Yesterday, there was a surprise straight from Canada waiting for me in the mail.  Binnie Brennan sent me her novella, Harbour View.  This will be one of my holiday reads as I will be able to read it in one sitting and my Christmas treat is to take the three Christmas days completely off in order to read for pleasure (as opposed as for my studies).  This is something I haven’t been able to do for a long time, so I’m really looking forward to it!  Thanks Binnie!

Also in the post were the latest two issues of Margaret Atwood Studies, the journal published by the Margaret Atwood Society.  One of them contains essays on The Year of the Flood; exciting!  I was also delighted to see the paper I gave at the International Conference on the Short Story in English, last June, mentioned.  It’s a small pleasure, but it counts!

I also received another early Christmas present from a friend of mine: All for Grace by Mairead Whyte.  Mairead is for the area where I live and I am glad to be able to read her novel.  I have been told it is a page turner, so that will also be perfect for my bookish Christmas.  This makes me want to join the Ireland Reading Challenge as I have a huge pile of Irish books to be read, but I’m not sure I can commit.

I still haven’t opened my package from my secret Santa as part of the Book Blogger Holiday Swap, although I must admit that I open a tiny corner of the envelope to have a pick and saw something colourful. 

After receiving, I thought it was time to give, so I went to do my Christmas shopping today.  I didn’t have much to buy but managed to find a few bookish presents and, for the kids I know, I bought a children’s version of A Christmas Carol.  Then, I realised I had never read it, so I bought a cheap unabridged version for myself.  It’s about time I read it!

My other plans for the holiday break are to finish My Life as a Man by Philip Roth and House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski.  I started the latest ages ago, but its format is not ideal for a bedtime read and, as I was reading only little bits at a time, I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I should have.  I am, therefore, hoping that the free time I am allowing myself will enable me to finish it in a few sittings.  I am also planning to read some short stories and the 21st should be the ideal day for that as it is the National Short Story Day in the UK (ok, I am not in the UK, but Ireland is not very far!).  The break will also be the occasion for me to catch up on a few belated reviews and on my posts about my trip to Canada (you can see them in the June archives).  It looks like I will be kept nicely busy, but this can be an exhausting time in the restaurant and I am sure I will enjoy the bookish relief!