Author: R. William Bennett
Published: October 12, 2011
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 12-16, 2017
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
“Marley was dead to begin with . . .”
These chillingly familiar words begin the classic Christmas tale of remorse and redemption in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Now R. William Bennett rewinds the story and focuses the spotlight on Scrooge’s miserly business partner, Jacob T. Marley, who was allowed to return as a ghost to warn Scrooge away from his ill-fated path. Why was Marley allowed to return? And why hadn’t he been given the same chance as Ebenezer Scrooge?
Or had he?
Written with a voice reminiscent of Dickens, Jacob T. Marley is a masterfully crafted story of remorse and redemption, sure to become a Christmas favorite.
I don’t know if this was because this story was new to me but it affected me more than A Christmas Carol. We all know about Scrooge but what about Marley? What was his life like? Why did Scrooge get a chance at redemption and Marley did not? Or did he? We find out about Marley and how he and Scrooge met. They are perfect for each other. They are two peas in a pod.
We get to experience part of A Christmas Carol through this novel as we see the events occur through Marley. We also learn what happens to Scrooge after everything is said and done. This could be another reason I like this story more than a Christmas Carol. There is a completeness to it. I listened to this on audio after A Christmas Carol and I think that is how it should be read. Experience A Christmas Carol first then Jacob T. Marley for the complete story.
Jacob T. Marley is recommended.
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope today is a wonderful day for you. Whether you are spending time with friends and/or family, or are having to work, it is hard to believe that this year is almost over. I am in the middle of a four day weekend and hope to make the most of it. These last few days of the year will go by quickly. 2017 has been a difficult year for many, myself included and 2018 will continue to have challenges. I hope these challenges ends quickly and positively with things going back to normal. Until then I have this site and all of you! For 2018, I’m hoping to get caught up on my reading and reviewing….. It’s never ending though! If only I could do this full time! I hope to get more books in to share my thoughts on with all of you!
I hope you all enjoy this site as Kim and I love doing it. It may not have the hugest following and that is fine by us. We run this site out of love of books and reading. Yes, we are total book dragons!!!
I hope Santa brings you some books to enjoy reading!! To celebrate Christmas Kim and I are sharing a double review of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, which will be below.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
This year has been one of the best so far for me! A big thanks to Jessica for letting me write for her blog. Allowing me to be a guest reviewer has helped me to grow as a reader and as a writer, and I enjoy reading more now since I get to really think about the books and put my thoughts down on paper. So far, I have read 157 books since January of this year. There have been so many amazing books and I wish I could say a personal thank you to each of those great authors who impacted my life so much! But that’s unrealistic, so I’ll just say a blanket thank you to all those authors out there. I found many new favorite books, several books that were different genres for me, some books I didn’t like, and a whole lot of newly discovered friends. Instagram has become a huge part of my life and I now get to think of myself as a big, bad book photographer (think, not know! Lol)
I try not to set too many strict goals for myself, but in 2018, I want to read all those series that I keep putting off because of my fear of commitment. I also have one New Year’s Resolution: I will only buy one book for every five that I read. My TBR pile is way too big and I keep buying more and more books to add to it. So, 2018 will see a cut back in the number of books I buy . . . unless I pick a bunch of short books to read, in which case I’ll still be getting a lot of books. LOOPHOLE! I hope y’all had a great year with lots of time to read, a Merry Christmas, and an awesome New Year!
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (Performed by Tim Curry)
Originally Published: December 19, 1843
Description from Amazon:
Tim Curry performs this timeless holiday story in a deliciously dark tone, returning it to its Dickensian roots with a vivid imagining of Victorian London and just the right touch of outrageous fun. A Christmas Carol has constantly been in print since its original publication in 1849, and has been adapted for stage, television, film, and opera. It has often been credited with returning the jovial and festive atmosphere to the holiday season in Britain and North America, following the somber period that emerged during the Industrial Revolution. The story opens on a bleak and cold Christmas Eve as Ebenezer Scrooge is closing up his office for the day. As the story progresses and Christmas morning approaches, Scrooge encounters the unforgettable characters that make this story a classic: Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and, of course, the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come.
Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars
What is there to say about this timeless Christmas classic? All the different movies and dramatic adaptations can never do justice to the original book. I’ve seen scary versions in cartoon and live action form, but the book holds a creepiness that cannot be replicated accurately. It’s been a while since I’ve read, or in this case listened to, A Christmas Carol and it might just be my new Christmas tradition. Tim Curry only adds to the experience! We’ve all seen Tim Curry in everything from Annie to Home Alone 2 to Criminal Minds, and his voice lends such credence to the story that you really believe Scrooge and the ghosts are all truly speaking their parts.
Scrooge is the typical cynic who cares for nothing other than his own monetary gain. He’s the man you love to hate and pity at the same time. How a man can act the way he did in the presence of Fred’s good nature, I’ll never understand. Fred’s spirit of joy and cheer is nothing short of inspiring. Bob Cratchit’s quiet patience impressed me during this reading, as he hasn’t before. I’ve had nasty bosses before, but Bob’s soft nature and peaceful spirit is something I can only aspire to possess. Reading of the Ghost of Christmas Present’s torch that spreads good cheer made me so happy! 😊 I love Christmas and thinking that an angel-like being is standing guard of days like Christmas brings a smile to my face. And then Scrooge, his amazing transformation was a joy to behold. When Mr. Curry read that Scrooge knew how to keep Christmas well, I began to tear up . . . while I was driving! This is the perfect Christmas story to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas and the necessity of selflessness and kindness throughout the year!
Dates Read: December 6-12, 2017
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
We all know the story and grew up with it in one form or the other. For me it was the Disney animated movie. I had never read the short story and I had the opportunity to listen to Tim Curry narrate the original and he is brilliant! He was the perfect narrator for this story.
Scrooge and Marley run a business in a partnership. Marley has already passed away before Christmas Carol began. Scrooge is just that, a penny pinching grumpy old man. One night Marley’s ghost visits Scrooge as a warning to change things. He is visited by three ghosts. Will Scrooge see what he needs to see and make things right before it is too late?
I had some difficulty with the writing style, Dickens prose style may not be for me. I might have gotten lost if I did not know the story. Even with Curry’s narration I found myself tuning out. Classics just may not be for me.
There are lessons in this story that everyone should see. Think about what you do before you act. Be kind. Don’t be selfish and grumpy. Remember the importance of Christmas.
There is no Bah Humbug here! A Christmas Carol is recommended.
Santa Claus Is for Real: A True Christmas Fable About the Magic of Believing
Author: Charles Edward Hall
Published: October 14, 2014
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars
Description from Amazon:
A heartwarming true-life fable from the Radio City Christmas Spectacular Santa—including his personal journey of discovering the magic of Christmas. Every year, over a million people attend the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, where they have the pleasure of seeing Charles Edward Hall don a traditional red suit and become the world’s most famous Santa Claus—a role he has played for twenty-seven straight years. But Hall wasn’t always such a jolly old soul. Believe it or not, this Santa was once a Scrooge. For the first time, Charles tells the inspiring story of his own transformation, from a wide-eyed child who once caught a glimpse of Santa through a frosty windowpane, to a young man who lost his faith in jolly old Saint Nick. It wasn’t until fate intervened, in the form of an unexpected role, a stage malfunction, and hundreds of letters from children, that Charles rediscovered his Christmas spirit. Ultimately, he realized Radio City was his life’s work, and that Santa isn’t just a role. He lives in the hearts of the millions who attend the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and everyone who embraces the Christmas spirit. Santa Claus, in other words, is real. When Charles needed him most, Santa was there, with kind words and a special gift. As this delightful true-life fable proves, he is there for everyone. All it takes is a good heart, an honest joy, and a belief in the magic of Christmas.
This has become one of my all-time favorite books. It has become tradition for me to listen to the audiobook every November. If you don’t believe in Santa Claus, then I guarantee you will by the end of this book. I still believe in Santa and Christmas is my very favorite time of year. Mr. Hall managed to capture all those amazing, warm, tender feelings that Christmas always seems to elicit.
My original Goodreads review was, “I have nothing to say! Everything wonderful, magical, unexplainable, awesome, compassionate, loving, everything about Santa is in this book! I laughed, I cried, I believed! A truly amazing book!!” This is the third year that I’ve listened to this book and that review has not changed at all. And to make it even more special, I decided to write a letter to Mr. Hall last year, thanking him for this book. I wrote the letter while sitting in my Grandmama’s hospital room. She had been put on comfort measures and it was only a matter of time. I had been taking the 10pm-2am slot at the hospital that was an hour away from my house, so I was struggling with exhaustion and grief, and I thought pouring my heart out in a letter would be comforting. And it was! As I was writing, I felt like Mr. Hall was actually listening to me. I thanked him for writing a book that touched me so deeply. I told him about coming from a background where Santa was not allowed because he took the place of Jesus. I told him that having faith in something not seen, is never a bad thing. I told him all about marrying someone who had never believed in Santa, but who I was slowly bringing around. (So far we’ve reached a compromise on Father Christmas.) I felt happy and relieved after I finished the letter and sent it out along with letters to Santa from my nephews. I wasn’t expecting an answer.
Unfortunately, very few authors and celebrities live up to the standards that we, their readers and fans, set for them. Mr. Hall exceeded my expectations. Less than a week went by, and I received a package in the mail. I opened it to find a physical copy of the book, with a beautiful note from Mr. Hall inside. I have no problem admitting that I broke down in tears. The man who played Santa in the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, who knows Santa personally, who wrote the book that embodies the Spirit of Christmas in such a perfect way, took the time to not only answer my letter, but to send me a gift! I plan to add a letter to Mr. Hall to my annual tradition.
I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone. This is a perfect book for believers and nonbelievers, alike. Even Ivan, a proud nonbeliever, admitted that this book is awesome. If you haven’t managed to get into the Christmas Spirit, read this book. If you want an early start on Christmas, read this book. If you are struggling with faith, read this book. If you need someone to believe in you, read this book. “Santa isn’t an answer, he’s a friend.”