Reading Challenge: 20 Books for Christmas: Did I complete it??? #20booksforchristmas #ReadingChallenge @littlejojackson

A few months ago I joined in for the 20 Books for Christmas reading challenge hosted by Tea and Cake for the Soul. The goal was to list 10, 15, or 20 books and read them. Did I complete the challenge???

Here are the books including reviews written from my original list:

1. Christmas with a Cowboy – Review

2. The Christmas Tree Keeper – Review

3. Christmas in Winter Hill – Review

4. 25 Days ‘Til Christmas – Review

5. A Treasury of Christmas Miracles- Review

6. A Wedding in December – Review

7. The Illustrated History of the Snowman – Review

8. The Journey of Joseph Winter – Review

9. Letters from Father Christmas –

10. Let it Snow by CJ Carmichael – reread

11. Spirit of the Season by Fern Michaels –

I ended up reading all the books above EXCEPT for Let it Snow, which was a reread.

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Book Review: The Illustrated History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein #BookReview #20booksforChristmas #Snowman

The Illustrated History of the Snowman

By Bob Eckstein

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My thoughts:

I don’t know what it is that’s so fascinating about snowmen, but just like scarecrows, they captured my heart as a child and I’ve loved them ever since. We draw them, decorate with them, make snowman Christmas cookies, watch them on TV, and build them outdoors the first chance we get. So when this book was staring at me at the bookstore, there was no leaving it behind. I knew my family would enjoy it, and we surely have for the past two winter seasons.

“Who made the first snowman? Who first came up with the idea of placing one snowball atop another and then sticking a carrot in the top sphere?”

The author set out on a quest to find out who made the very first snowman. Here in this book he presents all of his extensive (over seven year) research on the history of the snowman. It goes way back in time all the way to the dark ages. The book is somewhat of a snowman ‘encyclopedia’–chock-full of beautiful photos from around the world, which I’ll admit was my favorite aspect of the book. There’s so much to learn here though: world records including the largest and smallest snowman, snowmen in pop culture (my favorite: the Burl Ives snowman from the original children’s special), snowman festivals, appearances of snowmen with historical figures and even wars, how they’re celebrated in other cultures, use in art and politics, and fun little facts about snowmen that are sure to surprise you.

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We had no idea just how much historical background the snowman actually had! It was nostalgic for me in many ways, especially looking at some of the old vintage snowman ornaments and decorations from the past. We also loved the fun facts.

“Average number of calories burned, per hour, building a snowman: 238”

If you like snowmen, definitely give this book a try. My whole family has enjoyed it, including the children. My only wish is that the organization were different; it would be nice in chronological order. There are a few parts that are quite offensive too, but it’s fairly easy to skip over those. It’s good to be aware of that if you’re viewing this with young children.

This book is one to revisit over and over again.

4****

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Book Review: The Journey of Joseph Winter by John Anthony #BookReview #20booksforChristmas #Christmas #ReadingChallenge

The Journey of Joseph Winter

by John Anthony

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My thoughts:

This story begins with Geraldine, an older woman who brings all of her family–children and grandchildren–together to share a story none of them have ever heard: the story of her brother, Joseph Winter.

“The mind of a child is one of the places all adults wish to exist again. Only there, surrounded by youthful innocence, do dreams never disappear.”

Joseph has been living his life with regret, missing out on all the possible joy in his life. As a child he said something to his mother that he’s never been able take back, and it’s haunted him for what feels like forever. When a mysterious package arrives at his door, he has no idea what’s in store for him. Then a stranger appears and takes Joseph on a journey by train toward the North Pole where he revisits old memories, meets some very special people (including a sweet, young boy named Max), and in turn learns what it means to forgive.

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Book Review: Balance (Off Balance #1) by Lucia Franco #BookReview #Balance

Balance

By Lucia Franco

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My thoughts:

I apologize in advance if my review offends some, but these are my true feelings about the book. This review does contain a few spoilers. 

After a very involved conversation with a good friend over this book, I had to read it to see for myself what all the fuss was about.

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