Book Review: Oh Holy Night and Other Stories

Back in mid-December, I posted how everyone should support a local writer and purchase Keith Lowell Jensen’s Oh Holy Night and Other Stories.  Having read it last week, I can say with authority that it’s $10 well spent.  Although you can read each of the published stories on his blog, the book is much more portable, and you’re able to read it while in the waiting room of the doctor’s office (unlike a PDA or laptop, which could interfere with pacemakers and other vital equipment), as I did last week. 

As I was reading the book, it reminded me of talking to a friend whom I’ve known since grade school but only see every few years or so.  Invariably, he’s someone I run into at the Pine Cove, and I am entertained for a couple hours while splitting pitchers of PBR and listening to the types of stories that happen only in his world.  Each of us has that kind of friend, and I’m sure Keith is that kind of friend to many.

I related most to the story about the “lock in” at the church of some girl he fancied.  Our youth group had a similar lock-in, and we were all SO excited about staying up all night and watching Friday Night Videos (which was on at 10pm!) then movies like Buckaroo Banzai (which has soured my taste for anything remotely sci fi.)  In the end, it was a let down.  Keith, you didn’t miss much at yours, and it sounds like things turned out better for you in the girl department in the long run.

He mentioned during his interview on Insight that he’d hired an editor.  “Thank goodness!” I thought, since I’m the type who’s distracted by typos and grammatical errors — despite the most thoughtfully written prose. 

Keith states on the header of his blog’s home page that he can’t spell, and I am OK with that.

As the daughter of an educator, I was taught long ago that some people just can’t spell.  They could be the most intelligent and creative of people, but there is some synapse that blocks the ability to suss out spelling errors.  We’re each wired differently – some of us notice the red and green markings in Word, or we look up things we don’t know. Conversely, more artistic types want to keep it flowing and not worry about structure and spelling.  Because these people, reading is fun and not everything sounds all corporate and instruction manual-like!

Check it out for yourself: Oh Holy Night is available at The Book Collector on 24th between J & K, at Body Tribe Fitness on 21st (owned & operated by a fellow Placer High School class of ’88 alum), and at the Crest Theatre on K Street.

 

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: Oh Holy Night and Other Stories”

  1. I’m actually really relieved to read this. Here I was, sure that you’d hyped it based on the radio show and then bought two copies and ended up not liking it. What? No, I’m not insecure. Why do you ask?
    As for the editor, he was rushed and underpaid and as a result there are some you’re vs your errors and other such distractions but it’s a big improvement over my writing without an editor.

    Oh, also, the book in now also available at Olipom on 21st between K and J and at The Toyroom Gallery on K between 9th and 10th.

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  2. I wasn’t going to point out any grammar gaffes I did find as part of my ’07 resolution to be a kindler & gentler reader. Although, I still can’t decide which of these shirts to order:

    http://www.onehorseshy.com/highbrow/

    Didn’t Olipom suffer a fire last summer? I’m glad to know they’re back in business.

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  3. Ah, so KLJ is you Keith..makes sense. Hey! your band the Uglysticks played at my house (casa de Cockerham) back in the day. You were awesome. We were all really afraid of the really strong, not quite all there veteran who lived in a studio behind our house after he had attacked some meth dealers by beating them down with his bike. THat and he would just come in our house sometimes. Anyways, long story short, right before the cops put you in the squad car you were yelling at him..I always thought that was brave. I like your site and want to see your panhandling movie. When’s it coming out?

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  4. Ha ha, I should write about THAT night. Boy you and Cockerham really knew how to throw a Cinco De Octoberfest party like no other Mark. I loved the little balloon in your shower that read, “Congratulations on your shower.” If you don’t mind, I’d really rather not explain what I was doing in your shower.

    Yeah, I remember making fun of your neighbor for being named Red, for being so boring as to have no nickname worthy trait other than the color of his hair. Also he had a pony tail. I’ve never liked guys with pony tails.
    I ended up in the back of a cop car before the end of that night. Ah those were good times.

    As for Olipom, the relocated pretty quick after the fire. The space right next to Flatspot came open and since Ms. Olipom is married to Mr. Flatspot it worked out quite nice.

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  5. I really miss Cinco de Octoberfest..we had it 4 years in a row. It was even better than the pirate party and the rock n’ roll party. Rob would make a german pinyata. He made a hindenburg and a volkswagon bug. One year he made a giant swaztika (keep in mind we were going to beat the crap out of it with a stick) out of cardboard and he covered it with red tissue and a yellow ruffled tissue edge. I was talking to him on the roof where he was glueing on the tissue and all of a sudden I heard a crash and saw rob yell “oh shit” holding a giant swaztika. I then looked down into the alley and a cop car had crashed into a telephone pole, we assume due to looking up on our roof and seeing Rob. The cop backed up and peeled out down the alley.

    It’s been fun Sacrag, but I have to have one hell of a work week to make my hours. See yall soon, yuh hear.

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