It's that time of the year again! Chronicle Books is giving away a haul of books to a blogger, one of their commenters AND a charity of the winner's choice in their 2nd annual Happy Haul-idays giveaway. Very generous and a great way to get some holiday gift giving ideas. But before I get into my own list I wanted to take a moment to mention the charity I would want to donate books to, my local library.
The Great Falls Public Library is tiny compared to the ones I was used to living in big cities like Spokane, Washington. When I first moved here a couple of weeks before I turned 14, my family was homeless. Bouncing from floor to sofa to floor of church friends every couple of weeks and living out of a suitcase for four months, there were few joys in my life. We didn't have money for a home let alone books so getting a library card sustained my need for escape in fiction, learning new things, and helped me with homework even when my parents couldn't meet my other needs. Which is why I would love to be able to give back to them in this special way... maybe there's another teenager here that is getting the same needs met that will benefit from it and so on and so on. It'd be a gift that benefits my community for generations to come.
There are many charities that are deserving of this but I simply cannot think of a charity that has benefited me personally as greatly during a very tough time for my family. Giving back to them would mean a lot to me.
Now as to which books I'd like to haul in... well, my list last year was fun but some aren't available anymore and I found some new ones now that my baby is a toddler.
Embroidered Effects: Projects and Patterns to Inspire Your Stitching $24.95
I love Sublime Stitching and have paid more than I want to admit to for an autographed kit that was out-of-print that Jenny Hart also did. Always a great gift for someone who loves stitchery!
Okay, so I'd want to keep this for myself but my younger brother has had a very bad year and I think he would get a kick out of this. Maybe living villainously would benefit him in the new year? :)
What Sisters Do Best/What Brothers Do Best $15.99
Speaking of siblings... this duo would be perfect for my eldest to read to our youngest. He had to wait a long time to be a big brother and I've never seen one more devoted and loving to his little sis.
I have a small collecting of themed craft books and have been wanting this one since it came out earlier this year. I like giving these to dads as baby shower or father's day gifts so they'll have some fun projects to do with their kids.
In my dream life I spend every morning and every evening reading in cafes where civilized folk enjoy delicious little foods and sip tea. Real life is very much the opposite. A girl can daydream can't she?
We have a good friend in our social circle whom we all affectionately refer to as 'The Wookiee'. I think if he ever gets married this will be the perfect gift for his wife. After all, they say that the secret to a happy marriage is communication. ;)
• Kokeshi Kimonos By Annelore Parot $17.99
When I was a little girl I had a crush on Japanese culture. I had a friend who's mother was from Japan and they had the most beautiful kimonos. This book would be a great way to share that childhood passion with my own daughter.
Keeping a good sense of humor and an even temper during the holiday season can be tough. Give the gift of subversive cross-stitch to someone who needs a good chuckle.
Sometimes I get homesick for the bounty America's Pacific Northwest has to offer. As a Washington native fresh berries and seafood top my list of epicurean desires. A great gift for fellow transplants missing home.
• Dem Bones by Bob Barner $16.99
Singing with my toddler is a fun part of every day. She recently learned the word 'skeleton' and we've been talking about bones and body parts a lot. She would LOVE this book!
The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Paranormal $14.95
How could this not be something I'd want to haul in considering the majority of my reading? This would be a fun gift for my fellow Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance readers.
I'd need two copies of this one to hit the women on my list who totally deserve this one. My own grammy and my amazing mother-in-law. They both know how to spoil their grandkids good! :)
Earlier this year I read a wonderful retelling of this classic fairy-tale but my daughter is too young for it. This version is much more on her level and one of her newest words is 'princies'.
We're a family of geeks. Star Wars geeks, specifically. This would suit our son (and a few of the adults I know) really well. May the Force be with you!
Crème Brûlée $14.95
Last Christmas we had a friend visiting who made this sinfully rich treat for our other guests. Now my husband wants me to learn how to make it... perhaps we should learn together? Date night!
2011 was the year of the zombie. Trust me on that one. We love us some zombie stories in the Walker family and love to share them with our friends.
• PANTONE: The 20th Century in Color $40.00I've been eyeballing this book for ages. I have this weird obsession with colors. I want to give them all names and keep them like pets. Plus color trending fascinates me, just check out Colour Lovers and you'll see what I mean.
Odd Velvet by Mary E. Whitcomb $14.99
I want to keep raising my toddler to be a kid who marches to her own drum. Sharing books about like-minded characters is important.
It's no secret that I love werewolf lore, when I saw this in the bookstore last holiday season I hoped someone would get it for me. No such luck.
Last Christmas grandma bought our toddler the Little Snowman finger puppet book and it's still one of her favorites! It's getting a little dirty from use though so I'd love to put this one in her stocking.
Same idea as Little Reindeer but since the tot loves Pandas this one would be very cute to rotate with her other ones.
Heroes of the Environment: True Stories of People Who Are Helping to Protect Our Planet $16.99
Our son's sixth grade teacher is a biologist and has done some interesting work around the world. I'd like to give this book as a gift to his classroom so he can share it with our class and others to come.
You Know You're a Writer When . . . By Adair Lara $9.95
I have more than one author friend whom I know would be the perfect recipient of this book! Could I let go of it though? hehe, not so sure... I am a writer too after all. ;)
Lickshot: A Photo Scrapbook By Ben Watts $50.00
One of the only carry overs from last years list. I still want it and for the same reasons. Just never been able to justify the price for a "coffee table" book. lol
The Nutcracker Retold and illustrated by Michael Hague $7.95
This classic was my favorite holiday tale as a child. Every year we went to the ballet to see it. I'd love to share this story with my own kids but I don't think either could sit through the real deal. lol I don't have a picture book of the story though. How did that happen?
Zombies: A Record of the Year of Infection $19.95
For my wonderful husband. Last year I gave him Ten Little Zombies (also from Chronicle Books) and it was the HIT of the morning. Everyone thought it was great and funny. If you've read it you'll know why gifting zombie things to my sweety is a tradition I intend to keep going.
Fuck You and Your Blog Journal by Ray Fenwick $9.95
...and last, but never least, this journal for my selfish little self. Because sometimes I want to say exactly what the cover says... but doing so would be bad. Writing such things privately is good therapy and journaling is still cooler than blogging. :P
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There you have it... my eclectic list of tomes from Chronicle Books that I would love to haul in for myself and to share with friends and family. I couldn't help it... I capped out at $496.04 and could easily have gone further since there are so many wonderful books I'd love for myself and could gift to more of my friends and relations. Be sure to leave me a comment since the winning blog will have one of their commenters chosen to win too!
And cross your fingers for me 'cause I'd love to be able to give my local library some new life!
Now off with you my lovelies! Why not go and make your own Happy Haulidays post featuring a charity of your choice? Or at least follow Chronicle Books on Twitter so you can get their latest news. Expect to see several Chronicle Books titles on my upcoming gift guide. ;) -- Rhi