Let's Talk Books

My Christmas Book Haul

And why I still enjoy one aspect of Christmas, the giving and receiving of presents. Which for me, is usually books. This year is no exception, family and friends went all out and I have, amongst the presents I was gifted, six [6] new books!

I am one very happy recipient. What, oh, the books, yes, okay, I was getting to that. So what did I get? Some that I desperately wanted, and a couple of delightful surprises.

  • THE RECKONING by James McGee — this is a historical murder-mystery set in London of 1813, about the a hunt for a serial killer murdering women. A Jack-the-Ripper of the day so to speak.
  • THE MOSCOW DECEPTION by Karen Robards —  a good old fashioned political (hopefully, fast paced) thriller that I have high hopes for.
  • THE CALCULATING STARS by Mary Robinette Kowal — this is science fiction at what I hope is it’s best. As a group of female scientists and would-be astronauts look toward not just the moon, but beyond, to Mars. I am so looking forward to reading this one.
  • THIRTEEN by Steve Cavanagh — having thoroughly enjoyed The Defence by Cavanagh, I immediately put Thirteen on my ‘Please Buy This For Me For Christmas List’. And someone did! I really like Eddie Flynn, my new fav anti-hero.
  • THE BLACK KHAN by Ausma Zehanat Khan — this is the second in an Arabian Nights-style fantasy quartet. I’ve almost finished book one, having raced through it at breakneck speed. So of course I’m happy I received book two to carry straight on with the story!
  • NOVEMBER ROAD by Lou Berney — a crime thriller set against the backdrop of JFK’s assassination, as an eye-witness to the assassination is on the run for his life.

And you, dear reader, did Santa bring you a haul of books?


  1. It seems that Santa has been generous with you Alexandra! And yes I’ve seen your review for Steve Cavanagh and even added it on my GR TBR so I am not surprised that you bought a second one 😉

    • Alexandra says

      Oh, indeed, Sophie, Santa was very kind to me this year. And I’m very happy with my book haul, that will keep me out of mischief for a week or three!

  2. Oh nice gifts! I don’t know James McGee but this novel sounds interesting. The time periods of WWII and Jack The Ripper always interest me. I look forward to hearing more about it

    • Alexandra says

      That historical setting, and the serial killer aspect of this one also attracted me too, Inge. Even though I don’t know the author, I added this one to my list.

      Yes, as soon as I’ve read it, I’ll do a review and let you know how it went.

  3. What wonderful gifts these are. I’m really intrigued by the book set in Moscow. Must be the winter or the Russian inspired folk stories I’m currently reading about.
    Hope you had wonderful Christmas. ❤️

    • I like a good thriller, Vera, and had seen this one as being popular online so put it on my Christmas List. I’ll let you know how it goes when I finally get around to reading it. 😀

      Oh, and folk stories? What are you reading?

      We had a lovely time on Christmas Eve and Day, and stayed quiet at home, yesterday. We only ventured out today to buy bread … oh, okay, and walk around the mall. Ha! Ha! We bought socks. Thrilling eh! 😉

      • Looking forward to your review!

        I am currently reading The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden – her entire series (this is book 3) just really spoke to me as it’s set in Medieval Russia and is full of Russian folk stories. Honestly, it’s amongst my favourite fantasy series… it may also have something to do with feeling nostalgic whenever I pick those books up as they remind me of my childhood… 🙂

        Sounds like you had wonderful holiday. And socks are important, I would consider that fairly exciting. 🙂 😉

        • I hope to start reading later today, once I’ve done some blogging. 😉

          I admit that I’m intrigued by this series because of your enthusiasm for it, and have a thing for old folktales too. So I’ve added the series to my Wish List online, to remind me. And anything that reminds us of our childhoods in a positive way, is a good thing.

          Ha! Ha! Yeah, we both needed warm winter socks and as the kind we like are usually $30 a piece, we’ve been waiting for the sales. 😀

          • If you do read it one day Alexandra, I would start with the glossary at the back of the first book first. The author stays true to how Russian names are used and it could be utterly confusing reading the book first without this knowledge. Unless you are familiar with Slavic languages of course, in that case, completely ignore this. 🙂 It’s such a lovely series and it gets progressively darker… I’ll stop gushing now, promise. 🙂

            I love warm winter socks. A great idea to wait for them in sales. May they keep you nice and warm. 🙂

          • Alexandra says

            Oh, thanks for the insider info. Yeah, I think it would help immensely to have a glossery of terms and names, as it can get confusing. And I can’t wait to start them, maybe in February, when it’s really bitterly cold here. That kind of dark fairytale is best suited to a dark month!

            And we’re loving the wool socks, we needed them today, it was minus 20 outside.

          • Ooh, a cold February sounds like a perfect timing for those. Crossing my fingers you enjoy it should you find time to read them.

            Blimey, -20C is a tad cold for my liking. Keep warm and enjoy those warm and cosy socks. ❤️

  4. Oh, nice books! Lovely gifts <3
    I saw November Road the other day and kind of dismissed it. But today i saw Stephen King really enjoyed it, so now i must have it too 😀

    • It won a couple of crime fiction prizes and was suggested by author Kathleen Kent to me, so I was glad to see it in my haul. Of course, the premise sounds intriguing, a witness to JFK’s assassination? That’s got to have some milage, right?

  5. Vera, we get it really bad here through out February, our coldest month. Hence the socks and lots of good books. And yes, I can’t wait. It’s the perfect month to hole up and read. 😀

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