Delighted and excited to announce that @BookElfLeeds has a brand new reading challenge!
Jess had decided to seek out the Christmas Spirit in contemporary fiction. And like all good reading challenges; there’s a strict criteria to be followed.
- The book must have Christmas in the title.
- Some one has lost the Christmas Spirit.
- A Christmas Miracle will therefore have to occur.
- Some one will then regain the Christmas Spirit.
So please, make yourself comfy and enjoy the 10th review!
Two in one day, you might notice – but as the last one wasn’t quite as full of the Christmas Spirit as we would have liked, I thought this might make up for it…as it’s Christmas and all!
Oswald T. Campbell, an orphan named after a can of soup, who is told by his doctor he has months to live unless he leaves Chicago for warmer climbs.
In what form does the Christmas Miracle occur?
The residents of the town of Lost River, Alabama, especially tame redbird Jack!
OK so I totally cheated. This one, lent to me by N, was supposed to be my last read of the challenge. But I was in such need of Guaranteed Christmas Spirit after the last one that I went for my favourite, Fannie Flagg. She didn’t disappoint.
We’ve talked loads about how much we love Fannie Flagg on previous podcasts, but for those not in the know, this is the woman who wrote Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café which was made into the film starring Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy and is just GORGEOUS. She’s written loads of books written in close knit Southern communities that are incredibly romanticised but I kind of have a love for that sort of Americana, even though I now recognise it as being horribly problematic in terms of white washing a culture.
This one is a short standalone book which follows a series of middle aged folks learning to appreciate life again. Oswald is a good man with problems, who slowly starts to appreciate the wonders of the world through taking the time to learn about it and try out his own talents. Other characters delight with their own stories of Christmas Miracles including learning to love yourself and take pride in your community. Fannie Flagg is very good at structuring packed books that don’t feel cluttered, and creates wonderful little insights into a world of small town living where women form societies for secretly doing good deeds whilst wearing polka dots, and the annual Valentine’s Day Dance is the social event of the season. It made me want to have a pot luck dinner.
This is really really old fashioned, considering it was published in 2004, and some of the language is very un-PC, but if you want pure nostalgia for a time that never really existed, you cannot beat Fannie Flagg.
Listen to @BookElfLeeds and I introduce the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge – HERE
Or just click here!
Review 01 – Nine Lives of Christmas
Review 02 – The Christmas Secret
Review 03 – Last Christmas
Review 04 – Lakeshore Christmas
Review 05 – Home for Christmas
Review 06 – Christmas Magic
Review 07 – Claude’s Christmas Adventure
Review 08 – Christmas Eve at Friday Harbour
Review 09 – Christmas for One