Monday, 19 December 2011

Festive Reading...

It’s a bit of a slow day for the blog so I brazenly strode into the SFX Forum and shamelessly pinched the idea from this thread (thanks Boo!)

I haven’t re-read a book in a long time but I used to do nothing else but re-read all my books as a kid, especially at Christmas when I could tell that new books were sat under the tree and I had to find some way of passing the time until I could open them on the big day. If there wasn’t a decent film on then I’d probably end up either reading something or watching TV while reading something (which inevitably led to some interesting cross-over storylines... Someone needs to write a Ladyhawke/Star Wars crossover if they haven’t already).
What did I re-read though? I read a lot as a kid so it’s actually quite hard to narrow it down but a couple did stand out...

What is it about winter that makes me want to read books where the weather is even colder? I’m not a big fan of winter so I guess I want read something where the main character is even colder than I am. ‘The Dragonbone Chair’ (Tad Williams) was a good one, for this kind of reading, as poor Simon Snowlock had a very cold time of it when he journeyed into Rimmersgard in the face of some really brutal weather. Michael Scott Rohan’s ‘Winter of the World’ books were also good ‘cold reading’ with an entire world under threat from glaciers under the control of the gods. I’ll always remember when Alv steps onto the ice for the first time and the intensity of the cold is like physical pain... You guys really should read these books if you haven’t already, I highly recommend them. Like I said, these days I very rarely re-read anything although I’m getting a little bit nostalgic as we speak... ;o)


Going with the other question from the thread... I can’t help but associate Terry Pratchett’s ‘Discworld’ books with Christmas for the simple reason that there were a number of years where the latest paperback would be under the tree. I would deliberately set out to lose the family game of ‘Christmas Afternoon Monopoly’ (or cards, or whatever game it was) so I could get back to reading me some Pratchett. That was what Christmas was really about in those days :o)

Tad Williams’ ‘The Stone of Farewell’ is another book that I’ll always associate with Christmas as well; another present that I couldn’t help but dive into and only surface for things like food and drink. The big one for me though is...


I watched the TV adaptation, as a kid back in the early eighties, and was given the book not long afterwards. If there was ever a book the screamed ‘Christmas!’ then this is that book. Not only is the whole book covered in a thick blanket of snow but Christmas itself has to be saved (from a gang of criminals who have a car that can turn into an aeroplane, it’s funny what details you remember...). You just can't get a lot more 'Christmas' than that, you just can't.
The last time I read 'The Box of Delights' was one May and it just didn't feel right, this is a book that absolutely has to be read at Christmas or not at all :o) Now I'm feeling even more nostalgic for a re-read...

How about you folks then? Are there any books that you make a habit of re-reading over the festive season? Are there any books that mak you think of Christmas when you were a child? You know where the comments go...

4 comments:

Jay said...

I've think I got frostbite just from reading Stone of Farewell.

For me I've been in a habit these last few holidays of rereading Peter F. Hamilton's Pandora's Star/Judas Unchained. Come to think of it, there's a large part of the first book in bone freezing temperature too!

Elfy said...

It may sound obvious, but Dickens 'A Christmas Carol' was one I used to read every Christmas. I also tend to associate 'The Hobbit' with Christmas, because I first read it about that time of year.

Cara EOJ said...

I love Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels and Small Gods is a wonderful read =)

As for books that get me thinking of Christmas, it has to be Terry Brooks Word and Void series. My sister gave me 'Running with the Demon' one Christmas long ago. It was my first Brooks book and I was hooked from page two.

Since then I've gotten more books than I remember, but that first Brooks book opened up a whole new world to me - it's how I found TBF as well - and will always have a special place in my heart.

I've spent many a Christmas holiday reading through the nights as the days have been too busy. Good times!

Boo said...

Dead chuffed you thought my thread was worth pinching! Apart from Hogfather I also like to re-read The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, featuring as it does time travel, the plague and Christmas. Nothing not to like there as far as I'm concerned!