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  


Wall-to-wall books said...

Oh good! I have “Christmas at Harrington’s” Downloaded but haven't read it yet. I'm glad to see that you liked it.

One Lifetime movie I would recommend is "Comfort and Joy" It has been and is still on several times, it is really good!

Juju at Tales of said...

I realllly liked Christmas at Harrington's too! Great review. I need to check out Glen's Christmas stuff.