Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Holiday Book Haul

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Did you get any books during the holidays? I did! Here's my haul. Huge thanks to Ashley @ Down The Book Hole for all these books. I can't wait to read them.

🎁  Holiday Book Haul  🎄

Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Young Adult Historical Fiction

It's 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

Why I'm excited to read it: Ruta Sepetys is my favorite historical fiction writer, and the 1950s is one of my favorite time periods to read about. It's a perfect combination!

Buy it on Amazon

Down Among The Sticks And Bones by Seanan McGuire

Young Adult Fantasy

Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first . . .

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you've got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

Why I'm excited to read it: I loved the first book in the series and can't wait to read the second. These are short, spooky, magical novels about children who find hidden doors and stumble into strange worlds.

Buy it on Amazon

Destination Truth: Memoirs Of A Monster Hunter by Josh Gates


World adventurer and international monster hunter Josh Gates has careened through nearly 100 countries, investigating frightening myths, chilling cryptozoological legends, and terrifying paranormal phenomena. Now, he invites fans to get a behind-the-scenes look at these breathtaking expeditions.

Follow Gates from the inception of the groundbreaking hit show (at the summit of Kilimanjaro) to his hair-raising encounters with dangerous creatures in the most treacherous locations on earth.

Why I'm excited to read it: Normally, I don't like celebrity memoirs, but Josh Gates is one of my favorite humans. He hosts several exploration-related TV shows on the Discovery and Travel channels. I want to be Josh Gates when I grow up. He's hilarious and open minded. I wish all tourists were like him.

Buy it on Amazon

King And The Dragon Flies by Kacen Callender

Middle Grade Contemporary

Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When Khalid unexpectedly passed away, he shed what was his first skin for another to live down by the bayou in their small Louisiana town. Khalid still visits in dreams, and King must keep these secrets to himself as he watches grief transform his family.

It would be easier if King could talk with his best friend, Sandy Sanders. But just days before he died, Khalid told King to end their friendship, after overhearing a secret about Sandy—that he thinks he might be gay. "You don't want anyone to think you're gay too, do you?"

But when Sandy goes missing, sparking a town-wide search, and King finds his former best friend hiding in a tent in his backyard, he agrees to help Sandy escape from his abusive father, and the two begin an adventure as they build their own private paradise down by the bayou and among the dragonflies. As King's friendship with Sandy is reignited, he's forced to confront questions about himself and the reality of his brother's death.

Why I'm excited to read it: This book was everywhere a few years ago. Teenagers love it. Teachers love it. Award committees love it. I want to love it too!

Buy it on Amazon

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

Young Adult Fantasy

The story is supposed to be over.

Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after.

So why can’t Simon Snow get off the couch?

What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light.

That’s how Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West.

They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were headed in the first place . . .

Why I'm excited to read it: Another sequel! I read the first book 8 years ago and barely remember it, so I'll need a reread. From what I remember, it put a funny twist on common fantasy tropes. The wizard teens use modern technology and refuse to be sidekicks or villains. I'm interested to see if I still like the book as much as I did the first time around.

Buy it on Amazon

The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

History Nonfiction

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her enslaved ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.

Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.

Why I'm excited to read it: This book was published in 2010, but people are still talking about it. I see it every time I look up lists of best nonfiction books. I want to know how and why this woman had her cells taken without her knowledge. That's creepy.

Buy it on Amazon

Did you get any books during the holidays?


  1. I got a couple. I generally like to buy my own books, but one of the favorite books is a collection of stories and recipes from Central Asia and the Caucasus. I'll have to try some of the dishes, too.

  2. Ooh, the Josh Gates book looks interesting!

  3. Looks like a great haul, hope you'll enjoy all of these!

  4. What a great haul! I still have Henrietta Lacks on my TBR but I'm keen to read it. I also stumbled upon my Kindle copy of Out of the Easy the other day as I was scrolling through my Kindle from end to end looking for something to read. I definitely need to read more by Sepetys! I hope you enjoy all of these books :)

  5. One of these days I have to try Sepetys.

  6. THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS BY REBECCA SKLOOT, I've never hread of this book but it sounds like a must read. Enjoy all of your great books.

  7. So happy to see a new book by Ruta Sepetys!

  8. What a wonderful gift! I hope they all are amazing for you.

  9. Ooo! Out of Easy. I would love to read that one. Hope you love these.

  10. Looks like you've got some great reading ahead of you. I've read the first four books in the Wayward Children series and really enjoyed them. :)

  11. The Immortal Life was fascinating and a great book, I hope you like it! I loved Sepetys' Salt to the Sea, and this one sounds very good. Happy holidays!

  12. Nice haul! Out of the Easy and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks caught my eye today. Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog.

  13. I hope you enjoy all of these when you get the chance!

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

  14. Out of The Easy is on my TBR, I also love Ruta Sepetys books' and it's one of the few I haven't read. I really want to read the Henrietta Lacks book too, it sounds fascinating.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2022/12/27/top-ten-tuesday-400/

  15. Oh, Out of the Easy and Henrietta Lacks are both so good! I don't know the rest, but they also sound like fun reads.

  16. I really enjoyed Out of the Easy. My book club read it several years ago. I hope you enjoy reading it as well as all the other books on your list! :D

    My TTT

  17. Ooh book haul! I want to try that series about the kids discovering weird worlds. Who wouldn't want to do that as a kid?? Or even an adult?

    I want to be a monster hunter. Well, maybe just read about them.

  18. I've yet to read anything by Sepetys and need to change that. Hope this latest is another hit for you.

  19. Wow, you got a very nice haul! I hope you enjoy all the books!

  20. Yeah books as gifts are the best! I read the Henrietta Lacks book ... I felt for her and her family. Quite a story. It was eye-opening - something I never knew about.