Saturday, February 20, 2010

Show Me 5 Saturday - The Christmas List

This will be my first time to participate in Show Me 5 Saturday, hosted by That's a Novel Idea.  I have been reading Jenner's posts over the past few weeks and have enjoyed this format of a book review.  It is short and sweet, which may prove to be quite the challenge for someone as verbose as I.

  1. Book Read:  The Christmas List by Richard Evans
  2. Words that describe book:  Thought-provoking and Inspirational
  3. Setting where it took place and/or Characters you meet:  James Kier is the main character - a man who reads his obituary in the morning paper and then witnesses the reactions that people have to his death.  He quickly learns that he is not the man he wants to be and tries to seek forgiveness from those he has wronged.  Linda his faithful secretary who helps create his "Christmas List" of those he has hurt the most and encourages him to follow through with his plan, even if he is met with great resistance.  Celeste Hatt, one of the five whom he grievously wronged and attempts to make restitution.  
  4.  Things you like and/or dislike about the book:  I like the idea of knowing how others truly share their opinions of us when they think we are no longer alive.  It makes me wonder how I am living my life and what they might say about me.  I like the idea that while the setting of this book is the Christmas season, the theme of the book is relevant at any time of the year.  I would think this would make a marvelous read during the Lenten season.  I disliked the fact that each chapter was very short and succinct; while this made for very quick, easy reading, I was left wanting more - more character development, more detail, more opportunity to linger over the powerful message.  I liked the fact that not all the characters were quick to forgive as this gave the book an air of legitimacy.  Although all the loose ends are nice, and perhaps too neatly tied together in the epilogue, the story itself rang true to me.
  5. 5 Stars or less for a rating:  I would rate the book 4.5 out of 5 stars.  I know this is a story and a theme that will remain with me for quite a while.  As I think back on this book I would hope that it would help me be a better person while I am still on this earth.  My only hesitation for rating it 5 out of 5 was the almost too perfect ending provided by the epilogue. I almost wonder if I would have been more satisfied if the book had ended with last chapter.
I want to thank my dear friend and fellow book-lover, Jil, for recommending this book to me.  She was right - I absolutely LOVED it!


  1. Glad you joined us in the Saturday fun! That is an interesting premise for a book. Glad to see you rated it so high.

  2. That really does sound like a book that would make you think and reflect on your life. I love books that do that!

  3. Having questions to fram a review is such a great way to get started writing whether you go for the q&a format or not. The Christmas List seems like it gives you a lot of food for thought.

  4. Nice review and I'm glad you've joined this meme! I have this book on my iPod but will wait to listen until next holiday season. Glad I have a good one on the list!

  5. This one does make you stop and really evaluate how you are living your life. Loved your reasons why you liked it and parts that you didn't...sounds like a great read anytime of the year!

  6. So glad you joined in this week! I find this meme a great way to get some reviews done that I don't want to spend too much time or thought on!!! It is a great way to whittle down the review list.

    I would be very curious to see what people thought of me after I died. I'm sure we would all be surprised in good ways and bad.

    I hardly ever read "Christmas-themed" books because I don't think they have a lot of "heft" to them, which seems to be the case with this book. But I'm glad you got so much out of it. Good review! Hope you'll join in again.

  7. Great format for your review. I'm going to try this one of these days!


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