A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A Christmas Carol is such a timeless tale and put me right in the mood for the holidays. It made we want to watch Scrooged with Bill Murray, but both of the libraries I belong to don’t carry the movie anymore. What surprised me the most about the story is that hard-headed Scrooge gives in so easily to the Christmas spirits’ attempt to reform him. I expected a little more fight from the old dog.
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The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs
I’m reading this one over the holidays, but so far it’s an over-the-top educational hoot. From growing a massive beard to carrying around his own chair to avoid touching “unclean women” (including his wife), I wasn’t expecting the author to go to such extreme lengths to live the Holy Book.
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Joan: The Mysterious Life of the Heretic Who Became a Saint by Donald Spoto
The legend of Joan of Arc has never ceased to captivate me. I guess I find something romantic in the idea of a young girl who was chosen by God to be a messenger and lead armies to save France. Of course, it all ends badly for her. Joan is a very thorough account of Joan of Arc’s life, but I pretty much knew everything the book covered. I probably should have looked for something different.
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The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín
I was fascinated with the concept of experiencing the crucifixion of Jesus through the eyes of his mother, Mary. Although I was expecting more intensity to the story, I still found it mesmerizing to follow Mary’s thoughts, as she scoffs at claims Jesus is the Son of God, then frets and second-guesses and feels tremendous guilt over what happens to him. At the same time, there was something scattered and indecisive about her manner that annoyed me even though she proves to be strong in spirit. Overall, I appreciate how human this Mary was depicted by the author, but the story is shrouded in mystery and I had so many questions left unanswered.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!