The Christmas Plains
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The Christmas Plains

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  35 ratings  ·  18 reviews
A well-respected writer and editor's memoir of childhood Christmases set in the sometimes harsh but always captivating landscape of South Dakota.

Wreaths and holly, fruitcakes and mistletoe, ornaments and snowflakes, St. Nick and Scrooge's humbug, Joseph and Mary, a young child in a manger and magi from the East. These words automatically stir up the season of Christmas and...more
Hardcover, 212 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by Image (first published November 30th 2011)
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Diane
This was a First read give away from Goodreads. I found this book was not the usual Christmas book that I have read before of Christmas. This book was about the author's memories of his childhood at Christmas time growing up in South Dakota. Of family, receiving toys, and gatherings of everyone getting together.

I found this a fast read and well written short story. It brought memories of Christmas time as a child and the fun that Christmas brought with family and friends. He brought hummer and t...more
Steven Howes
If you are already tired of Christmas ads beginning around Halloween and stories of people being trampled to death at Target and WalMart during "Black Friday" sales, this little book may help get you in the holiday spirit. Christmas just doesn't seem the same to me anymore. Perhaps its because I am fast approaching my 65th birthday. Maybe it is because paying less for that perfect gift has become the most important goal of the holidays. Anyway, if you want a quick journey back in time to when Ch...more
Margaret
The author,Joseph Bottum,along with his wife Lorena and daughter Faith,come back to Pierre, South Dakota , his hometown, for the summer.He has come full circle with his visit back,leaving the hustle and bustle of the East, if but for a short time. His childhood Christmas memories are easily conjured up even though they may be faded.He struggles to have the same level of feelings with these memories, but has a hard time to regain those feelings.
Further on, Mr. Bottum examines our current celebrat...more
Erin Cataldi
I know I'm a bit behind reviewing this. After all, nearly all the stores have replaced the reds and greens with pink hearts, chocolates, and mini heart shaped antacids. Le sigh, I'm always behind.

Anyways, this little collection of Christmas memories was cute and thoughtful and would have been much, much, more appropriate last month. Regardless, I found it cute, inspiring, and was glad that it looked past the consumerism of the holidays and went straight for the heart of the season. Joseph Bottum...more
Jessica
This was not a typical Christmas book. Nothing mushy about it, but plenty of sentimentality. It was a mixture of a Christmas memoir on South Dakota, a history book on Christmas and Christmas carols, a literature book, with a few person stories mixed in.

It was a First Reads giveaway book and one that I probably never would have picked up if I hadn't won it to begin with. But I suppose I'm glad that I did. I learned a few things. And the anecdotes which were often deeply steeped in history lesson...more
Linda
Joseph Bottum takes us on a Christmas journey to Pierre, South Dakota where he grew and passed through a number yuletide seasons. He tells us some funny incidents that occurred while he lived there with his parents and then brings into play things that happened to his own daughter, some of which occurred while living in New York City. He has laughable tales to tell of tinsel and vacuum cleaners and a not so laughable tale about a blizzard that came in 1888 and killed quite a few people, mostly c...more
Cheryl
This is a book of Christmas refelections. The first recollection was of the author, his wife and daughter out cutting down a Chrsitmas Tree. My first thoughts were that this was gonna be too sickingly sweet for my taste but the author soon began to balance a sense of humor with his holiday rememberances.
Kelly
I picked it up based on Ben Domenech's recommendation in his newsletter, The Transom. It was a pleasant recollection of Christmas in the Dakotas, reading more like an intertwined group of essays than a memoir. I enjoyed it, and may revisit it during another Christmastime.
Andd Becker
The book is a legacy for the author's progeny. Remembrances of childhood spawn philosophical wanderings that cause the reader to self-reflect.
The book could be used in a college English course as an example of solid writing.
Sharon
Decent book that mixes the authors reminisces of his childhood Christmases in South Dakota with a variety of other subjects such as the meaning or sounds of words and how we are captivated by them.
Karin A.
Lovely childhood memories of Christmas'past in South Dakota. They bring up sentimental memories of the same era no matter where you lived in the US. Lovely.
Roseann
More of a series of memories of Christmas' past than fictional stories, this selection of short essays made for good reading on a snowy December night.
Julie
I enjoyed it, interesting take on childhood Christmas' in South Dakota, with commentary on life and a Good News message.
Jennie
This was a short book, but took me a while to read because I couldn't get into it, it was slow and dry.
Marty
Easy reading, providing some things to think about. I would read any future books he might write.
Patrick
A true wordsmith. It is a collection of works and stories, but it is a nice read.
Debbie Stone
I loved this book of essays. It's a very relfective book about Christmas and Advent.
PWRL
Apr 03, 2013 PWRL marked it as to-read
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Goodreads Librari...: Merge editions AND title question 6 18 Dec 06, 2012 07:52AM  
Dakota Christmas The Summer of 43:  R.A. Dickey's Knuckleball and the Redemption of America's Game The Gospel According to Tim Wise Guy: A Christmas Tale An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America

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