stolen off your fork by my dad – and then it’s time for presents!
My parents will light the candles on the Christmas tree and ring a bell when we are allowed to come see it lit for the first time, which is followed by the whole family gathering around the tree and singing carols until the candles are burnt about halfway down. Which is also when we turn on the lights in the living room and begin unwrapping presents. The rest of the night is spent with testing the presents – which usually means that I spend it on the couch, reading 😂 – until midnight arrives and we abruptly have to stop celebrating Christmas in order to celebrate my youngest brother’s birthday instead.
So yeah, that’s what I’ll probably be up to for the rest of today 🤗 I won’t be tagging anyone for this second tag, either, but feel free to do either of the two if you want! I’d love to check out your answers 😊 I hope you all have a wonderful Friday, and merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, and happy Kwanzaa to everyone who celebrates them!
P.S.: If it takes me a while to respond to your comments, it is very likely that I’m not dead, but simply caught up in Christmas celebrations 😉