Over my annual sabbatical, I loved getting to spend time with friends and family. Is was such a joy to spend the Christmas holiday with my husband, Armon, and our families as we celebrated together. And as part of my gift haul this year, I was thrilled to walk away with a big stack of books.
There’s nothing that makes me feel more known, loved, and seen by the people in my life then receiving a book rather than a tech gadget or clothing for Christmas. Seeing the types of books that members of my family intentionally chose for me was so special and heartwarming.
I posted about some of the books I received over on my Instagram and asked if y’all would be interested in hearing more about my book haul from the holidays. And an overwhelming number of you wanted more details about all the books I received.
I haven’t had a chance to dive into every single one of them just yet, but I was able to crack open the spines of a few and I’m excited to share more recaps as I finish them.
But in the meantime, here’s an overview of everything that Santa left under the Christmas tree this year.
Book Haul #1 – Becoming by Michelle Obama
The first book I received is Becoming by Michelle Obama.
This is a book I wanted to read as soon as I knew it was coming out. I heard such good things about it from friends and I’ve seen it pop up all over social media. Michelle Obama is someone who I respect so much and admire greatly. I knew this memoir would be heartwarming and such a valuable story to dive into.
It was one of those books I quietly asked for, but wasn’t sure if anyone would actually get for me. So I was really excited when my dad surprised me with it. He said he was walking through the bookstore, saw the cover and instantly thought of me. Funny enough, I never actually mentioned to him this was the book I wanted so the fact he got it for me anyways made me feel so known by my dad.
Becoming is next up on my list to dive into and I am so excited. The reviews I’ve read are absolutely glowing so I know it’s going to be a hard one to put down.
If you’ve read it already and have any thoughts you want to share, feel free to let me know in the comments below.
Book Haul #2 – Florida by Lauren Groff
The next book that was on my list is Florida by Lauren Groff.
This book is actually a collection of short stories that feature different characters in each story. Really the only central component woven through each storyline is the state of Florida.
The premise of Florida is so fascinating to me because I spent years of my life visiting my grandma in Florida and vacationing with my family. I’m curious to dive into this book to hear more about how this beautiful state is represented and reflected through these short stories. Lauren Groff is a Florida native, so I’m sure her unique perspective will add such depth and insight into her story as well.
Fun fact about this book, President Obama actually released a list of his favorite books, movies and albums of 2018 and this book was one of the honorable mentions. So I’m thrilled we have such similar tastes in literature.
Book Haul #3 – The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Con and Suzanne Stabile
The next book I received is The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Con and Suzanne Stabile.
For all my fellow Enneagram fans out there, this is a book that helps us dive into the inner workings of the Enneagram and how it can be applied to our lives.
I love how this is a personality inventory that I can use to get to know myself and those in my life even better.
The really special thing about this book is that my brother actually got it for me. He and I spend a lot of our time texting back and forth funny memes about our Enneagram type and we try to figure out the type of different members in our family. So the fact that he thoughtfully picked up this book for me was a heartwarming moment.
Of course, I started to peel back the cover on this one right away and so far I really love it. I can’t wait to share a more complete review once I’ve completed it!
Book Haul #4 – My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz
The next book I received is a little different from the rest of the books on this list and that’s because it’s actually a cookbook!
For Christmas this year, I asked for a copy of My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz who is an American chef living in Paris.
His cookbook My Paris Kitchen is not only a cookbook, but also a collection of stories about what it’s like living in Paris, how he’s transitioned into the food culture in that amazing city, and how he learned so much about global cuisine living in such an incredibly diverse European capital.
This is a cookbook I’ve enjoyed reading through—not just flipping through for recipes that look delicious—but I’ve truly enjoyed reading Lebovitz’s writing and the individual stories he tells. I didn’t know this before receiving his book, but it turns out he has a very successful blog too. So a lot of the stories from his cookbook are inspired by that as well.
Another fun fact: my husband and I actually designed our New Year’s Eve dinner menu based on recipes from this book and we absolutely loved every single thing we made. I can’t wait to incorporate more of these recipes into our weekly menus over the next year or so.
Book Haul #5 – Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield
Finally, the last book I received is Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield.
This book is something that’s a fun surprise to me because it wasn’t on my radar and actually very different from the norm of what I usually gravitate towards, but it sounds like a really fun novel that is a mix of science-meets-magic.
It’s a story based in a village set on the ancient river Thames way back in the day. The story is about a person who walks into this inn on a dark, dreary evening with a lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl comes back to life and everyone in the town is baffled—is this a miracle, is this magic or is there a scientific explanation?
Basically, the entire book is about the people of this village who apply all of their energy into solving the mystery of this girl who died and came back to life. It’s such an interesting thing to me because it’s this incredible combination of folklore, science, magic, myths, suspense and rich-detailed writing.
Since this is different then the types of novels I usually read I can’t wait to dive in and let you know what I think. I’ve heard such great things about the writer so I’ll keep you posted.
My Christmas Book Haul
So there you have it.
Those are all the amazing books I received under the tree this year for Christmas and I’m really looking forward to spending some quality time diving into each and every one.
So tell me friend, what books are on your reading list for 2019? I always love to add new books to my reading list and would love to hear your favorite or must reads for this year! Let me know in the comments below.