For my most recent birthday, when I hit a certain milestone age that rhymes with “Morty,” my sister wanted to throw me a giant bash.
But I don’t do so well with bashes.
Before my wedding, I had a bridal tea at a very fancy private club, and I was so nervous before it started that I snuck over to the bar next door with my fiancé and two close male friends who were dropping off their wives for the women-only event, and ordered a shot of tequila.
In the photos taken later, you can see my red face, which had as much to do with nerves as it did with the mini margarita I had made in my mouth.
I just don’t like being the center of attention. Or opening underpants in front of my grandmother’s best friend. Or even housewares. (I got some of each.)
Knowing this, my sister came up with a different plan – to contact friends and family and ask them to send me a book. Along with my friend Jamie – they reached out to current pals and friends from years ago!
Books are my love language, and as my girl Amanda said on Instagram, #booksareapartyforintroverts.
And so, we went out of town for my birthday, and when I got back, we had a few packages.
For a minute, I didn’t know what was happening, so I texted my mom and my sister. My mom immediately cracked like a toddler with a secret, and told me about my sister’s surprise.
The very best part -besides books!- was that people inscribed the books, or sent me notes about why they chose the book or books they did. Every package felt like a hug.
So today, I wanted to share the books I received as part of one of the best surprises that I have ever gotten, except when my husband proposed to me at Graceland, and when my two people arrived in my uterus.
40 is so good, you guys. And sisters and friends are the best. And books!
- Talking as Fast as I Can (From my 93-year-old step-grandma! Awesome!)
- The Bronte Sisters
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence
- The Latecomer
- For the Love (signed!)
- Steal Like an Artist
- Exploring the Night Sky
- Coffee with Nonna
- God is a Woman
- The Prophet
- Dorie’s Cookies
- Jane Eyre (the most beautiful collector’s edition with a coordinating candle!)
- Little, Big
- What Do You Do with an Idea
- Golden Girls Forever
- Introvert Doodles
- The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down
- Small Victories
- Where Did You Go Bernadette?
- Murder She Wrote: Skating on Thin Ice
- Babysitter’s Club
- The Little Book of Hygge
- You Are Here
- How to Live a Good Life
- The Great Gatsby (read it in a day!)
- The Other Boleyn Girl
- Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
- The Opposite of Spoiled
- The Hurried Child
- The One World Schoolhouse
- The Importance of Being Little
- How Children Fail
- How Children Learn
- Learning All the Time