Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris (3.5)
I enjoy and appreciate dark humor. I liken it to eating dark chocolate – bitter-sweet, yet enjoyable. But I’m on the fence on this one. Calypso I liked, this, I’m not so sure.
There are twelve stories in this collection – some I enjoyed as they got me smiling and laughing at the sheer ridicule of it, but at the same time it is this too that got me grimacing and frowning, like ‘OK, that’s kinda awful; over-the-top awful. And as a Christmas read? Big no-no.’ These stories got all my emotions tangled up, like those strings of Christmas lights that weren’t kept neatly.
Some of my favorites were definitely ‘SantaLand Diaries‘, which he shared his experience working as an Elf in Macy’s (the kind Santa story was my favorite); ‘Front Row Center with Thaddeus Bristol – about elementary school Christmas plays, which will be relatable if you ever sat in one; ‘Dinah the Christmas Whore’ – a boy whose sister’s friend was a prostitute, who came home with them on Christmas and how he was so proud to have her as their guest; and ‘Us and Them’ – about a neighbor whose entire household didn’t have a TV. These stories were entertaining and hilarious! Definitely great Christmas reads!
Stories that I didn’t enjoy and that I found a little too dark and twisted for my taste were – ‘Season’s Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!’ – this was funny in the beginning until a baby was dumped and killed by the couple’s Vietnamese stepdaughter, set in the ‘hot wash, cold rinse’ cycle in the washing machine. I know what he was getting at but I just couldn’t find the humor in this. I mean, really??? And for a Christmas story collection? Why?? Another one was ‘Six to Eight Black Men’ – about the Dutch’s version of Santa, who travels with 6-8 black men. I personally find this story a little insensitive and quite a tough pill to swallow as it made jokes about race. Can’t decide if I liked or disliked ‘Christmas Means Giving’, but I’m leaning towards the latter. It’s about two families trying to compete to be the more charitable one. It was funny at first, until the families started giving away their children to the stranger who kept knocking on their door for donations, just to win the ‘contest’. Then there’s this part of giving away body parts.. I mean…I know it’s fiction but ???????? And in a Christmas story collection? This was just too morbid for my taste.
That said, I’m still going to check out his other essays, especially ‘Me Talk Pretty One Day’.
Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva (4/5)
Charles Dickens latest novel, Martin Chuzzlewit, wasn’t selling. His publishers urged him to write another one. Pronto. Before Christmas. Which meant in less than a month!
During this time, the usual merry and generous Mr Dickens, who loved Christmas, went through a roller-coaster of emotions just like Scrooge. Suddenly, everything about Christmas didn’t seem so cherry – the music too loud, his children annoying, his wife extravagant, his father good for nothing, and charity absurd!
While feeling all ‘bah humbug’ about Christmas, he chanced upon a mysterious lady whose beauty and intelligence caught his attention. And just like that, his mood changed, everything around him felt lighter, brighter, and ideas for his Christmas book came flooding in. He finally found his muse! And oh how he rejoiced!
If you’re looking for a pleasant, charming and an easy Christmas read, this one scores all the points! I enjoyed this overall. Each page puts a smile on my face especially in the beginning when Charles was still feeling the fruits of his labor from his previous novels. Walking in the street surrounded by the smell of and sounds of the streets in London really put me in a Christmas mood! And I didn’t even have to be there physically!
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (5/5)
On the night of Christmas Eve, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three Christmas spirits. The Ghost of Christmas Past confronts Scrooge with his youth, the Ghost of Christmas Present reveals the Cratchits’ struggle despite their poverty, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows Scrooge his future if he does not learn treat others with kindness and compassion.
What can I say. This is my favorite Christmas read! Loved the movie too! (Yes, the one with Jim Carrey in it.) This book brings all the right mood and mindset one needs for Christmas, and it’s a great reminder of what Christmas is all about!
Please go read this classic if you haven’t 😊
And this picture shows what I got for Christmas 😁 As you can see, most of them are bookish gifts and there was only one book, BIBILOPHILE but it’s THE book all book lovers should have! 💃
When I asked my husband: Why not just get the books from my wishlist?
His reply: You have waaaaay too many books already!
From top left: Bookish tshirts, Alice in Wonderland (my fav literary character) handbag.
Bottom left: a bookish dress, BIBLIOPHILE (!!!), a BookSeat
I guess that’s about it for Christmas this year! How did you reading go? Did you get all your bookish wishes granted? Hope you had a good one! Are you looking forward to welcoming 2019 already?