Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas and Book Shopping!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, or Holidays if you don't celebrate Christmas. I had a few days off and really enjoyed them with family and friends. We enjoyed lots of tasty food, wine and best of all some wonderful times spent with family and new memories to treasure.

I did quite well... received books as gifts and bookstore gift certificates this Christmas -- of course I already added a couple of books to the TBR pile -- some I already read! But then I had a few minutes here and there to myself these past few days in between the cooking, baking, get-togethers and shopping. There's always time for reading, right?

One of my brothers gave me a book as a present from a favorite author, it's Leonardo Padura's latest release, "El Hombre que Amaba a Los Perros." Padura is a Cuban author who has received quite a few literary awards and is known for his "Mario Conde" police detective mysteries -- a series I love and one I'll be re-reading and hope to review this coming year. His latest release came out in September 2009 and as far as I know there's no translation available yet, so I'm not sure what the title in English will be, but the literal translation is "The Man who Loved Dogs." It's a historical fiction piece involving Trotsky, his assassin, the Spanish Civil War, their connection to Cuba and of course a modern time mystery. It looks fascinating and pretty ambitious! I'm really looking forward to reading this book. :)

The day after Christmas my husband and I visited our local book store. I've been thinking of getting that tiny, little book by Mary Balogh, "A Matter of Class." It's a hardcover and I finally decided to maybe get it later due to size vs. price, even though I really wanted to read it. Well, my husband surprised me and gave it to me. Wasn't that sweet? He was paying attention! It's a beautiful little book with a great looking jacket, much better looking in person. I read this book already, of course, couldn't help myself. I'll let you know all about it later. *g*

Going back to Leonardo Padura, while at the book store I decided to use one of my Gift Certificates to buy a few books. I began by buying the first book in the "Mario Conde mysteries series "Pasado Perfecto." I bought it in Spanish because it's my preference, however this book has been translated in different languages, English and French included and it's available. Havana Blue (Mario Conde Book 3) is the title in English. A few things don't make sense -- the title for one, the translation escapes me (literal translation "A Perfect Past"), and why this is being called Book 3 when in reality it's Book 1 of the series, it's beyond me. I read these mysteries back in 1999? 2000? I can't remember the exact year, but my brother passed the copies around to me and to our friends and we all loved them. I want my own copies and will be re-reading all of them.

Next, I chose to buy "Naked in Death" by J.D. Robb, the first in the In-Death series. I joined Christine's 2010 In-Death Challenge and although I lucked out and my book sharing buddy sent me books 2 through 5, I was missing the first one. So, now I'm ready to begin reading J.D. Robb, finally!

I also lucked out and saw Sarah Mayberry's January release "Her Secret Fling" and immediately scooped it up! Now, you KNOW that although I have other books by her in my TBR pile, this is one of the books that was read this weekend. It was perfect for the holidays -- short because I didn't have that much time to read and well... it was romance. I'll let you know all about this one later too. :)

And last but not least, I decided to buy Nora Roberts' "Vision in White" in print. I had it in ebook format, but I have "Bed of Roses" in print and these are such beautiful books with gorgeous covers, I knew sooner or later I was going to get that book in print, lol! I know, I know... why buy a book I already read and I already own? Well... that's just me. I collect her books in print -- I should have known better than to buy it in ebook format in the first place. It won't happen again, believe me!

But, hey that's not all! When I arrived home from shopping I had a little package waiting for me from Santa-baby all the way from the North Pole, via Canada! Santa sent me a book I've heard much about and I've been wanting to read, the New Gay Fiction Anthology, "Fool for Love" edited by Timothy J. Lambert and R.D. Cochrane. A gorgeous looking print book I can't wait to read because it's all about the "romance." One of the sweetest surprises I received this Christmas weekend. Thank you for thinking of me, Santa-baby!

Well those were my purchases and gifts, I was looking for other books and was not lucky to find them. The Sci-Fi / Fantasy section and even the Romance section seemed lacking, or maybe they just didn't have the books I was looking for. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to go check out another book store. *g*


  1. I love book-related gifts! Glad to see your family and friends know you well in that area. :D

    Isn't the cover and binding of VIW just gorgeous? The first time I saw it and held it, I kept touching it. Though when I showed it to friends and TH, they just look at me weird. Lol.

    OOh, I just read my first book by Sarah Mayberry -- Home for the Holidays. It was quite good!

  2. Btw, I kept forgetting to ask you this -- did you get Skin Game by Ava Gray yet? If not, I can send you my copy!

  3. Oh, sounds like your family and friends have the right idea when it comes to Christmas presents - enjoy :) And I didn't know you were fluent in Spanish - WOW!

  4. Yeah! Another In Death recruit! LOL I think you'll really enjoy the series.

    I hope to get to Borders today and get the Mayberry. Looking forward to hearing what you thought of it.

    That was so sweet of your dh to get you the Balogh. It just makes it that much more special!

  5. Tabitha, I couldn't stop stroking BoR, and I even made my husband pet the book, lol! I knew I wanted ViW in print as soon as I saw it. It was a mistake I won't make again. ;P I read Home for the Holidays by Mayberry too! I'm really enjoying her work right now.

    Orannia, it's really great that family/friends know me, it works out for me. I'm lucky. I've kept up both languages (Eng/Spanish), I love reading in both equally, so it has always served me well. :)

    Leslie, finally! J.D. Robb! I'm afraid I'm going to become obsessed, lol! Ohhh, I can't wait for you to read the new Mayberry, I think you might enjoy it. ;P The Balogh as a gift definitely made it special -- I loved it as a gift. :)

  6. How did I miss this post? Ah well, it's never too late to comment :D

    That's the kind of future boyfriend/significant other/husband I'm looking for. One that will say nothing about the amount of books I have, will give me books related gifts and will actually pay attention to what I want LOL :) You got yourself a winner, Hils :D

    I love the covers for the Bride Quartet books as well :D At first, I was a bit mad at the price, but the covers make it totally worth it :)

    Ohhh, you got the first In Death books. Get ready to hunt down book 6 to 30 LOL :) Do you have a UBS near you?

  7. It's never too late to comment. *g* Yeah, I agree with you nath, he's a keeper. :)

    I don't have UBS stores near me at all... I have some plans to get my hands on some used ones, though. And, I'm checking out my Library for these too. My library is not the greatest, but they carry Roberts' books & I hope they have J.D. Robb!

  8. Ohh, too bad you don't have UBS near you :( That sucks.

    I bet your library does have J.D. Robb... I mean, that's really part of the basic of a library :P

  9. I just saw Mary Balogh's book the other day and it sounds really good. Let me know how you like it!

  10. Oh, definitely Jill D! I will. :)

  11. What a great list of books, Hilcia!

    I just read my first story by Mary Balogh in late December. She had a short story in the anthology, THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS with Nicola Cornick and Courtney Milan. I really enjoyed Balogh's voice and was thinking of trying one of her full length novels. A MATTER OF CLASS sounds really good. But as it is HC, I will look for it at the library. Can you make a Balogh recommendation for me? Jill, fell free to chime in as well.

    So excited to see what you think of the 'In Death' series. It's going to be fun to do this challenge together.

    Nora Roberts' Bride Quartet books are indeed gorgeous and I think it was a smart move buying the books. I think it's almost my turn for BED OF ROSES at the library. I was 8th on the reserve list for along time, but I think I'm closer to 2 or 3 now! :)

    Also, I see you have SANTA OLIVIA by Jacqueline Carey on your sidebar. I can't wait for you to read it so we can discuss. I thought it was wonderful.

  12. Christine, I haven't read that many of her books. I do remember reading More Than a Mistress a few years ago and I really enjoyed it. I also read The Secret Pearl and reviewed it. My review is here: http://romancerookie.blogspot.com/2008/12/review-secret-pearl.html

  13. Christine, on Mary Balogh, I agree with Jill D, my favorite reads by her so far are:
    1) The Secret Pearl
    2) A Summer to Remember
    3) Slightly Married
    If you can get your hands on A Matter of Class in the library, it's worth the read too. :)

    I'm happy with my Quartet print books, now I can pet them whenever I want, lol! Can't wait to read your thoughts on these books.

    I can't wait to begin reading the In-Death books, more Nora! I'm still scared that I'll become obsessed.

    Santa Olivia is a book I've had on my TBR and didn't get to last year. Something to look forward to. :)

    Jill D, going to read your review of one of my favorite historical romances!


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