Hello friends! Today, we are here with The Joy of Christmas Book Tag, for which we were tagged by the wonderful Caro @ The Bookcheshire Cat. Thanks so much for thinking of us, Caro! As Sabrina and I both love Christmas, we really didn’t want to miss out on this tag, so we fitted it into our busy end of the year post schedule. I hope our post fills you with lots of holiday cheer! 🎅
The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating?
🎅 Sabrina: There are several books coming out next year that I am eagerly anticipating, but Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li is the one I’m most excited for that’s also releasing soonest. I love a good art heist story and the themes in this one are sure to make me enjoy it even more.
🎅 Vera: I haven’t been keeping up with new releases recently, so there aren’t a ton of 2022 releases I’m excited for. Out of the ones on my to-read list, the two I’m the most excited for are Never Been Kissed by Timothy Janovsky and Count Your Lucky Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur.
Christmas Songs & Carols:
What book or author can you not help but sing its praises?
🎅 Sabrina: If you’ve been around for a little while, you might know my favourite books of all time are Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones and Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – both books that I can never shut up about because they mean so much to me and I think they are incredible. The characters and their relationships are so special and the writing is fantastic and the plots are both fun and surprising.
🎅 Vera: Oh, this is a difficult question as there are so many books and authors I love and keep shouting about! I’m going to have to highlight Nalini Singh for this question, in particular her Psy-Changeling series. I’ve mentioned this series on the blog countless times and I’ve also recommended it to multiple friends, so it’s definitely a fitting answer. It has a very special place in my heart, as it’s my go-to comfort series: whenever I’m struggling with something, I simply reread one or more books from the series. I also want to give a shout out to Fredrik Backman, a more recent favorite than Nalini, but someone else whose books I really value. My favorite by him is Anxious People, but none of his books have disappointed me so far.
What book or series has wonderful world building?
🎅 Sabrina: My answer has to be The Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin. Each of the three books amazed me with the depth of their world building – I loved learning about absolutely everything to do with the world the author created, including both its present state and its history. It was clear that this world was fully formed and thought through. Even the last book had so much to add!
🎅 Vera: I’ll have to go with The Green Bone Saga by Fonda Lee for this question, as it’s easily one of the best fantasy series I’ve ever read. Fonda Lee has done a wonderful job of creating an engaging, multi-dimensional world that I can’t get enough of. As someone that oftentimes struggles to visualize certain things in fantasy novels, I’m always a bit scared of high fantasy novels, but here I appreciated how easy it was to imagine the world of The Green Bone Saga.
A Christmas Carol:
Favorite classic or one that you want to read?
🎅 Sabrina: The last classic I read and gave five stars was The Great Gatsby back in 2018 – so you can see I’m not well-versed in classics. However, Pride and Prejudice remains my favourite, even if my memories of it are perhaps shaped more by the miniseries and movie rather than by the book itself. The story always makes me laugh and feel cozy.
🎅 Vera: I really love Charles Dickens – I wrote my BA Thesis about his female characters – so my answer will have to be Little Dorrit or Great Expectations. They’re both quite chunky and I know they are not everyone’s cup of tea, but I loved reading and analyzing them and I’m hoping to reread them one day.
What book would you love to receive for Christmas?
🎅 Sabrina: I do have a “wish list” shelf on Goodreads that has a few books listed that I would love to own at some point. They’re mostly books that I’ve read and loved already (from the library), but want a copy of so I can reread them and also force them upon others.
🎅 Vera: I can’t name anything specific at of the top of my head, but I’d love to own more special editions of my favorites or of classics. For example, I own the Seasons Edition of A Tale of Two Cities, and it’s so. damn. beautiful! It’d be awesome to own more books from this collection.
Candles in the Window:
What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling?
🎅 Sabrina: Aside from my favourite books already mentioned, I love the graphic novel Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. The character dynamics are fascinating and often heartwarming, plus Nimona alone is such a fun character, one who never fails to make me smile – no matter how many times I read the book. The artwork is really cool and the perfect vehicle for the story.
🎅 Vera: I’m going to take a page out of Caro’s book for this question, as I can’t think of a better answer to than The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune. This novel is incredibly wholesome and feels like a warm, comforting hug. Don’t get me wrong, it has some sad parts, but the overall feel of the story is warm and fuzzy. I really wish there were more adult fantasy novels like this one, as I’d read them all. (Hit me with your recommendations if you have them!)
Christmas Trees & Decorations:
What are some of your favorite book covers?
🎅 Sabrina: This question is so open ended! I have so many favourite covers considering there are so, so many out there. One book I read this year that has a cover I adore (which I also haven’t fully discussed on the blog) is Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour – the details are so pretty and I love the painted look of it (I think it is actually a painting, but I can’t tell for certain). I also might as well bring up the cover for Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea again, because it is completely stunning and has so many cool little details.
🎅 Vera: This was difficult to narrow down as there are so many beautiful book covers designed each year! I’m going to go with two that are on my physical shelves and that I bought because of their covers. I adore the special edition of Six of Crows – I love the way the red and black are contrasted, and I needed to buy it when it was published. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry is also stunning – the Hungarian edition has a matte finish, but despite (because of?) that, the colors are really bright and beautiful on it.
What are some of your favorite things about Christmas?
🎅 Sabrina: I think my favourite part has to be the build up to it – I love how everyone I know in Australia celebrates Christmas and we’re all excited about it and talking about it long before it happens. I love having the decorations out and being able to smell the Christmas tree when I wake up in the morning. Another favourite part is my family’s tradition of going to Christmas Eve Mass (especially hearing all the carols and actually having a positive, happy gospel for once, lol) then immediately driving around to look at all the Christmas lights people have put up on their houses. And, of course, the fancy, indulgent food!
🎅 Vera: Food is an obvious answer for anyone that knows me – Christmas meals, baked goods and alllll the chocolate you can imagine are a big part of the holidays for me. I adore buying and gifting presents to my friends and family – I always try my best to come up with a present they will love, and it’s the warmest feeling when they actually love what I got for them. I also love putting up Christmas decorations and decorating our Christmas tree – this year the decorations on it are pink and gold and I’m quite satisfied with how the tree turned out. 🎄
Are you a fan of the holidays? (Whatever holiday, if any, you celebrate.) What are your favorite parts of the holidays? How about least favorite parts?