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One of my favorite bits about Santa is that the man knows how much I love new books. I have it on good authority that the man socked used (and new) books away all year in order to make the truckload of books happen for me. And now I can’t wait to dive in!

But first, you know that I had to break down my new babies into tiers based on priorities. Looking at 10 or 20 MUST READ NOW! books is far easier to choose from versus wading through the entire lot of (muttermutter:65:muttermutter) books. And so…

The books I want to read so badly that I might just read them all at once: I got a few mental health memoirs to keep last year’s interest going – I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg; Voluntary Madness by Norah Vincent; and Darkness Visible by William Styron. Then there are the lit fic releases that I’ve heard so much buzz about at one time or another: This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz; The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman; The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright; Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Then there are the books about traveling, and I’m not talkin’ about always in the usual ways – secret doors should very much apply here: The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen; Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King; and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherinne M. Valente. I received a trio of books from my mom and sister that I am dying to hang out with, even though I know they will make me cry with homesickness: New England Writers and Writing by Donald Faulkner; New England’s Fabulous Monsters by Robert Ellis Cahill; and New England’s Mad and Mysterious Men by Mr. Cahill. Lastly, just for grins because it sounds like a really fun story (and Rhi and Kim both told me I must), is Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. (I know – I’m sick of the zombie thing, too, but I hear the wit is amazing and it’s really about an identity crisis for an undead teenage boy. Imma go with it.)  So! pretty good list for my top tier books, yes? How am I ever going to choose my next book from that pool?!?

The fun doens’t stop there because then we have a list of wittier than average plot puppies and memoirs that I can’t wait to crawl into. I give you the books I received that I still must simply read, but would not skip work to finish (I think). Books by authors I love, like A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews; White Teeth and Changing my Mind by Zadie Smith; Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck; These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf; The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne; and The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood. There are a few books I’ve wanted to read by new authors, too: Boy21 by Matthew Quick, The Art of Forgetting by Camille Noe Pagan; The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen; The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway; The Long Goodbye by Meghan O’Rourke; The Violets of March by Sarah Jio (so excited about reading her!); The Magicians by Lev Grossman; The Shack by William Paul Young; There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill her Neighbor’s Baby (and other fairy tales) by Ludmilla
Petrushevskaya; Tiger, Tiger by Margeaux Fragoso; and a find by my sister: Charles Lamb by John Mason Brown.

And then there are the books that I love very much, but probably won’t get to enjoy for a few months. Paint It Black by Janet Fitch; Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri; The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason; The Dog Who Came In from the Cold by Alexander McCall Smith; Hamlet: Poem Unlimited by Harold Bloom; Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk; So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman; Weird New England; The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer; The Kiss by Kathryn Harrison; The Last King of Scotland by Giles Foden; Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok; All Souls by Michael Patrick MacDonald; Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys; Five Finger Discount by Helene Stapinski; Bel Canto by Ann Patchett; The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger; American Pastoral by Philip Roth; Songs in Ordinary Time by Mary McGarry Morris; Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout; The White Tiger by Avarind Adiga; Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris; The Maltese Falcon by Dashiel Hammett; and Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson.

I know right?! So many great books to read! And that doesn’t even include the dozen or so books I received that I had already read but didn’t own yet. I am a lucky, lucky reader. A third of my year’s reading right here – I can’t wait to dive right in!

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