The Lineup: Dawn

Dawn’s Lineup

TV Show : Escape to the Chateau

This is one of the most delightful and relaxing shows I’ve ever watched! After a long day this show is just what I want to snuggle in and watch. A British couple with two small children decide to buy a French chateau that is literally falling down and turn it into their home and business. You soon find out they are both amazingly talented and they are a joy to watch!

You can watch it on Peacock

Book & TV Show : Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy

I LOVE shows about food, and Stanly Tucci so this is a win-win for me! You get to watch as Stanly eats and drinks his way around Italy while imparting wisdom and fun little tidbits about the area he’s in.

You can watch it on HBOmax.

Shortly after I binged Searching for Italy, the book Taste: My Life Through Food was released. Stanley writes sweetly about food and how it has shaped his life. It’s an amazing read and I’ve put it on my Christmas list.

It’s available to check out from the library.

Newsletter: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Reid has become one of my go-to authors. Her last three books, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Daisy Jones and the Six and Malibu Rising have all been amazing! Not only is she a great author, but she also puts out a stellar newsletter. It’s always full of an array of books, movies, podcasts, shopping, recipes and much more!

You can sign up for the newsletter on her website.

Podcast: Read or Dead

Read or Dead is a bi-weekly mystery fiction podcast dedicated to the worlds of mystery and thriller literature. However, I think it’s so much more than that. They hit on a lot of sub-genres and every time I listen to it my to be read list gets even more ridiculous than it already is.

You can find it on all podcast platforms.

Music: Vinyl

I just finally jumped on the vinyl bandwagon. I had a little 45 player when I was around 5 years old and apparently I wore out a Go-Go’s record and my mothers patience. Now, many years later I purchased a new record player and have started slowly buying records.

I found this hidden gem a few months ago and have been waiting until Christmas day to play it. Let’s hope it’s as glorious as I think it’s going to be!

Kristy’s Reviews: The Deal of a Lifetime

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman

First Line: Hi. It’s your dad. You’ll be waking up soon, it’s Christmas Eve morning in Helsingborg, and I’ve killed a person.

Summary: A father and a son are seeing each other for the first time in years. The father has a story to share before it’s too late. He tells his son about a courageous little girl lying in a hospital bed a few miles away. She’s a smart kid—smart enough to know that she won’t beat cancer by drawing with crayons all day, but it seems to make the adults happy, so she keeps doing it. (www.amazon.com)

My Thoughts:   Intriguing quick light read. What would you do? What would anyone do when you have cancer and know you’re gonna die? What would you do? For one man that lived a decent life, the end was an easy choice. Looking thru the windows at the hospital said it all. He knew from the first moment he saw this little girl what he would do in the end. And for him it was an easy choice to save the life of a little girl he barely knew. So he traded his life for hers with the help of the lady in the grey sweater and clipboard.

Hmmm, are Christmas novels a . . . novelty?

So as Ashley was preparing for her book displays for December, and she mentioned that she was creating a display for seasonal titles, I started wondering about how many Christmas novels she’d find. Just regular adult fiction titles — not children’s books or other types of books.

Season's Reading holiday book display at the library for December
Ashley found lots of titles to include on her holiday book display this month!

I’ve never been a big reader of fictional stories that happen around Christmas, just as I’ve never been a big watcher of Christmas Hallmark movies. There’s certainly nothing wrong with either of those things, I just have never really had an interest in them.

But there I was, skimming through bargain Kindle titles on Amazon (I’m always up for a good book that costs a dollar or two) and up pops a title from an author I know and love, Kristin Hannah. Christmas novel. $2. Surely, I can give this a try, right? So I hit that little buy now button and onto my Kindle it goes.

Then I started noticing. Christmas novels are everywhere! Anne Perry, author of the wonderful Victorian mystery series featuring Charlotte and Thomas Pitt, and Inspector William Monk, has been writing a Christmas book every year for the past 16 years. Other titles are available from Debbie Macomber, Susan Mallery and Janet Evanovich and many, many more authors. There are comedies, romances, mysteries.

When I look at the books waiting on the carts to be shelved, I see Christmas novels. When I check in books, it feels like there’s bound to be one in the stack. Obviously, people love reading these stories, so maybe I ought to give it a try.

I just finished a book, and I was looking for something to read. I opened my Kindle, started leafing through my library, and here’s that Christmas book I just bought. I figured I’d give it a shot, because after all, it’s nearly Christmas. I started it on my lunch hour and I was hooked! In fact, don’t let the boss know, but I got so caught up in the story, that I was a few minutes late getting back to work!

So, tell me, do you love a good Christmas novel? And do I need to try watching Hallmark Christmas movies?

Book Review: Mr. Dickens and His Carol

Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva

First line: On that unseasonably warm November day at One Devonshire Terrace, Christmas was not in his head at all.

Summary: Charles Dickens had instant success with his first books but his most recent one was a flop. When the publishing firm begins to lose money, they devise an ultimatum. Write a Christmas story or pay back the advance. With less than six weeks left between the notification and Christmas Eve, Dickens has very little time to figure out his biggest success, A Christmas Carol.

Highlights: This was a very cozy little novel about one of my favorite stories. I have watched many adaptations of Dickens’ novel with my favorites being The Muppet Christmas Carol and Scrooge (with Albert Finney). The fact that this story was written in such a short period is shocking. I liked the Easter eggs in the story that tie in with A Christmas Carol. While reading I wanted it to be Christmas time and have a cup of tea. Very good debut novel!

Lowlights: There was a lot of buildup but not enough bang at the end. It was cozy and not as gripping as I hoped.

FYI: Spoilers! I have not read all of Dickens work but now I know how some of them end. Its okay. I guess after 150+ years everyone should know the stories and their endings.