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The Christmas Plains Hardcover – October 23, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Image (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0770437656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0770437657
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,003,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Joseph Bottum is one of America’s most gifted writers, with a perfect ear and a matchless style, and to watch him deck the halls with his customary humor and generosity of spirit is glad tidings indeed—guaranteed to make your Yuletide bright." —Andrew Ferguson, senior editor, The Weekly Standard and author of Land of Lincoln


"Calling Joseph Bottum’s The Christmas Plains a classic wouldn’t do it justice. This is simply a superb piece of writing—elegant, evocative, funny and absolutely memorable. Anyone who loves Christmas—and who with a young heart doesn’t?—needs to read, and reread, and share this wonderfully vivid collection of Christmas memories."
—Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, author of A Heart on Fire and Render Unto Caesar


"Evocative, insightful, and above all, beautifully written."
—George Weigel, author of the bestselling Witness to Hope and Tranquillitas Ordinis: The Present Failure and Future Promise of American Catholic Thought on War and Peace


"If you haven’t read Joseph Bottum on Christmas—on any subject, for that matter—The Christmas Plains will be a wonderful discovery. If you have, you already know the pleasure you’ll get from his stories. Christmas brings tidings of joy, he writes, but not always comfort 'in the modern sense' of ease and relaxation. Joy is an activity—'something we do,' Jody writes—but comfort is 'an aspiration that can never be fulfilled short of the grave.' Thanks to The Christmas Plains, I’ll keep this distinction in mind when the frenzy of the Christmas season arrives."
—Fred Barnes, executive editor, The Weekly Standard


"In The Christmas Plains, Joseph Bottum draws on the memorable characters and haunting landscapes of his South Dakota youth to weave a richly textured reflection on the meaning of Christmas. Using his considerable talents as a storyteller and spiritual writer, Bottum affirms a truth as old as the Christmas story itself: God’s grace can reach us through surprising means – including the follies, disappointments, and delights of the Christmas season."
—Colleen Carroll Campbell, author of My Sisters the Saints


"Christmas, unwrapped and lifted high, in all its giddy, glistening glory."
—Nancy Tillman, author of the bestselling On the Night you were Born and The Crown on Your Head

About the Author

JOSEPH BOTTUM is one of the nation’s most widely published essayists and poets, with work appearing in magazines and newspapers from the Atlantic to the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and National Review. A bestselling eBook author, Bottum is the former editor in chief of the journal First Things and former literary editor of the Weekly Standard, where he remains a contributing editor and regular writer. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy, lectures widely on literary and religious topics, and lives with his family far off in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

More About the Author

The author of bestselling Kindle Singles, from "The Gospel According to Tim" to "Dakota Christmas" (revised and expanded as part of his new seasonal volume, "The Christmas Plains"), Joseph Bottum is a widely published essayist and poet, with work in magazines and newspapers from the "Atlantic" to the "Wall Street Journal."

The former literary editor of the "Weekly Standard" and former editor in chief of the journal "First Things," he holds a Ph.D. in medieval philosophy and has done television commentary for networks from the BBC to EWTN, including appearances on NBC's Meet the Press and the PBS NewHour. His books include his latest poetry collection, "The Second Spring."

He lives with his family far off in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
I found the book irritating.
Larry Mortenson
I recommend you buy this insightful and enjoyable book and read it before Christmas!
Kevin Flaherty
He evokes the true spirit of Christmas, as only he can.
Joan Bradley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James A. Hageman on November 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I am not a big fan of "Christmas books." The ones I've glanced at or read seem mawkish and tawdry.
Enter "The Christmas Plains." It is a joy, a gift one must give at least to oneself, and, I would say, to as many friends as possible. It is literary and personal, and yet in it I experience the Christmas of the plains (where I live now) as well as those of my youth (in California, of all places!). Joseph Bottum is not a writer but an author. He is often compared to Dickens, but he reminds me of Willa Cather in his skill with the language.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dionysius on November 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Joseph Bottum is one of the most original voices in American literature today, and here he tells a tale for the ages that will bring smiles, and tears, and understanding, and wisdom. But be warned: if you read this book, you'll start sending gift copies to people you love. I did.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Flaherty on November 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Joseph Bottum calls Christmas "the compass needle that points us to God". He takes us on a wonderful journey through the season mixing in his childhood memories and penetrating observations of our society in the present day to remind us that,"...if we follow it- if we surrender,joyfully,to it- Christmas will lead us where we need to go." Mr. Bottum is a gifted storyteller and an engaging writer. I recommend you buy this insightful and enjoyable book and read it before Christmas!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joan Bradley on December 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Joseph Bottum has once again proven himself to be a master of the English language with his latest artistic triumph. He weaves together the perfect story of Christmases long ago. He evokes the true spirit of Christmas, as only he can.

If you have never treated yourself to one of his books, you are in for a feast of the written word. I dare say that Joseph Bottum's new book is destined to become an instant classic.

I tried to stay awake to finish the book on the first night, but couldn't. I literally fell asleep and tried to will myself to get up to read more; it was that well-written! Do yourself a favor and buy this today.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By HPT on December 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a beautiful roundup of American and earlier Christmas traditions, told in the frame of Jody Bottum's reminiscences of growing up in South Dakota. A valuable book to have for one's own Christmas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jessie O'Kennedy on January 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It says it's about Christmas in the Dakotas. Far from it. He rambles on about nothing and certainly nothing about the Dakotas. Was boring. Had to push to get it finished.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patricia A. Murphy on January 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Oh the joy of finding, between the covers of a small book, words that charm and delight a reader. Because even though all books are made up of words, some are created to much more pleasing advantage than others. It's difficult to describe, but easy to recognize and with The Christmas Plains by Joseph Bottum you will immediately appreciate that this is quality writing, because there it will be nestling into your mind as you keep turning pages. There are some authors who have such a way with what they have to say as to be completely captivating. Such is Bottum and this book. While he is sharing many of his memories, don't be surprised when some of your own rise to the surface. This is a fascinating little book, brilliantly written, and for some reason I want to buy a copy for everyone I know and present it to them next Christmas. And so I probably shall. There comes, every so often, a book you simply feel the need to share. This is one such book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Bailey on January 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was given to me by a friend at Christmas time. What a good selection! I, in turn, ordered a copy sent to a friend of mine and recommended it to several others. It is especially meaningful when one can relate to many of the essays by remembering one's own holiday experiences.
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