Sunday, January 3, 2010

SUNDAY SALON AND CHRISTMAS BOOTY


Well, hello all!  I must say that after taking a break from blogging for over a week, I feel TOTALLY refreshed and raring to go for the new year.  I really didn't do much internet stuff at all over the holidays, and it was just wonderful.  But now I am back and realize how much I truly enjoy reading all of your blogs, interacting with all of you (or as many as I can.. how Bermudaonion does it I have no idea!  She remains the QUEEN of COMMENTING for sure!)  and writing on Book Blab here. 

My reading over the holidays consisted of Pope Joan, and I was just itching to see what my hubby and girls picked out for me for Christmas and was SUPER excited with their choices, PLUS my parents, er I mean "Santa" gave me a gift card to Chapters.  SWOON!  So, here is what was given and purchased in all their bookish glory:


Aren't they BEAUTIFUL?..........excuse me, I feel a little light headed.....

I know you can see from the pic what the books are, but here is the run down anyway:

GRACELING by Kristin Cashore
There has been much ballyhoo about this book in the bloggy world, and thus I have wanted to read it for a veeeerrrry long time.  Okay, for a few months, but whatever.  It always feels like a long time when one is waiting to read a juicy little number.  And get a load of the premise, here is the blurb from Amazon.ca

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight shes a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the kings thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Pos friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Graceor about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.

Sounds like a gooder, am I right?

Next on the roster is:
WOLF HALL by Hilary Mantel
There has been a lot of talk about this one as well, and it is apparently a very very good historical fiction and the first page has me immediately hooked, which is (most of the time) a good sign.

Here's the blurb on that one (courtesy of Amazon.ca):
England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor. Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with a delicate and deadly expertise in manipulating people and events. Ruthless in pursuit of his own interests, he is as ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.

From one of our finest living writers, Wolf Hall is that very rare thing: a truly great English novel, one that explores the intersection of individual psychology and wider politics. With a vast array of characters, and richly overflowing with incident, it peels back history to show us Tudor England as a half-made society, moulding itself with great passion and suffering and courage.

I have one thing to say about that blurb:  Yu...mmy.

Next is A LION AMONG MEN by Gregory Maguire
This is the next in the trilogy for his Oz series.  I started this one over the holidays and it proves to be as weird and groovy as the last two.  I only JUST started it, though, and as is the way with most of his books it takes a good chunk of the book to get me really hooked, so I'll keep you posted.  Basically this is the life story of the Cowardly lion of the Wizard of Oz story. 

And on to:  PIRATE LATITUDES by Michael Crichton

I have to preface this by saying that I have never in my life... ever... read anything by Michael Crichton.  Yes, I have seen the Jurassic movies, and that's about it.  But there is something about Pirates, and the sea.  I just LOVE to read about them!  In fact, if any of you reading this right now have any recommendations for any sea faring type books set in the piraty type era I would be much appreciated.  For example one of my all time favourite books I discovered last spring by total fluke was John Boyne's Mutiny on the Bounty. 

ANYway, I don't know much about this one other than this manuscript was found among his belongings after his death, and from what I have heard about it, it's pretty good. 

Here is the blurb from Amazon.ca: 
The Caribbean, 1665. A remote colony of the English crown, the island of Jamaica holds out against the vast supremacy of the Spanish empire. Devoid of London's luxuries, Port Royal, its capital, is a cutthroat town of taverns, grog shops, and bawdy houses. In this steamy climate, life can end swiftly by dysentery--or dagger. But for a daring soul like Captain Charles Hunter, this wild outpost in the New World can also lead to great fortune, if he abides by the island's code. In the name of His Majesty King Charles II of England, gold in Spanish hands is gold for the taking and the law of the land rests with those ruthless enough to make it.



Word in port is that the Spanish galleon El Trinidad, fresh from New Spain, is awaiting repairs in nearby Matanceros. Heavily fortified, the impregnable Spanish harbor is guarded by the bloodthirsty Cazalla, a favorite commander of King Philip IV. With the Jamaican governor's backing, Hunter assembles a crew of ruffians to infiltrate the enemy island and commandeer the galleon and its fortune in Spanish gold. The raid is as perilous as the bloodiest tales of Matanceros legend, and Hunter will lose more than one man before he makes it onto the island's shores, where dense jungle and the firepower of Spanish infantry stand between him and the treasure.

With the help of his cunning band, Hunter hijacks El Trinidad and escapes the deadly clutches of Cazalla, leaving plenty of carnage in his wake. But the danger--and adventure--are only just beginning. . .


And last but by no means least is the brand spankin' new cookbook by Ree Drummond from Pioneer Woman who I have loved since she launched her little wee blog two and a half years ago.  This wee blog grew to the mammoth it is today (and I know you bloggers reading this will appreciate this stat) which has an AVERAGE OF 33 MILLION HITS EVERY SINGLE MONTH.  Thaaaaaat's right.  She is the little blogger that could.  What started out as blog like we all have, to share her thoughts and a few recipes with a few family members, exploded into the juggernaut that it is today from her post on how to cook a steak.  But it wasn't just that, the appeal about Ree is she is just like us, her blog is written in the funniest best voice E-V-E-R, and you will find yourself reading every little scrap she has on there, just because she is so damn charming and funny.  Her cookbook is just like her blog, very charming and cute.  I have only one small bone to pick with it though, I in no shape or form needed a recipe for egg in the hole.  I just don't need to read how to cut a hole in a piece a bread and fry an egg in said hole.  Don't need that.  And I also don't need a recipe on how to mash potatoes.  I mean puh- leeeze.  Otherwise it is pretty good.  But all of her recipes are available on her site FOR FREE, so in hind site I guess I didn't really need the book, but I am totally happy my hubby bought it for me.  It is beautiful, and I look at it every night in bed and dream about all of the yummy things I'm going to make with it. 

So, that was my Christmas booty!  Not to mention my ACTUAL booty has grown about a size and a half due to the holidays, but I'm not going to cry about it.  I'm totally not.  Really. 

We were at the library today and I aquired a copy of "Shiver" by Maggie Stiefvater  (how much do I love that woman's last name? Go 'head, ask me.)  which I have been in line to get for ages so I'll be reading that along with "Lament" (and OH MY GOD I literally JUST discovered as I opened another page to google the author of this one to type in here, and it is MAGGIE STIEFVATER!  I had no idea!  Okay, she may just be my new favourite YA author.  I'm just sayin'.)  by Maggie Stiefvater.

What was YOUR holiday booty???

11 Blabs:

Mary said...

Oooh, Merry Christmas to YOU! Love the books. I bought my husband the Crichton. He'll read it after the Stephen King book. I know I'm going to buy the Pioneer Woman Cooks. I've been reading her blog the past few days and bow humbly in her direction.
We had a fabulous Christmas and my personal booty looks like it. Back on the treadmill I go - tomorrow.
Happy New Year!

Lisa said...

Hey Mary! I KNOW, isn't her blog AMAZING???!!! She is so awesome. And she was just on the Bonnie Hunt show last November!

So glad you had a great Christmas! And now that i have your blog on my blogroll, and I'm a new follower too, I can happily catch up and read your blog posts! :0)

Diane said...

Lisa.....yes new books make me lightheaded too...LOL I'm looking forward to Wolf Hall and Pirate Latitudes

Natalie W said...

Awesome books!! They DO look lovely. I got Dan Browns latest book for Christmas and a Nano Ipod!
Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas.
Also, thanks for stopping by my site and in response to your remark, you don't have anything to worry about. Jen's family life was a dysfunctional one and her parents were divorced before she turned 15!
Have a happy New Year!
Natalie :0)

Aarti said...

I love Wolf Hall and have Graceling on my shelf to read. And one of my main hopes in life (sad? perhaps) is to win one of those candy red mixers the Pioneer Woman gives away on her blog seemingly every day...

Lisa said...

Diane: I can't wait to read your thoughts on those two!

Natalie: My Dad is loving the Dan Brown. I have to admit being curious, so I may have to read it. I really liked the DaVinci Code, super exciting reading, but not the best writing on the planet. But I love all of that Mason stuff. Totally.

Aarti: I hear you about the red mixer, and her giveaways literally are HOURS LONG and not WEEKS OR DAYS LONG! She'll announce that she's giving one of those red mixer thingys and she'll end the contest 24 hours later! Sometimes even 12 hours later! And she'll end up with hundreds of entries! My blog wants to be her blog when it grows up. Dream the impossible dream, I always say. :0)

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

Great loot. I will most likely cave and get Wolf Hall. I have heard some differing opinions on it, but I think I will likely take the plunge and read it this year.

carolsnotebook said...

Enjoy all the new books. They look great.

alitareads said...

Okay, how much do you love Maggie's last name? I'm so very much looking forward to finally reading Shiver this year.

Such lovely books from Santa! I gave Pirate Latitudes to my sister for Christmas and am already looking forward to borrowing it from her :)

Anna said...

Enjoy all your new books! I don't know how Kathy does all that commenting. I always feel like I'm falling behind in that respect!

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Amy @ Passages to the Past said...

Nice presents!!! I didn't get any books this year, but that's okay because I have so many in my TBR pile that my head spins when I look at it!

Wolf Hall is fantastic and I also LOVE the Wicked series, though haven't gotten to the Lion one yet!

Enjoy!

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