Thursday, December 18, 2008

Four short Christmas books

Cindy recommended a few books by Anne Perry for light Christmas reading. Our library had only one Anne Perry Christmas book, and even though it was not one of the ones on Cindy's list, I checked it out and read it. It was a good quick mystery set in Ireland in the late 1800's with a nasty storm, a shipwreck, and questions to be answered about an unfortunate death that occurred in the past. I liked A Christmas Grace and will look for more books by Anne Perry.

Dana wrote a review of this book so I checked it out of the library, too. Dana gave a good summary of the story, but I'll add that I found Eddie's selfishness so destructive that I couldn't see any reasonable redemption possible. The ending did have a neat twist, so don't read the ending first or you'll spoil the story. (I think I would have eventually read The Christmas Sweater because it features a hand-knit sweater!)

Today was my day to volunteer at the museum. Last month not a single person came in while I worked and I knew today would likely be the same so I took two books to read. The Christmas Promise was about Gloria, a 60-year-old widow with grown children whose youngest son, Matthew, ran away at the age of 14, just weeks before his father's death and who has been missing for the last seven years. Some time after her husband's death, Gloria sold her home, moved to another town and began putting her time and energy to work helping others. She finds jobs for single mothers, babysits their children, finds appliances and cars for those too poor to afford them, collects and distributes clothing and food to homeless people, and just generally helps others all day and into the night. Mercy and grace, grace and mercy and loving your neighbor as yourself are at work all through the book. Happy endings for all, and my eyes were very moist when I finished the book.

A Dog Named Christmas was the second book I read at the museum. I liked the cover. I thought it might be funny, but figured it would at least be "heart-warming." Christmas is a lab-mix adopted from the county animal shelter to spend the week of Christmas with a family. His family happens to be a Vietnam war veteran, his kind and loving wife, and their 20-year-old mentally handicapped son. (Okay, I admit that at this point I was already dabbing at my eyes with a tissue.) The father does not want a dog, but he loves his son and thinks it will be a good experience for him. I thought the story would be more predictable than it was (I was pleasantly surprised) and for a few bad minutes when I read through some Old Yeller -type foreshadowing I had to put the book down and walk around, go blow my nose, see if my eyes looked as though I'd been crying before I could resume reading. It was good, but if I let my children read it we'd end up at the local animal shelter adopting all the dogs before the week was out.

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Blogger Dana said...

Agree with you about Glen Beck's book... the redeeming factor IS the hand-knit sweater. I checked it out of the library which means I dont intend to pay money for it.

I havent finished A Christmas Grace, but should very soon. Not sure that I have much time for more reading since I want to get my cards mailed out ASAP.

Have a nice, unseasonable warm, first weekend of winter.

8:09 PM  
Blogger hopeinbrazil said...

Thanks for the interesting post!

7:10 AM  

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