The Christmas 2019 Book Haul

Christmas 2019 Book Haul.jpg

I gave my parents a long, long list of books this year so they wouldn’t buy me everything on it (that’s happened with shorter lists) and I could still be surprised by which ones I ended up with. I think I did pretty well!

  1. Red Seas Under Red Skies, by Scott Lynch
  2. The Bromance Book Club, by Lyssa Kay Adams
  3. Call Down the Hawk, by Maggie Stiefvater
  4. In Other Lands, by Sarah Rees Brennan
  5. Daisy Jones and the Six, by Taylor Reid Jenkins
  6. The Bride Test, by Helen Hoang
  7. Nemesis Games, by James S.A. Corey

Several of them are on reading lists I’ve made myself for the various challenges I’m doing in 2020, and I was going to get them from the library when the time came–now I don’t have to!

Of the nine books I got last year, I’ve read five of them. Backlogged! But of the remaining four, three are on those same reading lists, so they’re happening, and the fourth will be high on my non-challenge priorities list. Or hell, maybe once I read it I’ll see it fits into some task I don’t have a book chosen for yet!

Realizing I was behind on my Christmas gift reading has given me a new, mini challenge for 2020: read all my unread Christmas hauls by next Christmas! Totally doable.

This is also time for the New Year’s resolution of a book-buying ban. I was doing so well for most of the year at not buying more than I was reading, but as of this post, my net gain of owned books this year is 30. (Which I can entirely ascribe to buying a charity bundle of ebooks to support a favorite author in her time of need, that got me 31 unread books.) But my physical piles aren’t really shrinking, either–they held steady all year. So I’m going on a ban until March, because that’s when my current free-book coupon at Thriftbooks expires; I’ll wait as long as I can to use it and break my ban with that order. Until then, no books in, only books out. I’ve got so much to read here at home I’m not even going to tempt myself going to the library, where I might accidentally wander into the book sale room and buy some cheap books…


The May 2019 Book Haul!

May 2019 Book Haul

Last month was my birthday, and here’s what I got!

The octopus, as yet unnamed, came from my husband. He has excellent tasted in stuffed animal companions.

The top half of the stack (above Magic Triumphs) I bought myself with my Thriftbooks birthday discount. The bottom half are the books my mother chose from the list I sent her of potential gift ideas–basically all the stuff I’ve been looking for on TB for ages and never been able to get, plus the newly-released-in-paperback Magic Triumphs. Because I finally get to find out how it ends, after nine books! (You better believe I’m reading that next, even if it doesn’t count for a single challenge I’m doing. Bet you get a review on Friday.)

The complete list:

  • Bayou Moon, Steel’s Edge, Fate’s Edge, and Magic Triumphs, by Ilona Andrews
  • Fool’s Assassin, by Robin Hobb
  • Beyond This Dark House, by Guy Gavriel Kay
  • Wasted Words, by Staci Hart
  • Ancillary Sword, by Ann Leckie
  • Ice Massacre, by Tiana Warner
  • Cibola Burn, by James S.A. Corey

Confession: I’m also going to be buying myself Red, White, & Royal Blue because one of my book clubs is reading it this month, it sounds amazing, and there’s only one copy so far in my local library system–I went to request it and I would have been ninth in the queue. So I’ll buy it in order to read it in a timely fashion.

But after that, it’s time for a HARD BOOK BUYING BAN. My shelves are overflowing, and I still haven’t read more of my pre-2019 collection than I’ve acquired this year. Not even close, despite my best intentions.

So this ban is open-ended, but I’ll give myself a firm minimum requirement of reaching zero net gain in my collection. Which is… (goes to check my stats on Goodreads…) 16 of my own books from now. At least two months of reading away. And since my physical collection is the real problem here–I am running out of space, even with the new bookshelf I got myself early this year–I’m going to add to that, reading my digital books won’t count against this. I have to read at least 16 of my own physical books before I can buy anymore.

Time to get reading, then.

The March + April 2019 Book Haul!

Spring 2019 Book Haul.JPG

Courtesy of two library book sales, and a stop at both Half Price Books and Barnes & Noble on the first night of our vacation, when we didn’t have any other plans except crash in the hotel before doing more driving the next day.

  • Geist and Spectyr, by Phillippa Ballantine
  • Cell; Full Dark, No Stars; and Dreamcatcher, by Stephen King
  • So I’m a Spider, So What? by Asahiro Kakashi
  • Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
  • Red Rising, by Pierce Brown
  • Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie
  • The Inexplicable Logic of My Life, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  • The Japanese Lover, by Isabel Allende
  • Fool’s Quest, by Robin Hobb

All over the place in terms of taste and style, as usual when I’m buying (primarily) used books. Some are titles I’ve had my eye on for a while and got lucky enough to find. Others simply sounded interesting. And then, of course, I buy every Stephen King novel I find because it’s impossible to tell ahead of time which ones I’m going to love and which I’ll DNF, but on the whole, I do love King, so I’ll try them all. (These three bring my owned-but-unread King novels to 14. I’ll get to them eventually.)

On top of all that, yesterday my Kindle pinged me for World Book Day, so I picked up nine free works they’d selected from around the world. Which reminded me I still haven’t read any of the ones I got last year. My TBR might actually be approaching out-of-control status.

This brings my total acquired-in-2019 books to 54–precisely the same number of books I’ve read so far this year (as of this Friday’s book review post, anyway.) But that doesn’t mean I’m breaking even–17 of those read books were borrowed from the library or elsewhere, so my collection has actually grown slightly. Which is NOT the goal.

I’m not abandoning my Virtual Mount TBR Challenge, not yet, but to get the new physical books onto the shelves, I had to make a decently large TBR pile to bring out to the living room. I need to read and unhaul some of the stuff I have!

But I’ve proven time and time again that I don’t have the discipline to stick to any long-term book bans, so for now, I’m only cutting myself off for a month, until my Thriftbooks coupon shows up for my birthday.

The January + February 2019 Book Haul!

Jan + Feb 2019 Book Haul

My January book haul photo session got put off so long, it became Jan + Feb. Two Thriftbooks orders and two trips to the library book sales–the stack actually could have been much taller!

  • Thinner and It, by Stephen King
  • Through Wolf’s Eyes, by Jane Lindskold
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
  • Beauty is a Wound, by Eka Kurniawan
  • First Frost, by Sarah Addison Allen
  • The Vagrant, by Peter Newman
  • Labyrinth Lost, by Zoraida Cordova
  • In the Language of Miracles, by Rajia Hassib
  • The Slynx, by Tatyana Tolstaya
  • An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones
  • City of Dragons, by Robin Hobb
  • A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl, by Jean Thompson
  • Monstress, Vol. 1, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

Plus I picked up a handful of ebooks on sale, thank you Book Riot and BookBub. So I need to slow down for a bit–especially because I’m reading library books again on the regular, so I’m not cutting through my own collection as quickly. I like the flexibility that gives me, but it also means my collection is growing again, rather than shrinking.

Ideally, don’t expect another book haul until my birthday rolls around in May!

The Christmas 2018 Book Haul!

Christmas 2018 Book Haul

  • Magic Shifts and Magic Binds, by Ilona Andrews
  • The Complete Cosmicomics, by Italo Calvino
  • Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid (now I have my own copy!)
  • The Night Watch, by Sergei Lyukanenko
  • Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor
  • The Heart of What Was Lost, by Tad Williams
  • Abaddon’s Gate, by James S.A. Corey

So, yeah, I got nine of the ten books I gave my parents as possibilities. (The tenth? Magic Triumphs, to complete the series. I can wait on that no problem, I still need to read three before I’m there!)

Which, assuming I don’t buy any more books in the next six days, brings my acquired-in-2018 total to 179 books. Keeping in mind that many, many of them were free, discounted, gifts, or bought used. But my book-buying ban was not as effective as I’d hoped (they almost never are) and when I fell off the wagon, I fell hard, thanks to constant specials at Thriftbooks.

However! I did get fewer books than I’ve read this year, and far fewer than I got in the last two years. So maybe I’m having some success reining in my habits. I’m thinking next year, instead of a ban, maybe set myself a monthly budget? Of course, since I can so often get used books from the library for $3/bag, even the lowest budget can still give me a lot of potential books. Which isn’t a bad thing, except that I feel like I’m not making any headway right now.

But…new books! Look at them! They’re so pretty!


The July 2018 Book Haul, Part II

July 2018 Book Haul II

I’m really going on a physical book-buying ban now. For real.

To prove my determination, let me tell you, I had to return City of Illusions to the library a few days ago, and I went into the book sale room while I was there (of course I did) but I didn’t buy anything. There was one book I sort of wanted, but at $3/bag, I skipped it–there wasn’t anything else even worth throwing in to make paying for a full bag worth it!

So here’s the second part of my July shopping spree, which trickled in over the last few days of the month from places as far-flung from me as Reno, NV and Portland, OR.

  • Hate to Want You, by Alisha Rai
  • Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, and Moonraker, by Ian Fleming
  • For the Record, by Charlotte Huang
  • Dirty, by Kylie Scott
  • MaddAddam, by Margaret Atwood
  • Children of Earth and Sky, by Guy Gavriel Kay

The James Bond books happened because I’ve acquired the second half of the series (#8-14) across several library sales, and though I don’t know what the huge spoiler is I’m being protected from, I’ve been warned by a friend that these MUST be read in order. Since it’s been about two years since I’ve nabbed any titles in person, I thought it was time to flesh out the early works from Thriftbooks.

The rest of them were random titles I wanted (the romances), the last in a series I’ve started (the Atwood), and the latest from a favorite author (Kay).

No more books for now! I’ve only read ten more so far this year than I’ve gotten! That’s not reading down the TBR pile!

The July 2018 Book Haul

July 2018 Book Haul

If you’re a Reading Rewards member at Thriftbooks, as I am, you know they recently overhauled their system. I had a $5 coupon leftover from the old method, and as they were still redeemable, I decided that was a good enough excuse to earn some points under the new system and placed an order.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.

My major goal with this purchase was to buttress up some incomplete series. Long ago at a library sale I’d bought the third book in Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series, so the first two finally got purchased. I picked up more of the Kate Daniels paranormal series, and more Realms of the Elderlings–I’ve only read the first book, but I loved it so much that I’ve been steadily acquiring the others a few at a time. Sharon Shinn is one of my all-time favorites, and it’s really quite pathetic of me that I’m two books behind current on the Elemental Blessings series.

So, the full list:

  • The Scribe, by Elizabeth Hunter
  • Magic Rises and Magic Breaks, by Ilona Andrews
  • The Fire Rose and The Serpent’s Shadow, by Mercedes Lackey
  • Golden Fool, Fool’s Fate, and Dragon Keeper, by Robin Hobb
  • Jeweled Fire, by Sharon Shinn

The funny thing is, just two days after my last package arrived (this order came in four shipments due to me picking up a lot of “only” copies from the TB warehouse all over the place,) I got an email about the companies 15th-anniversary sale, worth extra points per dollar, and they had a bunch of stuff from my wishlist…so I bought eight more books. They won’t start getting here for at least another few days, so next month there will be a Part II to this book haul.

After that, I’m strongly considering another ban, at least on physical books. I’ve just joined BookBub, so free ebooks aren’t off the table yet–but my shelves are running out of room. Again.


The May 2018 Book Haul


Remember when I said I was on a book-buying ban until my birthday? I broke it a few weeks early to pick up A Dreamer’s Tale: Annotated Edition courtesy of Extra Credits/Extra Sci Fi. Then I ordered Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda from Common Language to celebrate Independent Bookstore Day at the end of April.

Well, I’d been sitting on a Thriftbooks coupon or two (in addition to the one I’ll be getting in a few days!) and I hadn’t skimmed the stacks of my library’s book sale room for months, either.

So yeah. I bought a lot of books in the last few weeks. And this picture doesn’t even include the 12 ebooks, thanks to the nine I got free on World Book Day, thank you, Amazon, for offering a selection of novels by authors from around the globe. Of course I jumped all over nine free books!

So here’s the physical list, because I know some of those titles are hard to read, especially on the damaged spines:

  • The Three Theban Plays, Sophocles
  • Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer
  • The Shack, William Paul Young
  • The Lace Reader, Brunonia Barry (this one’s autographed!)
  • Wildwood Dancing and Cybele’s Secret, Juliet Marillier
  • Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
  • Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines, John Green
  • The Inheritance Trilogy, N.K. Jemisin
  • The Dolphins of Pern, Anne McCaffrey
  • Caliban’s War, James S.A. Corey
  • The Dark Half, Stephen King
  • On the Edge and Magic Slays, Ilona Andrews
  • Messenger, Lois Lowry
  • The Trial, Franz Kafka
  • Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke
  • Royal Assassin and Assassin’s Quest, Robin Hobb
  • Virtual Light, William Gibson
  • Life Before Man, Margaret Atwood
  • The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton

I’m on track, still, for this year’s Mount TBR, albeit barely, or I’d be diving into some of these RIGHT NOW. I’ll be good, though, because I’m still reading the final book in my Horizons TBR, and I’ve got to get that done, at least, by the end of the month. Some of these might sneak into my reviews next month, though, we’ll see!

The Christmas Book Haul 2017

Christmas 2017 Book Haul Horizontal

Book Santa was great to me again this year! (It helps that “Book Santa” is actually my mom.)

  • Priestess of the White, by Trudi Canavan: I’ve heard good things about this author, and I found the second book in this trilogy at a used book sale, so I picked it up. I hadn’t managed to find either the first or third in the same manner, so I put the first on my Christmas list. Let’s hope I like it!
  • Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman: I loved American Gods. I love Neil Gaiman. This one’s obvious.
  • Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters: I’ve seen this on a lot of recommendation lists, especially LGBTQIA+ lists. And it sounds interesting.
  • Dreams of Gods and Monsters, by Laini Taylor: I borrowed this trilogy from the library and decided I needed my own copies. I already found the first two used, and now my trilogy is complete!
  • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue: Booklr is absolutely raving about this one, and it sounds like fun.
  • Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman: Technically this is my husband’s, but who am I kidding, I’ll read it too. Of course I will.
  • A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness: Same as Dreams of Gods and Monsters, except this time I was missing the first book instead of the last one. And I even managed to score matching editions!

With these shiny new beauties safely on my shelves, it’s time for me to go on a book-buying ban. I know, I know, I’ve tried these before, but I’m still swimming in unread books. So I’m not going to buy anymore until my Thriftbooks birthday coupon shows up at the end May. That gives me five solid months to read down my stacks and clean out my Kindle.

(The one exception is if any of my indie-author buddies put out new books between now and then–supporting them is more important to me than sticking to the ban. And ebooks are cheap!)

As the New Year hovers just over the horizon, I’m anxious to get started on my new reading challenges. I’ve put putting together my PopSugar task list, and once again I should be able to field most entries out of the books I already have. There might be a few tricky ones (a book related to my ancestry? Nordic noir? Too bad I already read the Millenium trilogy!) that I’ll need to research and request from the library, but I’ve got about 2/3 of the tasks filled in already.

Who else can’t wait for their 2018 reading?

The Christmas Book Haul 2016


When I gave my parents a list of books to choose from for presents this year . . . well, let’s just say I didn’t expect to get this many. (I hadn’t asked for a lot of large things this year, just a few replacement kitchen items for stuff that was dead or dying. Like the electric knife I “inherited” from Mom, who got it as a wedding present over forty years ago. She let me have it because I bake bread all the time, making it super handy for slicing–but it finally died. Finally. Darned thing was older than I am.)

So I got a mix of favorites I discovered from the library that I needed my own copies of (Ready Player One, WtNV, ACOTAR and ACOMAF) and books I want desperately to read by some of my favorite authors (Seveneves, Flame of Sevenwaters, The Last Light of the Sun.)

Book Santa smiled on me this year, and the only problem is, now I have to find room on my shelves, which are groaning under the weight of my TBR books.

Somehow, I’m sure I’ll manage.

What did Book Santa bring you this year, my lovely readers? What are you curling up on the couch to read over the holidays?