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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dashing through the snow, it's...Jingle Bells by John Harris

Why hello there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers….the place to get your holiday read ON!  ^_^

How are you today?
Hopefully the week has been treating you well and look…the weekend is just over that ridge!  Do you see it?  It’s coming…swifter than a flock of seagulls and we’re not talking about the 80’s music group (if you don’t know who that is, don’t ask…it won’t interfere with your enjoyment of this post…^_^).  Seriously, is it just me or has this year FLOWN by?  Let’s not even get into the fact that we only have 10 days til Christmas Day and I’m still trying to get my shopping done.  *-*  Ah yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year indeed.  Anywho…

Yesterday, we took a look at the true spirit of the season with author Steve Light’s latest work, The Christmas Giant.  If you missed the post, feel free to check it out after you finish this one.  In keeping with the ho-ho-ho season, today we are going to take a look at another aspect of the festivities…the Christmas Carol, or more precisely, one song in particular.  Ready for the bookish holiday feast?  Here it comes.  Today’s book of choice is…

How the Holiday Classic Came to Be
Illustrated by

Sounds all technical and perhaps snooze inducing, right?  Thank goodness we don’t judge a book by its title…alone.  The cover helped to draw my curiosity as did the publisher of the work (*cough*…Peachtree Publishers…*cough*) since my experience with their previous releases has always been enjoyable.  So, feeling moved to seek out more holiday spirit, I took the plunge on this one and was rewarded with a story more worthy of Christmas cookies than of fruitcake (< -- meaning I liked it since cookies ROCK…just in case I confused you there).

A story of fiction filled with facts about one of our favorite carols of old, James Lord Pierpont’s holiday creation would go on to live in infamy and be sung by so many artists I doubt you could ever hear them all.  Though some creative licensing was taken, which was bound to happen since we can’t actually go back in time to see the events ourselves (unless you have a time machine to loan us…do you?  *blink blink*), you can really imagine the events unfolding as presented given the time (it was the 1850’s) and place (Savannah, GA).  Though short in length, the story explores a variety of emotions and issues you may not have expected, from the assault on the church (the “brick-through-the-window” classic) to concerns about integration, the desire to harbor a welcoming atmosphere to simply the want to provide an enjoyable holiday concert experience.  It all boils down to the creation of a timeless classic.  Speaking of boiling….

I can totally relate to the oppressive heat mentioned at the books beginning as James Lord Pierpont was dreaming of a white Christmas while baking in the Georgia sun.  When Mom and I moved down to Florida from good old PA, we left 5 inches of snow behind…and traded it for 100 degrees plus humidity from you-know-where.  It may sound appealing to those of you snowbound at the moment, but trust me, heaven like all things is in the eye of the beholder, or person stuck sweating to death in the tropical sun.  It’s a wonder that Mr. Pierpont was able to focus on any snowy daydream long enough to string a few words together, let alone write a song….but are we ever so glad that he did. 

In short, you learn something new everyday, and this one I count amongst my holiday best.  If you’re looking for a great holiday read to add to your family friendly list, I highly recommend this little gem.  Its fun, it’s informative, it’s a journey into the past layered with enough fiction to keep it interesting…even for the youngest amongst you.  I’ll bet you find yourself singing along as the lyrics are revealed…and why not?  Tis the season.  Oh, one more thing, watch for the visual aid Mr. Pierpont employs at the end of the children’s song.  It was a brilliant way to bring a white Christmas down South. 

Review copy courtesy of Peachtree Publishers.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their full catalog, visit them online, follow their blog, ‘like’ them on Facebook, or of course…follow them on Twitter (1 or 2). 

Until next time….happy reading!


....Petty Witter said...

What a great review. I love the cover of this book, it has to be one of my favourite Christmassy covers so far.

LoriStrongin said...

Very cute! I always enjoy learning the background of those bits of pop culture we all take for granted, like where Jingle Bells came from.

Though, is it just me, or does the cover image of Pierpont remind anyone of a young Abe Lincoln? ;)


GMR said...

Petty Witter: Thanks Tracy! I is a GREAT cover. ^_^

LoriStrongin: I know, right? He DOES look like Lincoln a bit....and the story of this song was very much a surprise.

Elizabeth said...

Very nice blog.



GMR said...

Elizabeth: Thanks for the follow! ^_^

EmRivet said...

Thanks for the Twitter mention, friend! I'm so glad you enjoyed this book -- it's one of my favorites from this year!

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