Wednesday, 23 December 2015

A Lil' Bookish Christmas

I'm finally starting to feel festive - went food shopping with the family today. I volunteered to help cook and then realised I have no idea how to roast a chicken (but that's what the internet's for).

Anyway, it's cold and grey outside and everyone's tired because it's the end of the year. So, it's perfect to sit and read whilst fighting off food comas and "do you have a job yet" lectures from relatives.

'Dash and Lily's Book of Dares' - Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

This is my all-time favourite Christmassy book. I've started reading it every year since my younger sibling got it for me as a gift. Sixteen-year-old Lily adores Christmas - but this year her family have left her alone. Encouraged by her brother, she hides a red notebook full of dares in her favourite bookshop, waiting for the right guy to accept. Cynical and uber-snarky Dash isn't one to step down from a challenge and they send each other on a scavenger hunt across Manhattan.

It's a very funny and cute YA novel. Their personalties are polar opposites which helps balance out each other. Lily can be annoyingly enthusiastic and Dash gets irritatingly sarcastic (I think I'm Dash rather than Lily). It's a wonderful light read for dark days.

The only downside is that I feel it ends rather abruptly/I was not emotionally ready to let these characters go. And that I really want to write the screen adaptation for this but a company has already bought it and apparently it's in production - although it's been a few years.

Please hire me (online portfolio is here).

'A Christmas Carol' - Charles Dickens

Neil Gaiman looking dapper
Almost everyone knows the story, whether or not they've actually read it. An absolute timeless classic, it's the Christmas tale. It's been adapted countless times and I reviewed a stage adaptation recently.

I've just discovered Neil Gaiman did a dramatic reading of this book last year for the New York Public Library - it's up on Soundcloud here. A champion of libraries, he read from NYPL's copy of A Christmas Carol which includes edits and prompts written by Dickens himself for his own readings. I love Neil Gaiman and apparently he did the reading in full costume. This story, like most of Dicken's work is ideal to for reading aloud and this will be my bedtime story in the final days before Christmas.

'Little Women' - Louis May Alcott

Image credit: Usborne

It begins at Christmas time as the March children are gathered around the fireplace, saddened that they cannot buy presents for themselves for Christmas.

Me too girls, me too.

This is another classic, I read and loved this as a child. I kinda hate it now but I still reread it. It's a book of its time - some read it as progressive, I still think it's problematic with a lot of messages that women should work towards being a good wife in the future and relinquish all ambitions. Also, I discovered there was a second part to the story a few years ago. I read it, got VERY ANGRY at certain events and now refuse to acknowledge the second part's existence.

Apparently, Alcott herself didn't think highly of it - she found it quite boring to write but it did well so she continued. Ultimately, it's a charming little book and sets an old-fashioned Christmassy mood.

Hope you're all well, let me know what you're reading this winter time and I hope you have a very bookish Christmas!

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