The 2016 Guardian Holiday Book Swap

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The 2016 Guardian Holiday Book Swap

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Editado: Nov 27, 2016, 11:21pm

Ho ho ho, it’s Guardian Swap time!

What it is:
Each participant chooses, purchases, and orders/mails a book carefully selected from the Guardian Best Books of 2016 lists (see below) to another participant, round-robin style. This is a long-standing BookBalloon tradition, full of ritual and mystery. Not really! It’s just lots of fun!

How it works:

  1. Indicate your interest in participating in this thread.
  2. Send a message to Lauren, the Designated Swap Organizer (DSO), via private comment with your email address and shipping address. Or make other arrangements as per the DSO’s wishes. She will enact various proprietary formulae and determine who sends to whom in a flat circle of giving and receiving.
  3. Once you receive your person, peruse the Guardian lists, make your choice, and send it along. Keep it secret; keep it safe. Feel free to gloat privately. Since many of the books on the list are British, it’s often the case that they arrive after the holiday season is over and call potato chips “crisps.” This is not a big deal.
  4. Once you receive your book, rush back to this thread to report what you got and how excited you are to read it. This won’t be hard, because you will be very excited!


The Guardian Best of 2016 list:
Part I:
Part II:

Nov 28, 2016, 7:29am

Afaik, "round robin" means, well, round, it continues to go around in a circle. But it sounds like you mean more like "secret santa"? Everyone gets assigned their one person? In that case you could use Elfster for this instead, then no one has to have everyone's addresses and the system assigns people automatically, so it means no one has to be the one person to not get the secret part. :)

Nov 28, 2016, 8:15am

I'm in!

>2 .Monkey.: Guardian Swap is something BookBallooners have been doing for years. It's never been "secret," part of the fun is talking to each other about the books we received from each other. When we participate, we send Lauren a list of the books on the list we already have (more than a few for me, this year), and general guidelines about what we like and don't like.

We picked the Guardian list because it always has unusual books, some not yet available in the US, and often the books arrive throughout December and January, stretching out the fun over a couple months.

Nov 28, 2016, 8:52am

I just wanted to make a LOtR joke. Its not really secret, just more don't tell until it's time to complain about how slow things ship from Amazon UK or wherever.

Nov 28, 2016, 9:15am

Well I mean secret santas are revealed after also, not secret for life, haha. And Elfster has space for you to write stuff. But you are certainly welcome to keep on keeping on! :P

Nov 28, 2016, 4:36pm

My favorite part of the book swap is reading other people's reactions to the books they receive. (I never participate, since there's not usually much on the list I want to read and it seems like it wouldn't be that wonderful if I said "here are the only two books on the list that I'm interested in" and then they showed up at my house.) But other people get sooooo happy, it's so nice to read about.

Nov 28, 2016, 4:38pm

Yeah I rarely read new books and I'm not sure how much interest I'd really have in much of what's on there so I won't be joining, but it's a fun idea. :)

Nov 28, 2016, 7:24pm

cara, you should join. You can be very specific. Others are. And that's all I'm saying.

Editado: Nov 29, 2016, 11:30am

I'm in! I'm just now looking at the lists for the first time today, so it may take me a few days to figure out what I've read/bought. And of course, I don't ever get around to reading my gift until years later, but I will read them all!

ETA: How do I send a message to Lauren? A private comment on her wall? (I haven't had a lot of time to figure out LT yet.)

Nov 29, 2016, 11:59am

My home email is fufferdatcomcastdotnet. Just let me know that way.

Nov 29, 2016, 3:58pm

I'm in (I'll email you too Lauren) and I second Lauren, Cara!

Editado: Dic 1, 2016, 3:41pm

Right now, the participants I have are - beside myself - DG, April, Cindy, Miriam (MKunruh), Julie, SP and Southern Book Lady.

In the past, Lynn R, Paul, Nancy, Karen W. and Kat have all participated. I truly believe the more the merrier so will post on this one or two other threads and then let it go.

If everyone can have their contact information to me by 12/9 and indicate what you already have, that would be great. I am also willing to offer highly scientific bookgiving advice.

Cara? monkey, care to give it a whirl this year? :)


Dic 1, 2016, 6:43pm

I think I'll pass, but thanks for checking!

Dic 1, 2016, 6:57pm

I am still debating but my contact info is the same, I guess you stll have it, Lauren.. I have to read over the lists again!

Editado: Dic 1, 2016, 7:30pm

>12 laurenbufferd: laurenbufferd Where is Paul, by the way? Has anyone seen him around here. Someone needs to contact him and light a fire under him. Also, where's David Abrams?

Dic 1, 2016, 8:34pm

David posted once. And I thought I saw Paul here. But time is a bit blurry these days, so I could be mushing contexts.

Dic 5, 2016, 8:08am

I think I said I was in so add me to the list.

Dic 5, 2016, 12:23pm

I'm in for sending a book or two. But prefer not to receive one, if that's ok.

Dic 5, 2016, 3:57pm

LuAnn and Kat, thanks.

Dic 5, 2016, 4:36pm

Lauren, thanks for doing this. Unfortunately, I need to take a pass this year.

Dic 8, 2016, 10:47am

Penultimate day:

Participants are: Lauren B, April, Cindy, DG, SP, Julie, SouthernBookLady, LuAnn, MKUnruh

Someone special is getting something extra from Kat.

I have not heard from Teep or Lynn.

Look tomorrow for an email from me. :)

Dic 8, 2016, 8:30pm

Hi Lauren, I'm in. Been away for awhile taking a major Intertube break. Thanks for the heads-up Lisa.

Dic 8, 2016, 9:25pm

It's so good to see you, Lynn!

Dic 8, 2016, 10:58pm

Yeah, Lynn!

Dic 9, 2016, 11:17am


Lauren, I'll get you my info today.

Dic 11, 2016, 7:13pm

Thanks all. Emails went out today. Let the swap begin. Happy reading!

Dic 12, 2016, 8:25am

Lauren, I did not get the email. Did you send it to my wall here, or to my addy?

Dic 12, 2016, 10:17am

Cindy, there's an email sent December 11 from "Cal." (fufferdatcomcastdotnet) Thought I'd mention it said that, in case you just didn't see it because you didn't know who Cal was. :)

Just in case they were actually on the Guardian list and I just didn't see them (they're on SP's list), I also have The Buried Giant and A God in Ruins. Now, to go research and see if I can find something good and fun for my giftee!

Dic 12, 2016, 11:52am

I think the wants/don't wants might have been copied from last year's list.

Editado: Dic 12, 2016, 7:23pm

Oh dear. I hate technical difficulties.

Sarah, your wants/don't want is from last year. I think everyone else's is correct.

I'm sorry.

And yes, somehow, everything from yesterday was sent as if it were from my husband's (Cal) - I do not know why.

Dic 12, 2016, 7:44pm

I still don't want All the Light We Cannot See!

Dic 12, 2016, 7:47pm

pls resend the message; I can't find it any where

Dic 13, 2016, 8:08am

It would be funny to flip the list. I WANT ALL THE THINGS I SAID I DIDN'T WANT.

Editado: Dic 13, 2016, 10:24am

Oh god. I'm going to get some giant book of Celtic poetry.

Dic 13, 2016, 11:03am


Get ready for your Tolkien, DG.

Editado: Dic 13, 2016, 11:42am

I've already done my shopping. :0)

Dic 13, 2016, 1:26pm

I wish I could unread it.

Dic 13, 2016, 2:00pm

All the Books We Shall Not Read

Dic 13, 2016, 5:14pm

I believe that was Ulysses.

Editado: Dic 13, 2016, 7:12pm

Ummm, could I have received my gift swap already, Miss Nicki?
Exposure and Behold the Dreamers?

Dic 13, 2016, 7:20pm

Not me!

Dic 13, 2016, 7:53pm


Dic 13, 2016, 8:00pm

I'll retaliate with Secret Life of Bees.

Dic 13, 2016, 8:15pm

Final revenge: The Bridges of Madison County.

Dic 13, 2016, 9:19pm

OMG. Somebody gave the radio station I worked for a ton of those during a fundraiser when it first came out and they went like hotcakes! We raised a ton of money -- and then I took one home and read it and felt like we ought to offer refunds to everyone who pledged for it. What a piece of crap. That said, the movie kind of makes me cry.

OK, it doesn't kind of make me cry. I blubber like a fucking baby.

Dic 13, 2016, 9:52pm

It's a surprisingly good movie, despite the usual Eastwood p-a-c-e.

Dic 13, 2016, 10:16pm

Eh, Streep just rubs her neck the whole time.

Dic 13, 2016, 11:07pm

Heee. She does!

Dic 13, 2016, 11:12pm


Editado: Dic 14, 2016, 8:08am

I thought this year's list was hard to choose from -- I kept finding books for ME that don't come out until mid 2017 here so now I've got $500 worth of books in my pre-order cart.

To my recipient: delivery estimate is Dec 27.

Dic 14, 2016, 8:12am

I received a lovely copy of Behold the Dreamers yesterday from Amazon. No note, so I'm assuming it must be from one of you! Many thanks! I love it and discovering an author I have not read before.

Dic 14, 2016, 10:07am

That's so weird- I did too. But with no note!

I read and reviewed it early this year and it really is quite a wonderful novel by a first time novelist - a very different take on the immigrant experience.

Dic 14, 2016, 10:36am

I suspect Kat.

LuAnn (I'm now tempted to start calling you Lu, because of your new user name), your official books are coming from me and should start arriving (this sounds more exciting then it is) on the 16th.

Dic 14, 2016, 11:21am

Miriam, your Guardian order is coming from across the pond but it will arrive before Christmas. I don't have a date, yet, but I think you should have it by the 22nd if not before.

Dic 14, 2016, 11:33am

Woot! I'm really looking forward to it April.

Dic 14, 2016, 11:34am

Squeeee-deedle, this is fun already.

Dic 14, 2016, 11:35am

Isn't it? I love this exchange. I love the books the most (the sending and the getting) but the thread convo during is a close second.

Dic 14, 2016, 11:49am

>56 laurenbufferd: LaurenB, your gifts should get to you by Christmas. I had to have them sent to me first so I could wrap them.

Editado: Dic 14, 2016, 11:59am

WOW. Ok.

>27 cindydavid4: Cindy, you should expect a package by Christmas and then one more for MLK day!

Dic 14, 2016, 12:12pm

Thanks Miriam! I can hardly wait to see what you chose!

And you can call me Lu -- just don't call me Lulu! ;)

Editado: Dic 14, 2016, 1:24pm

>58 southernbooklady: #overachiever

>60 LuRits: never Lulu!

(I love the post references in Library Thing -- no more scrolling back for pages, trying to figure out who or what a later post is referencing)

Dic 14, 2016, 4:12pm

How do you get it to do the post reference? Doesn't seem to work for me.

Dic 14, 2016, 4:26pm

Yah, I haven't figured it out either. I'm sure I'm missing something obvious.

Editado: Dic 14, 2016, 4:32pm

>62 LuRits:
use a > followed immediately by the post number with no space (this is key) and viola! (The system puts the poster's name in and a colon.)

Dic 14, 2016, 5:26pm

>64 mkunruh: Thanks!

Editado: Dic 14, 2016, 5:59pm

I've received my swap gifts, and I'm so happy! Lynn! You like me, you really like me! Actually, I hope you do, but you definitely know what kind of books to pick for me. I'm thrilled.

Lynn sent me I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes within Us and a Grander View of Life and The Book of Memory. Well, I am a microbiologist (allegedly), so #1 is very fitting, because I've been wanting to buy it (and I've heard great things about it!), and #2 I didn't remember what it was about, but...get this...a murderer (or is she?) in a women's prison in Zimbabwe! Sounds amazing! Such great picks for me, really. What do I love? Murderers. Prisons. Books set in Africa (not always, but some of the most amazing, memorable books I've ever read are set there). Perfect!

Thank you so much, Lynn! Very thoughtful.

ETA: Also, Amazon's gift packaging has improved! Each book arrived in a pretty blue bag that I can reuse. Yay!

Dic 14, 2016, 6:01pm

Nicki, you should get before and after Christmas books but at least the pretty one will get there first.

Dic 14, 2016, 6:25pm

>57 mkunruh:
I love the books the most (the sending and the getting) but the thread convo during is a close second.
I don't even take part in the exchange (I went straight from not being able to afford to do it to having too many damn books to feel OK about soliciting more) but I totally love reading the conversation around it and hearing everyone exclaim over their books. It's festive!

Dic 14, 2016, 7:15pm

First, entirely loathe Streep. Second, those stray books were the Guardian bonus for you, Lauren.

Editado: Dic 14, 2016, 8:03pm

Yay Julie, I'm glad you liked them. I pretty much have a good idea of the kind of books you like but you never really know when faced with these Guardian choices. I was hoping there would be a book entitled "The Big Book of Microbes and Sociopaths" but sadly, there wasn't.

I figured Amazon would wrap the books but they sent them in their blue velvet bags? That's interesting. I guess that's faster for them.

Dic 14, 2016, 8:23pm

>59 laurenbufferd: Yipee!

April, you should be receiving two books just before Christmas, and two more the second week in January. BTW 3 of the 4 books are ones I want to read as well so make sure you report back (the other one I read and loved and think you will too)

Dic 14, 2016, 8:25pm

>66 JulieCarter: Julie I am really wanting to read Book of Memory. Everything about it sounds wonderful.

Btw has anyone read The Lauras? It seems like it should be up my alley, but there are no reviews on Amazon...

Dic 15, 2016, 10:08am

Kat, I thought as much. Many thanks.

Dic 16, 2016, 12:00pm

"The Big Book of Microbes and Sociopaths"...HAHA! I'd read that, no doubt.

Editado: Dic 16, 2016, 5:52pm

Ok. So here's what I love about all this. Big ass Book in my mailbox when I got home tonight got. MIRIAM!!! You could not have chosen better. beryl bainbridge: A Biography. You know me so well. I'm sick as a dog with ALL my Christmas still to do and all I want is to curl up in the sofa and dig into these 500 luscious pages.

Thank you. The book is wonderful but how lovely to feel that someone "gets" you.

Editado: Dic 16, 2016, 8:28pm

I'll add to that. Thanks Lauren! I'd actually been looking at the tusk that did the damage to give to April but she already read it. But while looking at it I realized how much I really wanted to read the book ! Thanks for 'getting me'

You Will Not Have My Hate looks like one of those two sitting reads - I'll probably read it in one sitting, and then need another sitting to reflect on it all. Its not a book I would have chosen for myself but given how many books and authors I have been introduced to over the years starting from TT, I suspect its going to become a favorite!

Editado: Dic 16, 2016, 10:34pm

>71 cindydavid4: Cindy! Holy cow, girl, 4 books! That is way more than generous. I can hardly wait and then wait some more. Thank you so much. I promise I'll report back. This is so much fun!

Dic 16, 2016, 11:13pm

I love reading these posts!

Dic 17, 2016, 3:11am

>77 AprilAdamson: Just paying it forward from exchanges I've received. Besides I had a bunch of reward points. And besides you deserve them - enjoy :)

Dic 17, 2016, 8:10am

Lauren, your package is finally off! But as it turns out, you are going to get a second suprise in early January, because one of your books was delayed, and won't get to me before I leave on vacation. Mea culpa! That's what I get for wanting to wrap the presents.

Dic 17, 2016, 12:04pm

>75 LuRits: Woot! I'm so pleased you're pleased. You have a second one coming that is far more a crap shoot, but I was intrigued . . .

Dic 17, 2016, 2:19pm

Cindy, so glad you are pleased. They seemed very 'you' to me. And there's one more that is coming in mid January.

Dic 17, 2016, 3:50pm

Ah just in time for my birthday :)

Dic 17, 2016, 10:31pm

Wowza, Cindy, my first books arrived today and they are wonderful! Thank you so much! I'm very excited to dig into both of them. They are perfect. Cindy sent me Exposure by Helen Dunmore and Swing Time by Zadie Smith. I have to tell you a funny story, though. The package arrived late this morning, and I was confused about receiving a package I didn't remember ordering. I thought my husband might have ordered something for me for Christmas, so I waited until he got home this evening. He was as confused as I was because he hadn't ordered anything either. About thirty minutes ago my dim brain realizes it's the package from you. D'Oh! This is so much fun. I think I'll wait until my grandboys leave after Christmas to start them. It will be much quieter when they've gone home.

Dic 18, 2016, 8:41am


Dic 18, 2016, 8:43pm

Lynn, I am second-guessing my selection that has already been sent (for a dumb reason that I will disclose after it arrives), so there's a part 2 that comes separately.

Dic 18, 2016, 11:05pm

Ah ha! That first one is a book of Celtic poetry. I knew it. Seriously don't second guess and I'm not sure how we went from one book to two anyway (and now Cindy raises the ante to 4!) I know I sound like grandma but really, I'll be happy with anything.

Editado: Dic 19, 2016, 3:03am

Eek, sorry - I just get carried away with picking and choosing. And then there was that rather large number of award points, and well April is a retired teacher so has lots of time to read now :) Just please don't use me as a benchmark for anything.

Dic 19, 2016, 4:31pm

Found a copy of My Katherine Mansfield Project in the mailbox this afternoon. Thanks SP! I always make a private list of books from the Guardian I need to put my hands on, and that was at the top of it. It's going with me when I visit my folks for Christmas.

Dic 19, 2016, 9:25pm

Hooray! I was so worried you already had it. The other book is in transatlantic limbo, but I'm glad that one got here in time.

Editado: Dic 20, 2016, 5:47pm

>87 lynn_r: It's NOT Celtic poetry, I promise! But I wanted to add a second thing anyway that I like to push on people and Amazon UK was out. It's this book by Jeffrey Toobin, about a murder case.

Dic 20, 2016, 6:58pm

That sounds good. I've been so down lately so I hope it has an ending that cheers me up.

Dic 20, 2016, 7:39pm

Miriam--War and Turpentine arrived today. Completely new to me and it looks fantastic. I can't wait to read it. Love the Dutch connection! Thank you so very much for two thoughtful selections. (Happy dancing while I type).

Dic 20, 2016, 10:55pm

I've had second and third thoughts about that book -- it was a shot in the dark. Glad to hear it arrived! And love the image of you dancing while typing.

Dic 21, 2016, 11:55pm

Thank you SBL! The short stories by Amie Barrodale look really interesting and I'm a fan of Alice Oswald. Thank you so much for giving me poetry.

Dic 22, 2016, 8:33am

>95 laurenbufferd: Both books I want to read, of course! Alice Oswald is new to me, I'm sorry to say. She's now on my list to writers to investigate.

You do have one more package coming, but it won't get to you until the first week of January.

Editado: Dic 22, 2016, 10:09am

Her take on the Iliad Oswald Memorial was an amazing collection. That's a good place to start.

Dic 22, 2016, 10:33am

>97 laurenbufferd: Ooooooh! That goes on the January book budget!

Dic 23, 2016, 2:02pm

SP, yours are definitely going to be after Christmas. My order hasn't arrived from Jolly Old England yet. Luckily, the one that ended up out of stock was one I bought for myself. But surely they'll be here soon! I ordered on the 13th and they shipped on the 15th, so pretty soon, I hope!

Editado: Dic 23, 2016, 6:14pm

I got a boooook today, I am assuming it is from my Secret Santissima, LuAnn: You'll Enjoy it When You Get There: The Stories of Elizabeth Taylor' It looks wonderful and I am spritzing myself with White Diamonds as we speak.

Dic 23, 2016, 8:11pm

Ali Smith's Autumn arrived today. So pleased! I adore Smith and now I get to read her new one before everyone else in NA. Plus the hardcover is gorgeous. Thank you April!!!

Editado: Dic 23, 2016, 8:41pm

DG, your true Guardian book has been shipped but they say it won't arrive until Jan 3. Why it takes three weeks to send a book from England is beyond me. It's not 1933. Anyway, one way or another I thought I'd get you to try Taylor....

Dic 23, 2016, 11:21pm

>102 LuRits: I don't get it either -- but then today I ordered a handful of Penguin Hardcover Classics from the UK that aren't over here yet and they're going to be here in like five days, so I have a sneaky suspicion that sometimes they fulfill from a giant warehouse here for some books.

Editado: Dic 24, 2016, 3:32pm

Lauren, Love Like Salt just arrived - Never heard of it or the author, but oh it looks really interesting!! Thank you!

Dic 25, 2016, 12:35am

>101 mkunruh: You're welcome! I hope you enjoy it. You have another book coming, but I'm so glad at least one arrived before Christmas. I checked my account and it says they were both shipped on the 15th. I'm surprised the second book hasn't arrived. Keep me posted.

Dic 25, 2016, 10:15pm

Miriam, did you send me The Lauras? It showed up yesterday without a note. Completely new to me and I'm eager to dig in. Thank you so much!!!

Dic 25, 2016, 11:14pm

Whoa, that was fast. I was told it would not arrive until January. 'Twas I, LuAnn.

Dic 26, 2016, 8:18am

Lynn, your package delivery tracking now says Jan 3 -- it was originally Dec. 27. So happy 2017!

Dic 26, 2016, 9:18am

Oh Kat! Thank YOU. It looks tasty. Have you read it?

Dic 26, 2016, 1:10pm

Have not, LuAnn, let me know what you think when you get to it. I am a little concerned because it is a road story.

Dic 27, 2016, 9:31am

>104 cindydavid4: cindydavid, wow, I thought that was due in mid-January. Oh well. Enjoy. It sounded like a beautiful memoir.

Dic 27, 2016, 8:32pm

Well, there was a package in the mail today from The Wordery containing The Lauras by Sara Taylor. Cindy was this you? I was thinking that you said the other books would come in January. Thank you so much, it looks great! I've decided that my reading for January is going to be the books I've received through the Guardian exchange that I haven't read yet. I've read many of them, but I have 2 or 3 I need to get to from previous years.

Dic 27, 2016, 8:35pm

Yes that was me! Glad it got there earlier (there is still one that should show up by Jan 11) Im wanting to read The Lauras as well, let me know what you think!

Dic 27, 2016, 8:40pm

>111 laurenbufferd: It really is; I loved her writing about her life in France, as well as her child with cystic fibrosis. This is a book I'd highly recommend to anyone with a child with an chronic illness or disbility. The authors determination to make her child's life as normal as possible despite many difficulties is an inspriation, as well as a reminder that even in this day and age, there are plenty of assholes out there.

Dic 28, 2016, 11:51pm

>113 cindydavid4: Thanks again, Cindy, I will report when I finish.

Dic 29, 2016, 11:05am

Well, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who ordered from the UK and it's taking FOREVER to get over here! My books were shipped on the 15th and I haven't gotten them yet. And I did that thing, like Nicki, where I had them shipped to me so I could wrap them and send them. What was I thinking? Should have just ordered some that were available here. But the ones I wanted to get SP aren't out here yet. But man, it takes forever to get stuff over here from England. I always regret ordering from there.

That said, I finished one of my gifts from last year, Katherine Carlyle, and I really enjoyed it. Thanks, SP!

Dic 29, 2016, 2:23pm

My day job partly involves doing all the shipping for Karen Templer's company and we do get a lot of UK orders and 2-3 weeks is usually the norm (if it goes First Class, which is the only thing people will really pay for) -- customs really holds up the process. Sometimes tracking has it sitting in customs for ten or twelve days.

So if anything I order from amazonuk ever shows up faster than that, I am always amazed -- that's why I think they sometimes do ship from here, because I have had things arrive as quickly as five days, which isn't really possible the normal way...not for $3.99 shipping.

Dic 29, 2016, 2:32pm

So weird that they'd hold books in Customs. I had a lot of skin care products and ingredients get stuck in customs for MONTHS sometimes. Health, blah blah blah. But Christmas presents! Send them, dang it! There's no illegal drugs in there (unless there is, and then yay!).

Dic 29, 2016, 4:36pm

oh I dunno if they do -- I'm just saying the things WE send do.

Dic 29, 2016, 9:40pm

DG, I sent books from the UK to Miriam and they were shipped on the 15th. She received one, but not the second. I can't figure out why they weren't in the same box.

Dic 30, 2016, 6:51pm

I've been checking too! Shipping is odd, and it could be that one wasn't in stock, or what DG suggested. It's worth the wait though, and a book in January is almost better than a book in December.

Dic 31, 2016, 4:01pm

I'm prettttttty sure my Guardian Swap book arrived from LuAnn: Days Without End. It's such a DG book it's almost comical! Thanks, reading twin!

Dic 31, 2016, 5:05pm

Yep. That's from me. I had some help choosing this year.......Hope you enjoy!

Dic 31, 2016, 5:39pm

Glad everyone had fun. I'm going to make a Guardian gifts pile to read this year.

Dic 31, 2016, 5:58pm

I got my Guardian swap book today, The Lauras by Sarah Taylor. This looks great! DG, why would you second guess this?

Dic 31, 2016, 7:40pm

>125 lynn_r: this is stupid but for some reason I thought it was going to be a paperback instead of a hardcover and I thought that would make me look chintzy so then I found another thing that I like to give (which is in transit to you; it was on brief backorder) to beef it up and then I found out The Lauras was hardcover after all so then the whole worrying about it seemed stupid!

But I think you're a challenging, tough give! In a good way; it was fun to read every single description of ten thousand books and think about which would work best.

Dic 31, 2016, 7:50pm

Me? Challenging? Just because I listed about a hundred books I had or didn't want and said that I didn't want short stories, essays, poetry, any non-fiction or any book that had the letter E on the first page?

Seriously, The Lauras is perfect and it's a really pretty hardcover. (if you accidentally put in The Laura's you get a funny link. See what I mean.)

Editado: Ene 3, 2017, 9:06am

"I'm prettttttty sure my Guardian Swap book arrived from LuAnn: Days Without End. It's such a DG book it's almost comical! Thanks, reading twin!"

I don't know how to quote, yet, so that will have to do.

Okay, this is getting scary, deeg. I honestly don't remember our tastes being so similar, but "Days Without End" is going on my Year's Best List. I'm about 3/4 through it, but technically I started it last year and got sidetracked by the holidays. I am an unabashed Sebastian Barry fan. I'm pretty sure I've read all his novels going back to "Eneas McNulty" during the TT or early R'ville days. I absolutely adore his language/sentences and would read his books for that reason alone (Spufford's writing thrilled me in the same way). He gives good story, though, as any real Irishman should. He wrote this one for his son who, at 16, told his parents he was gay. I read a very touching interview about that when the book first came out in the U.K. I think it was in The Guardian. Check it out if you can.

Anyway, this is a major departure from his usual subject matter and was way too short at 250+ pp.

Ene 4, 2017, 10:34am

In the mail, yesterday, was a book from April! i'm super excited to read The Improbability of Love, particularly in these dark days of winter.

Ene 4, 2017, 7:07pm

Oh, I'm so glad it arrived. I was starting to get worried. Happy new year, Miriam!

Ene 4, 2017, 7:28pm

April, your last book supposedly will arrive on December 15. Yes, thats what the email says. Ill contact Amazon and see what the heck is going on...

Ene 6, 2017, 9:35am

Ok got it fixed - January 11th is the new date.

Ene 6, 2017, 8:33pm

>132 cindydavid4: Thanks, Cindy!

Ene 7, 2017, 1:21pm

DG, thank you so much. I just received Rock Crystal in the mail and was really excited to get it. I know you say you reread it every Christmas and I love getting books that are favorites from the people I care about. Plus it's such a pretty little thing. I'm holding it in my arms like Gollum with Precious. (A reference from your other favorite books!)

Ene 8, 2017, 11:52am

Again, SP, I apologize! Your books must have drowned in the ocean. I ordered one book for myself at the same time, but it was backordered for a couple of days, but it's arrived here. So I am giving them another couple of days and then assuming the books got lost somewhere. I swear, I am never ordering from the UK! I always have problems like this, when no one else seems to. Even my calendar from International Animal Rescue took a month to get here. UGH.

Editado: Ene 8, 2017, 2:36pm

I really do love Rock Crystal -- I gave SO MANY copies away this year and when I ordered yours, Lynn, it was on backorder and I am pretty sure I'm the person who caused the backorder. Enjoy it!

Ene 8, 2017, 3:49pm

It looks like everyone has received their books from the 2016 swap, except for SP and Julie is aware and on that.

So well done all! Another successful year of giving and receiving.

Ene 9, 2017, 11:48am

I lose. I'm going to email them again today.

Ene 9, 2017, 12:15pm

No worries, Julie! I still have one to mail to Nicki. It came last week and if I can ever get my frozen/lazy ass to the post office it should arrive at her door soon.

Ene 9, 2017, 12:30pm

I just put Lauren B's last one in the mail today! Due Wednesday, Lauren.

Ene 9, 2017, 1:51pm

Oh Julie, I was not being critical of you! Sometimes the mail is not our friend.

Ene 9, 2017, 6:15pm

Thanks for organizing it, LB!

Ene 9, 2017, 8:26pm

Cindy, Hag Seed arrived today. Thank you so much! I am so excited to read all of the books you sent. They are all appreciated and I will report back as I finish each one.

Ene 9, 2017, 9:02pm

Glad everything has arrived - enjoy!

Ene 10, 2017, 4:50pm

I most certainly will!

Ene 11, 2017, 10:49am

SP, they partially refunded me for your three books, because they are lost in the ether. (Of course, they didn't refund shipping and handling, so the book I got for myself because it was so cheap over there ended up costing me $30...grrr! Never ordering from the UK again.)

SO....I will pick something else for you and ship it to you directly from Amazon! Feel free to send me some hints or tell me of any books you've already bought. The three I bought you from over there aren't yet available over here (and they were good ones too! grr....). So...Megyn Kelly's book? Ann Coulter? Just kidding. I'll check out the guardian lists again and try to do better. :(

Ene 11, 2017, 12:37pm

No worries! I haven't read much on the list, so anything that looks interesting and/or ELEGANT.

Ene 11, 2017, 1:05pm

C'est bon. C'est bon.

Editado: Ene 11, 2017, 3:18pm

Speaking of: I mailed your second book today, Nicki and I waited in line at the post office behind a guy who was picking up a shipment of some live chickens.

Ene 11, 2017, 3:14pm

I DID NOT know you could ship live chickens USPS.

Ene 11, 2017, 3:22pm

There was a special box printed with "LIVE BIRDS" that had little windows covered with what looked like coffee filter paper. When he got to the counter and said he was there to pick up something, the post office lady said "Are you here for THE BIRDS?" And when he said he was, she immediately called someone else to get them and ran to the corner to fan herself and mutter "I can't do birds. No birds. NO BIRDS."

Ene 11, 2017, 3:44pm

Life must be a trial for her.

Ene 11, 2017, 4:05pm

Good lord. Hahaha! My friends have had lots of chickens, and everyone who comes over ends up wanting a picture holding a bottle of liquor and a chicken. Because we're classy like that.

SP, some lovely little birds are now on their way to you from the rainforests of the Amazon(.com)! I forgot to tell them to wrap them in the pretty gift bags, so...sorry, Charlie! I won't tell you what you're NOT getting, thanks to the Atlantic Ocean (or something), but if they ever do show up here, I'll let you know and you may get extra stuff! The best stuff. Everyone says so. Bigly.

Ene 11, 2017, 4:12pm


Ene 11, 2017, 5:44pm

YAY! Sorry it was such a trial for you, Julie.

Southern book Lady, the third in the swap arrived . A really really gorgeous book The Long Long Life of Trees. Wonderful!!

Ene 11, 2017, 6:54pm

I'm glad it got to you. It took a longish time getting to me.

Ene 12, 2017, 1:33pm

Just received The Glass Shore from SP. (No live birds!). It's perfect for me. Twenty-five northern Ireland women writers and I've only heard of three of them. How does that happen?

Ene 12, 2017, 5:58pm


Ene 13, 2017, 8:40pm

Man, what a haul, Julie!
Exposure by Helen Dunsmore
The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood
The Little Red Chairs by Edna O'Brien
And....drumroll please
Superficial by Andy Cohen

You have successfully appealed to all my instincts, base and otherwise.

Ene 16, 2017, 10:25am

Haha! Since I couldn't get any of the books I originally ordered for you, I couldn't decide what to get! But several have come out in paperback, so they weren't too expensive, so I just went all out! And I bought Superficial for myself too. High brow reading!

Ene 16, 2017, 2:16pm

Loved Exposure.