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Posts Tagged ‘book review’

Notable Reviews of Palin’s “Good Tidings and Great Joy”

Posted by Jackie Siciliano on December 11, 2013


Gov. Palin’s “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas” has been well received as is evidenced by the number of people who have been willing to stand in line for hours in order to spend thirty-secondsor so shaking her hand and having their book signed.  You can view some of my blog entries about the book tour crowds here, here, here, and here.

Over the last few days there have been several notable book reviews that I would like to bring to your attention.  The first is from Peter Schweizer who is known for his work in exposing crony capitalism via his books “Throw Them All Out” and “Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets

From Breitbart:

‘Good Tidings and Great Joy’: Sarah and Todd Palin’s Christmas Gift Guide

Think all there is to say about the War on Christmas has already been said?

Think again.

With her trademark fearlessness and verve, Governor Sarah Palin’s new book, Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmasoffers readers an impassioned, informative, and unapologetic defense of the sacredness of the season.

“If I’m for Christmas, it’s only because I’m for Christ,” writes Gov. Palin. “There is no ultimate peace apart from Christ, and it is Christ who empowers every act of ‘goodwill toward men’ in our otherwise fallen hearts.”

The book’s blending of personal experience with discussions of political efforts to morph Christmas into a homogenized celebration of the “holidays” makes for a brisk and enjoyable read. Even as we learn that Todd Palin gives the Governor what she considers the coolest of Christmas gifts—such as a .30-06 rifle, hockey skates, and a “beautiful red manual ice auger for ice fishing”—Palin packs powerful punches.

“There are few things that anger a secular liberal atheist more than a horizontal plank intersecting a vertical plank—a cross—on public land,” writes Palin. “Perhaps Christmas causes so much anger because the very name of the holiday broadcasts the Name above all Names.”

Political junkies will also enjoy the insider gems Palin sprinkles throughout the pages. In one instance, Palin recounts an interaction with Fox News Network President Roger Ailes wherein the media guru asked the Governor, “What the h-ll is so offensive about putting up a plastic Jewish family on my lawn at Christmastime?”  More


Gov.  Palin shared a link to this podcast review by Randy Bohlender. It’s less than 5 minutes and definitely worth a listen.  In it Mr. Bohlender says:

“Thank you Gov. Palin for taking time out of your busy schedule to write about things that really matter.”


Lastly, Joel Pollack tweeted his review of “Good Tidings and Great Joy” complete with a Vine video.


Have you written your review of “Good Tidings and Great Joy” yet?  If not, why don’t you hop on over to Amazon or Barnes and Noble and do so today!

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Palin: Day 5 of “Good Tidings and Great Joy” Book Tour 11/16/13 (Updated)

Posted by Jackie Siciliano on November 16, 2013

“It Was A Fan Frenzy” for Sarah Palin in Naples, FL

Day 5 of Sarah Palin’s “Good Tidings and Great Joy” book tour took her to Naples, FL.  According to this report from NBC2, people seeking to buy copies of her book started getting in line at 10:00 p.m. on Friday evening.

h/t   iizthatiiz

Naples News published their account of Palin’s visit as follows:



Was Sarah Palin a hit in Naples?

You betcha.

Several hundred supporters of the GOP firebrand and former vice presidential nominee snaked around a North Naples Barnes & Noble on Saturday, collecting signatures in Palin’s new holiday book. The crowed craned for views of the former Alaska governor, with some getting in line at 6 a.m., four hours before Palin started signing copies of “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas.”

“It’s a great crowd. We kept looking outside and saw the line getting longer and longer,” said North Naples resident Ken Goodwich, who got in early after arriving with his grandson at 8:15 a.m. “People would stay here all day to get to see her.”

The Fox News commentator ushered her fans through quickly, offering a handshake, smile and brief question to people in line, flashing the smile and congeniality that launched the Palin phenomenon. Her Naples stop is the seventh on an 11-day, 17-city tour.

Palin’s book “defends the importance of preserving Jesus Christ in Christmas — whether in public displays, school concerts, and pageants, or in our hearts — and delivers a sharp rebuke to today’s society for the homogenization of the holiday season,” according to the publisher.

“It’s ridiculous that America is excluding the term ‘Merry Christmas’ from certain situations,” said Brenda Seiple, of North Naples, who arrived shortly before doors opened. “It’s part of our core. Everything else is OK, but for some reason these days Christianity isn’t.”

While the 256-page stocking stuffer flew out of the store by the hundreds, Palin’s political message remains her calling card. Those in line lauded Palin’s conservative credentials, particularly as some in the Republican Party call for a moderate movement in light of back-to-back presidential election losses.

“I think her emphasis on the American values is very important,” said Sandra Cerutti, of Marco Island. “Our freedoms are being taken away from us. Even our young people, they don’t have to think anymore. They don’t even have to go look for a job. Everything is taken care of for them.”

Palin’s political clout has lessened in recent years, yet her popularity remains. Several supporters came decked out in Alaska T-shirts. One teenage girl dressed as a Lipton Tea bag. North Naples resident Anne Brown, who said Palin still carries significant weight in GOP circles, proudly displayed her shirt reading “Palin Power” for the former governor.

“She does a lot behind the scenes, I think, that we’re not aware of,” Brown said. “She’s definitely a figure.” More

Not related to Palin’s stop in Naples but a noteworthy addition to today’s entry is a review of “Good Tidings and Great Joy, Protecting the Heart of Christmas” from Don Surber of the Charleston Daily Mail.  In it he writes:

UPON learning that their daughter Bristol was pregnant in the spring of 2008, Sarah and Todd Palin got into a heated argument over whether she should marry “that boy,” according to a new book.

The author is Sarah Palin.

She expected Bristol to marry the father. Her husband didn’t. After a heated discussion, which she described over four pages in her new book, Gov. Palin apologized.

“When I finally realized I needed to take the blame on that day, Todd’s face instantly softened toward me,” she wrote. “There’s something remarkable that happens when one person bridges the ever-widening gap by taking the blame and becoming vulnerable. The relationship suddenly has a chance. Both people can let their defenses down. That one sentence, ‘Yeah, I’m to blame,’ even makes the relationship stronger.”

Washington should try that.

Her candor also contrasts with the air-brushed bios of all the insiders in Washington. She cannot hide. The Associated Press assigned 11 reporters to “fact check” her memoir, “Going Rogue.” Palin also has to be the cleanest politician in America because that same AP and other news groups subpoenaed 24,000 emails from her when she was governor and found nothing — other than a keen sense of humor.

“Good Tidings and Great Joy” is her third book and the best of the lot as she relaxed and showed her chops as a writer.

The book centers on the secularization of Christmas. How odd it is that in preaching multicultural diversity, some people want to exclude from society Christianity and its culture, which covers most Americans.  More

It should be noted that there is information in the review that is correct. On page two the author states “Brody alludes to her running as a reformer against Gov. Frank Murkowski, whom she defeated in the Republican primary in 2010.”  The primary between Palin and Murkowski occurred in 2006, not 2010.

The next stops on the book tour will take Gov. Palin to The Villages and Pensacola on Monday, November 18th.


Gov. Palin posted this Facebook update on the Naples book signing earlier today (11/17/13).


Photo by Shealah Craighead

Great enthusiasm and insistence on a united team effort to protect the heart of America was in Naples! By the way, on this day in history in 1968, NBC cut away from the final minutes of the big New York Jets vs. Oakland Raiders game to begin the TV special, “Heidi,” so the movie would start on schedule. Meanwhile, the Raiders came from behind to beat the Jets 43-32! Now, as I mention in “Good Tidings and Great Joy” we didn’t have live TV in Alaska back then because of our young state’s unique location and rugged conditions, so that traumatic media distraction didn’t affect our day (we wouldn’t know of it until proceeding radio reports). But lesson learned.

We can apply this story to today’s political and economic climate with all the distractions and interruptions to what’s really going on behind the scenes as our freedoms are diminished day by day with the march towards socialized medicine, our government spying on us, the IRS targeting patriotic Americans, and the bloated federal bureaucracy and our exploding national debt hurtling out of control. But unanticipated outcomes do occur. The underdog does win!

Well that’s America today! We the People aren’t giving up; we “come from behind” and we win over this out of control government and political correctness run amok… all while attempts to distract ensue. Also, ironically on this day in history in 1800 Congress met for first time in the partially completed Capitol building. Look how far we’ve strayed since then from the Constitutional balance of power with Obama’s actions today.

So, on this fine football day, consider this day in history. Don’t let your guard down, America; don’t let their distractions take your eye off ball. As big government fumbles and penalizes us with broken policies and false promises, we must focus on the goal line and push for a come from behind victory! With a united team effort in 2014, we’ll win! It starts with great patriots like those we met yesterday in Naples, Florida, at the book signing and SarahPAC event.


A great gallery of 10 photos was also posted to Facebook.  Again, it’s easy to see how much people just love interacting with Gov. Palin.  Here’s my favorite one from the Naples book signing.



Photo by Shealah Craighead

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An Alaskan Review of “Our Sarah: Made In Alaska”

Posted by traceyporreca on October 3, 2012

Determined to give an honest review and not to allow my friendships with the family influence my review of the book, I found it difficult in reading the first few pages not to notice similarities between what was being described, and what I know of the authors. “Fish out of water” feelings in describing the surreal nature of being thrust into the limelight, and the journey of their lives to this point described in ways I’ve witnessed in person, affirmed this book is truly written from the heart of these authors, not just from memory. Personal connections (and difficulties in the timeliness of my review) aside, I endeavor to review “Our Sarah: Made In Alaska.”

Being “Alaskan” is hard to describe to those outside without the typical clichés – the adventure, the rugged landscape and the people who inhabit it, and the lifestyle. I believe it’s all these things that make it hard to describe what it’s like to live here and become a part of it, but this book has done a very good job of describing the components that make up that pioneer spirit. Every person’s walk through life is different, and every Alaskan’s path is even broader. Not gushing over Sarah Palin’s accomplishments, but rather weaving a tale of their life’s journeys, you are left to the realization that each step in life forms us, shapes us, into who we become. We use these influences to make the decisions that affect ourselves and others. The how’s and why’s of Sarah Palin’s decisions as an individual and political influence are left to the reader – the book is a journey you take with Sarah Palin’s father and brother into who she has become. Not spending a lot of time gushing over Sarah and how exciting it is to be a family member, but more time telling Alaskan stories that build a framework of how Sarah came to be the person she is. This book is as much about living life in Alaska and taking all the best things from it, as it is a telling of how that lifestyle shaped who Sarah Palin is today.

The well-known topics of faith, patriotism, family, and a love of outdoors and sports, are dealt with affection and care. This is not a book that tells you why she is who she is – it’s more a book of discovery. While their writing styles are different, each chapter brings you closer to understanding more about Alaska and the Heath/Palin family.

While I personally know Chuck Sr. better than I do his son, I was surprised at some of the things revealed in this book – stories I’ve never heard and things about both their pasts that led to “ah ha” moments and put things into perspective. One of the things I’ve always enjoyed when being around Chuck Sr. are his stories – his ability to tell any tale. He is one who has a gift for being able to recount an event and not make the listener feel as if he is being told a “fish story,” but rather someone who has a sage wisdom about that of which he speaks. You’re privy to a piece of living history in the stories he recounts. His son is an amazingly good writer and does an excellent job of making this book enjoyable while telling his version of growing up, “Alaska Style” in the Heath household.

If you think you’ve heard it all, and read it all – think again. This book makes the picture clearer than ever before, told by those who lived it and were there, not by those who admire or have their own agenda. It led me to appreciate and understand them, and Sarah Palin, even more.

There will be those Alaskans (and those outside), particularly in the media, who will read this review and others and form their own opinions from the reviews – not the book. The comparisons will come as well as some negative meme, and that is truly unfortunate. As an Alaskan, I ask that you read the book and form your own opinion. We Alaskans enjoy our independence and free spirit – it suits us well. After reading this book you can’t help but have a better understanding and appreciation for the foundation that Sarah Palin’s family and their experiences have given her, and this book is a testament to that.

(Tracey Porreca is an Alaska resident and founder of Alaskans4Palin. Our Sarah: Made In Alaska was provided for review by MNS)

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Review of Our Sarah: Made in Alaska: An Intimate Look into the Life of Sarah Palin

Posted by Adrienne Ross on September 8, 2012

By Adrienne Ross –

I had the honor of reading an advance copy of Our Sarah: Made in Alaska, written by Sarah Palin’s father and brother, Chuck Heath, Sr. and Chuck Heath, Jr. Below is my book review of their intimate story of the person who captivated America upon becoming the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee. While many have only seen her through the biased lens of the mainstream media, the authors take us beyond that veil, allowing us to see who Sarah Palin really is and how that person came to be.

How often have you embarked upon a reading journey only to find yourself so captivated by the words on the page that putting the book down is not an option? If you’re lucky, you might encounter such a scenario a handful of times throughout your years. During these experiences, we allow neither hunger, responsibilities, nor sleep to pull us away because we find ourselves glued to the words on each page. These moments, though refreshing, are extremely rare. Our Sarah: Made in Alaska was one such moment for me.

When it comes to Sarah Palin, everyone has a narrative, an impression, an opinion–and most have expressed them. Indeed, the verbiage on the subject is without parallel. But who would you rather hear from–those who claim to know her, or those who know her well, who have seen her at both her weakest and strongest moments, and have shared a lifetime of memories with her? Chuck Heath, Sr. and Chuck Heath, Jr. have promised readers an intimate look into the life of this political lightning rod who has captured the minds, if not the hearts, of all of America. They delivered. While many view her, and thus refer to her, as the former governor of the remote state of Alaska, her father and brother’s vantage point is much closer–so close, in fact, that they’re able to do what most, even her most ardent supporters, cannot do: refer to her, in earnest, as “our Sarah.” The magic they have performed, however, is that the pages of their book, which hold the chapters of Palin’s life, convince us that we on the outside are in that same place of familiarity, or, at the very least, that it’s well within our reach.

I had been curious about the logistics of how Chuck, Sr. and Chuck, Jr. would co-author a book in which they shared family experiences. For example, how would they refer to certain people? Would Mrs. Heath be “Sally” or would she be “Mom”? Would Sarah be “my daughter” or “my sister”? Simple things like that grabbed my curiosity. The style they chose was perfect. Through alternating chapters, each author is able to share his own reflections and emotions surrounding a particular event, as he remembers it and as he feels it.

Though she is the subject of the book, and not the author, Sarah’s spirit is very much there, from the first page. She penned the foreword, and like a tour guide, she leads us as we set out on the journey. But then she withdraws, handing us over to the capable leadership of authors she trusts. Trusting them, however, did not shield her from feelings of apprehension when they decided to write the book, and she candidly tells readers why she was conflicted.

I began the reading with the knowledge that the father-son team intended to provide stories of family adventures, Sarah’s foundation of faith, and the influences that brought her to the place where she now stands. Yes, I found those things. What I also found was that Our Sarah is every bit their story as it is the story of their daughter and sister. The quotations they use to open each chapter provide evidence of that; while they highlight words that she has spoken, they also highlight their own. I grew to understand them more through the things they experienced–some joyful, some quite painful. Chuck, Sr., in particular, gives a heartwarming depiction of his upbringing and the regrets with which he’s had to live. Palin refers to her brother, Chuck, Jr., in Going Rogue as “all boy.” The sense of adventure he inherited from his father is evident in Our Sarah, as he continues to enjoy activities that he enjoyed as a youngster. By allowing readers to view them so intimately, they provide a closer view of Sarah. No doubt, both father and son would tell us she has impacted their lives, as she has the lives of many, but through the experiences they detail, it is obvious that she is who she is, in large part, because they are who they are.

In Our Sarah, Chuck, Sr. and Chuck, Jr. give us a look into a family that worked hard, played hard, and loved hard, with details of each. Their portrayal of both Sarah Heath and, later, Sarah Palin confirm the belief that, should she ever choose to do so, she could walk away from political life, remain in Alaska, and be every bit as happy. Alaska is in her, just as the lessons she’s been taught there, through the lifestyle she’s received there, are in her. She doesn’t need the national stage, but it has managed to get in her as well. She chooses to live the life she lives–not out of a need to be center stage, but out of a desire to make a difference. The authors inform the readers that even at a young age, big things seemed to be on the horizon for Sarah, and they tell us of people who, during the course of her upbringing, recognized her as someone “special,” someone who just had a certain “something,” and someone whose destiny called for greatness. They don’t belabor the point, but it’s certainly there.

Our Sarah took me through the full gamut of emotions. In the span of neighboring pages, I found myself seething with anger, laughing uproariously, and weeping uncontrollably. I was riveted while reading just how close death was at different times, and moved at how far away answers to life’s biggest questions sometimes were. I saw the frustration of both a protective brother, as he realized that there were battles he could not fight for his younger sister or shield her from, and a dad, as he observed his daughter so viciously wronged. Sarah’s brother and father show us their lives and her life, so ordinary that as I read of their regrets, challenges, and questions, I thought of my own. Though we’re all so very different in background and experiences, it’s all quite familiar. The range of emotions, therefore, is only natural. Readers who have fixated on how different they are from Palin should be prepared to come away realizing something else altogether.

Sarah Palin’s father, whose love for the great outdoors took him and his growing family to the Last Frontier, was eager to find rewarding work, satisfying adventures, and robust competition. Their family of athletes learned to push themselves to the limits, and they reaped the rewards of perseverance and hard work. As I turned the pages of Our Sarah: Made in Alaska, I became increasingly aware that Palin did not arrive at such heights of personal and professional achievement by accident.

Chuck, Sr. and Jr. show us how Sarah grew up with a competitive spirit, a stubborn streak, and dogged determination. Concerning sports, it was tenacity, not just talent, that brought her the success she enjoyed. She refused to give up. This didn’t dissipate as she got older and faced bigger challenges. She enjoyed greater successes with seemingly insurmountable odds. Her own self-determination and hard work, coupled with her ability to garner the support of others, propelled her into a career of public service that eventually propelled her onto the national stage. Her faith in God, though it was misrepresented and ridiculed on the campaign trail, remain at the forefront of her life, something she inherited from her mother, Sally. And this is the first time, at least as far as I know, that Chuck, Sr. opens up about faith, as he transparently tells of the impact of God and church on his wife and children.

Never before have I read a book that so passionately details the events of a life that it made me want a do-over. These authors stirred that within me. As I read, I began to feel that I had been cheated as a child. An upbringing in the cold wild of Alaska is not what I’m talking about. Snowmachining, hunting, and hiking sound wonderful, but that’s not what I’m talking about, either. What the authors manage to do is adequately describe how they view the world around them, which they see in a way that I could not fathom as a child. Admiring mountains and lakes and the history contained in them never dawned on me when I was a kid. Getting up before school and hunting was certainly not something I ever did. Neither did it ever cross my mind that others were doing it. Even as a youngster of faith, I never led a group of my peers at school in prayer. Reading their details of this kind of life, the kind that Sarah enjoyed, made me wish I could go back and do it again, do childhood again, and do it the Heath way this time–with the adventures, the expectations to work, and the deep family bonds.

Granted, it wasn’t all fun and games in their family. There were hardships, too. There were risks, estrangement, discovering dead bodies–and almost becoming one. But their account of their upbringing sounds like truly living to me. Their book makes me want to love deeper, dream bigger, and run faster–literally and figuratively. I already knew much of Sarah Palin’s fascinating life story, and I didn’t think there was room to grow in my respect for her, but this intimate look, through the distinct perspectives of two of the closest people in her life, made me respect and admire her all the more. I do not know if that was the authors’ intent, but they certainly accomplished as much.

Of course, Chuck, Sr. and Chuck, Jr. take us through the 2008 vice presidential candidacy. Where were they when they learned she was Senator McCain’s running mate? Did she ever drop a hint before then? What stood out at the start of her RNC speech? These answers are all in Our Sarah, along with deeper things like what causes resentment to build in a father and what causes it to melt like the snow at the end of an Alaska winter. Turning pages, I recognize names of people in the grassroots and blogosphere who have made an impact on Sarah and her family, promote her cause, and continue to provide support since the 2008 election, and I am reminded that she, like they, never forget even the little people who help along the way.

Our Sarah helped me understand the humility that Palin exemplifies, as well, in spite of her fame and success. Chuck, Jr., having been a gifted football player, relates one of his favorite lessons from his father: “When you get to the end zone, act like you’ve been there before.” Sarah epitomizes that type of grace. Never one to toot her own horn, you get the distinct impression that she takes everything that has occurred, particularly since 2008, in stride–the instant celebrity, the fortune, the opportunities. She’s made it into the end zone, but she never spikes the ball. She acts like she’s been there before. She acts like she belongs. Through the stories relayed by her father and brother, we see that she has been there and she does belong. With every early morning hunt, every basketball practice, every mile run, every child born, every sign-waving gathering, every campaign, and every speech she stepped into that end zone, and she learned how to handle it well because of her character, which was carved out of those lessons taught, people encountered, and experiences lived.

Our Sarah: Made in Alaska lives up to its promise as an intimate look into the various adventures, challenges, and influences in the life of Sarah Palin. I couldn’t put the book down. It inspired me, it fed my curiosity, and it left me wanting more. Glancing at the cover, before reading a word, I sensed the aura of family, home, and love that I also found waiting once I opened the book and began reading. Chuck, Jr. is not pictured on the cover, which I admit I find a questionable publisher’s decision for a book that pictures both his co-author and his subject. However, on the cover or not, Chuck, Jr. is very much present within the pages of the book, as is his father, and, of course, as is his sister. The more I read, the more I connected with Sarah Palin and her family. The more pages I turned, the more deeply I understood who she is, not through the ill-intentioned–or even well-meaning–words of someone who doesn’t really know her, but through the words of two people who have known her all her life and whose book has helped to make their Sarah our Sarah as well.

Our Sarah: Made in Alaska will be released on September 25, 2012.

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