Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Books Christmas Movies FINAL

Thanks for the Christmas Wishes and I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year!

I am finally getting around to posting about my Books and Movies.

The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson

This was the second book I have read by her. I thought it was just OK. I liked "Christmas at Harrington's" much more. However, this book was an interesting read.

The small town of Parrish Springs is not ready for Matilda Honeycutt. A strange older woman with scraggly gray hair and jewelry that jangles as she walks, Matilda is certainly not the most likely person to buy the old Barton Building on the town's quaint main street. When it becomes apparent that her new shop doesn't fit the expectations of Parrish Springs residents, a brouhaha erupts. After all, Christmas is approaching, and the last thing the town needs is a junky shop run by someone who looks and acts like a gypsy. But as townsfolk venture into the strange store, they discover that old memories can bring new life and healing.

A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Keypas

I am NOT a romance reader, I don't think I've ever read one that was a pure romance novel. I run the other way when I know a book is a romance. This book was a historical romance and I really liked it. Go figure.

It’s Christmastime in London and Rafe Bowman has arrived from America for his arranged meeting with Natalie Blandford, the very proper and beautiful daughter of Lady and Lord Blandford. His chiseled good looks and imposing physique are sure to impress the lady in waiting and, if it weren’t for his shocking American ways and wild reputation, her hand would already be guaranteed. Before the courtship can begin, Rafe realizes he must learn the rules of London society. But when four former Wallflowers try their hand at matchmaking, no one knows what will happen. And winning a bride turns out to be more complicated than Rafe Bowman anticipated, especially for a man accustomed to getting anything he wants. However, Christmas works in the most unexpected ways, changing a cynic to a romantic and inspiring passion in the most timid of hearts.

Total = 7 Christmas Books in All (6 in December)


Homeless for the Holiday's
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol (1951)

Total = 33 Christmas Movies in All (13 in December)

* I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas.  My co-worker bought it for me. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Books Christmas Movies

The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits
by Les Standiford

If you can believe it, this is the 2nd non-fiction Christmas book I've read in my life. This one was about Mr. Dickens and how his writing of "A Christmas Carol" revitalized Christmas in England and throughout the world.

It talks about how he came to write and the circumstances surrounding it. Though it is not a Christmas book per se, it does basically describe how the holiday we know and love today became something we can cherish.

The Paper Bag Christmas by Kevin Alan Milne

A young boy is asked to play an elf for sick children in a hospital.  He may find out that Santa is real, but more importantly, he gets a bigger gift than he anticipated and he gives a gift that means the world to one patient.

Currently Reading:

The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson
A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflower Series #5) by Lisa Kleypas


Christmas in the Clouds - Takes place on a Rez, a Hotel owner is confused by one guests intentions and falls in love.

Battle of the Bulbs - Charming story about old friends who became enemies and then became neighbors. Who has the better decorated house? Can they live as neighbors without killing each other?

The Muppets Christmas Carol - Of course I've seen this before, but I always love a good Christmas Carol telling.

The Dead - Based on the short story by Thomas Hardy from his book The Dubliners. Starring Angelica Houston and Colm Meany. I thought it would be pretty good, but I was bored to tears. I was going to read the book, I think I will skip.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Reading Challenge

Christmas at Harrington’s
By Melody Carlson
Pages:  167

Lena Markham has just been released from prison for a crime unknowlingly committed.  She is friendless and penniless.  Restarting is not easy, but she finds friends in unsuspecting places and  opportunities where none existed before.  Book has a strong message of redemption and forgiveness and is very much filled with the holiday spirit.  This is a very visual book, full of Christmas images that are easy to see in the minds eye.

This was my first book by Melody Carlson, but it won’t be my last.  I have waiting in the wings “The Christmas Shoppe”. I hope I’ll get to read that one shortly.

I recommend “Christmas at Harrington’s”. It is an easy read. I like light Christmas reads that get the message across without it getting lost in pages and pages of prose.

Snow Angel
By Glenn Beck
Pages:  288

Glenn Beck? Yes that Glenn Beck.  Many people I know do not like him, however, his Christmas books are in a whole category by themselves and I have no problem reading them. It seems like when he writes these, he is a different person.

Alternating between Rachel (the daughter) and Mitch (the father) this story is told from both points of view and flashbacks to Rachel’s childhood and adulthood.  It weaves together events in Rachel’s life that lead her to her current situation.  Looking through her eyes you see one reality, however, by the end of this book, you see that things are not as they seem on the surface.

This book does not all take place during Christmas time.  Some of it takes place in October (her childhood) but her adult life takes place during the Christmas season.  And although this book isn’t filled with ‘Christmasy’ stuff, it still has that message of forgiveness we all seem to crave around this time.

Though the page count is 288, it is one of those short square books, so it reads quickly. 

I’ve read Glen Beck’s freshman Christmas book “The Christmas Sweater” which made me both smile and cry.  He is another author I will read every time he writes a Christmas book.

I recommend this book to anyone.  Great story and well written…Go Glenn!

Stuff waiting in the wings:

The Man Who Invented Christmas:  How Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol Rescued his Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits by Les Stanford.

This is my only non-fiction Christmas Book for the year. But how can I not read about Charles Dickens’s and A Christmas Carol? This will prove to be interesting.

The Paper Bag Christmas by Kevin Alan Milne

The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson

That will probably be it for the books.


I’ve watched my fair share of Christmas Movies.  Of course it makes no sense to rate them all.  They all are listed, But the ones I thought were pretty interesting will get my time and energy to write about.

These all were watched from December 1st.

Rare Exports:  A Christmas Tale

Mostly in Finnish, this film is very dark. If you want a happy, jolly Santa in a red suit, you ain’t gonna get it.  This unique film tells of a very different type of Santa, one akin to Satan. This movie is in line with a very good horror film, I wonder if they can make a new genre called holiday horror? This would fit right in.

I will try to explain this movie to you without giving too much away.

A young boy is convinced that Santa is buried in the ice in a nearby mountain.  Some unsavory developers plan to dig up the mountain for the purpose of finding this ‘grave’.  They succeed.

Santa Claus is coming to town….run!!

This is not a gory and silly film.  I thought it was very interesting and well done.

Previously unseen movies that I've watched since my last post:

Eight Crazy Nights 
We're No Angels
Trading Christmas 
Christmas Lodge 
Dear Santa Claus 
A Princess for Christmas
Gift of the Magi  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

This Year and Christmas Movies

This year, I’m not going to do my usual Christmas list, as I’ve done them 2 years in a row and really have run out of movies to add.  I will do some Christmas movie posts, but they will be general.

I was looking on line to see if I can find any classic Christmas movies that I haven’t seen.  It doesn’t look like it.  I think they are all here.  I listed movies that ranged from 1934 – 1967.  Movies after 1970 are not Classics to me.

I’ve noticed most of the Christmas movies are post-war (1945-1950), I guess Hollywood was feeling good about Christmas and life in general.

Here is the list.  Check out the ones you haven’t seen.

Babes in Toyland (March of the Wooden Soldiers) (1934)
Beyond Christmas (1940)
The Man Who Came to Dinner (1941)
Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
I’ll Be Seeing You (1945)
It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) *
The Bishops Wife (1947)
It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Come to the Stable (1949)
Holiday Affair (1949)
A Christmas Wish (The Great Rupert) (1950)
Last Holiday (1950)
Room For One More (1952)
Susan Slept Here (1954)
We’re No Angels (1955)
All Mine to Give (1957) *
Pocketful of Miracles (1961)
Fitzwilly (1967)

Below are Movies that are the same (storyline the same)

Shop Around the Corner (1940)
In The Good Old Summertime (1949)

Scrooge (A Christmas Carol) (1951)
A Christmas Carol (1938)

Below are Movies that are sequels

White Christmas (1954)
Holiday Inn (1942)

These aren’t truly Christmas Movies, however, they are watched during the season and are beloved by many, and they have a Christmas scene or two.  

The Bells of St. Mary (1945)
Going My Way (1944)
Boys Town (1938) *
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

* Tissues Needed.