Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Crayons, Secret Santas!

In this meme we talk about what fabulous-sounding new books we got. The one thing the books have in common is that they are multicultural (I'm torn over how I feel on that word).

This week really felt like Christmas because my two Secret Santa presents arrived! Behold

A Broke and Bookish Secret Santa (Aurora).

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

When Dashti, a maid, and Lady Saren, her mistress, are shut in a tower for seven years for Saren’s refusal to marry a man she despises, the two prepare for a very long and dark imprisonment.

As food runs low and the days go from broiling hot to freezing cold, it is all Dashti can do to keep them fed and comfortable. But the arrival outside the tower of Saren’s two suitors—one welcome, and the other decidedly less so—brings both hope and great danger, and Dashti must make the desperate choices of a girl whose life is worth more than she knows.

With Shannon Hale’s lyrical language, this forgotten but classic fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm is reimagined and reset on the central Asian steppes; it is a completely unique retelling filled with adventure and romance, drama and disguise

-At first I thought this was a retelling of Rapunzel but now I no longer think that. What I do know is that I've heard nothing but praise for this book and that it was the one Bloomsbury book everyone pointed out when they talked about Bloomsbury's past covers with poc on the front. I think I might be growing to really like fairy tales especially since I loved Ash (which I really want to re-read because it's a perfect holiday read) and Toads & Diamonds.

Look at the adorable package the gifts came in! I didn't even know you could mail things with such fun paper. And who doesn't love Charlie Brown? :)

I LOVE chocolate. It's probably the main reason as to why I'm going to be large when I get older. I generally crave a piece of chocolate a day. It's a minor miracle that I haven't eaten the Ghiradelli Milk & Caramel chocolate yet. Also the Life's Little Book Treasure Book of Christmas Traditions is so cute and informative (I definitely want to incorporate some of the traditions mentioned into the traditions of my family). It was a perfect touch and the card was very sweet.
Aurora, I can't thank you enough! I only wish I knew where you blogged at so I could properly thank you =/

The Neverending Bookshelf Secret Santa

My Secret Santa is from Canada (and I guess we were supposed to get each other?) so my chocolates have French names! I know it sounds silly but that was really cool (no pun intended) to me. It's part of the reason as to why I haven't eaten them yet (since I doubt I'll be going to any French-speaking country anytime soon).
The gingerbread cookie looks divine and I'm probably going to eat it tomorrow. I held out till I posted this (one week basically) and that's enough willpower usage. haha. The card was a nice touch and I so appreciate it =)

Deadline by Chris Crutcher

Ben Wolf has big things planned for his senior year. Had big things planned. Now what he has is some very bad news and only one year left to make his mark on the world.

How can a pint-sized, smart-ass seventeen-year-old do anything significant in the nowheresville of Trout, Idaho?

First, Ben makes sure that no one else knows what is going on—not his superstar quarterback brother, Cody, not his parents, not his coach, no one. Next, he decides to become the best 127-pound football player Trout High has ever seen; to give his close-minded civics teacher a daily migraine; and to help the local drunk clean up his act.

And then there's Dallas Suzuki. Amazingly perfect, fascinating Dallas Suzuki, who may or may not give Ben the time of day. Really, she's first on the list.

Living with a secret isn't easy, though, and Ben's resolve begins to crumble . . . especially when he realizes that he isn't the only person in Trout with secrets

-I have no idea if this book is about a poc. I'm presuming Dallas Suzuki is a poc (sounds Japanese) but I apologize if I'm wrong. Regardless, I love Chris Crutcher. I've only read one of his other books Whale Talk (which is one of my favorite books in the history of ever) but I fell head-over-heels in love with Chris Crutcher's witty characters. He makes you laugh while he turns his character's lives upside down.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Katie!

For Review-Requested from Egmont USA

Bitter Melon by Cara Chow
Release Date: December 28, 2o10

Frances, a Chinese-American student at an academically competitive school in San Francisco, has always had it drilled into her to be obedient to her mother and to be a straight-A student so that she can go to Med school. But is being a doctor what she wants? It has never even occurred to Frances to question her own feelings and desires until she accidentally winds up in speech class and finds herself with a hidden talent. Does she dare to challenge the mother who has sacrificed everything for her? Set in the 1980s .
-I like that this story is set in the 1980s and that it's about taking a speech class (I've always been curious about how you become good at speech). I'm cautiously hopefully that this novel will not be the same old story of an unrelentingly strict and stubborn parent who has a quiet and obedient child.

The End of the World Club (The Jaguar Stones: Book 2) by J&P Voelkel

With the end of the Mayan calendar fast approaching, fourteen-year-old Max Murphy and his new friend Lola, the modern Maya girl who saved his life in the perilous jungle, are racing against time to outwit the twelve Lords of Death. Following the trail of the conquistadors, their quest takes them back to the wild heart of Spain - a forgotten land steeped in legend, superstition and ever more bizarre tourist festivals. With a pack of hellhounds on their heels and the cape-twirling Count Antonio de Landa in hot pursuit, the teens must face madness and betrayal, bluff and double-bluff, to uncover the terrible secrets of the long-lost Yellow Jaguar. But no matter where they run, all roads lead to Xibalba. There, in the cold and watery Maya underworld, we finally discover why only Max Murphy can save the world from the villainous Lords of Death.
Ahh it's the end of the world!! Well not yet. I very much enjoyed the first book in this series and I look forward to learning more about Mayan mythology and finally figuring out why only Max Murphy can save the world.

I hope everyone's mailbox/presents under the Christmas contain books or giftcards this holiday season! Tell me what you received this past week.


  1. I got Bitter Melon last week, too! Looking forward to reading it. :o)

  2. You're right that Book of a Thousand Days is not like Rapunzel. I read it a few years ago, but I remember it being a good book. I hope you enjoy it!

  3. @Tarie-So I finished Bitter Melon and I ended up really liking it! Especially since the mom was verbally abusive and not just the typical mom who won't listen.

    @Jenn-I'm looking forward to reading Book of a Thousand Days. I wonder if the fairytale is more obscure or I'm just fairy tale slow? haha

  4. That is awesome! I haven't started reading it yet. Now I really wanna get to it!


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