December Book Haul! | 2020

I did it, we’re here, I’ve finally got my December book haul up! I’ve been typing like mad this week to get this stuff done before we get too far into the rest of the year! Not to mention fiddling around with design (as you may have already noticed). This is a WHOPPING big book haul I’m sharing with you. So go get your glasses, a biscuit and a cup of tea, we’ll be a while.


New Books

Chase and the Girl Who Came Back | Amber Davis

I received this as part of a bookish advent box that I got in December. It was a really fun box and there is another book I’ll show later on that also came in that box. Whilst this isn’t what I would usually reach for, I have heard some book reviews for it so fingers crossed!

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Chase had it all planned out. He would finish school, move to New Hope and keep living his best life – no regrets. Nothing was going to change. Well that’s what he thought.

When a mysterious girl with familiar blue eyes shows up in his driveway, his world shifts. He didn’t realise something was missing until he met her.

Yasmin has walls around her – shadows from her past follow her everywhere. Who is this guy who bulldozed into her life, and why does he make her feel safer than ever before?

The Traitor | V. S. Alexander

Super excited about this book! I received it as a Christmas present and it’s one I’ve had my eye on for quite some time. It follows a particular resistance group in Nazi Germany during WWII that I do actually know about. So I was really keen to read a book based on what this group did!

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Drawing on the true story of the White Rose—the resistance movement of young Germans against the Nazi regime—The Traitor tells of one woman who offers her life in the ultimate battle against tyranny, during one of history’s darkest hours.

In the summer of 1942, as war rages across Europe, a series of anonymous leaflets appears around the University of Munich, speaking out against escalating Nazi atrocities. The leaflets are hidden in public places, or mailed to addresses selected at random from the phone book. Natalya Petrovich, a student, knows who is behind the leaflets—a secret group called the White Rose, led by siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl and their friends.

As a volunteer nurse on the Russian front, Natalya witnessed the horrors of war first-hand. She willingly enters the White Rose’s circle, where every hushed conversation, every small act of dissent could mean imprisonment or death at the hands of an infuriated Gestapo. Natalya risks everything alongside her friends, hoping the power of words will encourage others to resist. But even among those she trusts most, there is no guarantee of safety—and when danger strikes, she must take an extraordinary gamble in her own personal struggle to survive.

Half a Soul | Olivia Atwater

This is a nice short book with a promising premise! I love the cover for this and was thrilled to receive it at Christmas. This one involves faeries and regency England, who could ask for more?

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It’s difficult to find a husband in Regency England when you’re a young lady with only half a soul.

Ever since a faerie cursed her, Theodora Ettings has had no sense of fear, embarrassment, or even happiness—a condition which makes her sadly prone to accidental scandal. Dora’s only goal for the London Season this year is to stay quiet and avoid upsetting her cousin’s chances at a husband… but when the Lord Sorcier of England learns of her condition, she finds herself drawn ever more deeply into the tumultuous concerns of magicians and faeries.

Lord Elias Wilder is handsome, strange, and utterly uncouth—but gossip says that he regularly performs three impossible things before breakfast, and he is willing to help Dora restore her missing half. If Dora’s reputation can survive both her ongoing curse and her sudden connection with the least-liked man in all of high society, then she may yet reclaim her normal place in the world… but the longer Dora spends with Elias Wilder, the more she begins to suspect that one may indeed fall in love, even with only half a soul.

Letters from the Past | Erica James

This was the other book I was talking about coming in that bookish advent box! This is actually quite a chunky boy and seems like it’ll be some sort of family saga. I have been enjoying these kind of books more and more lately so I’m curious to see how I’ll go with this one.

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A sweeping story of family, love and betrayal set in a quintessential Suffolk village, from Sunday Times bestselling author Erica James.

With its winding high street lined with a greengrocers, post office, pub and church, Melstead St Mary is the perfect English village. Neighbours look out for neighbours, and few things trouble the serene surface of the community.

But when residents start to receive anonymous letters containing secret information about their pasts – secrets that no one else is meant to know – life in Melstead St Mary is about to change, possibly forever…

Asperfell | Jamie Thomas

I have heard next to no-one talking about this book but I am very enthusiastic about reading it. Yet another Christmas present, this is a fantasy story that sounds eerie and exciting. I think you’ll want to read the blurb for this one!

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Only the darkest and most dangerous of Mages are sentenced to pass through the gate to Asperfell.

Not one has ever returned.

Never did Briony dream she might set foot in the otherworldly prison of Asperfell. She was, after all, neither Mage nor criminal. She was simply her father’s little whirlwind—fingers smudged with ink, dresses caked with mud—forever lost in a book or the spirit-haunted woods surrounding her family’s country estate.

But Briony always had a knack for showing up where she was least expected.

Only by braving the gate of Asperfell could Briony hope to find the true heir to the throne of Tiralaen and save her kingdom from civil war. And so, she plunges into a world of caged madmen and demented spirits, of dark magic and cryptic whispers… and of a bleak and broken prince with no interest in being rescued.

Hauntingly beautiful and lavishly told, Asperfell is a must-read for fans of Jane Austen who always wished she’d dabbled in blood magic.

The Perfect Match | Kristan Higgins

I scored this sweet and simple romance at a book swap I did with some bookish friends just before Christmas. I actually just worked out this is technically book two in this series (but how much does that really matter in a romance?). I can’t say I’m particularly excited for this, but I’m hopeful it’ll be some fun, mindless reading at some point.

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What if the perfect match is a perfect surprise?

Honor Holland has just been unceremoniously rejected by her lifelong crush. And now — a mere three weeks later — Mr. Perfect is engaged to her best friend. But resilient, reliable Honor is going to pick herself up, dust herself off and get back out there…or she would if dating in Manningsport, New York, population 715, wasn’t easier said than done.

Charming, handsome British professor Tom Barlow just wants to do right by his unofficial stepson, Charlie, but his visa is about to expire. Now Tom must either get a green card or leave the States — and leave Charlie behind.

In a moment of impulsiveness, Honor agrees to help Tom with a marriage of convenience — and make her ex jealous in the process. But juggling a fiancé, hiding out from her former best friend and managing her job at the family vineyard isn’t easy. And as sparks start to fly between Honor and Tom, they might discover that their pretend relationship is far too perfect to be anything but true love…

A Dance with Fate | Juliet Marillier

I found an autographed copy of this book (sequel to The Harp of Kings) at my local bookstore and I just couldn’t resist! Out of all the copies of this sitting on the shelf only one was signed so it felt special. No, I haven’t read book one yet but I hopeful I’ll enjoy it!

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A young woman is both a bard–and a warrior–in this thrilling historical fantasy from the author of the Sevenwaters novels.

Eighteen-year-old Liobhan is a powerful singer and an expert whistle player. Her brother has a voice to melt the hardest heart, and a rare talent on the harp. But Liobhan’s burning ambition is to join the elite warrior band on Swan Island. She and her brother train there to compete for places, and find themselves joining a mission while still candidates. Their unusual blend of skills makes them ideal for this particular job, which requires going undercover as traveling minstrels. For Swan Island trains both warriors and spies.

Their mission: to find and retrieve a precious harp, an ancient symbol of kingship, which has gone mysteriously missing. If the instrument is not played at the upcoming coronation, the candidate will not be accepted and the people could revolt. Faced with plotting courtiers and tight-lipped druids, an insightful storyteller, and a boorish Crown Prince, Liobhan soon realizes an Otherworld power may be meddling in the affairs of the kingdom. When ambition clashes with conscience, Liobhan must make a bold decision and is faced with a heartbreaking choice. . .

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet | Becky Chambers

I was so excited to receive this at Christmas! I’ve heard endless good things about this series and the blurb makes it sound super fun. I am lowkey expecting some Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy vibes in this, but I don’t want to get my hopes too high!

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Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space—and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe—in this light-hearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star.

Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain.

Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs—an experience that teaches her about love and trust, and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe.

Tidelands | Philippa Gregory

I have been wanting to get into Gregory’s work for some time now. I always see her books about the shop and am so curious. I used one of the vouchers I got at Christmas to grab a copy of this one. I did try to do some research as to which one to read first but in the end, this was the only one of her books my store had in stock—so the decision was made for me!

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England 1648. A dangerous time for a woman to be different . . .

Midsummer’s Eve, 1648, and England is in the grip of civil war between renegade King and rebellious Parliament. The struggle reaches every corner of the kingdom, even to the remote Tidelands – the marshy landscape of the south coast.

Alinor, a descendant of wise women, crushed by poverty and superstition, waits in the graveyard under the full moon for a ghost who will declare her free from her abusive husband. Instead she meets James, a young man on the run, and shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marsh, not knowing that she is leading disaster into the heart of her life.

Suspected of possessing dark secrets in superstitious times, Alinor’s ambition and determination mark her out from her neighbours. This is the time of witch-mania, and Alinor, a woman without a husband, skilled with herbs, suddenly enriched, arouses envy in her rivals and fear among the villagers, who are ready to take lethal action into their own hands.

Legendborn | Tracy Deonn

There have been so many great reviews for this book, I’m so excited to read it! Another book that I got with a Christmas voucher, I felt left out it I didn’t pick this one up! It sounds incredible and fascinating, I can’t wait to read it!

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After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.

A Study in Charlotte | Brittany Cavallaro

A Sherlock Holmes retelling!! Who could want more?! I’m not sure if this is technically classified as a ‘retelling’ seeing as the main character is supposedly a descendant of him, but you get my drift. I really hope this is a wonderful mix of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie! This was another present from Christmas.

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The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

The Damned | Renée Ahdieh

This was an absolute favourite of mine last year (book one, that is) and I’m so excited to have received the sequel for Christmas. I can’t wait to continue the story and see what the characters get up to next. You simply must read this if you haven’t yet!

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In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

Daughter of the Siren Queen | Tricia Levenseller

This is the sequel to another absolute favourite of mine: Daughter to the Pirate King. I can’t wait to continue this story either. These books are such quick reads but filled with strong female characters and plenty of pirating adventures!

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There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

Cinderella is Dead | Tricia Levenseller

People have not stopped talking about how good this one was. I got this with a Christmas voucher and I can’t wait to read it. I’m 100% sure I am going to gobble this up and LOVE it. If you can’t tell, this is a retelling of Cinderella but with a number of awesome twists.

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It’s 200 years since Cinderella found her prince, but the fairytale is over.

Sophia knows the story though, off by heart. Because every girl has to recite it daily, from when she’s tiny until the night she’s sent to the royal ball for choosing. And every girl knows that she has only one chance. For the lives of those not chosen by a man at the ball . are forfeit.

But Sophia doesn’t want to be chosen – she’s in love with her best friend, Erin, and hates the idea of being traded like cattle. And when Sophia’s night at the ball goes horribly wrong, she must run for her life. Alone and terrified, she finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s tomb. And there she meets someone who will show her that she has the power to remake her world.

November 9 | Colleen Hoover

One of my reading goals for 2021 is to read as many of Colleen Hoover’s books as I possibly can. This will start with November 9 as I got this for Christmas. I’m anticipating it will be as amazing and dramatic as all of Hoover’s other books that I’ve read so far have been.

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Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?

Angel and Bavar | Amy Wilson

I have been loving my Beauty & the Beast retellings lately and here is another! Once more, a Christmas gift (I told you this haul is insane) and one I’m thrilled to add to the TBR. This is actually middle grade fiction but I just love the cover and the intrigue surrounding the premise.

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Taking inspiration from “Beauty and the Beast,” Amy Wilson’s second middle grade novel is a stunning modern fairy tale of magic, friendship, and finding the courage to fight for what matters most.

After the death of her parents, Angel has a lot to get used to: a new home, a new family, a new school. The last thing she’s interested in is making new friends. Until she meets Bavar, a strange boy who slips through the shadows, a boy who might understand her nightmares.

But Bavar doesn’t want to let anyone in. Everyone—and everything—in his enchanted house is already urging him to step up and protect the world from a magical rift and the fearsome monsters traveling through it, a responsibility he wishes he could ignore.

Then Bavar discovers that the monsters are the same ones that killed Angel’s parents. Determined to stop the creatures for good, he reluctantly accepts Angel’s help. Together, Angel and Bavar must find the courage to stand up for each other and themselves to repair the rift between worlds…before it’s too late.

Lovely War | Julie Berry

I can’t wait to dive into this one as a good friend of mine gave me it for Christmas after raving about how amazing it is. This is not just any old WWI story, but one involving the gods, the Greek gods at that. I just think that sounds like the most wonderful addition to this story and I’m so intrigued!

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It’s 1917, and World War I is at its zenith when Hazel and James first catch sight of each other at a London party. She’s a shy and talented pianist; he’s a newly minted soldier with dreams of becoming an architect. When they fall in love, it’s immediate and deep–and cut short when James is shipped off to the killing fields.

Aubrey Edwards is also headed toward the trenches. A gifted musician who’s played Carnegie Hall, he’s a member of the 15th New York Infantry, an all-African-American regiment being sent to Europe to help end the Great War. Love is the last thing on his mind. But that’s before he meets Colette Fournier, a Belgian chanteuse who’s already survived unspeakable tragedy at the hands of the Germans.

Thirty years after these four lovers’ fates collide, the Greek goddess Aphrodite tells their stories to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another? But her quest for a conclusion that will satisfy her jealous husband uncovers a multi-threaded tale of prejudice, trauma, and music and reveals that War is no match for the power of Love.

Blazewrath Games | Amparo Ortiz

When I received this for Christmas I could’ve fallen off my chair in excitement. This was one of my own personally hyped books for 2020 because A DRAGON TOURNAMENT PEOPLE. You have no idea how excited I am for this. I will be reading this as soon as humanly possible.

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How to Train Your Dragon meets Quidditch through the Ages in this debut fantasy, set in an alternate contemporary world, in which dragons and their riders compete in an international sports tournament.

Lana Torres has always preferred dragons to people. In a few weeks, sixteen countries will compete in the Blazewrath World Cup, a tournament where dragons and their riders fight for glory in a dangerous relay. Lana longs to represent her native Puerto Rico in their first ever World Cup appearance, and when Puerto Rico’s Runner—the only player without a dragon steed—is kicked off the team, she’s given the chance.

But when she discovers that a former Blazewrath superstar has teamed up with the Sire—a legendary dragon who’s cursed into human form—the safety of the Cup is jeopardized. The pair are burning down dragon sanctuaries around the world and refuse to stop unless the Cup gets cancelled. All Lana wanted was to represent her country. Now, to do that, she’ll have to navigate an international conspiracy that’s deadlier than her beloved sport.

Pennie’s for Hitler | Jackie French

I have been wanting this book for so many years but never got around to buying it for myself. It’s another Christmas present and I am super excited to dive into it. I think the premise sounds really interesting and am hoping it will be an engrossing WWII story.

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It′s 1939, and for Georg, son of an English academic living in Germany, life is full of cream cakes and loving parents. It is also a time when his teacher measures the pupils′ heads to see which of them have the most ′Aryan′- shaped heads. But when a university graduation ceremony turns into a pro-Nazi demonstration, Georg is smuggled out of Germany to war-torn London and then across enemy seas to Australia where he must forget his past and who he is in order to survive.

Hatred is contagious, but Georg finds that kindness can be, too.

The companion book for HITLER′S DAUGHTER, PENNIES FOR HITLER examines the life of a child during World War 2, from a different perspective.

Daughters of the Night Sky | Aimie K. Runyan

Continuing with yet more Christmas present (twas such a good haul), we also continue with WWII themes! This came out in 2020 and I loved the sound of it. I am a sucker for war fiction that features female leads, especially if they’re in male dominant roles. I believe this one is set in Russia—but how exciting! Female pilots!

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A novel—inspired by the most celebrated regiment in the Red Army—about a woman’s sacrifice, courage, and love in a time of war.

Russia, 1941. Katya Ivanova is a young pilot in a far-flung military academy in the Ural Mountains. From childhood, she’s dreamed of taking to the skies to escape her bleak mountain life. With the Nazis on the march across Europe, she is called on to use her wings to serve her country in its darkest hour. Not even the entreaties of her new husband—a sensitive artist who fears for her safety—can dissuade her from doing her part as a proud daughter of Russia.

After years of arduous training, Katya is assigned to the 588th Night Bomber Regiment—one of the only Soviet air units composed entirely of women. The Germans quickly learn to fear nocturnal raids by the daring fliers they call “Night Witches.” But the brutal campaign will exact a bitter toll on Katya and her sisters-in-arms. When the smoke of war clears, nothing will ever be the same—and one of Russia’s most decorated military heroines will face the most agonizing choice of all.

The End of the World is Bigger Than Love | Davina Bell

This actually came in another bookish advent box that I treated myself to (I got two, three books from them all up). I confess that I had never heard of this book before and upon looking it up on Goodreads, its ratings are not wonderful. BUT. Have you read the blurb? Because it actually sounds so good, I’m holding out hope.

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She said we didn’t know what the world out there had become. We had been alone there so long on that tiny island, in that tiny church. But in the night, I couldn’t bear it. My chest beat like wings.

Identical twin sisters Summer and Winter live alone on a remote island, sheltered from a destroyed world. They survive on rations stockpiled by their father and spend their days deep in their mother’s collection of classic literature—until a mysterious stranger upends their carefully constructed reality.

At first, Edward is a welcome distraction. But who is he really, and why has he come? As love blooms and the world stops spinning, the secrets of the girls’ past begin to unravel and escape is the only option.

A sumptuously written novel of love and grief; of sisterly affection and the ultimate sacrifice; of technological progress and climate catastrophe; of an enigmatic bear and a talking whale—The End of the World Is Bigger than Love is unlike anything you’ve read before.

The Map of Salt and Stars | Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

Once again, this was a Christmas present. I think this sounds fascinating and I can’t wait to pick it up. This is set in Syria in two different timelines—and I’ve never actually read anything set in Syria! I am hoping to learn a few things from this book and revel in the beauty of the setting.

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Nour is a young Syrian girl who has lost her father to cancer. Wanting to be close to her relatives, Nour’s mother – a cartographer who makes beautiful hand-painted maps – moves her family back to the city of Homs. Nour’s father was a real storyteller and he told her that the roots of the trees connect to the ground across the world. She knows they left her father in the ground back in America, so she starts telling him the ancient fable of Rawiya, whispering it into the ground so he might hear.

Rawiya left her home dressed as a boy in order to explore the world. She became apprenticed to Al Idrisi, who was a famous cartographer tasked by King Roger II of Sicily to make the first map of the world. Together with Al Idrisi, Rawiya travelled the globe, encountering adventures – including the mythical Roc and a battle in the Valley of Snakes – along the way. It is this story that gives Nour the courage to keep going when she has to leave Homs after it is bombed and faces a long journey as a refugee in search of a new home – a journey that closely mirrors that of Rawiya many centuries before.

When Nour and her sister are forced to part from their mother, she gives them a special map that contains clues that will lead them to safety. The two stories are beautifully told and interwoven, the real interspersed with the magical/imagined so that the overall effect is uplifting – about the strength of the human spirit, the strength of women in particular, the power of a journey, and what it takes to find a home.

Tomorrow, When the War Began | John Marsden

I actually managed to score this entire series for free. Courtesy of a lovely friend who’d bought herself some new and nicer looking editions, she had a complete set she was willing to palm off. We frequently swap books with each other so this was a lovely little win! I’m in no hurry to read this but I totally want to binge the series one day (it’s seven books long).

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When Ellie and her friends return from a camping trip in the Australian bush, they find things hideously wrong — their families are gone. Gradually they begin to comprehend that their country has been invaded and everyone in their town has been taken prisoner. As the reality of the situation hits them, they must make a decision — run and hide, give themselves up and be with their families, or fight back.

Piranesi | Susanna Clarke

This beautiful book was gifted to me at Christmas by a friend and I am SO excited. I had been eyeing this beauty off at the shop every time I walked passed because I’d been watching everyone share photos of it on Instagram and I knew how beautiful it was without its dust jacket on. Plus it’s mythology and who doesn’t love that?

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Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house—a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.

For readers of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane and fans of Madeline Miller’s Circe, Piranesi introduces an astonishing new world, an infinite labyrinth, full of startling images and surreal beauty, haunted by the tides and the clouds.

Five Novels | Charles Dickens

This is a stunning Barnes & Noble leather-bound edition of a bind of five of Charles Dickens’ novels. My brother got me this at Christmas and it is just stunning! I have every intention of reading all these stories because I am far behind in reading Dickens, I feel. I’m looking forward to looking uber fancy when reading from this edition.

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Audiobooks

A Promised Land | Barack Obama

I may not be American, but I am definitely interested to read what is in this book. My dad actually told me that this was narrated by Obama himself and I thought that just sounded like too much fun, what with Obama sonorous voice, to not give a go! So this was my audiobook for the month!

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A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making, from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy.

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency—a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective—the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of “hope and change,” and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.


5 thoughts on “December Book Haul! | 2020

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