A Christmas Book Haul

I don’t often to book hauls, mostly because I don’t really get a lot of books in one go, but I was lucky enough to get so many wonderful books for/around Christmas that I just wanted to share them.

From Publishers


Before Christmas I got a few exciting booking parcels in the post. One was this lovely set of It Girl books by Katy Birchall from Egmont. I loved the first two books and am excited to see what happens to Anna next. The new covers are gorgeous and I love this new design.


I also received a copy of Wing Jones by Katherine Webber, from Walker books, which I’m reading at the moment. So many people have been tweeting amazing things about this book and I feel really lucky to have a copy.


And finally, I have The Fireman by Joe Hill, from Gollancz. When I was emailed about this I’d just finished reading Horns and the offer of another book by Joe Hill was just too tempting.

From Nathan


The majority of my presents from Nathan were books, which is alright by me! They were a good mix of things he knew I wanted – Noughts & Crosses which I used to borrow off my sister so never had my own copy, Goldenhand because I love The Old Kingdom series, a beautiful illustrated copy of The Lie Tree – and some new things to try as well. I’ve already read Scarlet Witch and can’t wait to get stuck into the rest of them.

From the In-Laws


Nathan’s parents really know how to do Christmas well, and I was lucky to get a lot of books from them. The one I’m most excited about is The Call by Peadar O’Guilin, which I’ve heard great things about, and The Creeper Man by Dawn Kurtagich, as I loved The Dead House by her.

From my Mom


And lastly, from my dear old Mom, I got The Muse by Jessie Burton. I read The Miniaturist last year and quite enjoyed it, though I’ll admit I struggled a bit as adult books aren’t really my thing. but it was still an interesting story and I’m looking forward to picking this one up.

This year I’ve decided to prioritise the books I got for Christmas, as last year some of them got lost in all the review books and new books I got throughout the year (I still haven’t read some of them…) So I have my new books in a separate pile and am going to work my way through them, alternating with review books when I have them.

I hope you all had a very bookish Christmas and that the new year holds lots of exciting things for you to read.

Book Review: The Miniaturist (Jessie Burton)

Details:Publisher: Picador
Pages: 424
Release Date: 1st January 2014

On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives at a grand house in Amsterdam to begin her new life as the wife of wealthy merchant Johannes Brandt. Though curiously distant, he presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift; a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations ring eerily true.


As Nella uncovers the secrets of her new household, she realises the escalating dangers they face. The miniaturist seems to hold their fate in her hands – but does she plan to save or destroy them?


I’d heard a lot about this book before I started it (who hasn’t really, it’s been everywhere!) and thought I’d give it a go, though I don’t often read ‘adult’ books.At the beginning, I didn’t get on well with it. I’m going to blame it on the fact it’s an adult book and it just moved too slow for me. I feel that in YA, there’s always grabs for my attention and a quick pace to keep me interested, but here there was a very slow build, so much so that almost half way in I was sure I wasn’t going to like it.

It did pick up, however. I think as soon as the first revelation hit (no spoilers!) I became more invested in the story. Before that, I felt sorry for Nella, and awkward around Marin and Johannes, but little else. Once one secret was out though, they kept coming, and worried how the family would cope.

I loved Marin’s character the most: I thought there were so many deft little touches there that made her so human: so full of contradictions, mood swings and uncertainty. She was by far my favourite, although the others were by no means sub par.

Strangely, when I think about this book, the actual minituarist doesn’t come to mind very much. It was the thing that drew me to it at first: the idea of seeing one’s life carved out in miniatures that also seem to predict the future. But I felt this story line didn’t really live out its potential: I thought the miniaturist would be someone of more importance, perhaps someone we knew, and that the uncanny ability to predict what was happening and what would happen to the family would be explained, but it never was. I just wanted more from that story line.

This book definitely grew on me. I’d advise you to stick with it if, like me, you struggle at the beginning, as it definitely gets more intriguing. That said though, I don’t think it’s one I will be reading again.

My Verdict:

I enjoyed – give it a read


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