Thursday, December 10, 2009

Done with The Man Who Invented Christmas

Okay, I finally finished last night. This book took WAY longer to read than I'd expected. It was interesting enough, but kind of felt like a stretch, overall. I think the material would have done better as a long introduction to A Christmas Carol plus maybe a few nice long New Yorker or Atlantic essays - the history of Christmas in England; Dickens and the evolution of publishing; how Dickens's childhood informed his writing, etc. It felt like the author didn't really have enough material for the book he wanted to write, so he threw it all together and put references to A Christmas Carol on the front because he knew that would make it sell.

But it certainly wasn't bad, and if you're interested in this stuff, go ahead and read it. One thing I learned: several of the "Christmas books" don't actually mention Christmas. Hmph!

On to A Christmas Carol itself today!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Behind. Already.

Of course I'm behind! Sigh. December is, you know, really busy. That should have occurred to me when I was making the schedule. Oh well. I'm still reading The Man Who Invented Christmas - I'm up to page 89, and we've finally gotten through the writing and production of A Christmas Carol! So that's something. I'm still unimpressed with the quality of the writing - I just found a COMMA SPLICE, for goodness' sake - but the story is interesting so I shall persevere.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Man Who Invented Christmas... Eventually...

I read a few more chapters last night, and it's interesting but still hasn't gotten to anything about Christmas in general or A Christmas Carol in particular. Any time now!

These chapters did talk a fair amount about the evolution of publishing and bookselling, so that was interesting. There was a throwaway paragraph about WH Smith, which was apparently the first bookstore chain. I wonder if there's a book about that? That would be fun.