Thursday, December 3, 2009
Offbeat and/or Forgotten Christmas Books
I've often considered writing a Christmas book because I LOVE THE HOLIDAY SEASON! SO LOOPTY-LOO AND DICKERY DOCK!
Also, if you write a good one, it's like a license to print money.
Today, I'm highlighting some unusual Christmas books for those who want something a little different to read the kids in front of the hearth with milk and cookies. Each link will take you to the book's Amazon page. Clockwise from the upper-left:
Flight of the Reindeer: the True Story of Santa Claus and his Christmas Mission
When this was published back in 1996, this book was heralded as this generation's Polar Express. And now, it's out of print. If you can locate a copy (inexpensive ones pop up on Amazon every so often), you'll find a richly detailed account of life at the North Pole and the most believable depiction of Santa's village I've ever seen. And yes, they explain how the reindeer fly: Years of top-secret martial arts training a la "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". Plus aerodynamic antlers.
As with many of the books on this list, there is a film version. And... eh.
Santa! My Life and Times
Jared F. Green and Bill Sienkiewicz
I've already reviewed this at The Realm, so I don't have much to add here. It's available dirt-cheap at Amazon, so let's all bring a copy to Bill Sienkiewicz's table at Bo-Com-Con this April and see what he says.
Letters From Father Christmas
Tolkien wrote a Christmas book (sort of; these were originally letters written to his children). You're either buying a copy right now or you aren't. If you read it, keep a running tally of ideas that'd later appear in Lord of the Rings.
The Autobiography of Santa Claus
Did you know that Santa's helpers aren't elves at all, but instead include such people as Ben Franklin, Amelia Earhart, and Attila the Hun? This book honestly isn't all that great, but I have to be a cheerleader for any work of fiction that puts the idea into kids' heads that Attila the Hun might pop down the chimney and leave you a toy train. Yeah.
Sadly, as with most American editions of Discworld novels, I haven't been able to find a copy of this with cover art that doesn't make me want to hurt people. But inside is a delicious work of satire that also, in the end, is one of the most downright touching Christmas stories ever written. I might just have to read it again this year.
Good luck hunting these down. Why not enjoy some Geeky Cookies along with them?