Secret Santa Book Dilemma

Secret Santa Books

At the SWWQ Christmas End of Year meeting this year, members are taking second-hand books, written by women writers, as part of a “Secret Santa Books” project. Sounds like a bit of fun!

Second Hand Books

The Wamuran Second Hand Book Stall opens on Wednesday mornings, so last week I was there early to see what I could find. There are hundreds of books to choose from in two rooms. I was looking not only for women writers, but a quality book that could pass as brand new!

I chose 5 because I figured I could take a couple extra books for those folk who “forgot” or didn’t manage to find/bring a book. These are the ones I chose:

The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop
Amenable Woman by Mavis Cheek
Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Naked by Jo Hill


As I walked home with my new books, I wondered if I could read some before I gave them away. I started on Naked on Wednesday. I finished it on Saturday. It was a very confronting read. The blurb on the back of the book reads “With a volatile father and an alcoholic mother, ten-year-old Jo was a desperately unhappy child.” It was Jo’s story – which in parts, is quite horrific and confronting.


I am not sure that I can give it as a Christmas gift, and will ponder that in the next few weeks leading up to the event. As confronting as it is, it is a good read. One can’t help but get angry while reading, as these predatory men take advantage of a young girl. Jo talks frankly about the events that scarred her life. I enjoyed the read though. It was well written and each chapter ended with a hook. It made you want to keep reading. I teared up several times, angry with the men, and willing her to not be so passive about it all.

At a time when the Henry Weinstein affairs in tinsel town are lead stories in the media, it does bring home the truth that men see women/girls as their playthings. The Weinstein story has brought more stories. I know from my own experience that only the smallest tip of the iceberg has been revealed!

Now, I am in a quandry. Do I give such a confronting book to another woman as a Secret Santa Book gift? Who could I give it to without causing additional trauma? Especially if the woman has had horrific experiences herself!  So, I have a decision to make before I prepare for Secret Santa Book event.

I have a few weeks to consider this. And I have four more books to read before then.

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About Di Hill

My business card says "Writer, Traveller, Camera Addict, Bamboo Fan, Workshop Presenter." This website will focus on my writing - and the workshops I present. Workshops on Blogging, Marketing for Writers, and Life Story Writing.
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