I completed my book-buying ban! | Christmas book haul #21

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On September 9th 2017, I made a post stating that I was placing myself on a book buying ban until after Christmas. It was cold turkey, save for one book, which I explain in the post. But I was to buy zero books between then and yesterday.

And I succeeded! I didn’t buy any books for over three months! None! 😀 So now I’m ending the ban and allowing myself to purchase books again.

My goal now is to keep my buying at a rate where my hauls will be seasonal, not monthly. I can’t be doing 6, 7, 8-or-more book hauls every single month. At my typical reading rate now with my job and everything, it’s just not sustainable. So I’m thinking to do a haul every season, hopefully with the same amount of books that used to be in my monthly hauls.

So today, I present to you the four books I received as Christmas gifts – two of them directly, two of them purchased via a book gift card given to me by my husband fellow. It felt so nice to be in a book store again – I had been avoiding them like the plague to keep myself from giving in to temptation. It was like going home, walking in and knowing I could buy myself a book or two today.

So without further rambling:


Last week as part of blogmas (which… I didn’t do that last two days of. I told you in this post that Christmas Eve and Day were bananas and I meant it!) I made a post called ‘Books I Hope Santa Brings‘. All of those books are in this haul! 😀 Plus another one I found on clearance (yeah bby, clearance!)

Orange: The Complete Collection vol 2 by Ichigo Takano

Orange: The Complete Collection, Vol. 2

Goodreads synopsis of volume 1:

A Plea From the Future

On the day that Naho begins 11th grade, she receives a letter from herself ten years in the future. At first, she writes it off as a prank, but as the letter’s predictions come true one by one, Naho realizes that the letter might be the real deal. Her future self tells Naho that a new transfer student, a boy named Kakeru, will soon join her class. The letter begs Naho to watch over him, saying that only Naho can save Kakeru from a terrible future. Who is this mystery boy, and can Naho save him from his destiny?

The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty, #1)Goodreads synopsis:

Two men rebel together against tyranny—and then become rivals—in this first sweeping book of an epic fantasy series from Ken Liu, recipient of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards.

Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites. Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, and shapeshifting gods. Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions—two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice.

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.Goodreads synopsis:

When Melisande Stokes, an expert in linguistics and languages, accidently meets military intelligence operator Tristan Lyons in a hallway at Harvard University, it is the beginning of a chain of events that will alter their lives and human history itself. The young man from a shadowy government entity approaches Mel, a low-level faculty member, with an incredible offer. The only condition: she must sign a nondisclosure agreement in return for the rather large sum of money.

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Fate of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #3)

Goodreads synopsis of book one:

On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend . . . if she can survive.

And that’s it!

I’m going out of town tomorrow morning, so my planned posting schedule for the end of the year won’t be happening as well, planned. I still want to make each of those posts I mentioned, but they’re going to be a bit more spread out. They’ll fall back to my normal posting schedule, I think (S-W-S).

Happy reading! 😀

The Holly Jolly Holiday Tag v2 – Blogmas 12/18

Another tag today! Blogmas is almost over too, just seven days left!

The Questions:

1. Do you start your Christmas shopping on Black Friday or wait until the last minute?

Black Friday. The shopping tends to be online though unless I’m super caffeinated and my judgement is screwy.

2. If you could be in any Christmas movie what would it be?

As much as I love A Christmas Story, I don’t think that one would be it. It would probably be something more like Elf or some goofy movie like that.

3. Which do you like better: Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

Christmas Day for sure. Though both are pretty great in their own rights.

4. When does your family put up your Christmas tree and who decorates it?

This year I did and it took me all of five seconds. We have a grand total of 4 ornaments on the tree this year. 😛

5. White lights or colored lights?

Colored. White are boring.

6. Are you guilty of peeking at your presents or do you like the surprise?

I like the surprise. Even when I was a kid (after I found out about Santa) if I accidentally came across my gifts I would smack my hands over my eyes and walk away like I saw nothing.

7. Would you rather live in a gingerbread house or in Santa’s Workshop?

Gingerbread house. I would never go hungry.

8. Tell us your Christmas Eve traditions!

I will be making a post about that on Christmas Eve, so I’m going to save it. 😀

9. If you could be under the mistletoe with anyone who would it be?

My SO of course. I’m going to have to go out and get some mistletoe to hang in the apartment and chase him around with.

10. What tops your tree?

A red ribbon bow.

11. Can you name the 12 days of Christmas?

Twelve drummers drumming, eleven pipers piping, ten lord a-leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, FIVE GOLDEN RIIIIIIINGS, four calling birds three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear treeeeee

12. Have you ever gone Christmas caroling?

I think that would be considered ‘cruel and unusual behavior’

13. Do you countdown to Christmas? If so, how many days are left?


14. What are some foods and treats you can count on having every holiday season?

Egg bake, cookies, broccoli bake, nacho dip, mashed potatoes, donuts. My family and I are down-right oinkers on Christmas.

15. How has Christmas kept its magic for you as you’ve grown older?

Kinda sorta. I feel like it’ll come back when I have chillins.

And that’s it for today!! If you’d like to do this tag, DO IT. 😀

Holiday Recipes: Nacho Dip – Blogmas 12/17

A recipe today! This is a semi-spicy appetizer or side-dish that can be served with basically any kind of holiday food selection. It’s really easy to make so if you’re going to a part and need to bring something, this would be an option. 😀 Unfortunately I don’t have a picture, but that might be kind of good. This food smells and tastes much better than it looks, lemme tell ya.

The ingredients:

1 lb ground beef or ground turkey (the leaner, the better)

1 packet taco seasoning

1 can chilis and tomatoes

1 lb Velveeta

Generics of any of these are totally fine


In a skillet, brown the beef until cooked through. Drain the chilis and tomatoes and add them along with the taco seasoning. Stir. Cut the velveeta into cubes and add it as well. Let simmer and stir occasionally until everything is melted down. This recipe will look like death but it will taste so good, I promise you! Serve over tortilla chips.

And that’s it for today. See you all again tomorrow. 😀


Holiday Recipes: Broccoli Bake – Blogmas 12/13

No video this time. That was a hassle I am not willing to repeat. So pbtbt.

This recipe I got from my mother and it’s one I’ve associated with Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter for as long as I can remember. It’s delicious. 😀

This is what the end result looks like:


The recipe goes as follows:

  • 20 oz chopped broccoli or mini-florets. (Avoid ‘cut’ broccoli packages. Too much stem, not enough floret in them)
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 tbsp minced onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup mayo

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Add the broccoli, mayo, eggs, soup and onion into a bowl along with 6oz of the cheese (save the other 2 oz). Mix. Get a casserole dish of some kind and spray it because this stuff sticks like nobody’s business. Add all the mixture into the dish and smooth out. Use the remaining cheese to sprinkle on top.

Cook for 30-40 minutes or until the cheese on the top is nice and brown. Put it in your face. Take a nap.

And that’s it! This one is much simpler than the last recipe and takes much less time to make. Highly recommend trying it if you love broccoli (aaaand I highly recommend it if you don’t like broccoli. I hated broccoli when I was a kid until my mom made me try this).

Until next time, happy reading. :”D