This Christmas I, once again, took part in The Broke and The Bookish Secret Santa! I loved taking part last year so jumped at the chance to be a part of it again 😌
TBTB Secret Santa is run by the wonderful Jana (from That Artsy Reader Girl) who put in a great deal of effort to make sure that everything went smoothly. If you’re not already following Jana, I really suggest that you do as she posts lots of exciting bookish content and runs a really beautiful blog!
I won’t go into the details here but if this sounds like something you’d be interested in taking part in next Christmas, I’ll leave a link to the 2020 post here.
There was a little difference to this year’s exchange as we also had the option to exchange Christmas cards with book lovers from all over the world. With everything going on with COVID, I thought this was a lovely (and relatively inexpensive) way to spread a bit more festive cheer!
Now onto the best bit! My secret Santa this year was the wonderful Terri, who put together such a thoughtful box of presents for me. Everything was so beautifully wrapped with little notes and I felt truly spoilt when I opened them
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
Blurb: When the Greek Queen Helen is kidnapped by Trojans, the Greeks sail in pursuit, besieging the city of Troy. Trapped in the Greek soldiers’ camp is another captured queen, Briseis. Condemned to be bed-slave to Achilles, the man who butchered her family, she becomes a pawn in a menacing game between bored and frustrated warriors. In the centuries after this most famous war, history will write her off, a footnote in a bloody story scripted by vengeful men – but Briseis has a very different tale to tell…
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
Blurb: As Ella Minnow Pea writes to her cousin with the latest news on the small, quiet island of Nollop, little does she imagine the crisis ahead. The letter z has fallen from the statue of Nevin Nollop, revered author of the sentence ‘The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog’ – and the island’s rulers interpret this as a sign of divine displeasure and ban its use in any form. In a novel composed of correspondence, the loss of z is inconvenient; but far worse is to come as more letters fall and more are banned, until only l, m, n, o, p remain…
The Muse by Jessie Burton
Blurb: On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, ready for her luck to change. She has been employed as a typist by the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick, who unlocks a potential Odelle didn’t realise she had. When a lost masterpiece arrives at the gallery, Quick seems to know more than she is prepared to reveal and Odelle is determined to unravel the truth. The painting’s secret history lies in 1936 and a large house in rural Spain, where Olive Schloss, the daughter of a renowned art dealer, is harbouring ambitions of her own. Into this fragile paradise come two strangers, who overturn the Schloss family with explosive and devastating consequences…
And what bookworm doesn’t love some book accessories? I received some beautiful bookmarks, some with the most positive sayings (perfect for starting a new year!) and a reading journal to help me keep on top of my reviews!
Terri, quite obviously, really took the time to read the essay I sent in my initial email 😂 She really hit the nail on the head with what sorts of things I’d like, right down to the bar of Cadbury’s chocolate and the hot chocolate stick (which I may have already used to make the most delicious hot chocolate I think I’ve ever had!). The candle is called ‘reading on a rainy’ day and now sits beside my bed for those late night page turners and that glorious gingerbread bath bomb and the face masks are reserved for a night of real pampering.
The watercolour brushes and paper are probably one of my favourite presents I received from anyone this Christmas! Last year, my TBTB Santa sent me some watercolour paints which I’d mentioned I wanted to try but I had yet to get myself into gear and buy the necessary supplies to actually use them. Huge thanks go to Terri for this as I’m already thinking of all the things I could create!
Another stand out present has to be the ‘Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered’ tote! If you’re a big fan of the My Favourite Murder podcast then you’re my kind of person 🤩 It’ll be the perfect way to bring home my copy of the book when it finally comes out in paperback!
I want to end this post with another huge thank you to Terri for all the thought and effort that she put into putting this all together for me – you’ve really spoiled me! 💜
What do you think? Have you taken part in this, or something similar, before? Or maybe you’ll be signing up this year? I’d love to know!
You can always find me over on Twitter if you’d like to discuss this post (or any others) in more detail 😌