Chronicle Books, that awesome publisher from San Francisco, is once again having a Happy Haul-idays giveaway, where you pick up to $500 worth of books from them you’d like, blog about them, and then hopefully win them. Someone who comments on your post will win them as well.
This year, they’ve added something even more awesome to the prize, which is another $500 worth of books, this time to the charity of your choice. It’s hard to decide who I would want to get $500 of awesomeness, because so many organizations could use it, but I think I would have to go with the Tucson High School Library. I didn’t go to THS, but I did participate in multiple summer programs there when I was in elementary and middle school, and now my father is a teacher there. All last year, after he informed me that they couldn’t afford to buy any new books AT ALL for the library, I started taking my magazines and ARCs and other discards from my personal library (which, if you know me, is a lot, given my many subscriptions, the book reviews I write, and my terribly expensive habit of buying lots of books) there, rather than to the used bookstore. I just sent some materials to THS c/o my dad from the AASL conference, and I would love it if they could get some new books, too. I think it’s especially important now, given Tucson Unified School District’s precarious position in the Arizona political climate, that THS be given the chance to buy really good materials for their students, since their really good classes are being illegally declared illegal. What’s more, since THS is an arts magnet, Chronicle’s great list of art and media books would be excellent as support for the curriculum and the individual needs of the students.
THS will get to choose their own books, but here’s what I would do with $500 from Chronicle.
1. At A Crossroads sounds like the perfect thing to read at this point in my life, since it’s about the “boomerang years.” Also, graphic memoir is an intriguing genre. $19.95
2. That said, I have been wanting to read Williamson’s first book, A Year in Japan, for awhile now. $19.95.
3. I have some wonderful editions of folk and fairy tales, but I don’t have an Andersen collection. That needs to be remedied. $19.99
4. Have I ever told you that I am completely obsessed by miniatures? Always have been. Still have my Kitchen Littles and my Playmobils, my clothespin dolls, the dollhouses I made out of shoeboxes and origami. Love it all. Need this book. $24.95.
5. A collection of maps that are the visual, geographical and cartographical equivalent to speculative fiction sounds marvelous. You Are Here seems like imagination at its best. $24.95.
6. The pursuit of popularity, in life and in fiction, has been my main, central quest in life. To a fault. To a point where Norma Fox Mazer once asked me, in the best critique I’ve ever received, “When will you use your talent to tell a story that matters?” I think I kind of know what matters now, but I still feel like I need to read How To Be Popular. $12.95.
7. I know it seems major cheeseball, but I really would like to start keeping better track of my dreams. I think it could help me improve my memory and my creativity, and plus, being Freud is always fun. $9.95.
8. Spending so much time on the computer or with books or Kindle these days for school, I’ve become even more aware that I need puzzles, not just words, to keep my mind happy and active and headache free. Yesterday after some excruciating Derrida, I pulled out my keyboard and sightread some Mozart, and it felt sooooo good. I’ve also been pulling out Set and other visual games lately to keep my mind sharp. Hopefully Brain Boot Camp could also help with that. $29.95.
9. How fitting that I should find a book on the art of children’s book illustration when I registered for Picture Book as my lit class for the spring? This looks like a good reference text cum coffee table book, which is a great mix. $24.99.
10. Another thing you probably know about me if you know me is that I write letters. And postcards. And cards. And if I don’t replenish my stationery supply, even when it’s not running out, I get a little unnerved. I think these pretty polaroid notes will satisfy. $14.95.
11. Okay, so maybe I still haven’t learned Hebrew like I said I would. I do have a teach yourself Hebrew book, but my comparative, interdisciplinary mind loves the implications of a book like this, which talks about the mysticism and semiology behind Hebrew lettering. $15.95.
12. Probably not what you’d expect someone to say about the winter holidays, but nothing says wintertime to me like being able to open up a kit of something and peruse and think and ponder, plus I’ve already resolved to finish my novel before the spring semester starts. Here’s hoping that the writer’s toolbox can help. $24.95.
13. I think I asked for Stitchable Stationery last year. And, uhh, I still want it. And I still cross stitch. So therefore I also need it. $14.95.
14. So I keep telling myself (and others) that I’m going to take a drawing or acting class both to stretch my mind and to improve my writing. Somehow that keeps not happening. But since I’m pretty much always willing to learn about something if I can teach it to myself through a book, maybe this guide to sketching and drawing will do the trick. $24.95.
15. Uhh, a guide to understanding imagery and common phrases? I love knowing random stuff! Also, this book could probably be really useful for expanding my critical lexicon. $9.95.
16. I do my planner-buying by the calendar year, not the school year, so it will soon be time to get a new one. I wouldn’t mind switching from the big, thick planner I have now to a sleek Moleskine version. $18.95.
17. Okay, sometimes I just like stuff that’s cute, like Anna Sui. $14.95.
18. More cute mailing material! More things to fuel my Europe dreams! I want these notecards. $13.95.
19. Chronicle doesn’t do a lot of fiction, but when they do, I’m sure it’s interesting. This mashup of photos and prose looks awesome. $18.95.
20. Finally, to keep track of it all, I think a Moleskine Book Journal is the perfect online cache for my reading. $19.95.
Total: $365.13. Can I give the leftover cash to Tucson High?