So the other day, I got an unexpected surprise. I came home from work to find a package had been delivered and was waiting at my door. My husband was home, but I guess he never came down to check the mail so I got the honors of finding it. I didn’t remember him saying he ordered anything and I know I didn’t. I then thought that someone sent us a wedding gift.
Despite postponing the big wedding to July, we got married on our date, May 16, in a small civil ceremony at the local park. It was more than I could have dreamed. My dad and brother surprised me by coming up from New Jersey the morning of and my maid-of-honor’s husband took awesome photos capturing the day. Anyways, only that morning we had received a delivery of flowers from my husband’s job. Then we received a wedding gift from another friend of the family. When I saw the package on our doorstep on Monday, I just thought it was another gift.
I immediately looked at the return address and was startled to see that it was from Northshire Bookstore. Now I was confused because I honestly had not ordered any books, and for this to be a wedding gift would be a bit one-sided since my husband is not the reader. I am. But I’m not going to lie, I was excited. I double checked that the package had my name on it, which it did. Books for me? YASSSS!!!
I tore up the stairs, threw my stuff down and cut into the box wanting to see what books I received. Oh, the torment, they were individually wrapped, but they filled the box! This person, whoever they were, was sneaky.
I dug into the box and finally found the receipt to see if it held the anonymous giver. It did along with a special note. This package was from my book club and it wasn’t a gift, but a care package to make me feel better because April and May have been a rough time.
Books always help with rough patches.”
In April, both my parents were diagnosed with COVID-19. While my father recovered quickly in a week, my mother ended up in the hospital on Easter Sunday and was in ICU twice due to pneumonia. Then when we thought she was getting better, she came home at the beginning of May but was back in ICU before the end of the week. She had pneumonia again and found out she shouldn’t have been released the first time. I had been running back and forth to New Jersey where my parents live and I was emotionally drained. Thankfully, my mom is now officially on the mend and in rehab to rebuild her strength but it’s been an emotional month and a half. My book club knew all this and knew that books were my go-to these last few weeks to help escape, which explained the note.
A smile lit up my face. I couldn’t help but hug the box to myself before tearing through the wrapping paper. To say I felt like a girl on Christmas is an understatement. I was actually impressed because I owned only three of the eight books in the box. This is what I got:
“The Library Book” by Susan Orlean
This book couldn’t come at a better time because my other book club just chose this title for its nonfiction read in October. I have wanted to read it since it came out but never got around to it. I don’t have a choice now lol.
“The Diviners” by Libba Bray
I had never heard of this book before but after reading the summary on Goodreads, I am intrigued. Ever since reading “The Ninth House” by Leigh Bardugo, I have been trying to get into more fantasy reading. And this seems just along similar lines.
“The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbrath
This is one of the books that I already own, having bought it last year at the local library book sale. However, this new copy is much better as I have the mass paperback version, so I will be swapping it out. I haven’t read the book yet but it is definitely on my immediate TBR. Another mystery novel for the days when I don’t have something else to read.
“Strange the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor
I knew I had heard of this book before but didn’t know how until I realized that I had a different edition. I recognized the yellow and blue cover and remembered that this was another book that I had on a TBR list. Funny because on Goodreads, it says for those who enjoyed Neil Gaiman and Leigh Bardugo. Haha. I guess I’m established a theme here.
“An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones
I have been wanting to read this book forever and now it’s in my hands. I can’t wait. When I saw this in the box and coupled with the note, I thought for a moment that my book club had sent the box as a wedding gift and were trying to tell me something. You know, rough patches in marriage. LOL. Then I realized the order was placed before anyone knew we were getting married on our original day.
“Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty
This is another one that I own but one that I have already read. I loved it and have even watched the first season of the HBO series, which I also loved. This edition of the book is much better and I will be switching it out. Yet again, the version I have is a used mass paperback version I bought at the library book sale.
“Oryx and Crake” by Margaret Atwood
As you know, I absolutely love Atwood at the moment and trying to get through all of her books. So while I already own a copy of this book, I was so glad that someone thought to include one of her books in the package. I have not read it yet so they weren’t completely wrong to include the book either. But now I want to read it all the more, especially since I see what it’s about. And it’s part of a series, even better.
“Caraval” by Stephanie Garber
After all the hype from this book, I have been wanting to read this book. But it wasn’t a top priority. When I got around to it, I would read it. Now I own it and I want to know what all the hype is about. Too bad I am already in the middle of another super hyped book that I don’t want to put down. Ugh the torment.
I couldn’t thank my book club enough for such a well thought out care package. It definitely made me smile and filled my heart to bursting. The love and support that people are showing at this crazy time amazes me every day. And it just proves. We are all in this together.