The Christmas Song Book Tag

I was nominated by Kira for the Christmas Song Book Tag.

Questions:

“Your’e a Mine One Mr. Grinch” (Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love)– It is hard for me to even think of one. It is hard to love any villain unless they redeem themselves.

“All I Want for Christmas is you” (what book you most hope to see under your Christmas tree)– Can books count? I really want to see the Harry Potter series under my tree- that is 7 books.

“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” (Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learn to believe in themselves”)– I am thinking maybe Harry Potter

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”

a) Which character do you think would on the top of the naughty list– So many characters could be on the top of this list- as in any of the villains.

b) Which character do you think should be on the top of the nice list? Boy, there are lots of characters that can be on the top of the nice list.

“Frosty the Snowman” (which book just melts your heart): What came to mind first belongs to the books of my childhood. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG were the first two books.

“Feliz Navidad” (choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own)– luckily I live in the US. Most of the books I read don’t take place there. So many locations, but what came to mind first was Ancient Greece- I did read the entire Iliad and Odyssey

“It’s the most Wonderful Time of the Year” (which holiday themed book do you spread the Christmas joy)– A Christmas Carol, and that is my favorite Christmas book. The first book found in A Christmas Treasury is A Christmas Carol.

“Sleigh Ride” (which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with (doesn’t have to be a love interest) – This is difficult. Actually, I believe I would love to spend Christmas with the Fairy Frogs. These are characters that I created- they are naturally gifted in the arts, compassionate and clever.

“Baby it’s Cold Outside (which book that you didn’t like that would you sacrifice to warm yourself up in the cold?)– I don’t think I even want to burn up a book. If I didn’t like it, I would rather give it away.

“Do you Hear what I Hear” (which book do you think everyone should read)– This can be a difficult question due to people’s interests. Some prefer fantasy, classics, nonfiction, etc…. So, I will list a book in more than one genre.

For standalone fantasy- I think either Uprooted or Spinning Silver

For a fantasy series- maybe Shades of Magic

Nonfiction- well, if you love coffee, Starbucks, or wanting to open up a business, I will choose Pour Your Heart Into It (that is all about how Starbucks got founded and eventually became successful.

Classic Lovers- Bleak House by Charles Dickens

My love for Charles Dickens

One of my favorite authors is Charles Dickens. My favorite book of his is “A Christmas Carol”. I was raised on the George C. Scott movie- that became a family tradition to watch the movie during the Holidays.

The vast majority of the classics I read are Charles Dickens. The ones below are David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, Hard Times, Nicholas Nickleby, Tale of Two Cities and Bleak House. I read all of them, but two- Hard Times and Bleak House (which I recently started).

Both Dickens and Hugo are so similar in their writings, but so different: both of them were authors of Romanticism, focused on the lowest rungs of society (from orphans to the poor to prostitutes to convicts- as examples). In addition, they wrote off of things they actually witnessed allowing their books to feel well “real”.

Let me talk about the Charles Dickens books I love:

A Christmas Carol

Obviously, this is my favorite Dickens story. Part had to do with the story being connected to my childhood. Crazily enough, I found a parallel between Sarge and Scrooge: the funny thing about that is that one is a protagonist and the other an antagonist. Sarge is the antagonist of Tale of The Cattail Forest- who is a bully because of his abusive and tragic past.

What I love about Christmas Carol are the characters- from Scrooge to Tiny Tiny to the entire Cratchit family to Fred, etc. There are just so many to fall in love with. What I do love is that it ultimately shows the spirit of Christmas. It all started on Christmas Eve when Scrooge was visited by three spirits: Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present, and Ghost of Future Christmas. Through this, Scrooge learns why he became the way he is, the spirit of Christmas through the present ghost and what will happen if he doesn’t change his ways. There are just a lot of amazing things about this story.

Tale of Two Cities/Great Expectations/David Copperfield

I put these together because I could not figure out why I loved these books.

Tale of Two Cities

Tale of Two Cities takes place in London and Paris during the French Revolution. It is very easy to get mixed up with what city you are in. It even is difficult to figure out the plot. I almost feel as if I need to read this book again.

Great Expectations

As far as Great Expectations goes, I can say one reason why I loved it. I loved Pip, the protagonist. I really don’t know why: part might be because we are introduced to Pip as a child- and eventually as a young adult. I found lots of articles that say Pip is annoying, but in my eyes I don’t see him that way.

David Copperfield

David Copperfield is actually Charles’ Dickens favorite book he wrote. I don’t know why I loved this book.

As for as ALL three of these books go- sometimes you just know when you read a good book even if you don’t know why.

Oliver Twist

I first came across Oliver Twist by the musical. I first saw Oliver in Summer of 2007 at the Bartor Theater in Abingdon, VA. The annoying thing is that I have no memory of seeing it.

So, I eventually decided to read the book. I literally was grabbed by three pages. Oliver is such an incredible protagonist- he is so good and sweet that no one has the capability to corrupt him. You strongly saw that happen when Fagin and Bill Sikes were trying to turn him into a pickpocket. At first I didn’t know what to think of Nancy, but loved her at the end of her story- I fell in love with this character even more once I finally watched the musical movie. Weird how just an incredible book can start with a few words: “Please Sir, I Want some More”. All it took was for Oliver to say those few words that lead into such an incredible plot.

Nicholas Nickleby

Now, this is a book I strongly can say why I loved it. For one thing, you have an incredible protagonist: he is extremely compassionate and does have his flaws. Like usual the best characters tend to be flawed: Nicholas does have a temper- you mostly saw this unfold when he was trying to defend someone from being hurt. His relationship to Smike is incredible- Smike, despite being mistreated and abused, has a strong spirit. The moment Nicholas leaves the school, Smike literally follows. Smike asks Nicholas something around the lines of “wherever you go, I will”. From that moment on, you see this incredible friendship form: such an intimate and special bond. Nicholas is always with Smike- no matter what.

Originally I did not know what to think of Kate Nickleby. However, when I saw the RSC do a 9hr production of the story, I learned to like her. Don’t worry: I wasn’t watching the stage show for 9hrs in a row. It is split into four movies- so I watched one a day.

Along with Kate, there are a number of good guys- just right now, can’t think of the names.

There are a LOT of villains in this book: Ralph Nickleby, Squeers- and so on. For whatever reason, Ralph is always hating his nephew. For what- nothing made sense. I really loved Nicholas so why would his uncle hate him?

Bleak House

This is the main exception to those I love. Bleak House is the Dickens book I recently started. So, I have not formed an opinion on the story yet. I actually was surprised to learn that this story is more well-known than it appears. Bleak House centers on Esther. One of things I love about this book is the list of characters I saw in the front of the book. I already discovered that this book has two narrators: Esther and an unknown narrator. So far, the plot hasn’t exactly kicked off.

Character Names

Well, why do I mention this? Well, Charles Dickens really knows how to create amazing names of characters. From Oliver Twist to Artful Dodger to Nancy to Fagin to Bill Sikes to Smike to Nicholas Nickleby to Kate Nickleby to Scrooge to Tiny Tim to Esther to Ada to Pip to David Copperfield- that list continues. There is just something about the character names that make you remember them- including who they are.