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Christmas Break Reading and First Book of the Year

christmas break reading list

It’s almost Christmas! I have to work about a half day today, then the boyfriend and I are off to the Twin Cities for a long weekend with both of our families. Since he’s an only child, his parents graciously agreed to come spend Christmas with my family again so we can all be together. Having a big extended Christmas last year was a lot of fun, and I’m so looking forward to it again.

I am not sure that I will have much time to read, so I tried really, really hard to be judicious in the number of books I stuffed in my bag for the weekend. I think I’ve narrowed it down to just three:

  • Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins – A love story set in a dystopian near future, all about the lengths we go for family. This has been on my list all year.
  • The Turner House by Angela Flournoy – What could be better than reading a family coming together in their family home while at home with my family?
  • Best American Essays 2015 edited by Ariel Levy – I think an essay collection might be just the ticket for dipping in and out of during a family gathering. I may end up swapping this out for Best American Science and Nature Writing 2015 because the guest editor of that book, Rebecca Skloot, is one of my favorite science writers and I’m curious what she picked.

Except I also got a notification from the library that 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino arrived from the library and now I want to read that too. So maybe some changes before we’re out of here this afternoon… it’s tough being a book nerd!

first book of the year 2016Anyway, I’m also trying to decide what I should read as my first book of 2016 so I can participate in the first book event being hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. I love the idea of making the first book of the year a special one, and since I have New Year’s Day off from work (yay!) I can probably get a good start on that special book.

Ideally, I’d love my first book to be a book I already own (#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks), and a book with some connection to my One Little Word for 2016. I slacked off on OLW this year, but I’m excited to try again. I’m still trying to settle on the right word, but I think it will have something to do with being brave and taking chances. I want to start the year with a book that can help inspire boldness and confidence. With that in mind, a few I’m considering are:

  • Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy – Nonfiction on confidence and body language, recommended for fans of Brené Brown
  • Saint Mazie by Jamie Attenberg – Historical fiction about a Jazz Age movie theater owner that I’ve heard nothing but good things about.
  • The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau – Nonfiction, subtitled “Finding a Quest that Will Bring Purpose to Your Life.”
  • Notorious RGB by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik – Coffee table biography of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg… also fun!

We’ll see though, there are a lot of days between now and the new year for me to change my mind!

I’m not sure what the next week will bring for the blog, but I’m not sure anyone will be reading anyway. Happy holidays, dear readers, and thanks for being here!

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Sarah's Book Shelves December 24, 2015, 6:57 am

    I really enjoyed Saint Mazie! And your Xmas reading list sounds great – Turner House and Gold Fame Citrus are on my TBR.

  • Debbie December 24, 2015, 8:04 am

    It IS hard being a book nerd!! Have a Merry Christmas!

  • bermudaonion (Kathy) December 24, 2015, 8:49 am

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  • Andi December 25, 2015, 6:36 pm

    I’m about to go lie down with Cat’s Pajamas as we speak. I’m a few chapters in, and it’s just the thing. Have a wonderful weekend!

  • iliana December 25, 2015, 10:40 pm

    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas!

  • Justice @ manuscripts & marginalia December 26, 2015, 5:34 pm

    Hope your long weekend is going well so far! I’m also reading Gold Fame Citrus. I started it Christmas Eve after getting tired of watching it collect dust for months, and I’m about halfway done. How are you finding it?

    • Kim January 1, 2016, 7:23 pm

      I’m torn about it. One the one hand, so inventive and weird and dark and beautifully written. On the other hand. I’m not sure I totally “got” it? But maybe I’m overthinking!

      • Justice @ manuscripts & marginalia January 2, 2016, 12:31 pm

        I loved the writing and found it dark and creative, but I agree — something missing, a piece I didn’t get quite “get.” I feel like it might be an “audio read,” from the purely lyrical, poetic quality of the writing. Oh, and I found one of the major characters to be so unlikable (which I honestly think was the point?) until the very end. I followed it with Fates and Furies, which I think was much better and more successful in terms of what GFC was trying to do. Completely eclipsed it on almost every level, at least for me.

        • Kim January 3, 2016, 1:30 pm

          Oh good, I’m glad I’m not the only one! I was reading some reviews of it later that talked about how it plays with our ideas of redemption — the characters we follow never really get it because this experience doesn’t really change them. They don’t suddenly become better people after stealing a baby or escaping the cult, which isn’t what we expect or, maybe, even want from our characters. So, I’ve been thinking about that… and how I wish I had a book club to read it with to talk about all these things!

  • Zara @ Foxing Pages December 27, 2015, 10:28 am

    nice choices. we have a similar taste 😀

    happy holidays!

  • Care December 29, 2015, 3:47 pm

    Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! So many great books, yes? I love this time of year. By the way, I want to thank you and apologize for missing any linky-love but WP is telling me that YOU were one of my top 5 referring sites (and the only blog; tops was Twitter.) SO YAY!

    • Kim January 1, 2016, 7:24 pm

      That is interesting! I can’t think of many times I would have linked out that you could have missed? Hmmm….. now I am trying to remember and it’s hurting my brain!

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