Tag Archives: Charles Dickens

Book Review: “A Christmas Carol”

Well, it has been quite the busy week. I missed my initial posting about this week’s reading, and instead spent a few days entertaining my family, who came out to visit for Christmas. We had a great Christmas, and the kids got a visit from Santa (he actually came to our house!). After the family left, I caught a bought of the flu, and have been battling a fever for the past few days. I have had plenty of time for reading, being stuck on the couch in my (new) heating blanket (thanks, honey!) for the last few days.

This week, I kept with the “Month of Holidays” theme for December, and tackled Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic A Christmas Carol.


I had never read this book before this week, although (like most people) I know the story very well, having seen various movie adaptations over the years. One of my favorites was the one with Patrick Stewart, although my family has been watching a lot of A Muppet Christmas Carol recently.

I really enjoyed this book! Although I know the story, it was beautiful reading Dickens’ words. The story is a quick read, and very entertaining. It’s interesting to read the book and know what had been changed in the various movie adaptations, as well as what was kept the same (most of the dialogue). Ebenezer Scrooge is truly a loathsome character in the beginning of the novel, who experiences a sort of redemption though a supernatural experience. But was it ghosts, or was it simply a dream?

It’s amazing what a giant story Dickens manages to tell in a short 100 pages. All of his characters – from Scrooge to Fred, to the three ghosts – are all well developed, and a reader feels connected to them throughout the story. The book is just five brief chapters – the introduction, the visit from the first ghost, the visit from the second ghost, the visit from the third ghost, and the resolution – but those five chapters tell such an important story. It’s no wonder this book has stood the test of time, and become a permanent part of the Christmas season.

I’m sure you’ve seen a movie, but have you ever read A Christmas Carol? For me, this book inspired feelings of nostalgia remembering all the Christmases I’ve watched various movie adaptations with my family. Reading this book made me feel connected to something larger than my little Christmas gathering, and helped me remember that there are millions of people celebrating this time of year – many who have a special place in their heart for this story.

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December Reading List

Hello everyone! Sorry for releasing this later than usual, but this one was a little tricky for me to put together. December’s theme for our “one book per week” challenge is “Month of Holidays.” My intention was to find books that would cover all the holidays in the month of December, but it was hard to find books to represent any holiday other than Christmas. I was a little ashamed that the book store had three aisles dedicated to Christian books and Christian fiction, but half a shelf dedicated to Judaism, and perhaps three shelves dedicated to “Eastern Religions.” I checked the comedy section and found plenty of books by Jewish authors, but nothing holiday related. I found tons of books online, but nothing downloadable, and nothing I wanted to pay $25 for.

So… I pieced together a list as best I could, and hope no one feels left out this month!

Dec 1 – 7 – Holidays on Ice – David Sedaris


I am a big fan of Sedaris, who writes comedic novels about his life. In this book, Sedaris tells short stories about his family holidays in his youth, which will probably be hilarious and exceptionally entertaining! This will be a fun one to read along with, and I hope you can find it at the book store or the library (it has also been made into an audio book, so if you’re busy prepping for the holidays, this one will keep you entertained on your long drives). I’ll be honest – this book is short. I picked it for this week because I have three major essays due this week, and need to be able to spend my time focusing on my finals for my classes, rather than reading for pleasure. This one should be a good relief from the tension of finals week!


Dec. 8 – 14 – ‘Twas the Night After Christmas – Sabrina Jeffries


I came across this one during a late night visit to Target with my husband. The store had put out their Christmas books, and I don’t think I’ve ever really paid attention before, but… there were shelves and shelves of trashy paperback Christmas books!! We had fun picking up the ones with the most ridiculous titles and reading excerpts aloud in the store, and we decided ‘Twas the Night After Christmas had the best potential to induce both giggles and blushing. I am not a huge fan of trashy paperback novels (oh, I’m sorry… “paperback romances”…) but I am doing this challenge to expand my horizons, and pick up books I never would have before. The cover alone was reason enough to know this was a winner (the most skin showing in Target’s aisles). I hope you can find it at the library or used book store – if not, you can get it on sale at Target or Walmart.


Dec. 15 – 21 – Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Soul – Arielle Ford


Like I said before, I had a hard time finding books to represent other religions at this time of year, and this one was one way I could do that. This book takes short stories from people of all walks of life – different religions, backgrounds and countries – who have had experiences with angels, miracles and healings. I always find this time of year to be very magical, and I think a cup of hot chocolate is a great way to support our mystical souls during the holidays! This one might be a total dud, but it also might be enlightening and inspiring! I found it for $2.50 at the used book store, so … extra bonus!


Dec. 22 – 28 – A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens


Well, I couldn’t get through the holiday season without picking up this classic! I have never read it before – although I have seen about 100,000 movie adaptations (slight exaggeration). The week of Christmas is the best time to read this book, and I look forward to reading Dickens’s classic novel! I hope you’ll read along with me this week!


Dec. 29 – Jan. 4 – I Am Regina – Sally M. Keehn


This one isn’t really holiday related, but I added it because, well, I am Regina! My birthday is December 31 and falls in the middle of this week, so I wanted to take the chance to read a book with my name in the title! This historical fiction novel is technically for children, but involves some pretty adult themes (a young girl’s family is killed by Native Americans, she is kidnapped and forced to live among them). I’m really looking forward to reading this one, and finishing out 2013 with a good book!

So there you have it – December’s “Month of Holidays” reading list! I hope you have time to get your books from the library or used book store (or download your ebook), and will join me for at least one book this month!

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In your words… again…

Keeping with out Movie/TV adaptations theme for September (that is, books that have been turned – or are being turned – into movies or TV shows), I asked some followers on my Facebook page what their FAVORITE book to movie/TV show adaptations were. Here are some responses:

Sara: “The Help. I thought the book told the story better.” (Regina says: “I haven’t read the book yet, but the movie was fantastic! Maybe we can find somewhere in this challenge for ‘The Help.’”)

Christina: “A Clockwork Orange. It’s one of the few I feel actually met and exceeded expectations. A close second would be Fight Club even though the ending was different”

Erin: “GAME OF THRONES” (Regina says: “I agree 100%!!!)

Anna: “One of my top favs is Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend and the screen adaptation.. Our Mutual Friend (1998 TV serial) .. Dumas’ Count Of Monte Cristo was a pretty good book to screen adaptation…at least they didn’t completely butcher how fun a story that it….Edson’ Wit was amazing. Cooper’ The Last Of The Mohicans was wonderful!.. I almost liked the movie better..(probably because Daniel-Day Lewis is beyond sexually attractive).. as was Leroux’ The Phantom Of The Opera.. mmmm , more contemporary is Larsson’ The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo.. Niels Arden Oplev did a great job with the screen adaptation.. Are you just looking for big thick impressive books??? cause.. Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle was such a GREAT screen adaptation.”

Julia: “City of Ember”

So what are your thoughts? What are some of the better book-to-movie/TV show adaptations out there?


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