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A Lot Like Christmas: Stories

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  654 ratings  ·  178 reviews
This new, expanded edition of Miracle and Other Christmas Stories features twelve brilliantly reimagined holiday tales, five of which are collected here for the first time.

Christmas comes but once a year--which is too bad, because the stories in this dazzling collection are fun to read anytime. They put a speculative spin on the holiday, giving fans of acclaimed author Co
Paperback, 518 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Del Rey Books
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Cathy Les I think my favorite is still "Inn" where Mary and Joseph get lost in some sort of time warp and end up in a modern day church 2 days before Christmas.

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Amalia Gkavea
Dec 19, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If repetition, poor attempts of sounding geeky, imaginative and funny and all-around boredom is the writer's vision of a well-composed book, then I'm sorry but I was clearly the wrong reader for...this. The way I see it, this doesn't even deserve a full review, sorry:(
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018

I know I am a bit late to the party (I read it in the week before Christmas, but then I got sidetracked by all the parties and fun), but I recommend Connie Willis collection of short stories as one of the best ways to get in the mood for the Holidays, to reawaken the spirit of Christmas. It is most of all great fun and a great resource for further reading, watching the relevant movies and listening to the right music. Don't forget the bingo-bongos, wassail, cranberry relish, the Rockettes and mi
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've always been a big fan of Connie Willis and so I couldn't really find any fault in reading an actual Christmas story (or stories) EVEN on XMAS if it was coming from her. Sometimes you've simply got to pick your battles, and Connie Willis is like the John Mclaine of Xmas Stories.

I'm not saying she strangles Xmas with a chain or uses wildly inappropriate western sayings. I mean, she could, I'm sure, but that isn't what happens here. She might get a bit angry at It's a Wonderful Life, however,
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
You all know how much I love Connie Willis. You know how much I love her book Miracle and Other Christmas Stories. So clearly this was meant to be my new Christmas jam, and . . .

This has all the same stories from Miracle, but then new stories have been sprinkled throughout. The book is worth buying for All Seated on the Ground alone, but none of the stories are duds. And she's added new movies, books, and TV shows to her recommends list at the end.

In other words, it's per
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
Full review now posted!

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Every year, I try to find something to festive to read to kept put me in the Christmas spirit. I usually stick with classics, like A Christmas Carol and A Little Princess, because I tend to be disappointed by most newer Christmas stories I pick up. A lot of these newer Christmas stories are all about romance or feel too sentimental or formulaic to be enjoyable for me. Or they go in the opposite direction into darkness, and completely miss the point of th
Dec 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
I DNF'd this at 41%. I DNF'd it in the middle of a story. I found Willis' way to evoke emotion very cheap and lazy and the whole collection felt trite. I went into this expecting to read feel-good Christmas stories and instead I got really mad in almost every single one of them. In fact, the only story I liked was Pony, which wasn't even in this collection.
Shawn Deal
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Connie Willis is one of the few writers out there that I will read anything by without knowing anything about the story. Her name alone is good enough for me. And like everything she writes, this collection of Christmas stories is great reading. I loved every tale in this collection. These were all small gems that I treasured greatly. You will love these tales even if you are not in the Christmas spirit, for they are all just wonderful science fiction tales in the own right.

A great collection.
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
You'd think a book such as this would make you sick of Christmas long before you finish it but not so in this case. Even at over 500 pages Willis manages to come up with fresh ideas. Though all the stories have have a strong Holiday theme they include other interesting themes as well. Another strong element is humor, there's nothing maudlin or over sentimental but don't think your heart strings are 100% safe. There are a few tears that sneak out through the laughter.

There are classic stories wi
Davyne DeSye
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I love Christmas and this collection of Christmas stories had a blend of everything – humor, love, capers, dancers, and plenty of Christmas spirit. Being a science fiction fan, I also enjoyed the sci-fi/fantasy addition to the topic, including an alien invasion and time travel.

Naturally, I liked some stories more than others (as is inevitable in any short story collection), but I’m happy to say that I didn’t dislike any. Reading the author’s introduction to the co
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Next year I am buying this book for some of my sci fi geek friends. A Lot Like Christmas is full of original Christmas stories that are not depressing. It has a little bit of everything, robots, aliens, and an ecologically responsible Christmas spirit.
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I know it's been a few weeks, but I took notes on the stories so I'm GOING to write this review. You all will just have to put up with me discussing Christmas in January.

So, here's the thing--Connie Willis really loves Christmas. And she's read/watched/listened to a lot of Christmas stories (seriously, there are multiple appendices of her favorite Christmas books, stories, movies, tv specials, etc.), and has formed an Opinion about what makes a good one (tl;dr not too schmaltzy, not to grim or
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Don’t skip this for Christmas! A little romance, a little science fiction, a little fantasy and a lot of wonderful writing! The brilliant Connie Willis gathered years worth of Christmas stories she wrote annually. We have a story that looks like everyone is captured by the Christmas spirit of goodwill and kindness only to discover they may be possessed by an alien spore. Then there are Secret Santa gifts, holiday pageants and more, but with a twist or two.
Excellent holiday fare ending with a l
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm about 2/3 through and finding the stories pretty repetitive. At least they're neither overly sentimental nor excessively 'twisted' like too many other Christmas stories. But still, lots of romances, lots of madcap rushing around, mostly urban settings with the concomitant contempt of those who buy presents for ppl they don't like, etc. And still, Willis's fondness for Christmas in all its guises enchants.

- Miracles. A bang-up start. Would work even for ppl who don't read SF. Makes me want to
Anna Metreveli
I guess I was extremely lucky to read “Doomsday’s book” and “To say nothing of the dog” first. I loved them and ended up buying almost every book by Connie Willis. Now I am a bit disappointed, almost every story in this book is repetitive, has some really annoying characters and awful family members with no sense of personal distance or tact. The same inner dialogues in cursive were not as annoying as in “Crosstalk”, but still, it gets very boring and predictable from time to time. I guess if yo ...more
Jaclyn Hogan
I received a digital ARC of this book from Netgalley.

When Christmas rolls around, I inevitably look for new things to read to get me in the holiday spirit. (My ususal go-tos are The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper and Hogfather by Terry Pratchett, but I've read both of those so many times that I pretty much know them by heart.) So I thought a book of Christmas short stories by Sci-fi Wonder Woman Connie Willis would be just the thing. And this book isn't bad, it just doesn't really measure up for
Tasha Robinson
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I took my time with this one over the course of more than a year because while I love Connie Willis' romantic twists and constant surprises, reading too many of her short stories back to back starts to feel like eating too much candy at once. These stories lean heavily on screwball comedy, and a love of overwhelmed and exhausted protagonists dealing with more input and demands than they can process, usually because everyone around them is being unreasonable — and experiencing too much of that at ...more
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
An underwhelming collection of christmas themed short stories. I think I went in with the expectation of seeing classic christmas themes being "sent up" through a speculative spin, as the back of the book reads. Instead it feels like watching really bad christmas movies back to back, over and over again. Which is ironic, considering Willis actually writes a bit on the subject of bad christmas movies.

I think the heart of my issue is that all of the stories are lame feelgood stories where the "sp
Jennifer Kelley
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an updated version of Willis' Miracle and Other Stories, with a few new stories. Recommended to anyone who enjoys Connie Willis and her sense of humor.


Who would have thought it? I am completely shocked! Me - giving a collection of short stories Favorite Book of the Year! Me – who doesn’t even LIKE short stories!

I need to seriously rethink my prejudice against ALL short stories. I guess I only like the ones that are completely original, are cleverly thought out, and are actually long enough to allow their development into stories with beginnings, middles and ends. Just the ones that are so well written that they make
Westminster Library
If this is you at Christmas:


A) You're not alone - I'm right there with you. B) Boy do I have a book for you.

Connie Willis, Colorado sci-fi author extraordinaire, has revealed herself as a true fan of Christmas. A Lot Like Christmas compiles years worth of stories centered around the holiday season. They run the gambit from hilarious to heart wrenching, with a tinge of the fantastic and the speculative. Every story is delightful, which is a serious accomplishment for a book with 12 stories toppin
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
I have a bit of love/hate relationship with Connie Willis; I love some of her books (Blackout) but I've hated others (Crosstalk). However, I do always admire her willingness to constantly try new things: new plots, new ways of telling the story, etc. Too often she lets her novels become slaves to the style she is trying on, which often results in an overly complicated mess in which the characters are poorly developed and there are massive plot holes. However, when she stays focused on the actual ...more
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“Oh, Christmas isn’t just a day… it’s a state of mind.... and that's what's been changing. That's why I'm glad I'm here, maybe I can do something about it.”

Edmund Gwenn, Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

As I type this, it’s November. And as I’m in the Northern Hemisphere, the nights are getting darker earlier and its feeling a little colder. Hallowe’en has gone and Bonfire Night (here in the UK) too.

Which means that Christmas is not that far away.

Like Hallowe’en, at this time of year I have a perenn
Alex Sarll
For me it's generally a bad idea to rush through a collection of short pieces on one theme, or by one author. And this one was both. But, I don't like leaving Netgalley ARCs too long, and I definitely wasn't reading any Christmas stories outside December 1st-25th, so here we are. I really like everything else I've read by Willis, and indeed one of the stories here ('Now Showing') when I encountered it before in a multi-author anthology, but this was too much of the same; every writer has their t ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2018-rev
Metaphorosis Reviews
4 stars

Curiously, I like Connie Willis' short stories much more than her novels. They're friendly, intimate, and largely calm, with an enchanting sense of humor. That's especially true of this collection of Christmas stories, most of which were new to me.

Christmas legitimately means different things to different people. No one 'owns' it - not the Christians who named it, not the Germanic people whose traditions were coopted, not a horned guy with a bag of coal, not a bunch of
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks to Netgalley for providing a copy of this book for review.

If you love all things Connie Willis, you will love this book. She explains in the intro to this set of short stories that she has strong opinions about Christmas stories. She likes "Miracle on 34th Street" better than "It's a Wonderful Life". She loves redemption, romance, a bit of suspense, and lots of snappy dialogue. Although there is an element at least of speculative fiction about each of the stories, they are at least as muc
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I’ve always loved Connie Willis. She’s the kind of writer who makes reading fun, whose stories engage her readers and really makes them think. Her stories are full of the whimsical, absurd, and humorous with endearing characters, clever prose, and witty dialogue. Connie’s collection of Christmas-themed short stories was first published in 2000, but lucky us, this year we get an updated and expanded edition in A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS. Connie writes Christmas with heart and delight, hope and joy, but ...more
So I should never have read A Christmas Carol first, since it's so good and so harsh. As she says in her introduction, Willis admires Dickens's story greatly, and recognizes the difference between treacly Christmas stories and ones that have the strongest impact. But her own stories don't quite live up to her dreams.

I was hoping for harsh and good, because she has no fear in her novels of the results of disease and warfare (lots of people and beautiful things get destroyed). But the big problem
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Look, I really tried to give this 4 stars instead of 5. That's because Willis's comedic style isn't for everyone, and it's not always for me. (Characters rushing from one quick, frantic miscommunication to another! Then again! again!)

But in the end, I had to admit that I can't name a better Christmas book. Each story is Christmas-y in exactly the right ways, balancing humor with recognition of the holiday's over-the-topness with so many perfectly happy endings with a clear dedication to the orig
Anna Ehler
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
A perfectly wonderful set of Christmas short stories, most with a sci-fi or fantasy twist.
Connie Willis excitement for Christmas has lead her to a funny series of short stories that everyone can find a connection with. I assure you that at least one story will be sure to resonate with you if not more.
from heartfelt stories of life to silly aliens and choirs there's is something for everyone.
That being said I certainly found some stories more enjoyable then others, and some where even a bit hard
Laura Jean
Call me a Grinch, but Christmas stories are NOT my bag. I read this book for only two reasons: I LOVE Connie Willis, Bellwether and Doomsday Book specifically, and my friend Becky reads it EVERY year before Christmas.

Overall, I enjoyed it. I loved the mystery, Cat's Paw. It was a laugh out loud satire of those old school British detective books by Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and their ilk. It was also cleverly done. My favorite was deck.halls@bought/holly, which surprised me because there
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Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis is an American science fiction writer. She is one of the most honored science fiction writers of the 1980s and 1990s.

She has won, among other awards, ten Hugo Awards and six Nebula Awards. Willis most recently won a Hugo Award for All Seated on the Ground (August 2008). She was the 2011 recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award from the Science Ficti

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