We are LOVING our Christmas presents!!!

What does #1 love?  (Click on each cover to find out more)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett: the new Discworld.  I thought this one was just fantastic.  I totes identify with Sam Vimes… not that I’m a hard-bitten cop who worries he may be a killer… but his parenting is similar to ours and young Sam seems pretty real to us.  (#2 especially enjoyed the parent-child interaction in Thud!)

Across the Great Barrier by Patricia C. Wrede.  The second in the Thirteenth Child series.  Not as good as the first.  It felt to me like it was marking time, but DH disagreed.  There was really only one part that reminded me of the first book when she figures out something about the interaction between the different kinds of magic.  Still, a reasonably good read.

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George.  A new children’s book by a new children’s author.  Amazon recommended it so I put it on my wishlist with a medium and someone got it for me.  It’s a good children’s book!  A good princess book too, though the princesses don’t seem to have a chance to be in line for the throne, which kind of sucks [update:  that may be incorrect– there’s just been no queens yet].  But they’re still feisty enough to save a castle, a kingdom, and their brother’s life.

DC is thoroughly enjoying Seven Day Magic by Edward Eager.  My parents brought up a few boxes of my old classics and my sister’s old teen romances.  I love Edward Eager to pieces and apparently so does DC!  In Seven Day Magic the children check out a magical library book that writes their stories for the week as they go through various magical encounters.  Last night they battled a dragon… and dragons, when they feel small, become small.  One almost feels sorry for the dragon.   This version is a paperback, but I remember originally checking the book out from the library… in a red non-nondescript cover, just like the book described in the book.

#2 just finished The Spirit Lens by Carol Berg and loved it.   Compulsively readable, straight-up high fantasy, swords & sorcery flavor.  My partner tried to have a conversation with me while I was in the middle of it (for several hours in a row) and I had no idea what he was talking about, I was so deep in the world.  Can’t wait for the sequel.  (Wait, it’s from WHOSE point of view?!?!?  ARGH!  Do not want.  I hope the narrator is more likeable in the second book than the same character was in the first, which was narrated by someone else.)

I also loved Prime Baby by Gene Luen Yang.  It’s about this kid who plans to be an evil mastermind and take over the world someday… and then he gets a baby sister.  And he thinks his baby sister is an alien.  It very much speaks to me of my childhood.  It’s for grownups, though; kids wouldn’t get the humor.  Love it.

O MAN O MAN!  LATE BREAKING NEWS, my partner has gotten me something AWESOME: the sweetest, most powerful, longest-lasting, coffee EVAR!  He really is the best.

If your friends and family are not as awesome as ours and you got shite gifts, please check out the Angry Robot Sock Amnesty program.

Otherwise, enjoy!

20 Responses to “We are LOVING our Christmas presents!!!”

  1. feMOMhist Says:

    I am intrigued yet confused by coffee. Must explore more

  2. Linda Says:

    I’ve been experimenting with coffee lately, too. I drink coffee every day and while I rarely buy a cup at a cafe, I’ve been thinking my coffee expenses can be trimmed. I was buying beans at the Whole Foods because I like the Allegro roast that they do right there in the store. But the cheapest coffee at WF is about $12.99 a pound, and it was costing me roughly $30 a month to make coffee at home. So I thought I’d try the cheaper route and bought a can of Hills Bros. on sale at another local chain grocery. Ugh. I have added much more coffee to my brew basket every morning, yet am still getting only what tastes like coffee-flavored water. Now you show me this. Oh my. I don’t know if I’ll ever get my coffee budget under control now.

  3. Kellen Says:

    I was really looking forward to the Great Barrier, but felt a bit like you did – not as good as the first. I think part of my frustration is that I want the character to be more *interested* in learning about magic, since hers is so odd, but she seems content to continue to ignore it as much as possible. I will add Spirit Lens, Tuesdays at the Castle, and Seven Day Magic to my list (although there’s a strong possibility I’ve already read Seven Day Magic at some point in my life…)

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Half Magic also excellent. :) (And you may want to read it first since Seven Day Magic meets with its characters.)

      • oilandgarlic Says:

        I love Half Magic and Knight’s Castle (is that also Edward Eager) while pregnant. I think I also read 7 Day magic but I blame pregnancy brain for not remembering if I did or not. Is that the one where the kids in Half Magic meet up with their parents?

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Yup, Knight’s Castle is also Edward Eager. :)

        7 day magic does have the kids in half magic in it, but they’re in a story.

  4. bardiac Says:

    I LOVED Edward Eager when I was a kid. I

  5. Grace Says:

    SO–any Betty Cavanna books among your sister’s old teen romances? I haven’t gone back and looked at those books (I’m afraid to!) but I read everything she wrote when I was a teen.

    If you’re ever in NYC, try Zabar’s Kenya AA (pronounces Kenya Double A), I live in Coffee City (well, that might as well be its name!) on the west coast so the choices are overwhelming–there’s a small-batch roaster on every corner. I want to give everyone a chance, so I’m working my way through them all!

  6. Carolyn Says:


    It sounds brilliant and I’m a caffeine addict but am a little scared to try it…

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yeah, I’m gonna have to ramp up to it. They recommend drinking “no more than 100ml per DAY (3.5oz approx.)”. Imma start with 50 (1 test-tube) or maybe even HALF a test-tube at a time, after I’m back on fully-leaded coffee. Can’t wait.

  7. MutantSupermodel Says:

    In a related note, I got absinthe flavored coffee for Christmas… I’m quite excited to try it actually.

  8. Ink Says:

    Seven Day Magic? Oh, sparkly stars to you for mentioning that one. I loved all of EE’s books. Half Magic was my fave but Seven Day was a close second. Trying to get my kids interested but not so much success yet.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I’m not sure why ze wasn’t drawn to Half Magic– we’ve had that one since before ze was born, and we’ve been offering it as a new book choice for several books now (The Mouse and the Motorcycle was the previous choice), but ze picked out Seven Day Magic the first time ze saw it. Ze has been crazy about “magic books” ever since ze started chapter books. The Magic Treehouse, Ruth Chew, The Wizard of Oz… all major big hits. I wish Ruth Chew books were still in print– we only have a limited selection. One of these days we’ll have to get my E. Nesbits, but they weren’t in this last batch from my parents. Eager is more upbeat (so American!) anyway.

  9. darchole Says:

    You could try the Outcast series by Christopher Golden and Thomas Sniegoski, not quite like Patricia Wrede’s 13th Child, but it has magicians and someone who doesn’t fit into the regular society in the books.

  10. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    I got an immersion blender, and I can’t wait to blend the f*cke out of some shitte!!

  11. Jacq Says:

    I got a new George Foreman grill from the kiddos! And am so happy that they got it on sale. :-)
    The way to my heart is through cooking appliances.

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