December happenings: Free books, booklists and gifts!

Welcome to the week of brilliant gluttony and taking pleasure in all things homey — or hygge (more on that later)! Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday simply because there are 0 expectations tied to it other than that you will share a meal with people who you love and reflect on all of the amazing things you have to be thankful for. It’s beautiful and simple and amazing.

For me, it also marks the beginning of Christmas cheer! On Black Friday, you’ll find me in my apartment in some comfy clothes, creating my own winter wonderland, baking my first batch of Christmas cookies (can you smell the chocolate chips right now?) and kicking off my Christmas movie marathon, the details of which will be shared coming soon! Here’s how I plan to share all of my holiday cheer with you (none of which includes singing — sorry Buddy the Elf).


Free books

2018 book giveaway in December
I’ll be giving away these three books of mine via Instagram!

In an effort to clean off my bookshelf and share some of the great reads from 2018 with all of you, I’ll be giving away three books on Instagram! For the next three weeks, I’ll have a giveaway for the books listed here and send them to three lucky winners in the continental U.S. Details to follow in the Instagram post, just make sure you follow me to see it.

  • Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
  • Less by Andrew Sean Greer
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward


I have partnered with some AMAZING (this word cannot be used enough in this post, seriously) bloggers to share with you their top five must-read books. You’ll want to have your Goodreads, or however you keep your running To Be Read list, at the ready when reading these posts because there are some amazing books on these lists. Make sure you follow me on social media, where I’ll give you a heads up as to who is going to be bringing you book lists when! (It might also help to reference the previous post about not going broke while reading good books in preparation for these posts.)

Book-ish gifts

Finally, I’ll be mixing it up and provide you with a list of gift ideas that will satisfy every book-ish person I know! My advice: Forward the link to your significant other/bestie/secret Santa group/sister/brother/mother to ensure some happy stocking stuffers during your holiday celebrations.

Hygge life

Hygge is a Danish word that means “A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being,” says Oxford English Dictionaries, which added the term in 2016. (Read more about it in this New Yorker piece). It seems like the perfect description to give to this time between Thanksgiving and the New Year, where we revel in cozy things, like books and baking and blankets. I hope that all of these posts will help you embrace this tradition with me!

But because I’m American — and thus an overachiever workaholic type — in addition to all of the things I’ve chatted about here, I’ll squeeze in my regular monthly book reviews, a WIP post and my list of Christmas-movie marathon musts, carefully curated over a few years with the help of my sister. (FYI, she’s the only reason Love Actually will still make the list, despite the fact that she’s previously beaten me over the head with it so many times I don’t watch it on my own anymore.) I hope you’ll enjoy all of it! Happy holidays.

Cup of team, a blanket and book, is the hygge life embraced
Another thing we might consider adopting from our Nordic neighbors: Book giving on Christmas Eve! The people of Iceland give each other a book on Christmas Eve and then spend the evening reading it. Sounds like heaven to me!

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