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The Christmas Sweater

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  15,155 ratings  ·  2,533 reviews
If You Could Change Your Life by Reversing Your Biggest Regrets, Sorrows and Mistakes...Would You?

#1 New York Times bestselling author and renowned radio and television host Glenn Beck delivers an instant holiday classic about boyhood memories, wrenching life lessons, and the true meaning of the gifts we give to one another in love.

We weren't wealthy, we weren't poor -- we
Hardcover, 284 pages
Published November 11th 2008 by Threshold Editions
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,155 ratings  ·  2,533 reviews

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Dec 24, 2012 added it
Shelves: fiction
It was the end of the December, a few days past Christmas a couple of years ago when I met Glenn Beck. I hadn't been expecting to meet the hater of Woodrow Wilson in the flesh, and I didn't know that Beck would be hanging out with a roving band of goodreaders, and I didn't even notice that it was him at the time, not until he said that he'd stopped by Simon and Shuster (his publisher) earlier in the day and picked up a copy of The Christmas Sweater for me.

“You did this for me?”

But Glenn Beck di
Dec 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
All I can say is at least I didn't waste too much time reading this. The story was formulaic, the dialogue painful, and the writing lazy. The story is based on a personal experience, and it would have been a much better book if he would have simply told the real story instead of trying to embellish it to create a sense of pathos. While there is undoubtedly a good message, it comes across as a quick way to make a buck by preying on people's sentimentality this time of year. ...more
Dec 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Here's an idea - what if we read Christmas books ANY time of the year, and not just at Christmastime? Around Christmas there is an emphasis on gratitude, charity, kindness, and love, which is wonderful, but there's no reason to focus on those things only in December. This book helped to remind me how much I truly have to be grateful for. Wonderful story. ...more
Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People who like sappy Christmas stories
Recommended to Kate by: book club book
Glen Beck may be a well-known radio host, but he writes with all the finesse of a high school sophomore. In this semi-autobiographical "heartwarming Christmas tale", Beck tells about 12-year old Eddie who, along with his mother, has had some hard times since the death of his father a couple of years before. Eddie just knows that getting a new bike will make things better.

It will come as no surprise to any reader that, instead of the hoped-for bike, Eddie instead receives a sweater that has been
Jan 10, 2009 rated it did not like it
Glenn Beck is a laughably poor writer. I haven’t read his non-fiction stuff, but it sells pretty well. I cant imagine it’s this hard to read, or else it wouldn’t have sold so well, right? I think the last book I read that made me cringe at how badly it was written was Da Vinci Code. This book rips off every Christmas book and movie cliche you can think of, and he doesn’t try to hide it.

I thought I’d choose a Christmas book to help get me in the Christmas spirit, but instead I was put in the Than
Dec 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Wow!! The last two chapters found me sobbing like a baby...okay quietly sobbing at night. I had very little sympathy for the main character until the end of the book. The storm that inevitably gets us is a "doozy." Luckily my faith carries me through the storms of life, sometimes easily, sometimes not. This book made me think about the gift given to all of us, whether we want to accept it or not. Great book!! ...more
Jan 14, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
You should read this book 1) because it's short and requires minimal effort; 2) because it teaches you something about yourself; and 3) because it will leave you with that warm, and yes, sappy Christmas-time feeling that so many elitist readers seem to think is somehow beneath them.
Here's the thing: you know going in to a book like this that your heartstrings are going to get a good tug. Add to that the back cover blurb claiming the style is reminiscent of Mitch Albom, and that's all I need to h
Nov 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This year's review . . .

I think I loved this book even more the 2nd time around! Perhaps it is because I now have a son the same age as the main character, and he is struggling with some of the same emotions sometimes. In any case, it gave me great hope for the future! Very touching reminder of the love of our Father, the power of redemption, and what is most important in life! I will read this book again!

Last year's review . . .

While this book was emotional and intense in a lot of places, and
Aug 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
I am a huge Glenn Beck fan and can relate to his quirky sense of humor. I didn't know what to expect from this book. I was pleasantly surprised. Very quick read with a wonderful message about family, faith and the things that are important. It will be one of those books that will be read over and over any time of the year. ...more
Nov 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Karl by: Gleen Beck
The Christmas Sweater is an amazing book it is full of emotions. I was amazed at how Brother Beck was able to capture what I have tried to for years. Thanks Gleen I am not a reader. However when I pick up a book and read it cover to cover in one sitting that is saying something for that book. BTW it has only happened once
Nov 14, 2009 rated it did not like it
I am always amazed at the popularity of these sentimental and pedestrian Christmas stories that hit the bookstores every autumn, and if this sounds like sour grapes, it is. I'll admit to being irritated that writers like Glenn Beck and Richard Paul Evans consistently hit pay dirt nationally with their sappy stories and embarassingly bland and medicore writing styles. This offering from Beck is supposedly based on a true story from his own childhood, but it is so fraught with hackneyed literary s ...more
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Eddie wants a bicycle for Christmas this year. He’s been so good, he’s helped his mom out without her pestering him to do things, he has done well in school. He’s sure he’s earned it this year, even though they’re poor.
Eddie’s dad passed away a few years ago and Christmas has never been the same. His mom works constantly as she tries to make sure they’re getting by. Even though they haven’t been able to afford a bike in the past he is sure this year his mom has been able to save up enough.

Nov 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone.
Some of the story is based on events in Glenn Beck's young life in a working class family that didn't have much of material value. Glenn wants the things other kids have, like a shiny new red bike for Christmas. Glenn learns that he doesn't always get the possessions he wants, but he learns about what is really important.

If anyone other than Glenn Beck had written this, it would have been predictable, sickeningly sweet, and cheesy. Glenn is able to express his feelings about the atonement and f
Nov 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I am such a fan of Glenn Beck and was excited to buy this book on its release date. I also read it all on the same day. A compelling story that everyone can relate to and connect with on many levels. I'm giving it five stars; not because it is on the same level as many of the great works of literature but because it was so thought provoking. His spiritual insights touched me deeply and I hope that many will read this and really take it to heart. Now that would be a way to bring change to this wo ...more
Nov 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure if I would like this book but it was great. This book has so many truths about growing up and figuring out who we are. That forgiveness is always available to us, even for the big sins. There were times when I wasn't sure where the story was going or why, but in the end I was quite pleased. I've handed it off to my 11 year old son, because I feel it has some very important lessons, that are better learned from books than your own experience. ...more
Dec 01, 2008 rated it liked it
This book has some powerful messages. Some that hit home the most for me: I am worthy of the journey AND the destination I'm in. Forgiveness is happiness. The atonement makes it possible for me to start over anytime I need to.
I highly recommend this book for everyone this Christmas. Thanks, Dad, for the book!
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reminiscent of Mitch Alboms Five People You Meet In Heaven. The story of young Eddie who learns to appreciate an ugly hand knitted sweater he receives one year for Christmas instead of a shiny red bicycle because his family is poor with the help of a mysterious stranger.
4 stars Late Christmas Read
Nov 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to Becky by: church book group
Good book for any time, not just Christmas time. Although it's message does remind us why we celebrate Christmas.

At first I was disappointed at the ending but as I read on (to the events of Glenn Beck's life that shaped this novel), I appreciated it more.

It's full of good quotes - most of which are very similar to those I've heard my parents tell me one time or another.
"Most times we're so focused on what we think we want that we can't a
Cindy Davis
Dec 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, christmas
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
This story was a fast read. In fact, I finished it in about 24 hours. Eddie has lost his father to cancer. In spite of their financial struggles, he is hoping his mom will get him a bike for Christmas. Instead he receives a sweater that she knitted herself and he is unable to hide his disappointment. The writing and descriptions in the book were simple but fit the story. My stars come from the emotional connection I felt to the events and the impact of its message.
Dec 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I rec'd this as a gift from my son and I could not put it down. I finished it in such a rush this morning that I have to go back and reread the last 3 chapters. It is a wonderful story of second chances, hope and the despair of growing up ...more
Brian O'Leary
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Good setup to what could have been a good story, but it had a really weak ending and did an awful job at tying things together.
Janie Johnson
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I wanted to read a Christmas book this year as I do every year, so I chose The Christmas Sweater. This book was based on true accounts of the author, although there were fictitious parts to the story as well. The story was a pretty awesome read, although it was highly predictable. I love how the story made me feel everything, every loss, every heartache, the happiness and the sadness. A very emotionally written story. I think that best part of the book were the lessons to be learned, such as 'li ...more
Dec 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Twelve year old Eddie is very, very angry. His dad has died and then his mother dies at Christmas after Eddie stubbornly refuses to stay overnight at his grandparents. Eddie has to live with the guilt for years. Did he cause her death? That's pretty tough for adults to live with, but for a twelve year old, nearly impossible. (I strongly disagreed with the one professional review I read. Glenn Beck has opened up his soul. The professional reviewer ought to try it). The path Beck had to take to fi ...more
Dec 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A phenomenal book. Glenn Beck takes the reader through his life and experiences he had that helped him discover many of the same lessons that we must all learn: 1.) Life is not fair. 2.) God wants us to be happy. 3.) While God wants us to be happy, whether or not we ARE happy depends entirely on how we live our life in comparison with those events which God sees fit to subject.

While some may not appreciate the obvious comparisons to the Gospel, the author uses the story to share how he came to k
Jan 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
I put this one on reserve at the library before Christmas, hoping it might come in in time to enjoy during the holiday season. It didn't but when it arrived in early January, I hoped it might be close enough to the holiday that I'd still enjoy the story and get the Chrismtas spirit all over again.

I suppose if I'd read this story during the holiday season, it might have had a greater impact. Or I might have felt more forgiving of it since it's pretty clear from page one exactly where the story wi
Mar 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite Christmas stories!
The story is based on true events from Glenn Beck's life although there are obviously some embellishments to the story. If you go to the back of the book you're told what parts of the story were real and which ones were added to make the story more interesting. Also, I do have to warn you that the book is a tear- jerker and you probably shouldn't read it at work while people are shopping in your store. (personal experience. It leaves you with red puffy eyes a
Joanna Mugglin
Dec 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow. Just wow. A couple days ago, I couldn't have imagined my perspective revolutionizing so quickly. I picked this book up only because I wanted to read something related to this wonderful season; (I'm sitting under the Christmas tree as I write this.) Little could I know how much of an impact this profound story would have on my heart.

The protagonist, twelve-year-old Eddie, due to his family's impoverished state, receives "a stupid, handmade, ugly sweater" for Christmas instead of a new bike.
Jamie Gordon
Feb 01, 2009 rated it did not like it
You really can't expect much from this book given the author and title, and yet even with such marginal expectations, it is still fails. Too juvenile for an adult and too dated for a child - I just can't see it possibly appealing to anyone other than hard-core Glenn Beck fans who would love it simply because he wrote it, however awful it may truly be.

From the horrendous writing to the absurdly heavy-handed moral and christian imagery, this novel reads as though it were written by a precocious 13
Dec 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: 2008
I really loved this book. It's about a boy who wants a bike for Christmas. He and his mom are poor, but this boy feels like he's really earned this bike. On Christmas morning, he discovers that he didn't get the bike, but a handmade Christmas sweater by his mom. He's so mad that he goes upstairs and throws it on the floor. His mom goes up after him to discover the Christmas sweater that she had worked so hard on and made with so much love in a heap on the floor. She is devistated. It made me thi ...more
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Glenn Edward Lee Beck is one of America's leading radio and television personalities. His quick wit, candid opinions and engaging personality have made The Glenn Beck Program the third highest rated radio program in America and Glenn Beck, one of the most successful new shows on the Fox News Channel. His unique blend of modern-day storytelling and insightful views on current events allowed him to ...more

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