Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And Now, Finally, A Book Review

And now for something completely different...a book review!

Seriously, I've been reading and reviewing, but nothing I could post here yet. Many thanks to the Historical Novel Society for keeping me in books and well entertained, but I cannot post reviews for them here until they've appeared in publication, so...all that equals the videos I've posted below.

Plus, if I'm being devastatingly honest, I've been a bit of a slow reader lately. Now, granted, I had an excuse: DH, Katherine, and I went to Hawaii the week of Thanksgiving (that's right, feel badly for me now) and school came to its limping first semester conclusion last week. Well, sort of. We had two snow days (in December!) and two half days, wreaking havoc on our schedules. Anyway, I can make all the excuses I want but I'm hoping to get a few more books finished before the year officially ends. Looking forward to an awesome 2011 which includes seeing U2 in July! Yes!

So, here's my first Amazon book review in pretty much forever. Short and sweet, if not all Christmasy like I'd thought it would be. Still good, however.

What are you reading?

I picked up Richard Peck's A Season of Gifts after it had languished in my TBR pile for quite some time because its cover seemed to indicate the season in question would be Christmas (my copy has an old car traveling down a road with a tree tied to its roof as its cover). Turns out the "season" is an entire first semester of school spent in the small town where Mrs. Dowdel, the fiery grandmother heroine of A Long Way From Chicago and A Year Down Yonder, lives. And that turned out to be all right, too.

As a long time fan of both A Long Way From Chicago and A Year Down Yonder, I was pleased to discover this little companion book. At only 164 pages, it can easily be read in a sitting and its chapters echo both of the other books. This time our stories are told from the point of view of P.K. (preacher's kid) Bob Barnhart, whose family has moved next door to Mrs. Dowdel. Taking place around 25 years or so after the last book, Bob is also a misfit; his dealings with some of the characters are humorous, mischievous, and troubling at once. Mrs. Dowdel, the wild figure that she is, says she "doesn't neighbor" but in truth, her eye is on the family next door and she knows how to set things to rights far better than most.

While the stories are set into sections roughly by months, the common theme is survival, and humor, as always, plays a major part in helping the story along. There's nothing deep to the plot, and Mrs. Dowdel is as lively and delightfully bossy as ever. This book's a slender gem and takes you back to an era when Elvis was king and a boy's remembrances could be more wishful nostalgia than anything. Good clean fun and well written.


1 comment:

Bookfool said...

Really? That's not a Christmas book? I'm stunned. The cover practically screams Christmas. It's awfully cute. Glad you enjoyed it. I haven't read any of that series, so I'm not familiar with the Mrs. Dowdel but it sounds good.

I'm going to try to squeeze in some end-of-year reading, too. Fingers crossed for both of us.