Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

Publication Date: October 26, 2010


Luther and Nora Krank typically do Christmas on overdrive but when their daughter, Blair, joins a Peace Corp trip in Peru for the holiday season they’re faced with a holiday season alone. Luther crunches the numbers and finds a vacation would save them a lot of money and stress. The Krank’s neighbors aren’t on board with their decision as it jeopardizes the block’s chances of winning the local decorating contest. With the Kranks fighting everyone, what happens when their daughter decides to come home for Christmas?


Fans of John Grisham may find Skipping Christmas somewhat different from his usual fare. It is an unashamedly fluffy comic holiday farce. There are few surprises and, while I’ve never been a Tim Allen fan, this one is better on the screen (there is a feeling that it was written expressly for film) but formulaic comedy fun in any format. Luther is a stock curmudgeon while Nora is his hesitant conspirator who is willing to stand by her husband (provided they make their usual charity donations) but would truly like for everyone to be happy and get along.

Skipping Christmas reads as a throwaway contract book. Its an easy fluffy read that one would not expect of an author usually finding himself in the legal thriller genre. Perhaps a nod to reader expectation is Vic Fromeyer (played by Dan Aykroyd in the film), the self appointed leader of the neighborhood decorating committee and, in the book, near psychotic in his pursuit of the Kranks. There is a decided lack of holiday spirit in his taunting, bullying and machinations that leads one to wonder what it would be like to not be a Christian and living on that street. On screen there’s a rounding out of a person who just really cares about the holidays and winning while on page he’s a character in need of control. In most other respects, the film is pretty faithful to its on-the-page counterpart. The Kranks upset everyone from the Boy Scouts to their neighbors and in order to pull everything together for Blair, they need the help of their friends. To compare Skipping Christmas to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation lacks justice in that the former doesn’t have the wacky comedy complexity of the latter. It is pure Christmas feel-good and likely not intended for anything else.

There are few real messages in Skipping Christmas. There’s the sense of community and compassion for others but that’s all counterbalanced until the end of the book. In real life when Blair calls from the airport wanting to show her Peruvian fiance her special holiday traditions the parents would say “We didn’t really plan for that, sweetie.” The extent to which they went and the pulling together for Blair is perhaps somewhat unrealistic especially given what we’ve already seen of the characters. The best thing about Skipping Christmas is that its fun, fast and not something one much give  lot of thought. There are minor errors typical of any published work but nothing really to interrupt the flow of the piece.

At the end of this fairly short read, Skipping Christmas is a feel good work. If you’re looking for something quick, pick it up today.




Skipping Christmas


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About John Grisham
For more information about John Grisham visit his website. You can connect with him on Goodreads, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and Twitter @JohnGrisham. Series readers can track his books on Fictfact.

Rabid Reader’s Book List for Human Rights Day 2017

This year again, Rabid Reader’s Reviews presents a list of books dealing with human rights. In light of the events, human rights violations have increased and become a pressing issue worldwide.


To Live Out Loud: A Novel by Paulette Mahurin

Review quotes:

“There’s an electricity of fear and suspicion in the people. It was believed that Dreyfus would be a traitor because he was a Jew.”

“To Live Out Loud is an outstanding work of historical fiction and a must-read for everyone, especially those interested in the history of human rights violations.” 

Read the complete To Live Out Loud: A Novel by Paulette Mahurin review here.


Stonewall: The Riots that sparked the Gay Revolution

Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter

Review quotes:

“What is revealed is a deeply complex story steeped in the underworld and the use of gay culture as a money-making endeavor via blackmail.”

“There are no unnecessary dramatizations. The sourced information and interviews stand on their own as a poignant testament to a people who were done with being stepped on at a whim and were ready to stand and be who they are.”

“At a weighty 349 pages, Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution is an investment, and it’s an important read for anyone interested in the Human Rights Movement.”

Read the complete Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter review here.


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Review quotes:

“The story of Henrietta Lacks is an important one. Her cells were harvested to make advancements in science and henceforward the health of humanity.”

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a must read for people interested in the racial politics of the medical world in the 1050s, the science of genetic research and the question of ethics of personal rights vs. the greater good. Pick it up this Human Rights Day and find out more about the most famous unknown woman in scientific research.”

Read the complete The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot review here.


Friedrich Dürrenmatt The Physicists play

The Physicists by Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Review quotes:

“In Möbius we find a scientist who is concerned about his discovery and tries to take a responsible ethic approach because he distrusts governments and society in so far as to do the right thing. And he is not wrong.”

“The now-permanent coalition of the military and mass industry Eisenhower observed, was at that point predictable. It is debatable that military-industrial complex exists for the purpose of being ready for war at all times can lead to a situation in which even peace implies a state of war.”

Read the complete The Physicists by Friedrich Dürrenmatt review here.


Twelve Days in May by Larry Brimner

Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961

Review quotes:

“Twelve Days In May: Freedom Ride 1961 is a faultless accounting of an important event in history. The layout of the books makes it appropriate and easily accessible for all ages to delve into the heroes who rose above the inhumanity of history.”

Brimner’s Twelve Days In May: Freedom Ride 1961 is a must read for all Americans. If you have someone who is interested in Civil Rights on your holiday gift-list, be sure to pick up this beautifully formatted book for them or, perhaps, treat yourself.”

Read the complete Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 review here.

For more books dealing with human rights and human rights violations, check out our last year’s Rabid Reader’s Book List for Human Rights Day 2016.


Valentine’s Day Book Release by Author Ford Forkum

Publication Date: February 14, 2017


Cinderelleper by Ford Forkum, a fairytale book review by Rabid Reader's Reviews

According to the Twitter account of the author Ford Forkum, his fairytale satire Cinderelleper was released today. Fans of Ford Forkum can grab a copy now. The book will soon be reviewed on our blog. Not a reader of Ford Forkum’s books? If you enjoy fantasy, science fiction and humor, then take the opportunity to check out our reviews of Alien Invasion of the Zombie Apocalypse and Beers in Heaven.

Check out an an interview with Ford Forkum about his new book on the BrazenSnake Books website.




Rabid Reader’s Valentine’s Day book recommendations

Over the past years, we reviewed tons of romance, chick-lit and cozy mystery books and we would like to take the opportunity to present and share some book reviews for Valentine’s day 2017. This is just a short list of books that readers may enjoy. Don’t forget to check out our other book reviews. Check out our romance, chick-lit and cozy mystery reviews.



Veronica Scott, science fiction, romance and a U.S. Today best-selling author, released Trapped on Talonque last year. Be sure to check out the latest review of the Sector series.




A classic everyone that enjoys adventure mixed with romance will like A Kiss at Kilhali by the New York Times best-selling author, Ruth Harris.




If you are into romantic suspense, try out The Rigid Rules by Christina Thompson. Readers with a passion for mysteries that contain elements of romance novels will enjoy Thompson’s Chemical Attraction series.




If you’re a fan of romance, particularly Regency, try out Sense and Sensuality by Alicia Quigley. This is a well-polished novel Quigley’s characters are witty, fast and wonderfully framed.




Andrea Weir’s A Foolish Consistency is a high-octane drama piece that gives readers the impression they are reading a real-life story. If you love reading romance novels with lots of ups and downs, this is the book for you.




Readers that have a knack for typical cozy mystery books should check out Hide nor Hair by Jo-Anne Lamon Reccoppa. The story takes place in New Jersey and contains everything that makes up a great cozy mystery. Also, check out the review of the first book, New Math is Murder.



Another cozy mystery series worth reading is Chef Maurice Series by J.A. Lang. If you are seeking a culinarian cozy mystery series with a dash of humor, be sure to check out Chef Maurice and a Spot of Truffle. You won’t be disappointed.




Romancing Mister Bridgerton by the New York Times best-selling author Julia Quinn, is a fun and interesting historical story. This book is the fourth one in a series. If you love Regency novels, be sure not to miss out on this series.




Playing Charlie Cool is a charming romance novel and the third book in the Trager Family Secrets series by the best-selling author, Laurie Boris. A smooth flow, great writing, clever plotting and wonderfully, fleshed-out characters make this book endearing to read.




What would a romantic recommendation reading list be without the author Ellie Campbell? In Meddling With Murder Cathy O’Farrell and her band of Crouch End crazies from Looking for La La are finally back. Cozy mystery readers that are looking for a book with beautifully ridiculous plot elements and a touch of humor will not want to pass up on this series.

Rabid Reader’s Reviews Holiday Musings 2016

We took the opportunity to review books and movies for the 2016 Christmas season. Be sure to check out our reviews:



If you are you enjoy mysteries by the author Mary Higgins Clark, we recommend her holiday detective stories. In The Christmas Thief, the amateur sleuth, Alvirah Meehan, once again teams up with the private investigator Regan Reilly.





David Baldacci, known for his Will Robie and Amos Decker series, departs from his typical thriller books and takes a dive into the contemporary in The Christmas Train.





Mythology 101 by Jody Lynn Nye, book reviewIf you are looking for is a cute story that is a little cheeky with an off-the-wall humor, try Mythology 101 by Jody Lynn Nye.






Movie Review: A Nightmare before ChristmasTim Burton’s dark Christmas movie brings in Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who is totally fed up with screaming and scaring. Instead, accompany Jack Skellington as he spreads Christmas joy. The Nightmare before Christmas has been digitally remastered and is Amazon choice.





This movie is based on John Grisham’s book, “Skipping Christmas” and it became on instant family classic. If you looking for a humorous movie, enjoy Christmas with the Kranks.






If you are looking for more holiday reviews, check out Rabid Reader’s Reviews Holiday Musings 2014 for more.

We wish all of our readers and subscribers a great 2017 and want to thank you for regularly visiting our Rabid Reader’s Reviews site.

Unto the Daughters: The Legacy of an Honor Killing in a Sicilian-American Family by Karen Tintori

Publication Date: July 8, 2008


Unto the Daughters: The Legacy of an Honor Killing in a Sicilian-American Family by Karen TintoriOver the years, Karen Tintori got hints of matters that no one in the family would talk about. When the sister became the “one they got rid of” as a result of her aunt’s slip of the tongue, Tintori felt compelled to pursue the secret that her family had kept for many years. The author takes the reader on the process from innocent genealogy research to a deep secret uncovered.



Continue reading Unto the Daughters: The Legacy of an Honor Killing in a Sicilian-American Family by Karen Tintori

Rabid Reader’s Book List for Human Rights Day 2016

If you are looking for books dealing with human rights, check out those that have been reviewed on this homepage. Our main post with an overview of books and movies were reviewed for human rights day 2016 will be published later. At the moment, enjoy the Rabid Reader’s Book List for Human Rights Day 2016 and make sure to visit this site later.


Contempt of Court: The Turn-of-the-Century Lynching That Launched a Hundred Years of Federalism by Mark Curriden & Leroy Phillips

Genre: nonfiction, human rights, political science, African-American studies

In 1906, a white woman was brutally raped in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Ed Johnson, a black man, was working at his restaurant job when the attack happened but was arrested and charged with the crime. When his lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court for a stay of execution and that stay was granted, local folks, led by officials, took the law into their own hands. In a history-changing move, the lynch mob faced federal legal repercussions. Ed  Johnson cleared of the rape charges 100 years later. You can read the review of a “Contempt of Court” here.

Continue reading Rabid Reader’s Book List for Human Rights Day 2016

Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo

Publication Date: March 12, 1987



Accidental Death of an Anarchist (Morte accidentale di un anarchico) was written by the Italian playwright, Dario Fo, following the events that took place in Italy, in the late 1960s. Fo is one of Italy’s most important and well-known literary writers who is famous for employing satire and popular elements within his work. His writings deal with Italian politics and his work is able to attract people from all walks of life.

The book was released in 1970 and the play was first performed in Milan in December of the same year. In 1984, it was staged on Broadway and became Fo’s most popular work inside and outside of Italy. For theater directors, this has been the play of choice when it comes to dealing with corruption.


Continue reading Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo