Stacking the Shelves #38 // Christmas Gifts & A Giveaway!

Emily stacking the shelves 23 Comments

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a very merry Christmas. Since it’s been so long since I’ve posted, and even longer since I’ve posted a Stacking the Shelves (since July — whaaaaat?!), I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share the books I got as Christmas gifts. My friends and family know me well. 🙂 Bookworms are easy to buy for, after all.

SALT TO THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys: Salt to the Sea ranks as my #1 favorite book I read this year. Ruta Sepetys books just get better and better. This book follows four European teenagers in 1945, as they all vie for passage aboard a ship that helps refugees escape. (I read the book through the first time while I was on a cruise. You could say the experience really came alive for me, haha!) Prepare to have your heart shredded to pieces and stomped all over. I already had a copy, but my mom got me a new *signed* copy. Be still my beating bookworm heart. Here’s hoping one day I can meet Ruta in person and have it personalized. 🙂 (Read my review here.)

PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG by Anne Blankman: AHHHHH this book. I read this last month, and can’t rave about it enough. This is a 1930’s murder mystery following Hitler’s “golden girl,” a fictional character named Gretchen who is one of Adolf Hitler (or as she calls him, “Uncle Dolf”)’s inner circle. Of course, once she falls in love with a Jewish reporter, her whole world flips upside down. The character development was flawless, plot twists were gut-wrenching, and character development was beautiful. READ IT. (Read my review here.)

THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE by Diane Ackerman: I first heard of this one when I saw the trailer for the upcoming movie. If you haven’t seen the previews, watch it and then go get your copy. I can’t wait to start reading it. The Zookeeper’s Wife is the true story of a woman who hid Jews in – you guessed it, a zoo – during WWII. Every time I re-watch the trailer I get more excited for it.

WOLF BY WOLF by Ryan Graudin: If you haven’t caught onto a pattern in these books yet, here’s a secret: this is another WWII book. Well, sort of. Wolf by Wolf begs the question: what if the Nazis had won the war? I read this last spring and was blown away. Yael is a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, part of a secret society in a 1950s alternate universe wherein Hitler still lives. This story (which is the first in a series) follows Yael as she uses her shape shifting abilities (thanks to Nazi experimentation) to get close enough to Adolf Hitler to kill him. Are you dying to read it yet? I’m itching to get the next book, which was just published last month, but went ahead and bought a paper back copy of the first one to look pretty on my shelf! (Read my review here.)

BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott: Okay, okay, this is not another WWII one. If you’re a writer and haven’t heard of Bird by Bird, you’re probably living under a large rock. I’ve been wanting to read it for years, but always wanted my own copy so I could make notes in the margins. (What’s a how-to/guide book if it doesn’t have notes? I’m addicted to my highlighters.) I’ve been reading the first few chapters, and I have mixed feelings about Lamott’s bluntness. Bird by Bird is different than other writing books I’ve read because it’s kind of dry and cynical about writing. I still want to write down every other sentence to remember though!

READER’S DIGEST CONDENSED BOOKS, VOLUME 4 (1981): My cousin bought me a gorgeous 1981 edition of Reader’s Digest stories. Mostly it’s just to look pretty on my shelf (I mean, LOOK AT IT, ahh), but hopefully I’ll get around to reading the short stories inside soon.

JANE AUSTEN: FOUR CLASSIC NOVELS: I asked my mom for this copy, not because I didn’t already have individual copies of the four Jane Austen books in this edition, but because… again, LOOK AT IT. I was pretty much drooling in Barnes & Noble when I saw it. My bookshelf looks ten times prettier now, honest.

CHALLENGER DEEP by Neal Shusterman: To be honest, I really have no clue what this is about. But since Izel and Brooke picked it out for me, I’m positive it’s good. A few reviews I’ve read have told me that the book is about a boy with a mental illness, so half the book is the character’s real life and the other half is his imagination. The premise sounds extremely fascinating. The cover alone (which was designed by the author’s son – cool!) is enough to have my interest piqued.

Now, as I’m sure you’re all eagerly anticipating, it’s time for a GIVEAWAY! In celebration of the end of the year, and in thanks to all of you for sticking with my blog (seriously, talking to you readers makes my day. Even when I don’t post for weeks, I get messages from you guys all the time and appreciate every word you send me!), I’m giving away a hardback of my favorite book I read in 2016: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys.

1. You may enter the giveaway from December 27 2016 – January 10 2017.
2. I will email the winner to notify them that they have won. If they do not respond to the email within 48 hours, I will choose a different winner.
3. The giveaway is open to US residents only.
4. I reserve the right to disqualify any entry if I find that anyone is not following the rules accordingly or is cheating the system (rafflecopter.)
5. I am not responsible for stolen or lost packages.
6. I will require the winner’s address so I can ship the book.

Enter below! Go, go, go!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck in the giveaway! Love you guys,


Comments 23

  1. For a secret Santa I did at work, I got a Barnes and Noble gift card! I may or may not get “Salt to the Sea”with it, but it’s definitely on my TBR list. 😉 My favorite book I read this year was probably “The Return of the King” by J.R.R. Tolkien! 🙂

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      YESS best secret Santa ever! (I got a bookstore gift card for Christmas, and it felt like being handed a magic wand that makes all of my bookworm dreams come true.) I can’t recommend it enough! When you read it, I want to hear what you think of it. I so admire you for reading Tolkien. To be honest, I’ve been so intimidated to read his books, but I’m 100% positive they’re amazing.

  2. Salt to the Sea is SO AMAZING. I listened to it on audiobook and it basically broke my heart. I got a colouring book and a high fantasy book from my lovely coblogging sister…and some pretty cool other books. Some of my favourite books I’ve read recently are A Wicked Thing, The Knife of Newer Letting Go, and The Spinster Trilogy. I hope you had a lovely Christmas!. I know I’m a stranger here, but I’ve been lurking, and thanks for blogging 🙂

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      I KNOW, eeeep! Ruta Sepetys is just too good at that, isn’t she? Ooh, coloring books are so fun. My pen pal sent me a Lunar Chronicles coloring book and I’m so excited to tackle it. Please don’t be a stranger! I love hearing from you. 🙂

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  3. Such pretty books!!! 😀 And a giveaway, eeeps!

    Favorite book of 2016?! You mean it’s possible to pick one?! Um…okay…lets just say that one of my favorites was Defy by Tricia Mingerink. 🙂

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      Aren’t they beautiful? Haha! How could I make you choose? 😉 That series sound awesome. I’ve read several great reviews on it, too. I really need some more YA Christian fiction, so onto my TBR list it goes!

  4. Ahh, I can’t choose a favorite book. I did read Blink by Ted Dekker, and it was amazing. And I read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. 😀 So amazing.
    That movie trailer…. wow. I want to read the book and watch the movie…. And that guy, the Nazi guy who comes in…. the actor was in Captain America: Civil War as a bad guy, too. 0-0 Now I gotta see it.
    Hope y’all had a merry Christmas! Happy new years.

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      My mom has been onto me about reading Redeeming Love for a few years now, and I’m itching to read it! My family moved recently, and some of our books are still packed away in the basement… time for me to go dig it out!

      TELL ME ABOUT IT! Ooh, I didn’t even recognize him! Because I needed one more reason to be pumped about this movie. You too, Angela! Happy new year! 🙂

      1. It is seriously a precius, amazing book… I have it packed up too though, so I can’t reread it right now. *sigh*
        Oh gosh I know! ;D It looks so fascinating… looking forward to it!
        Happy new year! 😉

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  5. HELLO YES I SAW ‘SALT TO THE SEA’ AND I AM 100% HERE. Ahem. xD *casually enters giveaway with as many entries as possible* I was honestly so thrilled when it won the Goodreads choice awards because it was hands down the best book up there.

    I actually haven’t read any of these other than Salt to the Sea though? OBVIOUSLY I NEED TO REMEDY THIS IN 2017. And yes you definitely have great taste in feelsy WW2 books because I mean, priorities.

    And my favorite book of the year was DEFINITELY MY REREAD OF THE OUTSIDERS BY S. E. HINTON. It’s just so meaningful and feelsy and I just love it so much, plus I got the 50th anniversary exclusive collector’s edition for Christmas. IT IS FABULOUS, LIKE WAHT. But my favorite book that /wasn’t/ a reread was probably also Salt to the Sea. *nods* Although I also LOVED The Mysterious Benedict Society and Navigating Early. 😀

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      OMG YES YAY IT WON! I hadn’t checked the winners yet. Now I’m so proud of my little baby.

      Well, of course! And I reeeeallllyy need to finish Navigating Early. I was given The Mysterious Benedict Society for my birthday a few months ago! It’s been on my nightstand patiently waiting for me, but alas, school required books come first… (*sigh*) omgomgomg i must. read. the outsiders !!! My brain is always swimming with book recommendations from your blog, so there goes another Jonathan Book added to my mental book wishlist!

      If you liked Salt to the Sea, you should read Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. The attention to detail and research is like nothing I’ve ever read before. As an added bonus, Ruta and Elizabeth have both blurbed each other’s books. It’s glorious.

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      Thanks Alyssa! I KNOW. I’m a greedy book hoarder, so I love getting double copies, especially with my favorite books. But since I love Salt to the Sea so much, I really wanted to encourage everyone else to read it! Good luck! 😀

  6. Hey there! I found your blog through a mutual friend…and since I really, REALLY want to read this book, I thought “Well, here goes nothing!” and entered. 😉
    My favorite book of this year was PROBABLY “Navigating Early”…but that is a hard question to answer certainly. 😉 Most of the books I read (and am reading currently) are pretty awesome. So.

    Your blog looks fantastic! I’ll definitely be stopping by more! 🙂

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      Hi Rebekah! Haha, I’m so glad you did. 🙂
      OOOH I want to read Navigating Early so bad. I started the first few chapters in the summer but got distracted by another shiny book. I’ve heard many great things about that one, though. 😉
      Great! Thanks, girl!


    Okay, not that THAT is over. Hahah. Wow you got lots of books for Christmas. I only got one (Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens) which I’m … ahem … okay with, I guess 😛
    But yeah, all of those books you got look awesome!

    Hmm… I’d say my favorite books (I COULD NOT POSSIBLE CHOOSE ONE HOW DARE YOU) this year were The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. MY GOSH THOSE BOOKS JUST AALKJFIEODwaispnklsa I LOVE THEM.

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      YOU HAVE TOOOO!!! They do, don’t they? Haha, I don’t know what I’d do if my family didn’t buy me books for Christmas. I get my biggest hauls this time of year! 😉 THE LUNAR CHRONICLES, yessss. Don’t. Even. Get me going. I have to ask, though – who is your favorite ship?! I can never decide between Scarlet/Wolf and Cress/Thorne. Too much cuteness in one book.

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