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review 2017-12-23 23:23
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 11 - Dōngzhì Festival: Retribution
A Christmas Journey (The Christmas Stories) - Terrence Hardiman,Anne Perry

Book themes for Dōngzhì Festival: Read a book set in China or written by a Chinese author / an author of Chinese origin; or read a book that has a pink or white cover.

 

I'm claiming this one as a book with a largely white cover, with some salmonredpinkish bits on the borders and in the author's name.

 

This is the first one of Anne Perry's Christmas novellas: having recently listened to and greatly liked Terrence Hardiman's narration of the second of these books, A Christmas Visitor, I decided to give another one a shot, and I certainly didn't regret it, even if by and large I liked A Christmas Visitor yet a bit more.  This novella is set quite a bit earlier than both of Perry's main series; it's protagonist is Lady Vespasia Cummings-Gould, whom readers of the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series know as Charlotte's octogenarian grand-aunt, but whom we meet here in her equally vigorous and graceful prime. -- Lady Vespasia agrees to accompany a friend on a voyage of retribution to the Scottish highlands, to deliver a letter that a young London noblewoman has written to her mother immediately before committing suicide -- largely (or so it seems) as a result of an injurious comment made by Lady Vespasia's friend.

 

I found the anchoring of the idea of retribution (which Perry accomplishes by dragging an early medieval legal concept out of the rafters of history) a bit contrived, but I very much liked the story's construction and setting, and I can quite understand that Perry was eager to give her octogenarian "main series" character a life and a past of her own.  As in A Christmas Visitor, there were moments where I would have wished for a bit more of a nuanced handling of the "Christmas-appropriate" moral subtext, though by and large, given how much earlier than the second Christmas novella this one was set -- and how closely social mores tied into the "misdeed" of Lady Vespasia's friend, and into the story as a whole -- the topic's handling didn't come quite as much out of left field as it did towards the end of A Christmas Visitor.

 

Terrence Hardiman's narration was, as ever, splendid; even if I did briefly wonder why, in light of the fact that not only Lady Vespasia but almost all of the novella's chief charactes were women, a male and not a female narrator was chosen -- but I think Hardiman narrates all of Perry's Christmas novellas, so from that point of view it certainly makes sense.

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review 2017-12-23 00:18
Kisses, Cute Boys and Cliché - A 'Meh' Christmas Short Stories Book
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories - Rainbow Rowell,Holly Black,Laini Taylor,Myra McEntire,Kiersten White,Stephanie Perkins,Gayle Forman,Matt de la Pena,Jenny Han,Ally Carter,Kelly Link,David Levithan

Its Christmas soon and what better way to be in the festive mood than to read a book about the season of giving? So far, I had two and I pick them up one year after the other but I never read them and they were on my shelve for until last Friday I read one of them and I pick this one. So I started to read this last week Friday and managed to finished it early morning today. Here's the thing - I love short stories. They are precise, simple and short. Can be fun, dramatic, romantic and whatever that was meant to be in a genre. So when I read My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, I was looking forward to 'TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES'. As it turns out - it should be change to 'Twelve ROMANTICHoliday stories' instead. And as I know, its under young adult and although I do want to read Christmas stories, I should have bought 'A Christmas Carol' instead. My fault because I should have known what I am getting myself into.

 

The question is - is this book worth reading? As you can see the rating above from this review... mehhh.

 

There are a total of twelve short stories here from today's known young adult authors and so far, all twelve of these stories has the same kind of formulate story you must have read or even watch on television. I mean, there are some nice funny ones and I do enjoy Holly BlackKiersten White and Ally Carter ones but the rest, I just didn't feel it. The worst one was Laini Taylor because to tell you the truth - at the beginning of the story I had no idea what was going on. Its cheesy, its cliché and it gives no reason why the girls want to kiss the boys first. Although The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer and Polaris is Where You'll Find Me stays out of its modern themes, every single one of these stories must have 'a kiss with a guy' in any way it has to be written. Seriously, I felt it is forced upon. Why? Because... the guy is cute. That's the reason. Whether the guy is a figment of imagination, a God, an elf... the male counterpart is cute. For me, that's what I remember most.

 

Did I hate it? Not really. Did I love it? Not really. Its just not really the kind of holiday stories I was expecting to be cliché about. Would I recommend this? To teen readers (girls) who love cute guys. Other than that, no.

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text 2017-12-21 15:51
Today is my last day of work for 2017!
Dickens at Christmas - Charles Dickens
Christmas Stories - Diana Secker Tesdell
Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (Poirot) - Agatha Christie
Christmas in the Crosshairs: Two Thousand Years of Denouncing and Defending the World's Most Celebrated Holiday - Gerry Bowler

I'm off work until January 4th, 2018, so I won't be around Booklikes all that much until the New Year.  You can see the books that I'll be busy with!

 

I'm especially pleased to get my hands on Christmas in the Crosshairs because I recommended that our public library purchase it.  Then when I went to put a hold on it, someone had beaten me to the punch and it wasn't due back until January 8th!  I felt much more wrathful than one is supposed to at this time of year!  But that dear person has returned the volume early (and I'm feeling the Christmas vibes, now, so I hope they enjoyed it) and it is waiting for me to pick up this evening.  Peace on earth, y'all.

 

I'm going on what I'm thinking of as my Christmas procession this year--a day with my aunt & her family on Saturday, Christmas Eve with my sister, and Christmas Day with my niece and great-nephew.  Then, for New Year's, I'm flying to the West Coast to spend time with my other sister and attend a family wedding.  This is going to be one of the busiest Christmas vacations on record!

 

I wish you & yours the happiest of Christmases and wish you all the best for the upcoming year!  I hope 2018 treats everyone well and I will be happy to return in January to see what you have all been reading and doing and hear all the news.

 

 

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review 2017-12-16 19:14
Colors Of Christmas
Colors of Christmas: Two Contemporary Stories Celebrate the Hope of Christmas - Olivia Newport

Title: Colors of Christmas
Author: Olivia Newport
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five
Review:

"Colors of Christmas" Two Contemporary Stories Celebrate The Hope of Christmas By Olivia Newport

My Thoughts....

Two Contemporary Stories Celebrate The Hope of Christmas:

Christmas in Gold

What a story that had me in tears...What will happen when a older woman [Astrid] falls and breaks her ankle. Then her family wants to put her in an assistant living facility. Wow, what a family! You will just have to pick this one up to see how it will all come out as she meets a Physical Therapist named Carly.

Then next we have....

Christmas in Blue

This was such a wonderful contemporary heartwarming story of 'love, loss and the beauty of family and friends.' What will happen as a mysterious stranger [Gabe] appears in town to help Angela. How will this take a turn and instead of dread there will be 'joy and tenderness in Angela's heart' for this holiday.

Both of these stories are well written and will contain a message that is only for the reader to receive. I found these stories tender, so endearing and hopefully one hearts will be lifted for this Christmas holiday season from the read. I was left to be reminded to be 'thankful and never take anything for granted.'

Thank you to NetGalley and Barbour Publishing, Inc. for a review copy in exchange for my honest review.




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text 2017-12-13 15:17
Reading progress update: I've read 224 out of 224 pages.
A Christmas Carol: And Other Christmas Stories - Charles Dickens,Frederick Busch

Listing this as a "read" book feels a little like cheating, as of the four stories contained between its covers I only read the title one. I had read "A Good Humoured Christmas" as a chapter of The Pickwick Papers, though; as for the other two, they just didn't appeal to my mood at the moment.

 

As for "A Christmas Carol," I'm disappointed in myself for not having read it sooner. What a great story!

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