For those of you who are unfamiliar, Jolabokaflod is an Icelandic tradition that involves giving books as gifts on Christmas Eve. It is one of my favorite traditions that we have added to our family’s celebrations in the past few years because I love books (obviously) and I love when everyone is reading! That being said, I think books are the hardest gifts to buy for people! You have to figure out what that person likes to read, find a book they haven’t read before, and hope that the book you pick sends the right message. As a gift giver, I find it to be the most stressful gift to give. But all books bring me joy so it offsets the stress. You can check out our Jolabokaflod books from 2018 to get a broader picture of my family as readers.
Here we are on Christmas Eve excited to open our Jolabokaflod books!
Jeff: This year I got Jeff the book I wanted to get him last year. As soon as I heard about this book, I knew it was for him. Barbarian Days is a memoir about the author’s obsession with surfing and all the adventures he had while surfing. Jeff spent some time in Costa Rica about 20 years ago and he lived that carefree, go with the sea lifestyle.
I also got him The Body Book by Bill Bryson. He had just finished Sapiens and I thought this was a perfect next book for him. I haven’t read anything by Bryson but everyone I talk to about his books loves them. They are smart and funny and all around great reads!
My Dad: Bill Bryson book number two! My dad is a master of trivia and all kinds of facts that I never knew you needed to know. I thought A Short History of Nearly Everything would be so interesting for him and I was pretty sure he’d never read it. Dad seemed excited to open it and I think he’ll enjoy it.
Zach: Bill Bryson book number three! I don’t really know Zach as a reader but I am determined to figure his reading preferences out. He’s an outside kinda guy and has lived up and down the East Coast so I figured this would be a good fit. A Walk in the Woods is about Bryson’s time on the Appalachian Trail. It is a great story and very funny. After he opened it, my sister revealed that she’s read it before and really enjoyed it too!
Annie: I gave Annie a Jamie Brenner favorite about weddings because she’s getting married this spring! The Wedding Sisters is about three very different sisters planning their weddings and how the family approaches all three weddings. My mom and I both read it and enjoyed it! I hope Annie likes it too!
Jack: I gave Jack the 4 pack of War books he’d been circling in the Scholastic Book Order for months and a new Mike Lupica book. He loved it so much he shared it with a friend!! ❤️
Luke: I gave Luke the next two Wayside School books and Sparks, a graphic novel I thought he’d love!
Me: Jeff gave me 3 Christmas books this year. Christmas Camp (love it), Finding Christmas (love it), and The Christmas Room (saving it for Christmas in July).
Jolabokaflod Book Clubs:
Mom, Karen, and me:
I picked 2 books for us but just realized that I picked book 1 and 3 in a series. Oops! I have been hearing a bunch about the Arthur Truluv books by Elizabeth Berg so I picked The Story of Arthur Truluv and The Confession Club. We probably should read Night of Miracles which is the second book. However, everything I read said we didn’t need to read them in order.
Annie, Mom, and Me:
I heard all about this book at the Publishers Book Talk last month. It is The Adults. As I’m reading, it’s not quite what I thought it would be but I’m enjoying it. I like a good family drama story. We’ll see what Mom and Annie think.
Have a great day full of sunshine and books!