Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Came A Little Early For Jamie!

So last night my husband and I celebrated our Christmas with him mom since we are going to be visiting my dad for the holidays and among the gifts from my (amazing) mother-in-law was a $50 Barnes and Noble gift card!!


It's already burning a hole in my pocket though and I'm already facing the OMG WHAT DO I BUY WITH IT dilemma.  I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I get overwhelmed by the possibilities. Do I buy a new book I've never read? Buy a book I loved but don't own? And how to pick out of all of those???

My book buying habits have changed A LOT since I got laid off and was unemployed for a while. Even now I'm not in a great situation so I'm still not buying AS many books as I used to because I'd rather keep my lights on so I can READ books. So, now, every time I DO buy a book I am always VERY strategic and calculated about it because I see the crazy amount of unread books on my shelves that I spent my hard-earned money on!

So here are a few of the books I've been contemplating buying with it:

- Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer
- Wild by Cheryl Strayed
- The Catastrophic History Of You & Me by Jess Rothenberg
- How To Save A Life by Sara Zarr
- More Than This and also A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
- Every Breath by Ellie Marney

Those are just some loose ideas so what I want from YOU GUYS is:

1) Tell me a book you read this year and LOVED
2) Tell me an older favorite (a book you read a couple years ago and has stuck with you).

Hopefully I'll be able to use this gift card wisely!!! Do you think I should buy any off the list I already made? 


  1. The only book I read on your list is More Than This by Patrick Ness. It was not what I expected, but in a good way. I can't really tell you anymore than that without giving away major plot points.

    I'm always recommending Meg Cabot for some older books because her YA novels have stuck with me. She also has an adult mystery series (Size 12 is not fat, etc) that is just too damn funny.

  2. OOH! Excitement! I really want to read The Catastrophic History of You & Me, I've heard it's amazing. Books I've really enjoyed are:
    1. The Sky is Everywhere - Jandy Nelson
    2. If I Stay - Gayle Forman
    3. The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey
    4. The Percy Jackson series - Rick Riordan
    5. Geek Girl - Holly Smale
    6. Life As We Knew It - Susan Pfeffer
    7. Mockingbird - Kathryn Erskine
    8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor
    9. Boy Nobody - Allen Zadoff
    10. What Happened to Goodbye - Sarah Dessen

    Let us know what you get! :)

  3. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt -- hands down, one of the best books I have EVER read.

  4. I just finished We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and loved it. But all time favorites? The Book Thief, or Shadow of the Wind.

  5. I really loved NOWHERE BUT HOME by Liza Palmer. She's become one of my favorite authors! As for books I've read and loved this year, a lot of them are pretty dark. I did quite adore Janie Chang's THREE SOULS, though. And it's not really a dark read at all.

  6. I know, when I get bookish giftcards I can't hold on to them for longer than a week! I'm happy because my mother in law is a teacher and her students usually give her BN giftcards for the holidays, and since she doesn't use them, she gives them to me. It's what I look forward too every occasion! :)

    1) Cruel Beauty by Rosammund Hodge
    2) Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma


    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

  7. This year I fell in love with Euphoria by Lily King and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. A book that stuck with me from a few years ago is 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. Hanff's book is a wonderful collection of letters she exchanged with a used book seller in London during the Second World War. It's delightful, uplifting and sure to make you thankful for everything you have.

  8. I really love Jandy Nelson as well- both of her books are worth purchasing. Her newest book was the best I had read this year.

    I also would recommend all the light we cannot see.

  9. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness made me ugly cry for hours and has embedded itself into my very soul. There are no words to describe how heartbreakingly beautiful this book is.

  10. Wow, love book prezzies! Both of those by Patrick Ness I really do recommend (they stay with you forever). A book I read this year and absolutely loved, loved, loved, is Beloved by Toni Morrison and an oldie goldie is Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger. They are awesome.

  11. Hated How to Save a Life. Love every single thing by Melina Marchetta.

  12. I read Wild and laughed my head off yet it does have serious overtones too. A great story and anxious to see the film. I always use vouchers to buy reference books or books about books. Something like 1001 Books to Read or Different Moods Different Books, something like that. I hate to spend money on a new book, read it in a few hours and then it's done. Can do that from the library or from my shelves. Good luck with what you buy. I'll be waiting to hear.

  13. You must, MUST read Every Breath! Ellie Marney is amazing! I'm Aussie and I'm sincerely hoping that they haven't taken away the Aussie-isms in the overseas copies. They're what make that book great! In Australia, we're avidly awaiting the final book in Marney's trilogy, Every Move, early next year. These books are amazing YA and I read the first book in one day.

    More Than This is definitely another flawless YA. Ness is a genius and More Than This is intelligent YA. You know how a lot of YA is simple storylines, simple themes? Not this one. More Than This is so wonderfully complex, with themes that you don't usually see. Plus, this book has a sneaky genre change in the middle.

    Ahh, I've been gushing. Sorry! But these two books are incredible :-)

  14. Since you liked Illusions of Fate I would suggest picking up Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater or Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. Another series I love is Alice, I Think, Miss Smithers and Alice McLeod, Realist at Last by Susan Juby but those are out of print now and harder to find.

  15. More Than This is good but kind of weird. A Monster Calls will make you cry. But I love them both because I love Patrick Ness. My favorite book this year has been I'll Give You the Sun but I thiiiiink you already read that one. Merry Christmas!!!

  16. A book I read this year and loved... I'll go with Don't Touch by Rachel M. Wilson.
    An older favorite would be...Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George. :)

  17. 1. The Princess in the Opal Mask
    2. The Storykeeper by Lisa Wingate
    I stayed up late to finish both!

  18. So I enjoyed CATASTROPHIC HISTORY & EVERY BREATH but neither blew me away.(and I am a huge lover of Aussie stuff…I just think that EVERY BREATH had a lot of cliches and some plot holes and the characters were okay.)

    A book I love that nobody is really talking about is DON'T TOUCH by Rachel M. Wilson. It is hefty - 400 pages - but it does not feel like 400 pages. The story flew by. the pages flew by. It's about a girl with obsessive thoughts - she thinks if she doesn't touch anyone her parents will get back together - and she KNOWS that this is not realistic, she knows that it's not real/possible, but she does it anyway. She goes to a new arts academy school, she tries out for the school play. She falls for a cute boy who isn't perfect (in fact, he has anger management issues). WHY isn't this book more talked about? So, um, yeah that would be my book buying suggestion :)

  19. The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud. I read it twice this year. It's a middle grade novel set in an alternate London where they have a ghost epidemic. Only kids cans see them though, so there are agencies made up of kids who go out and take care of them(equally all kinds of epic). It was amazing!! And last year I really liked The Caged Graves by Dianne Salerni. It was a great historical that literally features caged graves- and a really great romance! Those are my recs. =)

  20. Looks like I should really start reading the Throne of Glass series. Got them all here but haven't started them yet. So many new books to add to my TBR, so little time!
    Great list!!

    Jen @

  21. 1. The Big Wide Calm by Rich Marcello, it was sooo good!!! He also has a first novel I havent read yet but he has sent to me. He has a very unique narrative writing style, I recommend it for sure.
    2. Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, there is also a movie if you don't have time to read the book. Both are a bit different and its a worth a try to read the book and see the movie if you can :)

  22. I would get Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Also, see the movie. My review of the movie will be posted tomorrow (Dec. 20) at

  23. How to Save a Life is sooooo good! And I've been meaning to read Wild. I think my favourite this year is Me Before You, though The Rosie Project is a close second!


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