Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Christmas Book Haul

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Did you get any books during the holidays? I did! Here's my haul. Thanks to my Secret Santa for gifting me these books from my wish list. I can't wait to read them.

🎅  Christmas Book Haul  🎄


Adult Fantasy

Once, there were four worlds, nestled like pages in a book, each pulsing with fantastical power, and connected by a single city: London. Until the magic grew too fast, and forced the worlds to seal the doors between them in a desperate gamble to protect their own. The few magicians who could still open the doors grew more rare as time passed and now, only three Antari are known in recent memory—Kell Maresh of Red London, Delilah Bard of Grey London, and Holland Vosijk of White London.

But barely a glimpse of them have been seen in the last seven years—and a new Antari named Kosika has appeared in White London, taking the throne in Holland's absence. The young queen is willing to feed her city with blood, including her own—but her growing religious fervor has the potential to drown them instead.

And back in Red London, King Rhy Maresh is threatened by a rising rebellion, one determined to correct the balance of power by razing the throne entirely.

Amidst this tapestry of old friends and new enemies, a girl with an unusual magical ability comes into possession of a device that could change the fate of all four worlds.

Her name is Tes, and she's the only one who can bring them together—or unravel it all.

Why I want to read it: YES! I love this series! I feel like I've been waiting for years to read this book. It's the first in a companion series to the Shades Of Magic, which you need to read if you like parallel universe stories. It has magical smugglers, and plot twists, and fabulous coats.

Has anybody read The Fragile Threads Of Power? Should I reread Shades of Magic before I start this one? How many details do I need to remember about the original series because I've probably forgotten everything.

Buy it on Amazon


Young Adult Fantasy

Arek hadn’t thought much about what would happen after he completed the prophecy that said he was destined to save the Kingdom of Ere from its evil ruler. So now that he’s finally managed to (somewhat clumsily) behead the evil king (turns out magical swords yanked from bogs don’t come pre-sharpened), he and his rag-tag group of quest companions are at a bit of a loss for what to do next.

As a temporary safeguard, Arek’s best friend and mage, Matt, convinces him to assume the throne until the true heir can be rescued from her tower. Except that she’s dead. Now Arek is stuck as king, a role that comes with a magical catch: choose a spouse by your eighteenth birthday, or wither away into nothing.

With his eighteenth birthday only three months away, and only Matt in on the secret, Arek embarks on a desperate bid to find a spouse to save his life—starting with his quest companions. But his attempts at wooing his friends go painfully and hilariously wrong . . . until he discovers that love might have been in front of him all along.

Why I want to read it: It's my New Year's resolution to read happier books. I want to be a less bleak b*tch in 2024. One of the few happy series I've read and enjoyed is the Simon Snow series by Rainbow Rowell, so I searched for cozy fantasy books with similar vibes. I found this one and plopped it on my wish list. I hope it's just as clever and escapist as Simon Snow.

Buy it on Amazon

Unmask Alice: LSD, Satanic Panic, And The Imposter Behind The World's Most Notorious Diaries by Rick Emerson

History Nonfiction

In 1971, Go Ask Alice reinvented the young adult genre with a blistering portrayal of sex, psychosis, and teenage self-destruction. The supposed diary of a middle-class addict, Go Ask Alice terrified adults and cemented LSD's fearsome reputation, fueling support for the War on Drugs. Five million copies later, Go Ask Alice remains a divisive bestseller, outraging censors and earning new fans, all of them drawn by the book's mythic premise: A Real Diary, by Anonymous.

But Alice was only the beginning.

In 1979, another diary rattled the culture, setting the stage for a national meltdown. The posthumous memoir of an alleged teenage Satanist, Jay's Journal merged with a frightening new crisis—adolescent suicide—to create a literal witch hunt, shattering countless lives and poisoning whole communities.

In reality, Go Ask Alice and Jay's Journal came from the same dark place: Beatrice Sparks, a serial con artist who betrayed a grieving family, stole a dead boy's memory, and lied her way to the National Book Awards.

Unmask Alice: LSD, Satanic Panic, and the Imposter Behind the World's Most Notorious Diaries is a true story of contagious deception. It stretches from Hollywood to Quantico, and passes through a tiny patch of Utah nicknamed "the fraud capital of America." It's the story of a doomed romance and a vengeful celebrity. Of a lazy press and a public mob. Of two suicidal teenagers, and their exploitation by a literary vampire.

Unmask Alice . . . where truth is stranger than nonfiction.

Why I want to read it: I read Go Ask Alice and Jay's Journal when I was in graduate school. I totally understand how they'd be terrifying to the average 13-year-old, but for a 20-something grad student who spent all her time studying cults, it was immediately obvious that Jay's Journal is not real life.

I guess I have to give Beatrice Sparks some credit. I couldn't get my book published after spending 10+ years interviewing religious abuse survivors and reading tedious sociological studies. I'm pretty sure Beatrice watched one Ronald Reagan campaign speech, busted out her typewriter, and made millions selling fear to the already fearful. Kudos to her. I hope she lived her best life with her money. (And I hope the publishing industry learned important lessons about not destroying people's families.)

Buy it on Amazon

Did you get (or give) any books as holiday gifts?


  1. May you enjoy all of them!

    Here is my Top Ten Tuesday post.


  2. In keeping with tradition, no books for me *sigh*
    Enjoy your haul

  3. I remember reading the first book in Shades of Magic but I don't remember why I didn't read the rest of it. Went to look at my notes and apparently, I listened to it on audio and hated the narrator and it ruined the story for me. Good news is I forgot everything anyway, so I'm gonna reread it in print or something, and hopefully love it more! I hope you enjoy the journey again if you plan to reread!

  4. I read Go Ask Alice when I was a teen. I think the read the book had such a big impact was because I thought it was true.Hope you enjoy al your new books and good luck with being less of a bleak B in 2024.

  5. YES to Fragile Threads! I read it recently and loved it! I did do a re-read of Shades of Magic first and while I don't think you really need to, I'm still happy I did it, as it all felt more fresh in my head and mostly because it made me even more excited to be reunited with these characters.
    I also read So This Is Ever After and really enjoyed it! It's a fun light and cozy fantasy about two idiots in love haha :D
    Hope you'll love both these reads!

  6. Nice list. Glad you received some books. I did as well...more than I thought I would. Hope you enjoy these.


  7. Go Ask Alice was so popular back in the day. Looking forward to reading Unmask Alice.

  8. Yay for secret Santa's! I hope you enjoy these when you get a chance to read them! Cindy-cindysbookcorrner

  9. I have yet to read VE Schwab. Her books look so interesting and like ones I'd enjoy. Too many books and so little time, lol. I hope you enjoy all of these!

  10. UNMASK ALICE sounds super interesting! I hope you enjoy all these.

    Happy TTT!

  11. These three look like they would be great to add to a bookshelf. I hope you love them.

  12. Oooooh what a great haul!!! Unmask Alice sounds so interesting!
    My TTT :)

  13. Woohoo! A Christmas book haul :) I got one special edition from my husband so I'm thrilled with that.

  14. There is nothing like getting books for Christmas!

  15. Nice books. I didn't get much for Christmas, but I had splurged earlier in the year.