25. November 2011 · 5 comments · Categories: Life

It’s Black Friday here in the States, but I have no interest in entering the fray. Shopping frustrates me under normal circumstances so I blissfully stay home while everyone else is out fighting for that amazing deal. I’d rather use the time to read as I am back at work tomorrow, although I might venture out later to use a Barnes and Noble coupon that is facing expiration.

I love the discounts that can be had on books this time of year. I usually end up purchasing several books for myself for Christmas because I can’t pass up the special offers of 20, 30 or 40 % off. And I urge my family to buy me books, as well, though many of them see it as a waste of their money.

What books are you hoping to get as gifts this year, either from others or from yourself?

Here are my choices:

The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt was recently awarded the National Book Award for non-fiction. The fascinating tale of the discovery of Lucretius’s poem On the Nature of Things and how his philosophy influenced the major figures of the Renaissance has received mixed reviews, but I think it sounds riveting.

Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie has become a major hit in my library system. I love reading biographies of women rulers (last year at this time I read Cleopatra by Stacey Schiff) and I know next to nothing about Catherine and would like to know more.

A Jury of Her Peers by Elaine Showalter is a wonderful tome that I have taken out of the library many times. I’ve finally realized that I need my own copy as I think I will refer to this book throughout my reading life.

How about you? What books are you hoping Santa brings your way?


  1. Stephen Greenblatt had an article in the New Yorker on Lucretius, but I didn’t realize he had written a book. It intrigued me so much that I considered trying to find a copy of On the Nature of Things. Maybe I’ll look for his book instead! Sadly, I don’t get books as presents any more – which is my justification for buying so many 🙂

  2. I’m going to be contrary here, and say I am trying to avoid looking at new books. 2012 is going to be my year for reading and re-reading classics. Which is not to say i won’t read new books, but I’m going to let them frind me rather than go out looking.

    • I’ve been thinking about doing the same, Jane. I have SO many unread books sitting on my shelves and on my Kindle. It is gluttonous and I am starting to feel guilty!

  3. I have so many unread books already that I’m rather hoping NOT to get any more,so I’m dropping no hints about books at all.

    • I understand! I have 15 boxes of books sitting in my dining room, still waiting to be unpacked from my move. And most of them are unread! My brother asked me what I wanted for Christmas today and I almost said “a Barnes and Noble gift card”, but then remembered those boxes. I think I will buy a couple for myself and then go on hiatus!

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