29 December 2018

Books We Got For Christmas 2018

What's wrong about being loved by your parents and getting way too many gifts in your late 20's? Here are all the books we got for Christmas this year.


I really really really love Judy Blume fiction. It reminds me of being a kid but has grown with me into adulthood seamlessly. This is the last adult fiction book of hers that I haven't read (but please pray she writes more, I'm not ready for the well to have run dry). Blume writes about very relatable topics for women, in an approachable, comic way, all the while still getting to the heart of serious issues. This book in particular is about a housewife who rebels, which couldn't be more timely as I am ~6 months out from being someone's wife myself. 

To know me is to know that I am obsessed with the Bachelor franchise. I've turned several of my closest friends onto the show(s), most famously Meghan who had a disdain for reality television before I met her. I love to read the memoirs that the contestants / leads write after the show, and I can't believe I've gone so long without reading this gem which is sure to be packed with juicy details. The author is an LA Times journalist, and fan, who has since been banned from doing press interviews with people associated with the show- so you know it's good. My only fear is that reading this will ruin the show for me entirely- USA Today wrote that Kaufman "dulls the show's Neil Lane-sparkle with claims of unseemly tactics used to produce the reality competition series" - and I still truly believe people go on there for love (and now also Instagram fame). Shoutout to my fiance for making my holiday with this amazing gift.

This was 1 of 3 'celebrity' memoirs I got this year, and I'm so excited to read this because I feel like 2018 was truly the year of Busy Phillips. She got her own talk show in a prime slot right after Keeping Up with the Kardashians on E! and she seemed to become best friends with Kelly Oxford (whose second memoir I also got for Christmas this year). I have loved Phillips since her days as Joey's annoying college roommate on Dawson's Creek. I imagine she's actually that character in real life. 

You may have seen this on our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide, and so did my sister who was nice enough to gift me a copy. It looks amazing on my coffee table and I love pouring over the beautiful pictures. I went on and on on the gift guide list about what a great job Gaines did with this book, and as someone who has come to love spending time in my home and plugging away at decorating, etc., this is a lovely book to own. 

I've mentioned a few times on this blog that Nicholas Sparks loves to pop out a new book before Christmas every year. And every year someone buys me it for Christmas because despite them being ridiculously cheesy and predictable, I love them. As my wise ass dad said when I opened it, "let me just tell you what happens, a guy and a girl meet but someone has a dark secret". Spot on dad. In most cases, the film adaptations are just as good or better but boy do I love cozying up on the couch with some of Sparks' fiction.

This is another recommendation from our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide and I am so psyched to read it. As I shamelessly mentioned, I am obsessed with Sophia Bush, and also with Jenkins by proxy as they are always hanging out together (and Bush joined him for the last part of the bike trip he writes about in this book). It's going to be an amazing adventure / middle aged crisis / discovering yourself novel and Jenkins is an amazing writer (even just check out his Instagram captions @jedidiahjenkins). 

Scott got me Oxford's first book for Christmas last year, which I reviewed here. I found it really funny and definitely enjoyed it but it mostly made me excited for this one because I could do with less of the childhood / coming of age crap that I feel like she mostly got out of the way in the first book. Oxford is a Twitter success story from Edmonton, AB. She's the inspiration all of us need to feel like maybe one of our tweets will be funny enough to get Seth Rogan's attention and finally lead us to the fame we dream of. 

This was definitely a last minute gift because I just raved about Lewis' writing in my review of his book Moneyball, and went on about how I wanted to read more of his stuff. I've seen the film adaptation and it's obviously really good but having just read Moneyball I know for sure the book will be even better.

Alas, another recommendation from our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide, which was mostly just books from my own Christmas list so I am very grateful to have gotten a lot of them. I love this couple so much and am so excited to read about their shared history and how they make their marriage work in one of the most tumultuous industries for relationships.


I had seen this book posted on a few social media accounts but became even more interested when I read an interview with the author on Longreads. We aways say how we are living in the whatever-stage of Golden TV and I definitely think it is true, BUT essentially every show is about a dead girl in some capacity. Some are nothing more than their murder-mystery concept but some go deeper (i.e. Sharp Objects). I'm ready to learn why everyone (including myself) is so obsessed with dead women.

It's funny that I asked for this because when I watched the movie with Ben and Michael I absolutely hated it. This book is about a British explorer who was searching for a "fabled" civilization in the Amazon but never returns. But I have heard that that the book is an interesting nonfiction narrative that tells this true story. As you all know any time the word "obsession" is in a title I am pretty much hooked. I feel like this is a book I will also share with my dad.

I asked for this book because I have always been weirdly fascinated by Lyme Disease (a prevalent issue in New Brunswick) and wanted to learn more about it from a first person perspective. This is apparently a gruelling memoir about being undiagnosed for years and living with chronic illness. I put it on my Christmas list after seeing Lena Dunham post about it on Instagram. Dunham suffered from endomitriois for years and said Khakpour's writing is beautiful. I am so lucky to be healthy and yet I have some compulsion to check out medical memoirs.

I will talk more about Karr in my Best/Worst of 2018 post we are doing in January, but I was really taken with her writing this year and was interested in exploring more of her work. I would never write a memoir because 1) I am untalented and 2) I lead a boring life, but still I am constantly buying more memoirs. I am interested to read about how Karr approaches writing nonfiction about her own life.

When I was opening this gift my mom said she was so surprised that I would want this book and that it didn't seem like something I would read. I can't remember what list I saw this book on, only that I wrote it on my Christmas list. I love learning about new things through non-fiction and am always on the look out for a new topic. This year I read The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean and I absolutely loved it - it was all about orchids, obviously. I loved learning about these flowers and am ready to broaden my horizon. I also really want to lend this book to my friend Ashley and see what she thinks.

I don't really remember where my obsession with addiction (particularly alcoholism and AA) began, but I know it grew after I read David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. I have been pursuing fiction and memoirs on the topic since. When Anthony Bourdain killed himself this year there were loads of people on Twitter talking about mental health, etc. and B.J. Novak (writer and star of The Office) tweeted about a few books discussing addiction and this was one of them. This book is in the form of memoir, essay, reporting and literary criticism, and I'm glad I got it for Christmas.

Finally, a piece of fiction right? I spent a long time with Norman Mailer this summer when I was reading The Executioner's Song and I was kind of disappointed with what I got from it. But I didn't want to give up on Mailer, so many authors I worship praise him and consider him one of America's best writers. Funny enough I put this book on my Christmas list after watching Ingrid Goes West. Elizabeth Olsen's character pretends to love this book even though she never read it - it's actually her boyfriends favourite. So here I go, giving Norman Mailer another go all because of a fictional character played by Wyatt Russell.

I have been interested in reading this ever since Jonathan Franzen listed a bunch of modern reads he has been enjoying in an interview. I am always keeping up with fiction and want to make sure I read current writers. 10:04 is about a guy who is a successful writer but is also diagnosed with a fatal medical issue. His best friend also wants him to help conceive a child with her. A LOT is going on. I am excited to dive in. Thanks again mom and dad.

Emma Roberts has fame and fortune, and also a book club. It is truly unfair and I also KNOW that I love Joan Didion more than her. ANYWAYS, this book was one of their summer reads and I decided I'd be interested in checking it out myself. The plot is as follows: an airplane crashes and kills more than a hundred well-off Atlanta residents, and the book follows the lives and aftermath of those left behind. I also love the cover for some reason.

This is a bunch of short stories about love from a ton of different authors. This collection is edited by Jeffrey Eugenides (author of The Virgin Suicides and The Marriage Plot) and I have always loved his work. I always read one book at a time from start to finish. I wanted to get something that I could read in little bits of pieces over a longer stretch. This book is obviously romantic just based on its subject matter, but I can't wait to indulge in it. I don't often read stuff by long-dead authors so I'm excited to read their work. Here are some of the authors of the stories I am excited about: James Joyce, Milan Kundera, George Saunders, Richard Ford, Miranda July, etc.


  1. I've been thinking about reading a few of these, too! Can't wait to see what you think.

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