Yesterday’s Reflections: A Repository of Memories, by Alfred Schmid, is a book in two parts. Schmid opens with lessons on each holiday, sharing both common knowledge and historical origins of the days Americans commemorate each year. He then shifts gear into devotional mode, offering folksy stories.
A 2013 calendar opens the book, and references are made to specific days in 2013. This dating of the text may be a turn-off for potential readers, especially once a new year begins. In addition, while there are tidbits of interesting, little-known historical facts about the holidays, they are often bogged down by the obvious.
Tucked away at the end of this long journey through the calendar are the devotions, which offer biblical insight and wisdom on topics such as contentment, our worth to God, and the follies of youth, as well as various poems. Though entertaining and at moments enlightening, they begin to read, after a while, like a stuffed e-mail folder entitled “warm-fuzzies.”
The effect of Schmid’s two-part format for this book is not unlike finding Chinese food options on the menu at your favorite Italian restaurant — it just doesn’t make sense. The book would have better served as a devotional with each holiday’s history as the entry for their respective days.
In addition to the quirky format, there are endless typographical and grammatical errors. One small example: on page eight, “Mardi Gras” is spelled three different ways. Past and present tense compete within sentences, and lines of text are unintentionally repeated. These literary missteps are distracting and often render the text confusing and disjointed.
This book’s intended audience is not clear. Due to the extensive spelling and grammar errors, the book cannot be trusted as an authority on the histories of the holidays. However, for readers looking for “short stories, devotionals, poems [and] lessons” on life along with a little history of the holidays, Schmid’s reflections may offer some interest.
Also available as an ebook.