I participated in LibraryThing’s SantaThing program for the first time this year. You get to select a bookstore and an amount of money (that you pay), and another LibraryThing user selects books for you within that budget that they think you’ll like. Since LibraryThing is a book cataloguing and reviewing/rating website, this works really well, since they have a lot to go on, and people are matched based on library similarity. It’s a great way to discover new books and receive books that you wouldn’t have thought of buying for yourself.
Anyway, I recently received my books (I chose the $30 level at Amazon.com), and I wanted to show them off.
1. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
I don’t know very much about Oryx and Crake, except that it’s set in a post-apocalyptic world and is generally considered science fiction. However, I really liked the other (also post-apocalyptic) Atwood book I’ve read, The Handmaid’s Tale, so I’m definitely looking forward to reading this. I also know that Atwood has another book set in the same universe (The Year of the Flood), so I have more options to explore if I like it. I also discovered that this book is one of the January group reads for a group that I’m participating in on LibraryThing, so I can participate in that, too!
2. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
I’ve been eying The Silmarillion for many years, but hadn’t ever gotten around to buying it, so I’m thrilled to finally have it. I also recently watched the extended editions of all three Lord of the Rings movies (and a good portion of the behind the scenes featurettes, which are longer than the movies), and that reminded me of how good the book was and how much I wanted to re-read it. I’d actually pulled the book out of the shelf and moved it to my nightstand a couple of days before I got this book. I’m really looking forward to being able to delve into the world of Middle Earth with The Silmarillion a little bit more after my re-read. (Also, while we’re on the topic of Middle Earth, the first trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is out and looks terrific!)
3. Seeing Further: The Story of Science, Discovery and the Genius of the Royal Society edited by Bill Bryson
Seeing Further is the only book of the three that I hadn’t heard of, and consequently am most excited about discovering. I’ve been wanting to read more non-fiction, and my Secret Santa duly obliged. I love reading about history, and I love reading about science, and this is a book about the history of science! It’s also a collection of essays by various authors, many of whom I know and like – Richard Dawkins, Margaret Atwood, Neal Stephenson, as well as a whole bunch of popular science authors. Bill Bryson wrote A Short History of Nearly Everything, which was also a fantastic historical science book, so I have full confidence in his editing abilities. I can’t wait to read it!
I’ll probably blog about these books when I read them, of course. A big thank you to Marie for being such a great Secret Santa!