...and welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!
It's time for POST SIX of the TWELVE POSTS OF BOOKMAS.
What IS Bookmas, you ask?
Bookmas is similar to Christmas, except it brings tidings of great reads, holiday gifting suggestions, and just about all the bookish fun you can imagine from across the genre spectrum. It's all in one place at one time (sorta) and ready to help you get out from under the yuletide stress, and get back to enjoying the season...one page at a time.
Just why is it the "Twelve Posts" and not the twelve books? Simple...I have WAY TOO MANY titles for you to consider, peruse, and read all about to limit it to twelve titles. These posts are intended to highlight some great titles, give you ideas for your gifting this year, and help me clear up my "read-it-but-need-to-review-it" teetering stack. Triple focus...yes siree! So, ready or not, let's get this sled on the road as we unwrap today's featured titles....
Every holiday season I endeavor to read SOME version of Charles Dickens' timeless classic, A Christmas Carol. This year my selection was easy because once I laid eyes on this cover, this title, and read a bit about what was to come....I WAS SOLD.
This is the (fictitious) story of Mr. Dickens in a time when he was riding the high of his success only to discover how a fickle a beast it can truly be. His latest release...an utter flop. The only way to satisfy his publishers, regain the favor of his public, and secure his family's future is to meet the challenge set before him....write a Christmas book in one month's time that will drop jaws, still hearts, and reestablish him as the top writer of his time. No pressure, right? Yeah...right. It's enough to blow even the calmest person's stack in the slowest of times, but the holidays are notorious for being busy busy busy, especially in the Dickens household. Add to that relations crawling out of the woodwork from times gone by, family pulling on both time and pocket, bills accumulating to the heights of the newly acquired Christmas tree, and...why it's easy to see how things get off track, including his family life which he cherishes above all else...or at least, he use to. Seems someone has lost sight of the spirit of the season...good thing with the right passages traveled, the right memory laden corridors reopened, the right chance taken perhaps initially for the wrong reasons, one can find themselves again and in doing so, grant greater Christmas wishes than you could ever imagine.
A WONDERFUL story that celebrates the story we've come to love as well as the man behind its creation with twists and turns of the heart you won't expect. High recommendation for the reading season or any time for fans of "the Boz" as well as those just discovering his writing talent.
...and Other Stories of Christmas Spirit
Fiction Studio Books
This season we were graced with another release from one of favorite Fiction authors, Mr. Steven Manchester. His work has always been able to touch my heart, move my soul, bring me to tears, and reach all the other emotional highs and lows we as readers LOVE to experience in our reading explorations. The title featured here is a collection of three novellas, two released previously on their own and the third being a new pen. While some have connections to his other works (case in point, A Christmas Wish is actually an add on of sorts to Goodnight, Brian), they can all be read as is and enjoyed to the fullest.
A brief look at my stroll through the pages found me having a bit of a hard time to get into the first story, The Thursday Night Club, initially with the number of voices struggling to be heard, but finding it oh so heartwarming after a tragic interlude. The second story took me right back into the world of GOODNIGHT, BRIAN, a story that I adored, with a furtherance of the initial message we received...love should be unconditional. I was very glad to catch up with Mama, Brian, and Steph once again! Last but not least, The Tin-Foil Manger, just about broke my heart. Such warmth, such love, such feeling...all wrapped up with a Christmastime bow.
When all is said and done...THIS is the stuff that drew me to this author's work in the first place. THIS type of writing, this type of storytelling. It may not hit NY Times Bestselling lists (though it certainly deserves a spot of its own), but you know what...it speaks for itself.
Short but certainly not sweet, it delivers a heart-wrenching story that gives us characters to know without the proper time to love them before they are ripped right our of our grasp. Seriously, the cover had me in a holiday mood with a smile on my face, but the tale within was more content to leave me with tears in my eyes and a gasping heart. It reminds us how precious every day is, to never put off til tomorrow what can be done today, and to cherish all those in our lives.
Special thanks to the William Morrow publicity team for the copies for review. (THANKS!) For more information on these titles, the authors, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above. Be sure to check back for the next BOOKMAS post for more bookish fun!
Happy holidays and happy reading!