Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Book Talk

There continues to be a chill in the air, making me want to stay inside when possible.  The cold and snow came much earlier than usual, it is rare to have snow here before Thanksgiving.  At least the snow melted but there are flurries in the forecast.

Today I have a few DVD/Amazon Video Christmas favorites and some long time Christmas book favorites.

DVD/Amazon Video
Rick Steves' European Christmas used to be available third party on DVD but for the moment, I can only find it on Amazon Video at  If you have Amazon Prime, it is free to watch.

However, it is available at a great price on Rick Steves' website at the moment.

You may have seen this before on American PBS, it still plays every Christmas season when they offer the DVD as part of their special showing to raise support.  It beautifully portrays various countries in Europe, their Christmas traditions, and Christmas music.

Information on Amazon Video... here.
Information on Amazon Prime Video to watch free... here.
Information at Rick Steves' website... here.

BBC Holiday Comedy & Drama Gift Set contains Christmas episodes from many of my favorite BBC shows.  If you loved these shows, this is a DVD set to purchase for your DVD library as these shows are no longer on American TV (at least where I live).

Like many BBC shows, especially comedies, there is some... shall we say... potty humor?  Nothing terrible at all compared to what is said and shown today.  Here is a list of some of the episodes:
  • Are You Being Served - Christmas Crackers
  • Good Neighbors - Silly But It's Fun
  • Keeping U p Appearances - A Very Merry Hyacinth
  • Last of the Summer Wine - Whoops
  • All Creatures Great and Small - Merry Gentlemen
  • Lark Rise to Candleford - Lark Rise Christmas Special
  • Bally Kissangel - Happy as a Turkey on Boxing Day
  • Monarch of the Glen - Hogmanay Special
  • Lovejoy - The Prague Sun
  • The Vicar of Dibley - Winter
More information... here.

The Preachers Wife is a modern remake, loosely based on The Bishop's Wife.  Except this movie has Denzel Washington has the handsome angel and Whitney Houston as the preacher's wife.

It takes place in a somewhat poor neighborhood, where Reverend Henry Biggs, played wonderfully by Courtney B. Vance, is discouraged and considers selling the church and its' property.  If you expect something just like the original The Bishop's Wife, you will be disappointed.  If you love a feel good Christmas story and Gospel music... you will love it.

Further information... here.

A Cup of Christmas Tea has been around for a long time but I still enjoy reading this simple story of a man who reluctantly makes a Christmas visit to his elderly great aunt and is surprised by his feelings when he gets there.  The illustrations are beautiful, too.

This book is a popular gift item and for good reason.  Especially for anyone who loves tea, tea time, and family stories.

More information... here.

Christmas at Fairacre by Miss Read is a book I reread every year.  It contains three of Miss Read's Christmas stories that are considered the favorites of her readers.  They are:
  • Village Christmas
  • The Christmas Mouse, and
  • No Holly for Miss Quinn

I have a vintage copy of No Holly for Miss Quinn, which has long been a favorite Miss Read book.  However, I love the other two stories, too.  These stories are a gift to give yourself and anyone you love that needs encouragement in this crazy world.  I sometimes read them even when it is not the Christmas season.

More information... here.

Finding Father Christmas/Engaging Father Christmas are two stories in one paperback book.  I love stories of Americans in England and when you throw in a Christmas backdrop, they are especially good.  They are novels to read when you need something light and Robin Jones Gunn is a favorite author to a lot of fiction readers.

I believe Finding Father Christmas was made into a Hallmark movie but as so often happens, they didn't really follow the book.  I haven't seen it.  There is also a sequel to these two "Father Christmas" books that I haven't read.

More information... here.

Shepherds Abiding is probably my all time favorite Christmas novel.  While it is a part of Jan Karon's Mitford series, it is also a stand alone story so one doesn't have to have read any of the Mitford books to enjoy it.  Obviously if you have read the series, it will make it even more special.

I read this book almost every Christmas season.  I think the time I didn't read it was because I had reread it during the summer months.  This would also make a perfect audible book to listen to as you travel this holiday season.

More information... here.
This link is for the Mass Market Paperback edition but you can see that there are a lot of hardback editions available third party at great prices.

Elizabeth Goudge's A Christmas Book is an anthology of Christmas themed chapters from some of her novels as well as containing one or two Christmas short stories.  My copy is an old library discard but I love it.

It can be difficult to find this book at any time of the year but since on Instagram, Julie of @elizabethgoudgebookclub announced this December we will be reading and talking about Goudge short story books in general and A Christmas Book specifically... it is even more difficult to find a copy so you may need to check your library for a copy.

If you are a fan of Goudge and you are on IG, definitely follow @elizabethgoudgebookclub and tell her Brenda of @coffeeteabooksandme sent you. ;)  Julie puts in so much work that brings each Goudge novel that is being discussed to life with history and photos from England where the novel takes place.

More information on A Christmas Book is... here.

I hope you enjoy these suggestions, the books and films will enhance Holiday enjoyment.

Disclaimer:  Most links to are Associate links.

ImageBook Shop by Kim-Sung


Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

My kind of post! Shepherd’s Abiding is a favorite! This version of The Bishop’s Wife is very enjoyable too. I’ve been picking up Miss Read books at the used bookstore and I think I may have one or two of the Christmas books. I must check! I don’t have that Goudge but I do have several credits waiting to be used on Audible. So I’ll have to see if it’s available!

Oh, and since several of us here are nursing colds, and I’ve already binged the whole season of The Crown, Rick Steves Christmas video seems like a cheery way to pass an afternoon while resting!

Vee said...

Have already found the Rick Steeves suggestion on Prime. I better watch quick because The Borrowed Christmas, which I just watched over the weekend is already gone. It had such an intriguing premise that I watched in spite of low production values and poor acting on some of the cast’s part. It’s one of those movies with a message that I am still pondering.

You have reminded me of many old favorites. I may have to go round them up.

It warmed up some here so the snow has gone and I finally was able to clear the drive of ice. Now, perhaps, I can keep ahead of it better.

Nancy said...

A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas is my favorite. My copy is illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. The movie version is so lovely! I highly recommend both.