My small town did Christmas yesterday, with Santa at the school, a parade and a tree lighting. It’s a tiny blip on the map so it’s nice to have such an intimate gathering of the town for the holiday. I always thought it would be really bold of me and somehow impressive to live somewhere like NYC but I think I’m a small town girl at heart. Especially with the internet so I can buy anything I want and have it mailed to me.
Also, Snow-pocalypse has turned more into rain and I took time off from work this week to get Christmas together, shopping, wrapping, etc so I can approach the holiday happy rather than stressed. I need to make peanut blossom cookies with my son, the peanut butter ones with the chocolate kiss on top, even though he makes no bones about just eating the chocolate. They are my husband’s favorite holiday cookie. I’ll decorate some pre-made cookies too with my son and we will call it Christmas.
The two Christmas books for today’s post have to do with second chances. I didn’t choose them that way: one was the most recent available audiobook at the library and the other was another famous author Christmas book, but as I went along, binge reading/listening as is the joys of time off, I realized they were both about second chances at love.
The Christmas Train, David Baldacci
Okay, so normally I wouldn’t be attracted to Baldacci’s work and because he seems pretty mainstream I wouldn’t come across him for a reading challenge. It’s interesting that my Christmas reads are what get me to read the mega popular authors. I guess that makes me a nerd.
And I think this has been my favorite so far of the popular authors Christmas reads. It was clearly written by an author that likes to layer on the conflict and mystery, with an appreciable final twist. I notice Christmas books that are more about romance and family don’t have the same tension and twists, and many people like them that way. But this is a Christmas book with the constant presence of a twist, an intrigue somewhere.
A man who is taking a cross country journey by train for Christmas comes across a second chance at love and connection, as well as a natural disaster and a mystery intrigue. I binge read this sucker one night when I couldn’t sleep and I kept asking myself why there were more pages because lots of things had already happened in the story. And I kept thinking to myself, wow, I like this more than I expected to. I could possibly pick up another Baldacci in the future. I feel like it might be a good read/listen for traveling. Not that I plan on traveling sans 6 year old any time soon. But my enjoyment of it was a pleasant surprise, to be sure.
The Christmas Star, Donna VanLiere
I posted on the previous book in this series, The Christmas Town, last week, commenting that I am kind of late to the game with book #8. This one was shorter than The Christmas Town and it is a continuation of the stories in #8 with a new set of characters thrown in. This was sweet and it was happy, and I liked to listen to it while binge knitting, another one of my super cool Mom hobbies. And there is a couple who is thrown together for a second chance at love, and because it’s VanLiere, it’s about family too, and love at Christmas. I feel that is one of her jams, and it’s one of mine too. There are the bickering old lady friends to keep it interesting and they get to bicker about wedding planning, an old British woman and an old Southern one. No stubbornness there, right?
This one did not have the tension and the twists that Baldacci has. I don’t know if readers who are into his thrillers would like this and vice versa, but I liked them both. I like how Christmas reads has been a reading challenge for me in its own right.
What I am reading for next week’s post is not a leap for me at all. It was a big ermagherd this looks great! It doesn’t have witches, though. I have a book of holiday shorts with witches in it. I really do. But I am so much more likely to listen and there’s no audio available.