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review 2018-03-04 01:15
On Wings of Cheer (Living Forest #5)
On Wings of Cheer - Cassandra Campbell

The sudden reappearance of a friend you thought you would not see for some time or ever again is always a wonderful feeling and is what Sam Campbell begins and ends this book with.  On Wings of Cheer is the fifth book of Campbell’s Living Forest series, the author details a year’s worth of animal adventures and personal interactions around the Sanctuary of Wegimind during all seasons of the year.

 

Beginning in the fall of 1946, Campbell begins the book by detail the surprise return of a red-winged blackbird named Cheer as announced by his young friend Hi-Bub after everyone believed the bird had flown south.  The Campbells and Hi-Bub enjoy the company of their winged friend for a few more weeks before Sam and Giny head out for their lecture tour believing they wouldn’t return until the next year.  However, Hi-Bub is full of schemes to spend more time with the Campbell as he instigates a private lecture for his sick friend and then surprises them with plans for Christmas, which they find out have already been arranged for them.  During their surprise Christmas trip back home, they have a run in with Indian John who fascinates young Hi-Bub, and visit their Sanctuary cabin.  After returning to the lecture tour, the Campbells return to the Sanctuary and once again enjoying the company of their animal friends both old and new.  One of these friends is a transplanted bear named Old Charley, who enjoyed having fun with every human he can even if he scares some of them to death.  Another is Hi-Bub’s dog, Hobo, who has a run in with a porcupine and later befriends a fawn named Speckles.  Yet the book almost ends on a sour note when Hi-Bub and Sam witness a fawn they believe to be Speckles get shot by an arrow as the youngster is slowly approaching to take a photograph; only on the Campbells’ last night do they discover a very alive Speckles who plays with his friend Hobo.

 

With a 236 pages, this book is slightly shorter than the previous book that Campbell wrote though packed with as much animal tales and misadventures as any other book of the Living Forest series.  Hi-Bub is an integral part of the narrative throughout the book, especially when it comes to his little schemes that Sam as no problem admiring and writes about them accordingly.  The interactions with Indian John and the reign of terror of Old Charley are both interesting and hilarious respectfully.  There are fewer philosophical teachings of Sam Campbell than in previous books and they appear earlier in the book, though they are still excellent.

 

On Wings of Cheer is both similar too and different from the other books of Sam Campbell’s Living Forest series, as the same with animal and human tales plus misadventures but different in that all seasons were covered in the book.  If you enjoyed other books of the series, then this one will be just as enjoyable.

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text 2018-02-05 21:10
Reading progress update: I've listened 270 out of 320 minutes.
Cheer Up Love: Adventures in depression with the Crab of Hate - Susan Calman

This book is a kind of autobiography/self-help guide to dealing with depression, or the crab-of-hate as Susan calls it. It's written and narrated by Susan Calman, a Scottish comedienne, who I've recently started to like. She tells her story in a conversational style, covering all sorts of topics like fashion, therapy, social media etc and how she navigates these in consideration of her depression. As she's a comedienne it'd be a bit strange if it wasn't funny, which of course it is. She's funny and brutally honest about her experiences and I'm laughing while at the same time shaking my head furiously because I can identify with so much. If you're looking for a book which gives an honest account of depression, this wouldn't be a bad place to start.

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text 2017-12-07 13:00
It Nearly Wasn't Christmas & Holiday Books!
Yay, so it is that time of year. I like the holiday spirit (though from inside the comfort of my own room! I love everybody but boy do gatherings stress me out) and I've got some books picked out that are either Christmas/Winter based, or just give me the warm, happy fuzzies. I made a TBR video on my Youtube channel, but I am bad at sticking to those!
 
 
   
On the flip side, I want to watch the Christmas movies (even though I hardly watch movies these days) I'm thinking about all the old ones.
 
 
 
It Nearly Wasn't Christmas which is my favorite cheesy one to watch and I usually watch it every year. It's from 1989, but I think I was a teen when I first saw it. I like the music in it. As far as I remember, there is one song, which is basically the theme song of the movie: "It almost wasn't Christmas this year..." The guy who sings it is really good, in my opinion. I just figured out he was an Osmond. Wayne Osmond; that might explain why he is good.
 
 
 
This movie talks about how people are wanting more and more and getting greedy, and it shows people learning again what the holiday is really about. The main character does her own learning.
 
She does kind of bugs me as an adult. She starts off super selfish and well.. bratty, but I think she grows and learns what Christmas is really about by the end. It might sound super cheesy, but I love how everyone ended up turning over a new leaf, so to speak and just coming together. I even cry at the end of this movie.
 
 
 
This movie might be old, but I think it still rings true. People really do get so busy and caught up with having everything just perfect and wanting too much and they are forgetting what is more important, family, friends, love for others. (This doesn't go just for Christmas, but all holidays!)
 
Favorite characters:
Clumsy elf Philpot, played by Bruce Vilanch. He's so endearing, even though they use the stereotype that big guys are clumsy and not that smart. I feel like Santa learns that his elf is smart and good in his own way. It doesn't hurt that he is funny, too! [He was a favorite as a child, but I still like him.]
 
 
 
The conman Napoleon played by Ted Lange. I like him and his parrot, as strange as it is. I'm a sucker for the ending when he seems to turn over a new leaf, though the whole thing is predictable. [As an adult, I realize this character serves no real purpose. He's hardly in the movie except the jail scene and at the end. The other times, he's just driving on his motor bike. He's only there to cause problems with Santa.]
 
 
All my feels for this could be nostalgic talking. I just watched the movie again and it is even more cheesy than I remembered. I admit as an adult I realize everything is solved too quickly. People are so quick to believe in Santa and the movie wraps up too easily.
 
What are your favorite holiday books and movies? What books/movies do you know are cheesy or even bad, but you still love them because they are nostalgic?
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review 2017-06-28 21:50
Historical Romance
The Cheer in Charming an Earl (The Naugh... The Cheer in Charming an Earl (The Naughty Girls) (Volume 5) - Emma Locke

The Cheer In Charming An Earl is my first book by Emma Locke.  This is a fairly quick read, a great choice for historical romance fans with limited time for reading.  Ms Locke has delivered a well-written book.  The characters are captivating and fun to read.  Elinore and Grantham's story is a fast-paced romp loaded with drama, humor and spice.  I enjoyed reading The Cheer In Charming An Earl and look forward to reading more from Ms Locke in the future.  The Cheer In Charming An Earl is book 5 of The Naughty Girls Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

 

I voluntarily read a free copy of this book that I received from InstaFreebie.

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text 2015-12-24 18:23
"Doing It Wrong" Christmas History, Or Me Wishing You A Merry Everything

I'm actually having a good time with this article - but confession, I do love the story of how the Puritans try to get rid of Christmas, and fail in the long term because people like to celebrate something they're used to celebrating. 

 

No Christmas Under Cromwell? The Puritan Assault on Christmas during the 1640s and 1650s

History Extra, Dec 2013

 

"...So strong was the popular attachment to the old festivities, indeed, that during the postwar period a number of pro-Christmas riots occurred. In December 1646, for example, a group of young men at Bury St Edmunds threatened local tradesmen who had dared to open their shops on Christmas Day, and were only dispersed by the town magistrates after a bloody scuffle.

 

[1647:] ...In London, a crowd of apprentices assembled at Cornhill on Christmas Day, and there “in despite of authority, they set up Holly and Ivy” on the pinnacles of the public water conduit. When the lord mayor despatched some officers “to pull down these gawds,” the apprentices resisted them, forcing the mayor to rush to the scene with a party of soldiers and to break up the demonstration by force."

 

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