In The Woods with The Woman in White, exploring A Grave In Gaza and getting ready to go out to the chicken Coop (TSS)

P1010094The Sunday Yesterday I received this box of books and assorted gifts in the mail from my secret Santa with the Book Blogger Holiday Swap. I’d tell you from whom I received the box, but even after sending an e-mail to receive a clue to guess the blogger’s identity I haven’t received a reply yet. The books were:

The latter also is available as a free book via Google eBooks for your e-reader. Click the link to be taken to the book.

The assorted gifts were a marshmallow caramel chocolate Santa, which lasted all of about two minutes after I opened the box, and a metal bookmark with the following quote on it:

When I have a little money, I buy books….if any left over, I buy food and clothes.


Whoever sent this box did a wonderful job with including both a modern mystery and a classic mystery. I must applaud my secret Santa in that regard. I have heard other book bloggers talk about about both books, and I keep shelving, checking out and re-shelving the French series, so it must be good…or at least have good buzz about it. I also must applaud him or her for the inclusion of the other two items, especially the chocolate. Good choice, sir or madam.

As part of the Book Blogger Holiday Swap, I just didn’t receive books, but, of course, I also gave books. However, since my recipient hasn’t acknowledged her receipt publicly, I won’t talk about that yet. I did purchase the books from From My Shelf Books in my hometown of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania as I try to do my best to support independent bookstores.

As for my reading this week, I read The Black Camel, the fourth CharlieΒ  Chan mystery by Earl Derr Biggers, and The Good Thief’s Guide To Amsterdam, the first in a series by Chris Ewan. The Charlie Chan series is getting better as it goes. Unfortunately, there are only two more to go: Charlie Chan Carries On and Keeper of the Keys. The first of the Ewan series was okay, but not anything you have to purchase. I picked up my copy at the library and it’s worth at least consideration at your library too. However, it is only the first of the series so maybe it will get better than this one. I already have the second one, The Good Thief’s Guide To Paris, out of the library, so we’ll see.

Cover of

Cover of A Grave in Gaza (Omar Yussef Mysteries)

Today, I’ll be reading and probably finishing A Grave In Gaza, the second Omar Yussef mystery by Matt Beynon Rees. I have started Children of God by Mary Doria Russell, the sequel to The Sparrow, which I read last month. I’m reading Children of God for a book club, which meets at our library in January. However, I’m going to wait a little bit more before I continue it so I can finish the Charlie Chan series before the end of the year and a few others to which I’d like to get.

Two others coming in January, on which to keep an eye:

Oh, and one footnote to last week’s Bloggerhood of the Traveling Book Blog Tour. One of the bloggers on the tour, 00dozo, received a reply from Reg Keeland, the translator of The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson, which was the book we were discussing on the tour. He also translated the other two in the Millennium Trilogy. I am very jealous.

So what have you read this week, what are you reading today and what are your plans for reading for the near future?

20 responses to “In The Woods with The Woman in White, exploring A Grave In Gaza and getting ready to go out to the chicken Coop (TSS)

  1. The Woman in White is excellent! Perhaps I’ll have to read it again soon. I’m also intrigued by In the Woods and will check that out. Thanks for the suggestion. This week I read The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, which my boss gave me. A quick and fun read. But I confess, I’m missing having something meatier to read. Why did Stieg Larsson have to leave us so soon? (That’s so cool that OOdozo heard from Reg Keeland.)

  2. What a great package! In the Woods is extremely well-written and a page-turner, and I’ll be curious to hear what you think of the ending.

    Looking forward to Waiting for Columbus next month!

    • I’ll let you and everybody else know what I think…maybe I’ll even do a rare thing: a review – shock of shocks! I haven’t done one in a while. I’m just enjoying reading too much…well, that and watching Lie To Me on Netflix. πŸ˜‰

  3. What a wonderful package you got! I’d be thrilled too. I just finished “Reading Lolita in Tehran” by Azar Nafisi. Great book. I’m in the middle of “Generation Kill” by Evan Wright and enjoying it immensely. I have “The Flowers” by Dagoberto Gilb waiting for me. But now I want to add “A Grave in Gaza” before I get to that one.

  4. What great Holiday Swap books. I am curious to see what you think of “In The Woods”.

  5. I’ve been meaning to give In the Woods a try too: maybe next year. πŸ™‚ I loved Woman in White, but I’m a Wilkie fangirl! hehe

    Also, how’s A Grave in Gaza going?

    • I thought Wilkie was a woman. What do I know? πŸ™‚

      A Grave In Gaza is going slowly because I’m catching up on reading Sunday Salon posts (like yours) and also listening to the Eagles-Cowboys game on the radio so a little distracted. However, it’s a really good book so I don’t mind savoring it.

  6. Oh, Woman in White is SO good. You are going to love it. And the Tana French book has been at the very top of my TBR pile for a couple of months. I think I should just take the plunge.

    What a great package that must have been to receive!

    • Oh, the package was awesome. I just found out who my secret Santa was and will have a post tomorrow, giving her a proper thank you. I might not have gotten to the French book, if it hadn’t been for this so I’m thankful for getting it to help pressure me.

  7. UR: Don’t be jealous – just be first next time. *snark*

    But I was totally floored when I got Reg’s comment – at first, I honestly thought it was someone just joking around. And his comment was meant for all of us, not just me.

    I hope we continue our “Tour” with the other two books, but I guess it will have to wait until the new year.

    P.S. Thanks for the shout-out.

    • UR isn’t jealous. UP is, though. πŸ™‚

      We might could continue the tour with the third one, but it’s been a while (like at least a whole month – gasp!) since I’ve read it. πŸ˜‰

  8. Fabulous gifts in the mail! I love that quote from Erasmus…it kind of sums up my life!

    I’ve heard good things about In the Woods, but haven’t read it.

    Here’s my Salon:

  9. I read your entry about “A grave in Gaza” this morning and I thought it was a very interesting fiction to write based on current events… but I would’t read it now … may be perhaps if I was 250 or 300 years old.

    How was the book ? What kind of rating would you give it.

    • unfinishedrambler

      I’m still reading A Grave In Gaza, but so far, it’s very good. I’d say a 4 out of 5, with it being one you should buy. I really enjoyed the first one, A Collaborator in Bethlehem. So do Muslims believe in reincarnation? Just wondering…since you’re not going to read A Grave In Gaza until you’re 250 or 300 years old. πŸ˜‰

      • unfinishedrambler

        Should say “Unfinished Person” is reading it. I, “Unfinished Rambler,” don’t read. I just watch TV. πŸ™‚

        • Reincarnation back on earth ? … no I / we don’t believe in it.

          I don’t like reading books (facts/fiction) or playing games based on current events. It’s too much for me to handle.