If I rated this on my enjoyment, it would probably be 2 stars. Maybe 1.5. But that's largely because this is an overly sentimental, schmaltzy, feel-goIf I rated this on my enjoyment, it would probably be 2 stars. Maybe 1.5. But that's largely because this is an overly sentimental, schmaltzy, feel-good book, and that's not really my cup of tea. This volume, however, really nails that genre, so I'm giving it three stars for quality. It may not be my thing, but I can't hold that against it.
What I didn't like: There wasn't a lot of depth. I wasn't looking for a plot or anything, but for a series of unconnected glimpses into the world of Christmas angels, these circumstances seemed rather bizarre. The Christmas angels in this book are, for example, making Santa's toys so that the elves can take a break (and you can see sleeping elves in the background) or using their angelic powers to get Christmas shoppers discounts. I don't know what I was expecting -- spreading good cheer, or granting wishes to orphans, or something, maybe. Not that there isn't a lot of really sappy stuff in there too, to compensate.
What I did like: The artwork, first of all. The cartoons are pretty good and very entertaining, and they really add a lot. I also liked the humor, there are a few moments in particular where humor is used to great effect. Additionally, I liked that even at the height of its saccharine over-the-top sweetness, it doesn't come off as artificial. There's a certain warmth about this, as though the author really does love Christmas and wants to point out all the reasons why (sometimes with sweetness, sometimes with humor). Finally, A for effort. It's clear that the author put a lot of time and effort into making the book, and that helps.
Bottom line: Instead of presenting a view of the holidays that will inspire me to look for Christmas spirit and goodness in my dealings with others this Christmas, this book exists more or less in a fantasy realm (where all shoppers can always buy everything on sale!). It's not a moment of calm in the midst of holiday chaos. It's a world where there was never any chaos to begin with....more
It's funny, it's a quick light read, and it's perfect for any cat-lover. It's especially great for people who know how to laugh at themselves. Best ofIt's funny, it's a quick light read, and it's perfect for any cat-lover. It's especially great for people who know how to laugh at themselves. Best of all, even if you're the most obsessed cat-lover out there, you'll be able to read this, sigh in relief, and say, "Well thank goodness I'm not THIS bad!" Lots of fun....more
Wow, I feel really silly for including a picture book on Goodreads, but it was such a unusual find that I thought I'd review it anyway. It's about BacWow, I feel really silly for including a picture book on Goodreads, but it was such a unusual find that I thought I'd review it anyway. It's about Bach, my favorite composer of all time, and how he came to write the Goldberg Variations, a particularly nuanced and complex composition, even for Bach. The author is a little loose with some of the history, but the story is intriguing, and this seems like a nice (and very accessible) way to introduce classical music to your children. The CD with the recording of the music is a plus. I'd recommend this for kids, parents, and fellow Bach-lovers....more
I enjoyed this book. It was amusing, and it was funny in places. It does not have an overall plot; rather, each texting exchange functions as mini-vigI enjoyed this book. It was amusing, and it was funny in places. It does not have an overall plot; rather, each texting exchange functions as mini-vignette. This collection, starring Mittens the cat, Phil the dog, and the patient woman who cares for them, started slow, but it seemed to pick up about half-way through, with just enough sentiment to make you care about the characters. Don't look for saccharine, overly-cute kitties here--Mittens is tough and sneaky, and he isn't afraid to tell it like it is. This volume will probably appeal more to cat-owners who have experienced some of this craziness first-hand, but there is plenty to entertain non-cat-lovers as well. Have you ever wondered what your cat would tell you if he, too, had opposable thumbs? Look no further!...more
This books is amazing. It's about fairy tales (kinda), but mostly it's about the modern teenage girl and the everyday pitfalls of everyday life. It'sThis books is amazing. It's about fairy tales (kinda), but mostly it's about the modern teenage girl and the everyday pitfalls of everyday life. It's dark and morbid and edgy, but most of all it's very well-written. Twisting the too-happy, too-cute fairy tale ideas to line them up with the darker side of human nature--this collection of poems is jarring and disturbing, and it addresses everything from acne to anorexia, from high school to guy trouble, starring heroines from all walks of life.
This book was interesting, to say the least. It is divided into several chapters, each of which has its own distinctive flavor and style. It opens witThis book was interesting, to say the least. It is divided into several chapters, each of which has its own distinctive flavor and style. It opens with a story strongly based on the Gospels, followed by an old Christmas legend, then a sermon, then a war memoir, and finally by a Bible excerpt.
Parts of this volume are very preachy and almost off-putting. I do appreciate that this collection is from a very conservative family and parts of it are probably, to some degree, a product of the times. My least favorite part was the sermon, and this really surprised me--I have always been interested in theology, and I love Christmas. A Christmas sermon should have been right up my alley, so to speak. However, this sermon was so similar to so many that I've heard before, and it should win the prize, in my opinion, for being the only Christmas sermon I've ever encountered that isn't about Christmas. It's more about hell. Go figure.
That said, other parts of the book were delightful. The old Christmas legend was a bit of cultural history that I found fascinating, and the story was interesting in its own right, so that was a double win. Corrie's own memoir was powerful and moving, and the whole book would be worth it just for that chapter alone. It was also nice seeing her lightly fictionalized version of the Gospel story. The Bible excerpt was a beautiful close to a beautiful volume. Altogether, the book is marvelous. I borrowed this from the library, but if I ever find a copy for sale, I would buy it.
Since each chapter is a standalone, here are my separate ratings:
Part 1: The Bible story as Corrie told it (more like a story than direct quotes) 3.5 stars Part 2: An old Christmas story 5 stars Part 3: Sermon 2 stars Part 4: WWII 5 stars Part 5: Bible excerpt (I'm not rating the Bible (!) but I will say that it was a perfect close to a very special book)...more