I know I've written about Christmas already several times from the point of view of my preparations, but it feels a little like Christmas is coming early as I have had several parcels of books from publishers recently (see my post about the Canongate classics last week), but the books I've recieved this week have a Christmas connection, and would also make wonderful Christmas presents!
These beautiful books are White's pocket classics - hardback editions of 9 classic novels, but at a bargain £6.99. What particularly interested me apart from their lovely presentation was that each of the editions contains an introduction by a bestselling author - the list includes Jacqueline Wilson, Victoria Hislop, Kate Atkinson, Kate Moss, Michael Morpurgo, Ian Rankin and several others. The books also include a readers guide by the lady who edits the book reviews of Waterstone's Books Quarterly.
I asked to recieve The Christmas books by Charles Dickens, which contains A Christmas Carol, which I am familiar with, and four other tales - The chimes, The cricket on the hearth, The battle of life and The haunted man. I didn't know this, but apparently Dickens Christmas stories were so influential in the Victorian period that they made a big contribution to the creation of the concept of Christmas - I suppose many of our essential elements of Christmas do date back to the Victorian era, so I am very much looking forward to re-reading A Christmas Carol, and encountering the other stories this Christmas.
I also asked which book Jacqueline Wilson had introduced as I've been reading some of her children's books of late, and wasn't too surprised when I heard that it was Jane Eyre, as it is one of the books that she talks about reading in her autobiography Jackie Daydream. Ceri, who contacted me, kindly offered to include a copy of Jane Eyre too, and although I've read Jane Eyre many many times, it will be interesting to see what Wilson has to say about it.
Thank you very much to Ceri Maxwell for contacting me and offering me these books to write about on my blog.
Back to talking of Christmas reading, I'm starting to amass a stack of books to read over the festive period, and making a list of books that I want to reserve at the library, mainly books which I have been particularly looking forward to and want to have the time to savour. But I'm always on the look out for especially good books set at Christmas time - I love Miss Read's A country Christmas (though I was disappointed by the ghost written Christmas at Thrush Green last year) and Jostein Gaarder's Christmas mystery is definitely due a re-read this year. Does anyone have any good recommendations for books with a Christmas setting?
Excuse It, Please! by Cornelia Otis Skinner
9 hours ago