Tuesday, January 01, 2008

January, Blessed January, Is Finally Here

And not a moment too soon, if you ask me. In fact, it may be a few moments too late. Though, actually, if it were later still, I might have finished the draft I was hoping to complete by the end of the year.

Here's something I've learned this past past week--Getting up at 5:30 or so to work before putting in a day of holiday prep two to three days in a row may not be a stellar plan. Or maybe, as one of my family members has mentioned in the past, I'm just not accustomed to hard work.

As any old Sunday school teacher could tell you, even though it is January we are deep into the Christmas season. So I'm not at all late telling you about the books I got for Christmas or the Christmas-y book adaptation I just finished watching on TV.

First off, a family member gave me a copy of David Copperfield that had been in his family since, maybe, the 1920s or '30s. (My living room is the final resting place for most old children's books in our family, and the family member who gave me David Copperfield thought I would like it, too. And I do.) The book doesn't include a copyright, but the publisher is Walter J. Black, Inc. I'd never heard of that publisher before, but according to an obituary for one of its former presidents, it "specializes in reprints of popular titles, and issues books in the Classics Club, the Detective Book Club and the Giants of Literature series, among others." The book includes the original illustrations by Hablot Knight Browne.

No, I have never read David Copperfield. And, yes, now maybe I should.

The other book I received was The Book Club Cookbook by Judy Gelman and Vicky Levy Krupp, which, from what I've read of it so far, is really quite terrific. The book isn't just recipes, which would be kind of gimmicky and get old very, very fast. Instead each title covered includes a description of the book, some recipes related to the story, and then a profile of a book club that has discussed the book. Really, you can skip the recipes, if you want.

Gelman and Levy Krupp have also written The Kids' Book Club Book.

Then this morning I finally finished watching The Hogfather, which ran on a cable station weeks ago and which I've been watching in bits and pieces ever since. The Hogfather is an adaptation of a Discworld book of the same name by Terry Pratchett. The Hogfather is the Discworld equivalent of Santa and Hogswatch is the Discworld equivalent of Christmas. The story involves an assassin hired to off the Hogfather, how he goes about it, and who stops him. (You'll be surprised.)

I found watching this rough going for quite a while because there were a number of characters with what appeared at first to be unrelated storylines and the film kept flipping around among them. I felt I would have enjoyed reading it more than watching it. But the ending was quite interesting and worth hanging around for.

The experience inspired me to read another Pratchett book that's been on my TBR shelf for years. I'm rather enjoying that one. More on that another time.

6 comments:

Reading Fool said...

I'm working on Hogfather, too. I caught the beginning and end, but I missed a lot of the middle. So I *still* don't know what the wizards have to do with anything. I'm particularly curious to know if that shower room (or whatever it was) has *any*thing to do with the plot! My favorite bit so far was Death Mouse. That made me laugh out loud! I liked this enough to 1) know I need to make sure the library has a copy (I think it no longer does) and 2) want to read another book with Susan in it. I want to know what her story is.

gail said...

It took me a long time to figure out that the wizards were part of a wizard school. They do come into it finally, but, now that you mention it, I don't recall the significance of the shower. And while I understand who Susan is in terms of her family relationships, I never figured out what she is. I did like her.

Death struggling to cover for the Hogfather was good. I also liked his elf, Albert.

I have to admit that watching this in forty-minute chunks a couple of times a week probably didn't do it justice. Maybe I'll pick the book up before next December and read it during Advent. I did like the philosophical stuff at the end.

Definitely an adult holiday story.

Kate said...

I have a hard time imagining a movie version, but Pratchett in general, and the Hogfather in particular, is our household's favorite antidote to seasonal affective disorder.
The Hogfather makes for interesting holiday decorations too.

gail said...

I can imagine.

Sherry said...

All I can say is, read David Copperfield.

Ada said...

Your blog came up under my Yahoo search for this edition of David Copperfield, and I had to leave a comment. I think I have the same David Copperfield book as you. I found mine at a used bookstore, and they were giving it away. I've searching to find the copyright date and anything else about it. I haven't read it either.