The Haul

“Are those armadillos are your feet?”

“Why, yes. Yes, they are.”

Note to you, dear reader: Step 1 in creating a perfect “reading kit” is to get yourself an excellent book. But Step 2 is to grab yourself something comfy for your feet. Some recommend fuzzy socks; flip flops are a classic choice if you’re heading to the beach. For me, it’s armadillo slippers or nothing. Just seems right for this Texas gal.

But I’ve skipped ahead, since it’s books first, fabulous footwear later. This post is admittedly several weeks overdue, given that it’s my book-related Christmas haul/to-read list for the new year. But it took a while for all the Christmas packages to make their way to South America. (Remember when I said Foreign Service folks get ridiculously excited about their long awaited mail?)

So this post got scooted back a few weeks. But now that the gang’s all here, I’ll kick off the list without further ado. Here are the reading-centric goodies I netted for Christmas 2017 (thanks to every one of the gift-givers!), a pile that represents some of what I hope to read in the new year, and an inkling of the book reviews that may come y’all’s way soon:


  • Bitter Greens, by Kate Forsyth (I went bananas over the other Forsyth novel I read–a Grimm Brothers-centric historical–so I have high hopes for this Rapunzel-inspired story.)
  • Mary Queen of Scots, Antonia Fraser (Her history of Henry VIII’s six wives was beautifully-researched and compulsively readable, so I’m excited to see what this one has to offer.)
  • Ghost Writer, Rene Gutteridge (Gutteridge is a writer of comedic Christian fiction, so I’m hopeful there’s a laugh or two coming my way with this one.)
  • Between Two Thorns, Emma Newman (A friend who has pretty discerning taste in books recommended this one and as her suggestions have been golden so far, I’m eager to crack this one open.)
  • Dear Abba, Brennan Manning (I’ve never read anything by Manning before, but my mom’s a big fan, so I picture this becoming my morning devotional reading.)
  • A Spectacle of Glory, Joni Eareckson Tada (Another devotional written by a heavy-hitting Christian author, this one gifted by my mom-in-law.)
  • The Stories of Richard Bausch, Richard Bausch (“I don’t always read short stories, but when I do….” Dos Equis impression aside, it’s true: I rarely read short stories. But at their finest, they are a splendid medium for stories that echo in your thoughts for days. With this award-winning author coming highly recommended, I’m looking forward to taking these tales for a spin.)
  • Lost in Translation, by Ella Frances Sanders (Quite possibly the coolest of all conversation-starter books, this is a compendium of untranslatable words, words that capture a sentiment uniquely significant to the culture that verbalized it. As a bibliophile AND a foreign service spouse, this book is absolutely my cup o’ tea.)

Bonus Round/Reading Accessories (Because what binge reading session is complete without a few bibliophile accoutrements?):

  • Armadillo slippers (where have you been all my life!)
  • Two gorgeous mugs–the chic puffin mug for Texas-roasted butter pecan coffee, and the pun-y narwhal cup for tea (who knew narwhal friends could make such good tea steepers?!)

Any one else out there have reads they hope to savor in the new year?

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