Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Books 52 & 53 of 2016: Betty's Bright Idea; Deacon Pitkin's Farm; and the First Christmas by Harriet Beecher Stowe & A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Yes, I'm still reviewing Christmas books. Look at it this way, you can use this to give you an idea of books to look out for in the run up to December this year.

First of today's books is a collection of stories by Harriet Beecher Stowe; Betty's Bright Idea; Deacon Pitkin's Farm; and the First Christmas.

This is a trio of stories, all with a Christmas theme and to be honest, they're kind of depressing. The first has babies dying at Christmas to give people a sense of pity for suffering. The second has a guy giving up on his dreams of an education. And the third was about the Pilgrims and had people dying as well!

These stories are obviously intended to be religious and moral stories for the season though one of the biggest things I was aware of as I was reading them was how much has changed since this book was written.

It's a very short book, only about one hundred pages. All the same, it took me quite a while to get through. It was a nice glimpse into the past, but it's one that I'm unlikely to read again.

I followed this up with A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens because it was the second week of December and it needed to be done. This time I read it in ebook format.

I've reviewed this one so many times that I'll keep this fairly short. And I'm pretty confident that you know the gist of A Christmas Carol. If you don't, head over to Project Gutenberg and read it, then come back and read this review.

As always, I enjoyed my reread of this book. It took me a little longer than usual to read, though I've noticed in later years I've been slower to read it than in the past. For a while I used to be able to sail through it on Christmas Eve, but now I try and read it earlier in the month so it's done before Christmas Day.

I picked out all of my favourite quotes as I read. Some of them are favourites purely because of the various adaptations that we've seen and own, but lots of them are because of the way that Dickens writes. And some are a combination of both the writing and the way they're played in the adaptations.

Speaking of the adaptations, I couldn't help but imagine them as I was reading. In my head I've got the kind of perfect version with Scrooge taken from this film, and Marley taken from that one, and Bob Cratchit from this one. In my head it's also a musical with a mix of songs from three of the musical versions as well. It's a little distracting when you're trying to read.

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