Books I Received for My Birthday

A few weeks ago I celebrated a birthday, and I did so on my blog by posting a list of books I wouldn’t have minded receiving.  Click here to see Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Getting for My Birthday.  Well, my birthday has come and gone, and I did get some books.  Some of them were even on my list!  Here they are.


The Last Kind Words Saloon (2014) by Larry McMurtry came from Kate at the blog Reasons to Be Single.  She saw my post about the books I wanted and generously picked one at random and mailed it to me.  It was a wonderful gesture, and I can’t wait to dig into McMurtry’s latest novel.  Thank you, Kate!  You are lovely.

A similar story can be told about Jerry Mahoney’s Mommy Man: How I Went from Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad (2014).  Jerry, whose blog is Mommy Man: Adventures of a Gay Superdad, saw my wish-list post as well and noticed that his book was on it.  He kindly told his publishers to send me a copy.  Thanks, Jerry!  I’ll be interested in seeing how much his experiences line up with my dad’s.

Plato’s The Republic (380 BC) was required reading for my undergraduate degree.  I probably won’t be revisiting it any time soon (or ever?), but I do love this beautiful version of it.  My husband got this one for me, as he always buys me nice copies of books for display in our home.  You can see some of the ways I’ve decorated with books here and here.  I think the thing I’m most proud of in this situation, however, is that I’ve actually read the books I decorate with.

Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (2010) is a must-read.  My sister Haley got this one for me, and while she didn’t realize that I had already read it, I still love it because I didn’t own a copy.  Now I do.  I sometimes prefer to buy copies of books after I’ve read them because then I know I like them.  However, it prevents me from annotating the book unless I’m willing to reread it.  I reviewed Unbroken with this post: Louis Zamperini: Olympian and POW.

My sister Afton got me the last book called When Everything Changed: A Keepsake Journal: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present (2009/2014) by Gail Collins.  Obviously, my sister knows my research interests and reading tastes.  I love that this book has space for writing, and it also has questions to ask of female relatives or friends.  I see some of those questions coming in handy when I begin research for my dissertation.  I hope to interview some women, and this book will likely be a good starting place for coming up with questions.

My dad got me the camera that took the picture of the books above.  It is a fantastic camera, one that does much better than my ipad in taking pictures for this blog and while traveling.  Thanks, Dad!

My original post about the books I wanted for my birthday encouraged you to make your own lists.  As far as I know, only one of you has done so.  Please check out Grace’s list at her blog Cultural Life.


29 thoughts on “Books I Received for My Birthday

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  1. That is so nice of your blog friends to send you books! It’s a fun idea for a blog post, too. Maybe I’ll do one sometime, just because it will make me think about which books I’d like best. My birthday is awhile away, though.

  2. Happy birthday, again. Great books. I have a few coming for Father’s Day, so I will let you know. Right now, I am reading “The Secret Lives of Codebreakers” about the group of people at Bletchley Park in England who shortened WWII by at least two years with their code breaking. I was intrigued by it after learning about Alan Turing who was a lead codebreaker, who was later imprisoned for being gay and died a bitter man. Years later, he was posthumously given a medal for saving so many lives along with an apology. It is a sober read, but informational. Best wishes, BTG

    1. That sounds so interesting! I watched a drama on Netflix called Bletchley Circle about some of the female codebreakers. You’d probably like it. Happy father’s day!

  3. Unbroken was such an amazing story – as I was reading it, I had to keep checking to make sure it was real. 🙂 I love seeing the pictures of your books! Makes me wish I had an indentation on the top of every wall in my house to put books on. I love that!

  4. I haven’t read any of these but several look interesting. I love your book lists too. These posts are just perfect for list people and book people of which I’m both! Happy Birthday.

  5. Loved Unbroken – it made me delve into history, laugh, cry, etc. 🙂 Happy Belated Birthday – missed saying that on your actual day! Happy Thursday – Happy Reading 🙂

  6. What a great birthday! That is really nice of your blog friends and family to have gotten you those books (and the camera!). A couple of years ago I received a book from a friend I had only known through blogging. I had written a birthday post about my mixed feelings about the passing of time and a week later she sent me a book that she thought I would like based on what I had posted. I was so touched. I think we meet some amazing people through blogging! I hope you had a great birthday!! (And I have been meaning to do that post!!)

    1. No pressure to do the post! What a neat story about the book you received from a blogging friend. I have found some of the most lovely people online. What fun!

  7. Thanks for linking to my list. 🙂

    It sounds like you got some lovely birthday gifts. Books are usually my favourite birthday presents, to give and to receive. If I’m ever stuck for ideas about what to buy for someone, I head straight to the bookstore!

  8. “You can see some of the ways I’ve decorated with books here and here. I think the thing I’m most proud of in this situation, however, is that I’ve actually read the books I decorate with.”
    How often have so many of us bought books we say we will read? I really appreciate your discipline of reading the books you acquire.

    1. Thanks! I guess now is where I confess I haven’t read every single book in my house, but that shelf of “to be read” books will get read someday!

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