Logos Bookstore’s Recommendations
By H. Harris Healy, III, President, Logos Bookstore
1575 York Avenue (Between 83rd and 84th Sts.)
NY, NY 10028
Fax (212) 517-7197
In The Days of The Angels: Stories & Carols For Christmas
by Walter Wangerin, Jr.
Waterbrook Press, $13.95
H. Harris Healy, III
As the Holiday season arrives, commercial holiday music dominates the sound systems of stores, restaurants and public buildings proclaiming ‘tis the season to be jolly and every one starts to feel sentimental and wants to feel good, there may be people who are dealing with tough issues in their life and find the commercial Holiday season superficial, but want to find joy in the season. In The Days of The Angels: Stories & Carols For Christmas by Walter Wangerin, Jr., author of The Book of the Dun Cow, is the book for finding joy in the holidays amidst pain, suffering and loss.
The first story of the collection, ‘The Manger Is Empty’ tells of young children who befriend a cancer patient in the hospital, who in her last days is full of joy at hearing the singing of her young friends. One in particular, the minister’s daughter, Mary, becomes very upset when the woman dies on the 22nd of December. This is Mary’s first experience of the death of someone she knows. Yet while participating in the Christmas pageant she discovers a new perspective on life and faith and that brings understanding and comfort to her and joy to her father.
‘Moravia’ is a most powerful story of a family coming to terms with celebrating Christmas after a long protracted death in the hospital from a broken neck and pneumonia of the eldest son, Paul, a star football player. The first person narrator, Willie, appears to be a stand-in for the author. In fact the two stories mentioned here and one called ‘A Quiet Chamber Kept for Thee’ come across as autobiographical accounts of a few past Christmases of the author. In addition to these stories there are several original carols and a few other prose pieces.
Wangerin’s storytelling ability is in full force in his masterpiece, The Book of the Dun Cow. The vividness of his characters spring to mind: Chauntecleer, the proud, noble rooster with his distinctive crowing, Mundo Cani, the mournful dog with the big wet nose, John Wesley Weasel, quite the aggressive, edgy fighter, Cockatrice, the hideous, odious rooster/serpent killer and the Dun Cow a mysterious being of comfort, healing and strength. The battle between good and evil that rages on in the novel is all encompassing of all beings in that world. Chauntecleer leads the forces of good including Mundo Cani, John Wesley Weasel, deer, rabbits, field mice, black and red ants, wild turkeys, hens, foxes, otters, and other weasels, with the Dun Cow intervening at key times to help them. Cockatrice on land leads the evil forces of serpents, Basilisks, black licorice in color and hatched out of hen’s eggs tended to by a toad, while under the earth, absolute evil, the Wyrm tries to free itself. Walter Wangerin is a writer who engages the reader’s attention and leads the reader to a fuller understanding of love, life and good and evil.
For wonderful selections of Christmas, Hanukkah and Holiday cards boxed or single as well as books, music and gift offerings come to Logos. While you are there, pick up a 2007 calendar and a copy of any or both of the books reviewed above. Happy Holidays!
Upcoming Events At Logos
Wednesday, December 6, 2006 at 7 P.M., KYTV Reading Group will discuss February House by Sherill Tippins.
Wednesday, January 3, 2007 at 7 P.M., KYTV Reading Group will discuss The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers.
Monday, January 8, 2007 at 7 P.M., The Sacred Texts Group led by Richard Curtis will discuss the early life of Jesus and the Sermon On The Mount.
Transit: 4,5,6 Subways to Lexington Ave. & 86th St., M86 Bus (86th St.), M79 Bus (79th St.), M31 Bus (York Ave.), M15 Bus (1st & 2nd Aves)