Monday, December 27, 2010

Weekly Wrap-up for December 27, 2010: Holidays, Anniversary, and BOOK LOOT!

I love the holiday season. I love seeing my extended family members. While most of my aunts, uncles, and cousins live in the metro-Detroit area, we usually only get together once or twice a year. Christmas is always one of those times. Both of my parents are one of six kids, so I have a lot of aunts, uncles, and cousins to visit with. :)

Christmas Eve was spent with my dad's side of the family. We all pick names and purchase a gift for the name we drew. My aunt had my name and bought me two more sets of our dishes since they are being discontinued! I was really excited and they are already washed and in the cupboard.

Its always a fun time and there were a lot of laughs this year. Last year, my aunt and uncle (who were hosting this year) adopted twin boys from Russia. They had no idea what was going on last year, so it was fun to see them all excited this year. The highlight was when they opened Star Wars themed guns and were chasing each other around with their storm trooper helmets on. Quite funny, let me tell you.

Christmas morning was spent with my immediate family, where Matt and I got SPOILED. Everyone else did too. My parents are always extremely generous and since all of us kids exchange gifts as well, there were large piles of beautifully wrapped packages waiting for all of us. Besides the books which I'll talk about in a minute, I got Seasons 1-10 of Friends, a Le Crueset Canister set for our kitchen, a Le Crueset crock for all of those bulky kitchen utensils, new salt and pepper shakers, a tart dish, some jewelry, a second set of sheets for our bed (yay for new sheets!), and a bunch of wonderful little items that have already been put away. After gifts we ate a big breakfast and talked before Matt and I headed over to his parents for lunch and more gifts.

At Matt's house we arrived just in time for the big gift giving extravaganza. We only exchange with his parents, but I don't think our 6 nieces and nephews minded. They were opening gifts left and right from their grandma and grandpa! I got to hold the baby (she's about 9 months or so), so that was wonderfully fun. :) Matt's parents got me a subscription to Paula Deen's magazine (I LOVE Paula. I would adopt her if I could) as well as a beautiful necklace. Then we ate, again, and stayed to chat for a few hours before heading home to check on the kitties and empty our full Jeep.

We headed back to my parents for gifts with my mom's side, where we do a one gift exchange as well. My uncle got me an IKEA gift card, which is perfect as I need a new desk. We sold Matt's HUGE one when we moved and he took mine, which was big. I'm getting a smaller one, but the gift card will be wonderful. We're also going to get some wall shelves for around the apartment, so yay for IKEA. We ate again (I was about to burst by this point), before pigging out on my delish apple pie and banana splits and cookies. I was good and only had a scoop of frozen yogurt, since I have been watching what I am eating, but it was wonderful.

After that, we headed home and I unpacked a few things before calling it a night and passing out for 12 hours.

Sunday was spent cleaning and unpacking while Matt was at work. When he got home we got cleaned up and went out for an AMAZING dinner to celebrate our anniversary. We had the most delicious calimari and I had a shrimp dish (YUM). It was low key and wonderful, just like what I wanted. It is hard to believe that we've been married for a whole year already, but I am excited to be moving forward together in 2011. If you feel like reading some sappiness, I wrote a post yesterday for Matt. It is cheesy. :)

Now on to the good stuff, BOOK LOOT!

I made out like a bandit this year and got a good deal of books, much to my brothers' disgust. They told me, after moving us in here, that they never want to move my books again. :) Well, now I have a big chunk of new titles to shelve and figure out where to put. My classics shelf is bursting, so I might need to clear some space on my other shelves.

I should point out ahead of time that I had to take this on my phone, since the cord for our camera is packed in one of Matt's boxes and I don't feel like digging around for it.

From top to bottom:
Kim by Rudyard Kipling
Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
Moby Dick
by Herman Melville
The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
Pegasus by Robin McKinley
Halt's Peril by John Flanagan

This stack is actually of some recent acquisitions. I figured I would throw it in here for kicks. :) I picked up The Painted Veil by Maugham after a conversation with Amanda at The Zen Leaf about his work. I had to replace a title on my list and figured a novel by Maugham would be a great fit (the work I replaced was "The Dead" by James Joyce, since it is included in The Dubliners which I also have to read. No sense in reading it twice). I already read it (I was excited about it), and it was EXCELLENT. I have also read Pegasus already and my post went up sometime last week. The book by Flanagan is another book Matt picked up for me recently and is the ninth book in the Ranger's Apprentice series. I love that series and needed this one in hardcover to match. :)

Kim, Moby Dick and Nicholas Nickleby are all on my list and since I was given a gift card, I picked them up on a trip to the bookstore. Moby Dick failed to win in a readalong poll, but I am still planning on reading it this year and soon.

From left to right and top to bottom:
Big coffee/tea mug
Vanilla Caramel Tea
Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
Eygyptian Mint Green Tea

This is all of the loot I received from the Book Blogger Holiday Swap! My package came a while ago and I opened it then, but because of the camera situation, I am just now getting a picture up. I was so incredibly excited for all of these goodies and my Santa was super thoughtful and generous! And I have to say that the vanilla caramel tea is delicious. Thank you!

From top to bottom and left to right:
"Richard III" by William Shakespeare
"As You Like It" by William Shakespeare
"Antony and Cleopatra" by William Shakespeare
"Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare
"The Taming of the Shrew" by William Shakespeare
"Julius Caesar" by William Shakespeare
The Iliad by Homer (Robert Fagles Translation)
The Inferno by Dante
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
A Christmas Carol and other Christmas Writings by Charles Dickens
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
The Sonnets and A Lover's Complaint by William Shakespeare
a renewal of my subscription to Bookmarks magazine!

All of these lovelies I opened on Christmas morning! My sister was responsible for the pile of Shakespeare wonderfulness and the Homer. I was really excited for the Shakespeare since I am planning on reading a good chunk of his plays this year to get them out of the way. :) I love both sets of these editions, and this is a great pile to choose from. So many wonderful plays!

The pile on the right was from my parents, and yes, those are the beautiful Penguin cloth bound editions that I am in love with. I just love these editions and I know that I talk about them often, but look at how pretty! I am excited to get these on the shelf next to their brothers and sisters. Now I have all of the released titles and just have to wait till April for the next four to come out (Middlemarch, Dracula, A Tale of Two Cities, and Gulliver's Travels). I have a book problem, did you know that?

My parents also resubscribed me to Bookmarks magazine, which I have been getting for the past year. I am so excited for the next edition to come into my hands. :)

Well, that was my book loot from Christmas. I hope you got some books as well!

Happy Reading everyone!


  1. So very lovely looking at loot posts!! Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas. :D

  2. The cloth classics are gorgeous. :))

  3. What great books! I'm so jealous!

  4. I've always wanted to read The Painted Veil. I read The Razor's Edge by Maugham and LOVED it.

  5. I hope you LOVE The Painted Veil... I thought it was absolutely fantastic.

    Also, I just have to say that I am uber jealous of your Penguin acquisitions. Uber.

  6. ah what lovely books. I love the black covers of the Penguin classics!

  7. It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas, and what lovely piles of books! Those will be fun to choose from.

  8. I loved all of this photographs Allie! My parents spoil me too. :D (Although I don't ask for books right now, since I'm a bit library-obsessed. hehe)