The Books We Got for Christmas, 2019

It was a banner year for books! I’ll start from the bottom and go clockwise, finishing up with the two “pocketbooks” in the middle.

Ravenmaster is for me. It’s written by Christopher Skaife, Yeoman Warder of the Tower and London, and the tower’s raven master. It’s first up! I can barely wait.

An Unkindness of Magicians, by Kat Howard. I know nothing about this book, but, man, that title.

Shapeshifters, a History, also for me (I see a theme emerging.) This is a history of the mythology of shapeshifters, a good reference book.

West with the Lightning, a history of the Pony Express, by Jim DeFelice, is for Spouse, from me. The Pony Express was short-lived, but captured our imaginations. I think he’ll be interested to find out the history behind the legendary messenger service.

The Starless Sea is Erin Morgenstern’s long-awaited second novel, after The Night Circus. The cover resonates with Alix E. Harrow’s The Ten Thousand Doors of January. I plan to start it right after I finished Ravenmaster.

The Abalone King of Monterey was given to me by Matt and Suzanne; local Monterey/Salinas history. Looks like fun!

An Obvious Fact by Craig Johnson is a Longmire book. It’s a misfire as a gift, since Spouse has already read it. I’ll have to return it in trade for a Longmire mystery he hasn’t read.

The book on the very end of the loop is not prose; it’s a journal my friend Linda brought from India. It was paired with a pen made from a coriander branch. If that doesn’t provide inspiration, nothing will.

We always get each other a stocking stuffer pocketbook, usually used, to read over New Year’s, and then we trade off. From left to right, Susanna Gregory’s A Deadly Brew is an historical mystery, while Laura Lippman’s Another Thing to Fall is a mystery/thriller and seems to be part of a series, although we haven’t read anything else by her.

That’s it! That’s my report. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go find out what it’s like to wrangle ravens in the Tower of London.

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