Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: My Christmas Book Haul

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week, we’re talking about the books I got for Christmas. I can hear you saying, “Aj, Christmas was a month ago. Why are you still blathering about it?” Because I’m freaking excited to read these books! I got a ton of books for Christmas. This isn’t even all of them. I’ll have to put the others in future hauls. These were all gifts from Lauren @ Shooting Stars Magazine or gifts from myself to myself. Since this is a book haul, I’m also linking up with Stacking the Shelves and Mailbox Monday.

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My Christmas Book Haul

I Am The Cheese by Robert Cormier

A boy’s search for his father becomes a desperate journey to unlock a secret past. But the past must not be remembered if the boy is to survive. As he searches for the truth that hovers at the edge of his mind, the boy—and readers—arrive at a shattering conclusion.

Black Bird Of The Gallows by Meg Kassel (Black Bird Of The Gallows #1)

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, And Why by Laurence Gonzales

Examining stories of miraculous endurance and tragic death—how people get into trouble and how they get out again (or not). Deep Survival takes us from the tops of snowy mountains and the depths of oceans to the workings of the brain that control our behavior. Through close analysis of case studies, Laurence Gonzales describes the "stages of survival" and reveals the essence of a survivor—truths that apply not only to surviving in the wild but also to surviving life.

Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children #1)

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced . . . they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Leaving your house in the middle of the night.
Knowing your mother is doing her best, but she's just as scared as you.

Starting a new school, making friends.
Seeing how happy it makes your mother.
Hearing a voice, calling out to you.

Following the signs, into the woods.
Going missing for six days.
Remembering nothing about what happened.

Something that will change everything.
And having to save everyone you love.

The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn's luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the '80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn's story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique's own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Surviving The Extremes: What Happens To The Body And Mind At The Limits Of Human Endurance by Kenneth Kamler, M.D.

A true-life scientific thriller no reader will forget, Surviving the Extremes takes us to the farthest reaches of the earth as well as into the uncharted territory within the human body, spirit, and brain. A vice president of the legendary Explorers Club, as well as surgeon, explorer, and masterful storyteller, Dr. Kenneth Kamler has spent years discovering what happens to the human body in extreme environmental conditions. Divided into six sections—jungle, high seas, desert, underwater, high altitude, and outer space—this book uses firsthand testimony and documented accounts to investigate the science of what a body goes through and explains why people survive—and why they sometimes don’t. 

Number The Stars by Lois Lowry

Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It's now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are "relocated," Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen's life.

Vox by Christina Dalcher

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed to speak more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial—this can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end.

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

Did you get any books for the holidays?


  1. I didn't get any book, but I do have a long TBR: https://wordsandpeace.com/2020/01/21/the-ten-most-recent-additions-to-my-2020-bookshelf/
    I also want to read Vox. And I am intrigued by your very first title

  2. Sadly I never get gifted any books for Christmas now even though Chuckles has been very good!

  3. I’ve heard awesome things about Every Heart A Doorway. The whole series, really. And Evelyn Hugo is one that I love. I think I read it on Kindle first and loved it so much that I bought a hard copy for my shelf.

  4. These all look good. I need to read more seanan McGuire- I read a few of her books in 2018 but I don't think any in 2019, for whatever reason.

  5. Oooh, both those survival books sound super interesting. I'm going to check them out as I love a good survival story. I'd also love to know what makes survivors different from a psychological perspective.

    Happy TTT!

  6. I am happy to find that my library has Deep Survival. Hurray!

  7. Nothing wrong with gifting yourself books! I hope you enjoy all the ones I sent your way - I need to read some of those too, like Imaginary Friend.


  8. What a great mix of books! Enjoy your new books!

  9. What a great Christmas haul. I really enjoyed Black Bird of the Gallows when I read it and I ADORE the Seanan McGuire series. Hope you love all your books!

  10. What a great haul! I never get books as gifts no one in my family are readers. I haven't heard of many of the books here but they sound amazing especially Imaginary Friend and I Am The Cheese.

  11. AJ I can't wait to read your thoughts on Black Bird of the gallows!!!!

  12. Oooh, it looks like you got a lot of good books! I really enjoyed Blackbird of the Gallows and Every Heart a Doorway. I really liked most of Imaginary Friend (boy can that author create an atmosphere!), but I wasn't a fan of the last part of it. I seem to be in the minority, though, I think. I hope you enjoy them all!

    Here's my TTT post.

  13. I am the Cheese is a blast from the past. I read that eons ago

  14. I loved Seven Husbands, TJR can basically do no wrong! Deep Survival sounds fascinating!

  15. I still need to read Every Heart a Doorway! I've heard fantastic things about it! It looks like you got quite a few books for Christmas. I hope you enjoy them!

  16. That's a nice collection of books. I'm about to reread Number the Stars with my daughter.

  17. I did not get any books for Christmas but I did get a gift card that I used to buy books so I guess that counts. I see Imaginary Friend! I hope you enjoy all of these!

  18. Hope you love all of these! I actually didn't get any books for Christmas, but I made up for it by buying some for myself. :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  19. These look so great....so many fabulous books ahead for you to read. I got some good ones, mostly political and some spiritual books.

  20. That's a dark, monochrome start to this post. Me like!
    I want to read Vox and Deep Survival piqued my interest. I'd not heard of it before

  21. Oh wow, that survival book looks right up my alley! I need to get that one for sure. I hope you love all of these!

  22. I gift myself a stack of books each year - my birthday/Christams haul (my birthday is in December). This year I got me some McGuire too, because she's awesome. Every Heart a Doorway is probably the less strong installment in her Wayward Children series, but I'm up to Book 5 now and they were all 4-star material for me - plus I bought Middlegame!


  23. Wow, what a great haul. I loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and thought Vox was a really interesting read as well.

  24. We definitely have similar book tastes! I loved Vox and have Imaginary Friend and Every Heart a Doorway on my need to read books of 2020.

  25. Ah what a fantastic haul! So happy you got a copy of Evelyn Hugo, I love this book so much. And Vox was such an interesting read, I can't wait to hear what you think of it :)

  26. My family won't give me books for Christmas - they say I have enough. Fortunately one of my staff gave me a GC.
    You got some great books. I especially like the sound of the two Survival titles. Thanks for reminding me about Vox which I plan to pick up at some point.
    Have a good week and Happy Reading!

  27. I want to read Imaginary Friends, too! 👍✨

    I didn't get any books, but my son gave me a Dune boardgame. Does that count? 😀

  28. You received a selection of books for Christmas. I received five books. All of them are books I'm excited to get around to reading.

  29. That is quite the Christas book haul. I have 2 of them on my TBR list as well.

  30. I was given a copy of The Seven Husbands for Christmas so I'm very much looking forward to it! Hope you enjoy these books 😊

    Katie @ The Queen of Teen Fiction

  31. It looks like you had a great Christmas!

  32. Have you read any of these yet? Seems like a good haul! I read Black Bird of the Gallows some time ago and really liked how unique it was, the whole idea. I've heard great things about some of these others too. I hope you like them!

  33. Looks like you've gotten some good ones for Christmas. Congratulations!!!!

    Sharrice @Reese's Reviews