Thursday, 3 January 2013

2012 Book Catch Up, Books 97 - 98

Here we go, carrying on the catch up of my last year's reading so that I can hopefully get back on track with my reading reviews this year. Luckily the book I'm reading right now is The Fellowship of the Ring which should keep me going for a week or so, which gives me an opportunity to get these all churned out.

Book 97 of 2012: Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
I've had this book for years but it's been ages since I last read it. I've got three different versions of Winnie-the-Pooh (a fancy hard cover illustrated copy, a cute little box designed to look like a cupboard with each story in its own individual little book, and the copy I chose to read which was I've had for as long as I can remember). It's always been on my bookcase so it was lovely to revisit it.

I kept on getting a little bit muddled between the books and the Disney films. This book didn't have Tigger in it, though I kept on expecting him to appear. While I was reading I was imagining the Disney version, I've got the original Winnie-the-Pooh movie on DVD so I think I'm going to have to dig it out and watch it now.

It's impossible to pick a favourite because they are kind of classics, but my favourites were the first one which introduces Winnie-the Pooh, the one about Eeyore's tail and the one about the 'expotition' to the North Pole. Reading it as an adult is interesting because you pick up on little things that you don't get as a child, like the sign on Piglet's house saying 'Trespassers Will'. I just didn't appreciate some of those little jokes which I'm sure were put there for the adults reading the stories to their children.

There are little snippets of poetry throughout the book and it's made me want to revisit some of A.A. Milne's poetry, so when I next rearrange my bookcase I'll have to dig out When We Were Very Young & Now We Are Six.

Book 98 of 2012: A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
For the last few years I've reread A Christmas Carol in the run up to Christmas. I used to try to read it on Christmas Eve, it was a good way to make myself fall asleep because I'd start in the early evening and not let myself go to sleep until I'd finished it. Now that's not really practical, so I have to try and get to it a bit earlier.

In the last few years I've read this in a different format each year; book, online using Project Gutenberg, on a free book 'game' on my Nintendo DS, and since I had a Kindle this year, it seemed logical to get a free ebook copy.

When I was reading it, we were in the middle of watching all our Christmas films and (no kidding) we have about six different versions of this, so I couldn't help but picture the various films we'd been watching. In some ways it was a bit distracting, but I suppose it shows what an enduring story it has become.

I've read this so many times that I've got favourite lines that I look forward to. In particular the line about 'more of gravy than of grave', it really disappoints me whenever an adaptation doesn't include it. I must have highlighted huge chunks of this book while I was reading it, just as well I was reading it on Kindle rather than in paperback.

It really just embodies the perfect Christmas story for me. It's short and it's familiar, as it's been adapted so many times, even if you've never read the book, you know the story. Even though I've read it so many times, every time I read it I feel like I notice something new or something that I've not seen before. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who's never read it, and if you're read it before, go back and take another look at it. ;)

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