A Christmas Blizzard by Garrison Keillor

Book Review

 


A Christmas Blizzard: A NovelBook Genre: Fiction, Holiday, Humor

Book Series: N/A

Released: 10/25/11 by Penguin Books 

Pages: 181 Price: $14.00 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon A Christmas Blizzard: A Novel

Source: I borrowed this book from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

The inimitable Garrison Keillor spins “a Christmas tale that makes Dickens seem unimaginative by comparison” (Charlotte Creative Loafing) Snow is falling all across the Midwest as James Sparrow, a country- bumpkin-turned-energy-drink-tycoon, and his wife awaken in their sky- rise apartment overlooking Chicago. Even down with the stomach bug, Mrs. Sparrow yearns to see The Nutcracker while James yearns only to escape-the faux-cheer, the bitter cold, the whole Christmas season. An urgent phone call from his hometown of Looseleaf, North Dakota, sends James into the midst of his lunatic relatives and a historic blizzard. As he hunkers weather the storm, the electricity goes out and James is visited by a parade of figures who deliver him an epiphany worthy of the season, just in time to receive Mrs. Sparrow’s wonderful Christmas gift. Garrison Keillor’s holiday farce is the perfect gift for the millions of fans who tune into A Prairie Home Companion every week.

My Review:

It took me a week to get through this 181-page story that should be enough to tell you what I thought of it.  This was a book that was selected for a book talk at the library where I work so please know that I did not select this title on my own.  If I had I would have DNF it after 20 pages and you would not have this review.  But I did read it and feel that has earned me the right to criticize it.

This story sucked.  Majorly.  It started off coherent and then took a nose dive into strangeville about half-way through.  The characters were all over the place and I struggled to find one that I even liked.  Lots of stereotypes that were meant to be funny but did not come off that way to me, more offensive in my opinion.  There is actually supposed to be a lot of humor in this story but I don’t think that I laughed once. There was also too much talking about politics for a Christmas story for me.  The ending fit the book in that it came totally out of left field and did not make sense.  The book is just trying too hard to be a Christmas miracle and come off as weird or stupid.

The only redeeming quality that this book held for me is that it was short but somehow I still ended up wasting a week on it.  I’m not a fan of Christmas.  I’m not a fan of folksy humor.  This is simply not a book for me and I don’t think I will be picking up anything else by this author.

My Rating: 1 Star

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Monday Morning Check-In: What a week…

Monday Morning Check-In

What a week it has been.  Last week when I was typing up this post on Sunday evening I had Cancer and was less than 24 hours away from being diagnosed with it.  I’ve probably had it for a few months, if not longer, just didn’t know it yet.  Explains quite a bit actually.  But this topic is for my other blog What I’m Dealing With and you are welcome to go follow me there if you want to follow my treatment and emotions.

Last week my husband was also off work for the week, will be this one too, at first I was annoyed with his employer because we need the paycheck they decided they decided we didn’t.  Because he was off and we need the money we decided to list quite a bit on eBay which took up much of my time last week.  I was also feeling like crap, emotionally and physically, so I didn’t feel like doing much after that and went to bed at 8:30 several evenings.  We also watched a ton of movies.  So many movies that I am now sick and tired of watching movies.  I want to read my book.  I want the peace and quiet that reading brings, my husband, however, wants to watch two or three or even four movies a day.  Today, Christmas, we have managed to only watch one and it has been pure bliss.  I managed to make progress in my current read.

I’m not sure if I will get much reading done next week either.  I have my appointment in Iowa City and work two days.  Husband is also off.  I hope to have surgery soon so I imagine I will have lots of time coming up with nothing to do but read.  Can we say silver lining? Well I hope you all had a good Christmas and spent time with those you love.  Happy Reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Boldly Go Shopping

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share lists on the following:

November 29: Holiday Gift Guide freebie (ten books to buy the YA lover in your life, 10 books to buy for your dad, etc.)

My husband, I do not exchange gifts with each other or anyone else, so I have for several years now not had to actually shop for anything this time of year.  So sometimes it is fun to think about what I might get a such and such person or ask for myself.  I’ve decided to play this list a little selfishly and head over to Barnes and Noble to see what I might find for a Trekkie on their site.  I am not going to limit myself to simply books, the list will be book heavy, though,  but just go through the 2900+ items they have to offer when you search for Star Trek and see what I might enjoy receiving as a gift or give to a fellow fan of the franchise.  So, shall we begin?

Ten books gifts that I might buy a Trekkie over at B&N

 

  1. Star Trek beyond Movie Star Trek Beyond $14.99: Let’s start with the movie that came out this year.  It’s now out on DVD and Blue Ray.  I already own this little gem so this is one I might buy for a fellow Trekkie.
  2. 2017 Star Trek Poster Wall Calendar 2017 Star Trek Poster Wall Calendar $13.67: I have turned my upstairs hallway into a display center for all my Trek paraphernalia and this wall calendar would fit in nicely.  After the year is up I would so have all the prints framed for my wall too.
  3. Star Trek: The Original Series Adult Coloring Book Star Trek: TOS Adult Coloring Book $14.99: I must confess that I’m not really on board with this coloring trend.  I’m sorry but you end up spending half the time sharpening your pencil with all those tiny little spaces to fill in…  This would totally be the exception to the rule, though, this TOS coloring book would be so cool to have.  They also offer The next generation coloring book if you like that series better.  I would happily accept or give either.
  4. Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek $13.17: One of the things that had always fascinated and drawn me to Trek is the Utopian society where everyone works for the betterment of themselves and society.  All needs are met and there is no financial inequality.  Trek has shown me a better way and this book would be a fascinating read.
  5. The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek: The First 25 Years The Fifty-Year Mission $19.97: What Trekkie wouldn’t love to learn all the ins and outs of their favorite franchise.  I know I would love this and the second book delving into the second 25 years of Trek.
  6. The Klingon Dictionary The Klingon Dictionary$12.70: Okay, now I don’t think I would ever go so far as to learn to speak Klingon but wouldn’t it be a hoot to look up and learn all the swear words to use in everyday conversation.
  7. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Spock Bobble Head Spock Bobble Head $14.95: Yes, please.  I want a Spock Bobble Head for my very own.  Or you could get any one of the other favorite characters for the Trekkie in your life.
  8. Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man $16.44: This one is on my to-read shelf.  If you haven’t guessed, Spock is my favorite character, and it would be touching to read about Leonard Nimoy from the insight only Shatner could provide.  LLAP.
  9. Redshirts $11.76: Now this isn’t a Star Trek item but it is a fabulous parody of the Trek franchise and any Trekkie is bound to love this story.  I did and had to go out to make it my very own.  Great read!
  10. Star Trek: The Classic Episodes (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions) $22.50: Why not a collector addition of TOS episodes in story format.  This would hold an honored place on the shelf of any Trekkie.

Well, there you have my suggestion list of gift items for the Trekkie in your life.  I’m sure there are plenty more out there an Enterprise coffee cup or model, a complete set of their favorite show, all the movies, etc.  This is simply some fun items I found over at Barnes & Noble.  The prices might not be current as I made this list on Cyber Monday and I think they had a sale going on. Live Long and Prosper and have a great holiday shopping season everyone!

Top Ten Tuesday: Dear Santa,

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

 

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular blog meme, Top Ten Tuesday.  This week they ask us to share lists on:

December 22: Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year

I must confess I broke my book buying ban, which should really be a retail book buying ban because I’ve been picking up used books left and right all along… Anyway I treated myself to two books recently with the winnings from a lottery scratch ticket, and it made me realize there are still so many books I would really like to add to my collection even though I have an overflowing to-read bookcase and fully stocked nook that mocks me daily.  The heart wants what the heart wants and for bookish people that tends to be books.  So even though we don’t celebrate Christmas at our house if were to write a letter to Santa this year these are the books that would make my list.

Dear Santa, I’ve been good please bring me…

  1. Men & Cats  Thought I would start off with something fun.  I saw this book in my Facebook feed this morning and thought it would be a nice addition to the list.  It is basically a picture book featuring juxtaposed pictures of men and cats.  Now I’ll leave it up to you to decide which pictures would be more appealing….
  2. Born of Betrayal (The League, #10) This is the latest release by my favorite author so of course it made it to my Christmas wish list.  I would also like some free time to go along with this one so I can get caught up with the prior book in this series that I have yet to read too.  Its okay if it sits all pretty on my to-read case for a while though.
  3. The Dirt on Ninth Grave (Charley Davidson, #9)  Now technically this book doesn’t release until January 12th, BUT Ms. Jones has been teasing us with pictures of it on Facebook so I know that they are out there in the world.   Just swing by and pick one up at the publisher or author’s house before stopping in Iowa Santa.  Thanks.  PS.  I wouldn’t be opposed to a signed copy of this one either.  Did I go to far? Maybe…
  4. The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire (Half-Moon Hollow, #3)  Alright I need some happy in my life and this author always make me laugh.
  5. The Single Undead Moms Club (Half-Moon Hollow, #4)  I am also terribly behind in the series, so both of these books would be great.  Thanks.
  6. Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt No your eyes are not deceiving you, I am requesting something outside of my normal reading tastes.  Actually if you know me outside the blog this won’t surprise you.  I’m a pretty far left liberal and after watching a ton of YouTube videos featuring Chris Hedges I have to read one of his books!!
  7. The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America--and What We Can Do to Stop It Thom Hartmann is another person I enjoy watching on YouTube, when I saw one of his book talks about this book written in 2013 I added it to my to-read list.  Alright I might have just done that this morning, but I knew I wanted to read the book…
  8. Dragon Fall (Black Dragons, #1)  Okay enough of the serious stuff.  This is a series I desperately wanted to try and was turned down for review, I’m always turned down for her books…  Anyway, this is another author that always makes me smile and her dragon series is a favorite.
  9. Dragon Storm (Black Dragons, #2) And I was turned down for both of these books so if you want to turn my frown upside down how about leave me a copy of both under the tree  on the coffee table (no tree).  Thanks Santa
  10. David Gandy by Dolce&Gabbana  Okay I thought I would end the list the way I started it with some eye candy.  Or eye Gandy in this case,  I can not take credit for that play on words I’ve seen it many times on Facebook.  Anyway this British model is simply beautiful and I would love to add this photography book featuring him to my library.

 

There you have my Christmas wish list for 2015.  Some fun, some reading needs, some serious a nice mix if you ask me.  So what books do you hope Santa will bring you this year?

Monday Morning Question: Bookish Gifts?

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Good Monday Morning everyone!  (Sorry for the delay, cat needed to go to vet this morning) To start off I would like to wish everyone a warm holiday season.  We at Softa farms will not be doing much as we don’t decorate or exchange gifts, although I kinda did get one or two this year…  Anyway I thought I would ask you all what bookish gifts do you hope to find under the tree this year? Have a non-bookish want, feel free to share that too.

I must have been a good girl this year, or really persistent because I got the new Samsung Nook, with spouse approval, on Cyber Monday.  Husband gave me the green light, had all along, but I finally could not resist temptation any longer and ordered it for myself. Just gotta say I am loving it by the way.   I can’t think of any books I really want this year.  I’ve been adding to my collection pretty regularly this year so I’m good in the to-read department.  Heck I seriously need to catch up on library books too.  So no new titles on my wish list this year. I keep thinking the bookish jewelry, t-shirts and coffee mugs are pretty cool, but haven’t seen them in the stores I go to.   I did find some cool buttons, like campaign pins/buttons, that I picked up to wear to work.  They have some really clever saying on them, but I limited myself to five when I really wanted to bring home one of each.

I hope you all have a great holiday and I will still be around posting reviews as I finish books.  I have an ARC review that I finished, but need to hold off posting till sometime next month.  There is going to be an amazing giveaway tied to that one, so keep an eye out for that.  I have three books I hope to finish up for the year and in January I am going to start Game of Thrones.