What are the ingredients for an enjoyable murder mystery? Take Agatha Christie, add a famous, Belgian detective, a dash of a humorous butler, an unexpected guest, complex, well-developed characters and you have Hercule Poirot’s Christmas. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (Hercule Poirot Mystery) by Agatha Christie is a seasonal book that was originally published in 1939. It is the nineteenth book in the Hercule Poirot Mystery Series and is Christie’s response to the criticism of her brother-in-law. He told her that her murders were getting too refined. Therefore, Christie dedicated this book to her brother-in-law, James with “You yearned for a good violent murder with lots of blood … so this is your special story.” Continue reading Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (Hercule Poirot Mystery) by Agatha Christie
Release Date: November 18, 1983 | DVD Release Date: October 29, 1997
A Christmas Story (1983) is based on an autobiographical story by Jean Shepard. Set in the 1940s, nine-year-old Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) desperately wants a Red Ryder BB Gun and goes to great lengths to convince everyone that it would be the Christmas gift to end all Christmas gifts. Continue reading A Christmas Story (1983)
In An Unforgettable Christmas by Trisha Wilson, Chelsea Roberts’s family died in an accident on Christmas Day. As the holidays approach, she feels it best to spend time near friends but still feels hopelessly lonely. Nick Collins has found himself on his own with a newborn and while he has family all around, he’s also hopelessly lonely. Can these people find their way through the pain and find happiness together? Continue reading An Unforgettable Christmas by Trisha Wilson
Movie Released: November 2013 | DVD Release Date: August 22, 2016
In All American Christmas Carol (2013), Cindy Wegman (Taryn Manning) is a single mother with multiple kids from different fathers and has adopted the attitude that working is for suckers. She quit working as a hairdresser when her mom died and has been floundering, taking advantage of anyone who will either look the other way or fall for her charms. She’s visited by three ghosts who try to show her the error of her outlook and put her back on a positive path. Continue reading All American Christmas Carol (2013)
In Skipping Christmas by John Grisham, 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? Continue reading Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
Twelve Days In May: Freedom Ride 1961 by Larry Dane Brimner, chronicles the journey of 13 black and white Civil Rights Activists from Washington D.C. to New Orleans. The riders planned a protest of the southern states ignoring two Supreme Court rulings that segregation on buses crossing state lines was unconstitutional. The protest was meant to be peaceful and shine a light on the nonobservance of the rulings in the south. What met them on their journey was violence and hate. Continue reading Twelve Days In May: Freedom Ride 1961 by Larry Dane Brimner
The Physicists was written by the author, Friedrich Dürrenmatt in 1961. Dürrenmatt is a twentieth-century, Swiss playwright, novelist and essayist who is renowned for his philosophical crime novels (The Inspector Barlach Mysteries: The Judge and His Hangman and Suspicion) as well as in his satiric, tragic-comic dramas that are centered around post-World War II. The Physicists is his first classically constructed work and is generally considered his best play. It deals with the ethics of science. In 1963, the play was performed worldwide and was finally staged in New York in 1964. If you don’t mind spoilers, continue reading. Continue reading The Physicists by Friedrich Dürrenmatt
In 1951, Tobacco Farmer Henrietta Lacks died of cervical cancer. Before her death, cervical cells were harvested without her consent and became the first human cells to grow in a lab. They would grow an entire generation of new cells in a 24-hour period. Over the years those cells, known as HeLa to scientists, became a hot commodity in the scientific world standing at the forefront of some of the greatest medical breakthroughs, but Henrietta Lacks remained largely unknown. Unknown — until her daughter started looking to find out more about the mother she’d never known. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot is her story. Continue reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
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