Christmas Book List

Despite all attempts to add more hours into my days and thus extend the year, it is already December and Christmas is only 12 days away. This year, with the help of a couple wonderful publishers and publicists, I thought I’d put together a list of books to both help celebrate the holiday season and to give as gifts. Let’s get started! First things first, a few awesome Christmas themed books for those of you who celebrate:

Kat McGee Kat McGee and the School of Christmas Spirit
by Rebecca Munsterer
Goodreads | Website | Amazon | Book Depository
Check back later today for a book feature of Kat McGee!

If Kat McGee had one Christmas wish, she’d wish to be special. Instead, she’s the boring middle in a family packed with sparkly siblings, including three sisters who have all starred as Mary in Totsville, Maine’s annual big-deal Christmas Pageant. All Kat’s done is wet her pants on a rollercoaster and earn herself the horrible nickname, “Kat McPee.” When she doesn’t get the part of Mary, Kat’s convinced that Christmas will be just another Kat McPee failure. But then Kat’s beloved Gram lets it slip that she went to school with Mrs. Claus. The Mrs. Claus. Before Kat knows it, a magical snowglobe whisks her away to the North Pole, where she makes friends, checks naughty and nice lists, and takes classes in cookie baking, reindeer training, and toy designing. It’s a Christmas miracle…but something is wrong. The North Pole is being threatened, and only Kat McGee can help. Kat McGee and The School of Christmas Spirit is about a modern girl in a magical adventure. Kat is about to learn who you can be if you believe in Christmas…and yourself.

Fancy Nancy Christmas Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas
by Jane O’Connor
Goodreads | Website | Bookd Depository

What could be fancier than Christmas?

Presents with elegant wrapping paper, festive decorations, Christmas cookies with sprinklesā€”and who could forget the tree? After all, there is no such thing as too much tinsel. Ooh la la! This year, Nancy is especially excited about decorating the Christmas tree. She bought a brand-new sparkly tree topper with her own money and has been waiting for Christmas to come. But when things don’t turn out the way Nancy planned, will Christmas still be splendiferous?

Mouse to the Movies If you take a Mouse to the Movies
by Laura Numeroff
Goodreads | Website | Book Depository

If you take a mouse to the movies, he’ll ask you for some popcorn. When you give him the popcorn, he’ll want to string it all together. Then he’ll want to hang it on a Christmas tree. You’ll have to buy him one…

The energetic little mouse from If You Give A Mouse A Cookie is back again, this time with a host of holiday antics.

Night before Christmas The Night Before Christmas
by Clement Clarke Moore, Jan Brett
Goodreads | Website | Book Depository

Who’s that peeking out of the sleigh?

As St. Nick and eight tiny reindeer descend through a brilliant night sky onto the roof of a Victorian house in a snowy New England village, the famous Christmas poem begins. The father of the family narrates the words just as Clement Moore wrote them, and artist Jan Brett captures the spirit in brilliant illustrations that reflect this memorable night. Visually she extends this favorite Christmas story for children, who will delight in watching the two mischievous stowaways from the North Pole enthusiastically exploring the sacks of gifts on the roof while St. Nick, unaware, journeys down the chimney… until the toys spill down onto the lawn and he turns with a jerk!

A Porcupine in a Pine Tree A Porcupine in a Pine Tree
by Helaine Becker & Werner Zimmermann
Goodreads | Website | Book Depository

Christmas, as only Canadians can celebrate it! Where else do Mounties frolic, squirrels enjoy a fine game of curling, and hockey players mark the season as lords-a-leaping? This hilarious, tongue-in-cheek re-setting of the popular Christmas carol is the perfect gift for Canadians new and old, young and young-at-heart.

Now, to the nitty gritty. Books to give as gifts! This list is broken down into sections, and composed of books that I love and recommendations from both Creston Books and Sourcebooks. Hopefully there is a little bit of something for everyone.

First, some great titles to give the elementary school teacher in your life:

Lola Goes to Work: A Nine-to-Five Therapy Dog by Marcia Goldman
Goodreads | Website | Amazon | Book Depository

How to be Human: Diary of an Autistic Girl by Florida Frenz
Goodreads | Website | Amazon | Book Depository

Cozy Light, Cozy Night by Elisa Kleven
Goodreads | Website | Amazon | Book Depository

Rotten Pumpkin: A Rotten Tale in Fifteen Voices by David M. Schwartz
Goodreads | Website | Amazon | Book Depository

Wolf Island by Celia Godkin
Goodreads | Website | Book Depository

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
Goodreads | Book Depository

Next up, some fantastic picture books that are perfect for both home and the classroom:

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
Goodreads | Wbesite | Book Depository

Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
Goodreads | Website | Book Depository

Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian
Goodreads | Book Depository

Tyrannosaurus Drip by Julia Donaldson
Goodreads | Website | Book Depository

The Snatchabook by Helen & Thomas Docherty
Goodreads | Book Depository

Don’t Push the Button by Bill Cotter
Goodreads | Book Depository

For the middle grade reader in your family (or anyone, really):

Danny’s Doodles: The Jellybean Experiment by David A. Adler
Goodreads | Website | Book Depository

Rose by Holly Webb
Goodreads | Website | Book Depository

The Last Ride of Caleb O’Toole by Eric Pierpoint
Goodreads | Book Depository

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
Goodreads | Website | Book Depository

The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui T. Sutherland
Goodreads | Website | Book Depository

And finally, the young adult section of this list, which I could have had much longer but thought I’d narrow it down:

Broken by CJ Lyons
Goodreads | Website | Book Depository

Scorched by Mari Mancusi
Goodreads | Website | Book Depository

I’m With Stupid by Geoff Herbach
Goodreads | Website | Book Depository

Six Months Later by Natalie Richards
Goodreads | Book Depository

Half Lives by Sara Grant
Goodreads | Website | Book Depository

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
Goodreads | Website | Book Depository

Variant by Robison Wells
Goodreads | Book Depository

Happy New Year + Top 5 of 2012

Happy New Year 2013

Happy New Year everyone! I can’t believe how quickly time flies by. My goal at the beginning of 2012 was to read at least 60 books and I not only met that goal, but I surpassed it by reading 62 books in 2012. I’m sticking with a goal of 60 again this year and hope to beat it again. Out of those 62 books there are always the few that leave a lasting impression and make the “best of” list. So here’s my top 5 reads of 2012, in no particular order:

Days of Blood and Starlight Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

The sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone (a 2011 favourite book) and you know what? I loved it even more than the first book. This sequel had me enthralled from page one and I can’t even begin to explain how the ending made me feel. Apocalypses, angels, war, romance, friendship, magic! It has it all, my friends. I am so pumped for the third book, I don’t even know if I can handle the wait. This is definitely one of the best series I’ve read in a long time, and I have high hopes for book three!

Son Son by Lois Lowry

Slated to make this top five from the beginning. I have no end of love for The Giver, and I couldn’t believe it when I stumbled across the news of book four in the series when signing up for BEA last spring. And to hear Lois Lowry speak? One of the best moments I’ve ever had. I went in to Son with no amount of fear – here we would be once again visiting Jonas’ community, and his character. Would it live up to my love for The Giver? I should not have worried. Lois Lowry proves again how amazing of a storyteller she is, and Jonas’ world was just as I remembered it.

Hemlock Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Werewolves. Werewolves that are amazing and just happen to be written by a (semi)local author! I had no idea when I first heard about Hemlock that Kathleen was Canadian, let alone local. The book sounded great and right up my alley in terms of genre. I love this book, and think it’s a huge contribution to werewolf lit. Mac and the others are beautifully fleshed-out characters and I can’t get enough of the wolves and the lore. Can’t wait for book two!

Every Day Every Day by David Levithan

I really can’t say much more about Every Day that my review didn’t, except to once again reiterate how much I love this book. I couldn’t put it down – it had me smiling, laughing, crying. A is such a unique and amazing character, and the book’s concept is mind-boggling. David Levithan does his stories justice with beautiful and captivating prose. If you’ve never read a book by David Levithan, I highly recommend this one. If you have read his books before, sit back and enjoy. This one is breathtaking.

All Good Children All Good Children by Catherine Austen

My surprise read of the year. I requested this one off of LibraryThing based on synopsis alone. I was happy to receive a copy, but didn’t pick it up for a while. Once I did, I was hooked. Max and his world are enthralling. For me, this is a perfect example of a dystopia and struck a chord with me due to the dystopian factor heavily revolving around students and schooling. Only after I finished the book did I look more into it and realize that Catherine Austen is Canadian. Obviously, this is the worlds way of telling me to actively seek out more Canadian lit – and not to just stumble upon treasures by accident.

The False Prince The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Everything I like in high fantasy. Wonderful world building, a map, strong well-rounded characters and a gripping story. I was sucked into Sage’s story right away and made myself comfortable there. The world needs more straight-up made-up places in books, and The False Prince helps deliver. I would place this one in every classroom if I had the chance – kids need more fantasy worlds to play in.

Top 5 of 2011

Happy New Year everyone! 2011 was a great year, but here’s to hoping 2012 is even better. It looks like it’s going to be a wonderful book year, that’s for sure! 2011 had some amazing books, it was hard to choose my top 5. Out of 54 books read this year, I had 12 five heart ratings. Apparently I was pickier this year šŸ˜› Out of those 12, here are my five favourite:

5. Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz – loved this contemporary so much. Wonderful writing, great detail and amazing concept.

4. Delirium by Lauren Oliver – very interesting take on a dystopian world where love is a disease. I was enthralled from beginning to end.

3. Across the Universe by Beth Revis – such an amazing sci-fi. I loved the detail, twists and turns of the plot, and of course the characters!

2. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – beautiful, simply beautiful. I adore the writing in this book, it’s so lyrical and descriptive.

1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – blew me away! This book was so much more than I was expecting. Beautiful, haunting and gripping. Loved it.

Honourable mention:

Dead of Night by Jonathon Maberry – best zombie book I’ve read in a while. Great concept, non-stop action and memorable characters.

My Top 5 Books of 2010 + a Gift

Happy New Year everyone!! I know I’m posting my last 12 Days of Christmas post a bit late, but I have a reason for it, I promise. Scroll down to the bottom for the gift portion of this post!

2010 was an amazing year for books. Out of the 62 books I read this year (see, I said I’d do better. I doubled last year’s total), I had nineteen 5 heart ratings. Out of those 19, I picked my top five (and it was hard!), and one honourable mention. So, in descending order with number 1 being my favourite, here they are!

5. Bleeding Violet
by Dia Reeves

Bleeding Violet is one of the crazier books I’ve read this year, in a great way. The story blends an amazing mix of reality and fantasy in such a way that the reader isn’t sure whether Hanna is suddenly in a mystical situation, or just crazy – because Hanna is pretty wild. This book is a perfect example of how an author can send a reader straight inside a characters head for the entire read. Hanna has such a strong presence about her. Great writing, and even better plot!

4. Thirteen Days to Midnight
by Patrick Carman

Thirteen Days to Midnight is such a unique book. I really enjoyed the plotline and characterization, and I’m always a fan of some angst. The imagery in this book had me right there in the story along with Jacob, O, and Milo, feeling their awe and excitement and then fear and uncertainy. The whole ride was just intense, and I loved every minute of it!

3. Before I Fall
by Lauren Oliver

I read Before I Fall for the Debut Book Battle that was held this year over at The Shady Glade. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, especially since at the beginning I did not like our main character Sam, and I was a little apprehensive about how I would handle the subject matter. Thankfully, Sam goes through incredible growth during the book and her character becomes quite likeable. And the book – the writing drags you in to the story and keeps you invested in Sam and her journey. By the end, even though I was in tears, I loved every minute I spent reading. Lauren Oliver is on my auto-buy list after her debut. I loved it.

2. Rot & Ruin
by Jonathan Maberry

Zombies! Of course I had to have a zombie book on this list, and Rot & Ruin is it. The utter desolation that shines through in Maberry’s writing is amazing. I’m all for the end of the world scenarios, and having that done by zombification is perfect in my mind. I enjoyed the traditional but still new take on zombies, and even just the name the characters have for outside their small townships – The Rot & Ruin. Doesn’t really lend itself to hope, does it? And yet, this book is so full of hope, and ordinary people overcoming great odds. Definitely a must read for any zombie fan.

1. Brightly Woven
by Alexandra Bracken

I don’t really have much more to say on this one. I’ve been singing it’s praises for most of the year, now. I absolutely love the world that Alexandra Bracken has created in Brightly Woven. A wonderful example of full-on fantasy, Sydelle and North are believable, fully-formed characters in a completely different land. The lore, background, history and peoples are great, and I connected with Sydelle immediately. And come on – who can’t love North? Such a wounded man, and yet loveable. Brightly Woven is my favourite of the year, and I cannot wait to see what else Alexandra has up her sleeves.

Honourable Mention
And my one honourable mention. Not a full novel, but an anthology, Zombies vs. Unicorns was a definite surprise this year. I’d never read an anthology before, and I loved the whole concept (zombies, of course. And don’t spread it around, but I was a complete Team Unicorn when I was younger. Hey, things change!) of the Teams. Holly’s and Justine’s banter in the introductions to each story was humourous and one of my favourite parts. This book contains so many wonderful authors in one place, and each story is well-worth the read.

And now for the last giveaway of The 12 Days of Christmas! One person will win a copy of one of my favourite books! (their choice, of course).

GIVEAWAY
One winner – One book (out of these six)
Comment with an e-mail address to be entered
Open international to wherever the book depository ships
Contest closes 11:59pm EST January 12, 2011
Spread the word for an extra entry, and leave me the link!

Aprilā€™s Top 100 YA Book List

While browsing google reader, I came across a few bloggers mentioning the Top 100 YA Book List compiled by April @ Good Books and Good Wine. I clicked over to her blog to check out the list and it’s pretty awesome. There are some great books mentioned, and a ton that I’ll be looking into in the near future.

Like the numerous memes I once did on LJ about “how many movies/books/tv shows have you seen/do you own” (and like Shanyn @ Chick Loves Lit did), I’ll bold the ones I’ve read, italicize the ones I own, and underline ones I’ve started but haven’t finished. I think I’ll re-do that LJ book meme over here in the next day or two and compare my answers now from five years ago, too. I should have a lot more of them read by now. In the meantime, here’s April’s list!

 

100. Hate List by Jennifer Brown
99. Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix <- I've read the first one
98. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
97. Among The Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
96. Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Claus
95. Forever by Judy Blume
94. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
93. Tithe by Holly Black
92. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
91. Wings by Aprillynne Pike
90. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
89. Angus, Thongs And Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
88. Marked by PC And Kristin Cast
87. Maximum Ride series by James Patterson
86. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
85. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
84. I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
83. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
82. The Mediator series by Meg Cabot
81. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
80. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
79. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald <- had to read it for school, I skimmed it
78. Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen
77. Evernight by Claudia Gray
76. If I Stay by Gayle Foreman
75. Life As We Knew It series by Susan Beth Pfeffer <- though not the newest one yet
74. Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
73. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
72. Alana: The First Adventure series by Tamora Pierce
71. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
70. Unwind by Neil Shusterman
69. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
68. Paper Towns by John Green
67. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
66. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith
65. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
64. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time by Mark Haddon
63. The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
62. Blue Bloods series by Melissa De La Cruz <- I've only read the first one
61. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
60. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
59. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
58. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
57. Eragon by Christopher Paoloni
56. Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine
55. The Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith
54. Fallen by Lauren Kate
53. The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot
51. Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke <- I've only read the first one
50. Number The Stars by Lois Lowry
49. Lord Of The Flies by William Golding <- I did not like this book, skimmed end half
48. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
47. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares
46. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
45. The Summoning series by Kelley Armstrong
44. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
43. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
42. Ender’s Game series by Orson Scott Card
41. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
40. Wake series by Lisa McMann
39. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
38. Are You There Good? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume
37. Looking For Alaska by John Green
36. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
35. A Great And Terrible Beauty series by Libba Bray <- never finished the first one
34. His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman <- I've only read the first one
33. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
32. Romeo And Juliet by William Shakespeare
31. The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
30. Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr
29. Forest of Hands And Teeth by Carrie Ryan
28. Holes by Louis Sacher
27. The Outsiders by SE Hinton
26. The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger
25. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
24. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
23. The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
22. Uglies series by Scott Westerfield
21. Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia
20. Poison Study series by Maria V. Snyder
19. Book Thief by Markus Zusak
18. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carlson Levine
17. Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
16. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
15. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
14. Anne of Green Gables series by LM Montgomery
13. The Giver by Lois Lowry
12. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare <- I've only read the first two
11. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
10. Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis <- I've read bits and pieces of each book
9. A Wrinkle In Time series by Madeline L’engle <- I've read the first and third books
8. Graceling series by Kristin Cashore
7. Percy Jackson And The Olympians by Rick Riordan
6. Nick And Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
5. Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen
4. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
3. Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer
2. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
1. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

 

Alright, that’s 30 for me + 8 series that I’ve started but not finished + 2 that I didn’t finish because they were just not my cup of tea. There are a couple I own but haven’t read yet, so hopefully they’ll get bolded sooner rather than later.

I’ve also never considered The Great Gatsby, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, and The Catcher in the Rye to be young adult. I’ve always seen/known them as adult books, and they’re all located in the general fiction section of my local bookstores. Likewise, The Poison Study series is located in the Fantasy/Sci-fi section. So I wonder, do you consider these 5 books YA? If so, why? If not, why not? (I’m just curious)