Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Books I Read in 2021 But Haven't Reviewed: Christmas Quartet

First, the Christmas books! Well, most of them. I'll get to the rest of the books I haven't reviewed, later. This post will be very, very short reviews of 4 books I reread to get myself into the Christmas spirit. Did it work? Well . . . it helped. I'll go clockwise. 

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote is one of my favorite Christmas stories, about young Truman and his elderly distant cousin and how they celebrated the Christmas season. His cousin was, like Truman (whom she called "Buddy"), subject to the whims and restrictions of the other members of the sprawling mansion in which they lived. But, they still managed to have fun saving money, gathering the ingredients for their annual fruitcake baking, chopping down and decorating a tree, doing the baking and giving the fruitcakes away, making each other gifts, and playing with them, dancing. It's a lovely, bittersweet story and I try to reread it every year, now. 

A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas is another favorite Christmas story that I noticed someone mentioned as being a story about nothing at all. Well, sort of true. It's a slice of life sort of story, written by the famous Welsh poet and more notable for his incredible use of words and sense of humor than for any particular storyline. I've reviewed both of these stories before, so here's a link if you'd like to see my thoughts in greater detail, from when I first read them:

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote and A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson became an instant favorite when I found my copy at Publisher's Outlet, the off-price bookstore in which I worked in the 90s. Wow, it's hard to believe how long ago that was. I have no real memory of buying the book, apart from taking off the sticker. Did I read it in the store, first? I was allowed to read off the shelves and put the books back, provided I didn't dog-ear or get anything on the pages and they were returned to the shelves in as-new condition. So, I might have read it and loved it so much I bought it. Or, I might have just thought it looked fun and bought it on a whim. I did plenty of that, too. The bookstore got a lot of my money, in spite of my discount. A hilarious classic tale of a wacky family who end up taking all the lead roles in the annual Christmas pageant and surprisingly turning it into something better than it ever has been. I love it so much. 

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is another Christmas book I return to periodically. I think I mentioned that we also watched The Muppet Christmas Carol with Michael Caine and I went to the local production of A Christmas Carol at the New Stage Theater in Jackson with Brittanie of A Book Lover. Seriously, the only thing I was missing was a viewing of Scrooged. It's a story I love and appreciate for its "money isn't everything; people are everything" theme. And, I might be guilty of going around squeaking, "God bless us every one!" during the holiday season. I don't think I need to talk about the actual story. If you haven't read it or seen it in some fashion, you should definitely come out from under that rock.

Since all four of these books are favorites, I'll continue to reread them in the future. Do you have any old favorites that you reread during the holidays? 

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