Really the book had a lot of things I like, besides the nice coastal town setting and the Christmas season. Maddie and Jax are both good, nice people.Really the book had a lot of things I like, besides the nice coastal town setting and the Christmas season. Maddie and Jax are both good, nice people. Yes, she has trouble trusting, which is understandable, but she' trying to reinvent herself. Yes, Jax keeps some crucial information from her, but he doesn't have a choice, really. Maddie's sisters are great characters, both of whom I'm assuming will get their own love stories later in the series. I enjoyed the dynamics between the three of them. I like how everyone in the town seems to watch out for each other. I like the basic plot - the sisters are remodeling an inn that their mother left them in her will, hoping to either make it a go or sell it. I'd want to visit.
The romance was sweet too. My main problem was I just got bored, mostly by the sex scenes. Some were hot, but after a while they started to feel the same. And boring is not something you want in a romance, especially one you're listening to on audio, since you can't just skip over to the next scene. ...more
Scaredy Squirrel is adorable. He's cute, but a bundle of nerves and worries. This is the first time I've met him, but he certainly made me smile and lScaredy Squirrel is adorable. He's cute, but a bundle of nerves and worries. This is the first time I've met him, but he certainly made me smile and laugh. Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Christmas as a whole, however, has me a little confused.
It's a cute "make it through Christmas" guide from Scaredy Squirrel's point of view. It includes a list of safety gear you should start collecting in the summer. The illustrations are colorful and fun. I love the pages on Santa and his reindeer and the options for dressing up for a Christmas party, but I don't understand who the target audience is. It seems like a kids book, but I don't think young kids would get most of the jokes. It could be a book for neurotic parents who are able to laugh at themselves, but they'll look at it once, with the kids sitting beside them as an excuse to be reading it, and then I don't think it'll get pulled out again. Maybe it's folks, parents and kids, who are already Scaredy Squirrel fans. It's not one that would have become a Christmas favorite in my house, even when our daughter was younger....more
No Mistletoe Required by Jeanette Murray is a charming Christmas romance, a perfect way to start the season. It's a short read, I probably read it inNo Mistletoe Required by Jeanette Murray is a charming Christmas romance, a perfect way to start the season. It's a short read, I probably read it in an hour give or take, but with a limited cast of characters and settings, it worked. I truly liked the couple and wanted things to work out between them.
This one really has all the ingredients it needs to for a sweet Christmas romance. A likeable pair, some glitter, some bad puns. It made me smile. It's about learning to appreciate the holidays and not fearing the future, about taking a chance on love and about allowing yourself to live in the present.
I loved it. It made me smile and that's what I was hoping for. ...more
wanted to love A King James Christmas edited by Catherine Schuon & Michael Oren Fitzgerald. The King James version of the Bible is a little old-fawanted to love A King James Christmas edited by Catherine Schuon & Michael Oren Fitzgerald. The King James version of the Bible is a little old-fashioned and can be tough to understand, but I love the poetry and the traditional verses, like in Luke, chapter 2. “
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
I love it. And I could picture reading this book every December. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. The paintings, sculptures, illuminated manuscripts, and stained glass windows from around the world are amazing, both in beauty and diversity. These illustrations include several works by Fra Angelico and Giotto as well as more modern illustrations from the 20th century include two Coptic paintings, two Chinese works and several contemporary paintings by Schuon, a Swiss-born artist who is one of the volume’s editors.
I wish the book had just stuck with Christmas and maybe the visit from the Wise Men. It loses me when it strays from Christmas. I appreciate the passages from Jesus’ childhood and the Sermon on the Mount, but I don’t feel they fit in A King James Christmas. They’re not part of the Christmas story. If the book were titled differently I wouldn’t have the same complaint, but it’s not. I can totally picture sitting down and shring the Christmas story, but the rest just seems to be filler in this case. I wish the text were shorter with more illustrations, then it would be a perfect read to share with family expecially on Christmas Eve. As is, I have my doubts about how often it would actually be pulled out of the stack. ...more
I wanted to like this one but more than anything it annoyed me. My main problem was how the reader kept getting hit over the head with how much theseI wanted to like this one but more than anything it annoyed me. My main problem was how the reader kept getting hit over the head with how much these amateurs helped the investigator and apparently half of London knew it, including the constable Witherspoon works with, but the Inspector is too daft to realize it. I think it's supposed to be charming and light mystery, but I couldn't appreciate it. Not for me, I guess....more
I can’t say that this story adds much to the original, other than a back story for Marley. The main points are still the same, and it definitely has aI can’t say that this story adds much to the original, other than a back story for Marley. The main points are still the same, and it definitely has a lesson it wants to show, but I really enjoyed it. I got sucked back in to Scrooge’s world, and I have to admit that I was bawling at the end. It takes us beyond that Christmas morning, into the rest of Scrooge’s life and he makes good on his promise, he truly is a new man. And, at least according to Bennet, he has Marley to thank.
Ever wonder who Santa was before he was Santa? He was a bandit, talented no doubt, but a thief and treasure hunter nonetheless. Nicholas St. North wasEver wonder who Santa was before he was Santa? He was a bandit, talented no doubt, but a thief and treasure hunter nonetheless. Nicholas St. North was his name, and he was only concerned about himself until the fateful day he ended up in the village of Santoff Claussen. He expected to find treasure, but instead he found a village terrorized by Pitch, an ancient evil, and his Fearlings, rulers of the night, bringers of nightmares.
Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King by William Joyce and Laura Geringer tells how Nicholas grew from being a self-centered man to the caring, magical person who will one day be Santa. We follow him and his mentor, a great wizard, and a young girl named Katherine as they fight to protect the children of the world.
As an adult, I enjoyed it. I could complain that maybe some of the characters were underdeveloped, that the grand quest was a little slow to materialize, that it’s kind of odd that the adults were the stars in this middle school book, but it honestly doesn’t matter. It was an enchanting story, and just the right length.There was adventure, spells, a mechanical djinni, a mysterious spectral boy, and, of course, flying reindeer. A great seasonal read....more
But this “Tale of North Pole Noir” is definitely not sugary sweet. Gumdrop Coal has been in charge of the naughty list for ages, delivering coal to alBut this “Tale of North Pole Noir” is definitely not sugary sweet. Gumdrop Coal has been in charge of the naughty list for ages, delivering coal to all the bad kids, encouraging them to change their ways. And then he gets fired. But Gumdrop is sure there’s more to his being let go than just the idea that Santa needs to show love to all the kids, regardless. No, Gumdrop is sure there’s a conspiracy afoot and Santa’s going to end up dead, working too hard to please too many greedy little kids. With the help of a friend and a reporter, Gumdrop is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery and save Santa.
It’s a great satire of the noir genre. Gumdrop’s a tough-talking elf with a tendency toward violence and several friends on the wrong side of town. The dame is Rosebud Jubilee, a reporter with a sassy, sexy attitude and I have to say that I love how the black and white illustration shows her, with her fedora and pursed lips. They are the perfect couple for this story.
A lot of the standard Christmas characters, stories and songs are brought to life in the pages, in a skewed way. The Lords A-Leaping are dangerous, bouncing uncontrollably with a tendency to land on and squash anyone in the way. The toys on Misfit Island are far from friendly, and trust me, you’ll never think about reindeer in the same way again.
The mystery is decent, the comedy is well-done. The only awkwardness, I think, was when the author inserts the true meaning of Christmas into the story. Always “the Child,” too. He’s never referred to as Jesus, which seemed rather odd. Now don’t get me wrong, Jesus is the reason I celebrate Christmas, but it just didn’t seem to fit in this particular story. I have no problem with books that mix Santa and religion, there are connections that can be made. But the references seemed out of place here. I would have preferred a flat out Santa and the elves story. There would have been a moral there, even without the “Child” bits.
This would be a nice stocking stuffer. I don’t think it’s destined to become a classic, but it’s a quick, fun read, especially for mystery lovers....more
It’s tinsel – light, sparkly, fun, but at the end of the season it gets tossed with the tree.
Weezie is an antiques dealer in Savannah, a character firIt’s tinsel – light, sparkly, fun, but at the end of the season it gets tossed with the tree.
Weezie is an antiques dealer in Savannah, a character first introduced in Savannah Blues which I read several years ago. This one stands on its own well, though. Weezie’s in a frenzy to decorate her shop for the annual contest. Her Blue Christmas/1950s theme turns out gorgeous, even out-shining the competitor down the block, but things start to go missing and a mysterious woman has been making after-hours visits to the shop. Daniel, Weezie’s chef boyfriend, is worried, but he has his hands full at his restaurant.
Overall, it’s enjoyable, the touches of romance, a little mystery that leads to a heart-warming ending. Everything I’m looking for in a seasonal read....more
I adore holiday books, especially those centered around Christmas, but this is one I wish I had skipped. At least it was short.
First of all, I didn’tI adore holiday books, especially those centered around Christmas, but this is one I wish I had skipped. At least it was short.
First of all, I didn’t like anybody through 7/8 of the book. Mr. Krank, is, well, a crank. His wife agrees with his skipping Christmas idea but still manages to lay all the blame on him. Their neighbors and friends are jerks. I would be jealous if someone I knew were taking a cruise for Christmas not angry. I do think the Kranks were going a little overboard though. I’d still do some decorating, after all they were planning on being in town through most of December.
Even the daughter was inconsiderate, assuming that her parents had made no alternative plans. And why they didn’t just tell her that they would be happy to spend Christmas Eve with her, but they were leaving on Christmas Day for a cruise is beyond me. She’s a grown woman, out of college, capable of heading across the world on her own.
The last bit of the book held all the feel good moments, but overall I didn’t care, and by the end felt manipulated. I guess it had an anti-materialism message somewhere, but there are way better stories out there....more
Jamela is an adorable girl, full of fun and spirit. And it’s obvious how much her family loves her and the townspeople think she’s adorable. The colorJamela is an adorable girl, full of fun and spirit. And it’s obvious how much her family loves her and the townspeople think she’s adorable. The colorful illustrations show South Africa as happy and sunny, a place where even in a small backyard you can raise a chicken or grow squash. I also liked how Daly included words in the text like mielies, the Afrikaans word for corn, and aikona, which the glossary in the back defines as Xhosa and Zulu for No!
On one hand, this story shows how Christmas is celebrated by another culture in another place. But it also shows that no matter where you are Christmas is
"a time to celebrate baby Jesus’ birthday with a nativity play at school. Christmas also meant Christmas presents and getting together with the family."...more
This book is a magical read for December. Amber (9) and I read this together and both enjoyed it. To use Amber’s words, “Larry and Splint rock! It’s aThis book is a magical read for December. Amber (9) and I read this together and both enjoyed it. To use Amber’s words, “Larry and Splint rock! It’s awesome.” It was a fun read, with lots of adventure for the pint-sized heroes and Amber definitely did not see the twist coming at the end. I did, but that’s partly because I had to peek ahead, just to make sure that all three were safe.
This will definitely be one we read again next year. I can see reading it out loud to younger kids, too. It’s delightful. I doubt Amber and I will look at the ornaments on the tree in quite the same way. Imagine what kind of mischief they may be getting into when we’re all sound asleep....more