I had a very low-key and relaxing Christmas this year, which is just the way I wanted it. We spent most of Christmas Day with my husband's family, and then on Boxing Day we were at my Mum and Dad's for Christmas Day round #2! Of course, my nephew stole the show, and was completely spoiled all day long. I could have done without the return of my morning sickness on Christmas morning, but apart from that I had a lovely few days.
Since Boxing Day, I've mainly been relaxing at home and trying to make the most of the last of my holiday. I have a short Christmas break this year (for a teacher), which means I'll be back to work next Thursday. I've been having lots of lie ins and we've been sale shopping a few times. I've taken advantage of the sales to stock up on some maternity clothes, ready for the next few months.
As far as presents go, I didn't actually receive many books this year, more pampering gifts, which has gone down well. I've felt so rough over the past few months that it's nice to spend some time feeling nice again. However, I did receive some Waterstones and High Street vouchers from my husband's family, so I've had fun hitting the shops and deciding how to spend them. Here is my combined pile of Christmas gifts and voucher buys:
From top to bottom (links go to goodreads:)
1. Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre - I've read Goldacre's Bad Science, so I'm keen to read about him taking on the pharmaceutical industry. I know a bit about the way the industry works in the US, but next to nothing about how it works in the UK, so I'm sure it will be eye-opening.
2. The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond - I've had my eye on this for a while. It's in the Penguin orange spine non-fiction collection (as is book 3 below), which pretty much guarantees it will be good. It's about traditional societies and what we could learn from them in the modern world.
3. The Quantum Universe by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw - I took an Open University module on astrophysics a while back, and I've been meaning to read more books on the topic ever since, now that I have a basic understanding of it. This seems like a good introduction to quantum physics, plus I love Brian Cox. And the cover sparkles!
All three of the above were bought with gift vouchers.
4. The Victorian City by Judith Flanders - This was a present from my husband's aunt (my aunt-in-law?). It's a beautiful hardback history book about everyday life during the time of Dickens, which looks perfect for dipping in and out of.
5. Night Film by Marisha Pessl - I never buy new hardback books, as they are just too expensive, so I decided to treat myself to some hardbacks with my Waterstones voucher. I've wanted Night Film, about a journalist obsessed with the mystery around a cult horror director, ever since it first came out, mainly because the story is partially told in screenshots, messages, forum activity etc.
6. Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood - I read Oryx and Crake earlier in the year and loved it. I have Year of the Flood checked out of the library, so I snapped up this copy of Maddaddam when I saw it.
7. The Master and the Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov - This was my absolute favourite Christmas present, from my husband. I've been coveting the Folio Society books for ages, but they are too expensive for me to justify buying for myself. But I was thrilled to receive one as a gift; they come in slipcases and are beautifully bound with illustrations throughout. I've wanted to read The Master and the Margarita for a long time, now I have an added incentive to do so.
I'm extremely pleased with my Christmas books, I can't wait to dive into them and see what I make of them. I'm also over the moon to have finally finished Les Miserables, which has taken me just under a month to complete. Sadly, I was a bit underwhelmed by it in the end, and I don't think it lives up to the Russian epics, which I adore. I am glad I read it, but the reading experience wasn't as enjoyable as I had hoped. On the plus side, the rest of my books now seem ridiculously short and easy to get through!
Hope everyone had a great Christmas, let me know if you received any books under the tree.