Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge 2012

xmasbookpage3-1For the 1st time I’m attending The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge hosted by the True Book Addict.

The challenge runs from November 19, 2012 through January 6, 2013.

You can read Christmas novels, books about Christmas lore, a book of Christmas short stories or poems, books about Christmas crafts and childrens Christmas books. You can even watch Christmas movies. There are multiple levels for participation:
Candy Cane: read 1 book
Mistletoe: read 2-4 books
Christmas tree: read 5-6 books
Fa La La La: watch a bunch or a few Christmas movies
Visions of Sugar Plums: read books with your children

My Christmas Challenge – books:

The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen

This is a short story written by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The story is about a dying childs hopes and dreams and I suppose, I don’t have to mention how heartbreaking it is. I recommend to read it, but remember handkerchiefs.

It was so terribly cold. Snow was falling, and it was almost dark. Evening came on, the last evening of the year. In the cold and gloom a poor little girl, bareheaded and barefoot, was walking through the streets. Of course when she had left her house she’d had slippers on, but what good had they been? They were very big slippers, way too big for her, for they belonged to her mother. Read the rest of the story here.

My rating: 4/5

Silent Night: A Christmas Suspense Story by Mary Higgins Clark

Storyline from Goodreads: When Catherine Dornan’s husband, Tom, is diagnosed with leukemia, she and their two young sons travel with him to New York during the holiday season for a lifesaving operation. On Christmas Eve, hoping to lift the boys’ spirits, Catherine takes them to see Rockefeller Center’s famous Christmas tree; while there, seven-year-old Brian notices a woman taking his mother’s wallet. A St. Christopher medal tucked inside the wallet saved his grandfather’s life in World War II, and Brian believes with all his heart that it will protect his father now. Impulsively, Brian follows the thief into the subway, and the most dangerous adventure of his young life begins. . .

I’ve always been a fan of Mary Higgins Clark and this book didn’t disappoint me either. Especially the last 50 pages, I had a hard time putting the book down.

My rating: 3/5

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

Storyline from Goodreads: Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded malls, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That’s just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they’ll skip the holiday altogether. Theirs will be the only house on Hemlock Street without a rooftop Frosty, they won’t be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash, they aren’t even going to have a tree. They won’t need one, because come December 25 they’re setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences–and isn’t half as easy as they’d imagined. A classic tale for modern times from a beloved storyteller, John Grisham’s “Skipping Christmas” offers a hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy that have become part of our holiday tradition.

This was a nice Christmas read, but my problem with the book is that I’ve seen the movie and I always prefer to read a book before watching the movie. Otherwise it would probably have been a 3 star rating. My mistake 🙂

My rating: 2/5

Bitre mandler by Dan Turèll, Elsebeth Egholm and more

This book is a collection of short Christmas stories written by Danish crime writers. The title, Bitre Mandler, means Bitter Almonds.

My 2 star rating is an average, which is not quite fair, since I liked some of the stories and others were a waste of time.

I give 3 stars to the only 2 novels in this book that made me hold my breath and think OMG!:
Når krisen kradser by Gretelise Holm
Højt fra træets grønne top by Elsebeth Egholm

2 stars to:
Mor har det ikke så godt by Anna Grue
Julekort fra fortiden by Leif Davidsen
Sidste jul for genboen by Lotte & Søren Hammer
Juletestamentet by Inger Wolf
Julemandssæson by Mikkel Birkegaard
Julemandens overraskelse by Anders Bodelsen

And finally 1 star to:
White Christmas by Dan Turèll
Livets gave by Liv Mørk

My rating: 2/5

My Christmas Challenge – movies:

Four Christmases

Storyline from IMDB: Brad and Kate have been together three years, in love, having fun, doing all sorts of things together with no intention of marriage or children. Christmas morning, they’re on their way to Fiji, having told their two sets of divorced parents that they’re off to do charity work. Through a fluke, they have no choice but to visit each of their four idiosyncratic parents. As the day progresses, Brad and Kate remember growing up, each learns more about the other, and Kate realizes that her life may not be as good as it could be. Do they know each other well enough to weather the storms families bring?

People call the movie rubbish and awful. I absolutely do not agree! I love comedies and Vince Vaughn is hilarious. Although the movie is about Christmas, it doesn’t bring Christmas Spirit to me, but it gave me a good laugh and I’m sure I’ll watch the movie again next year.

My rating: 4/5

On strike for Christmas

Storyline from IMDB: Joy Robertson’s two sons will both be off to college next year, so she wants to make this “the best Christmas ever.” Joy is feeling unappreciated, however, since her husband and sons are preoccupied with their own concerns, and providing no assistance with the many Christmas preparations, while still expecting Mom to handle all the arrangements for hubby’s office party and parties for her sons’ friends, as well. Inspired by a grocery workers’ strike in town, Joy decides to follow suit, and goes “on strike for Christmas.”

I found this movie quite funny, especially when the guys tried to bake. The movie was different from other Christmas movies, because I can relate to the problem of being a mother and wife that are expected to do all the Christmas arrangements.

My rating: 3/5

Christmas with the Kranks

Storyline from IMDB: With their daughter away, her parents decide to skip Christmas altogether until she decides to come home, causing an uproar when they have to celebrate the holidays at the last minute.

This film is based on John Grishams Skipping Christmas, which I read earlier during this Christmas Challenge. I was not too fond of the book, but I must say that I love the movie. Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis are wonderful as Luther & Nora Krank. The movie is funny (I’ve watched it 3 times now) and I highly recommend it.

My rating: 4/5

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