Tag: non fiction

Another Look at Santa Claus is for Real

Kim recently reviewed Santa Claus is for Real and it piqued my interest so much that I had to read it! I listened to the short audiobook that is also narrated by the author. I also loved this one. It’s a perfect read at Christmas!

Santa Claus Is for Real: A True Christmas Fable About the Magic of Believing
Author: Charles Edward Hall
AUDIOBOOK
Published: October 14, 2014

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 16-18, 2017
Jessica’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.

Jessica’s Review:

Santa Claus is for Real is a truly magical journey that Charles Edward Hall takes us on. This is also his journey as he narrates the audiobook and it was perfect!  Hall has been Santa at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular since 1987. As children, we see the magic of Christmas which includes Santa.  There is just something about that man with the long white beard and red outfit that fascinates children.  As adults we become busy in our everyday lives and we can forget how special this time of year can be.  This has been a difficult year and it just did not feel like Christmastime for me. Then I listened to this audiobook and it changed everything!  It was the perfect read for me and I found the Christmas spirit. Everyone needs to read this book or listen to the audio version. We all need to believe in Santa Claus.

Thank you Charles Edward Hall for your story and I would love to one day be able to go to NYC at Christmas time.

Santa Claus is for Real is recommended.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Santa Claus is for Real


Santa Claus Is for Real: A True Christmas Fable About the Magic of Believing
Author: Charles Edward Hall
209 Pages
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.

Kim’s Review:

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.”

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

[Top]

The Radium Girls


Radium Girls:The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women
Author: Kate Moore
Published: May 2, 2017
399 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 11-26, 2017
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description from Amazon:

The incredible true story of the women who fought America’s Undark danger

The Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women’s cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the “wonder” substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives…

Jessica’s Review:

I had never heard of the story of the Radium Girls until I found out about the book. Then I HAD to read it!  This is a very sad story, and it is hard to believe this actually happened to so many girls.  Reading Kate Moore’s words about how she found out about this story and the fact that she is British stands out to me.  She felt it was a story she needed to tell and she delivered!

**As this happened in the past and anything can be researched I don’t feel like any of what I am going to say in this review is a spoiler.

We get to know each of the girls featured and their lives. We also get to know the extreme pain and anguish they went through from suffering from the radium poisoning. Moore graphically depicts the way the girls suffer.  As I was reading, I wanted to tell them to stop the ‘lip, dip, paint’ that they were instructed to do!  They continued as they were told the radium was safe. They were even excited to see the radium on themselves as they left work and ‘glowed in the dark’. They even went dancing while the radium was on them.  Yes, the girls were naïve, but it was not their fault: They were young (some barely teenagers), impressionable and excited to get the highly sought after job of becoming a “Radium Girl”.

The villains are the companies and they are despicable as they knew radium was dangerous and they kept this fact a secret from the girls.  They did not care about the girls, it was just about making a dollar. The Radium Girls is a very hard book to read. It was not just the girls who were affected, but their families as well with the high medical bills.

The girls’ story continues as some go to court and fight a hard fought battle.  Their battle ended with changes to laws and more safeguards in the workplace for employees.

Kate Moore worked tirelessly to bring us this narrative non-fiction journey. Everything in the book is real, but written in this way you don’t ever want to put The Radium Girls down! It is well researched and she traveled all over the US learning about these girls and their lives.

Ms. Moore, you have made the Radium Girls proud by sharing their personal story with us.

There is a site dedicated to the novel and the Radium Girls. Do check it out, it’s the least we can do.

Special thanks to NetGalley for granting me a copy. The Radium Girls is recommended.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

[Top]