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url 2016-12-15 13:47
BookRiot: Cracking the Names Behind A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

Most of us have grown up with Scrooge’s Christmas Eve escapades. We know the plot, the catch phrases, the every “bah, humbugs!” like the back of our hands. The names Ebenezer, Jacob Marley and Bob Cratchit are now as deeply familiar to us as Santa, Rudolph, and Frosty. We know it all. Or do we? What is it about those Victorian names that haunt our yuletide imagination? What are they hiding about the characters we re-invite into our homes every year? And what, moreover, do they say about Dickens’ supposedly simple tale that may not be so simple after all?

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url 2016-12-15 12:16
BookRiot: Happy 200th Birthday, The Nutcracker!
The Nutcracker - E.T.A. Hoffmann,Maurice Sendak,Ralph Manheim

At this time each year, thousands of little Claras across the world pull their Victorian nightgowns over their heads, lace up their toe shoes, and prepare to take their place on stage in one of the most coveted roles for an aspiring ballet dancer. But the history of Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet goes beyond twirling Sugar Plum Fairies and pirouetting Rat Kings.

The character we’ve come to know as Clara originally appeared in a story written by E.T.A. Hoffman in 1816, by the name Marie Stahlbaum. At a holiday party thirty-odd years later, the legendary Alexandre Dumas told his own version of Marie’s surreal fever dream at a party after being tied to a chair by some of his daughter’s friends who demanded they be told a story. The resulting version of Hoffman’s fairy tale was less dark and more suited to a young audience. That was the version that Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky adapted nearly 50 years later for a performance at the Russian Imperial Theatre.

The original performance sold out on opening night (December 18, 1892) and a holiday season has not since passed without a curtain rising on a gorgeous Christmas tree, in the midst of being decorated by the Stahlbaum family and their friends.


Happy 200th Birthday, The Nutcracker!:


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photo 2015-12-19 10:10
Trust a bookworm
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text 2015-10-15 02:57
Relic - Douglas Preston,Lincoln Child

Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum's dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human. I’ve been meaning to read this for forever, and now that I have… I dunno. I hit the halfway point and literally quit reading it, decided to give up forever and marked the book DNF and done. And then decided I could at least follow the major exhibit’s opening, and ended up finishing the book, and was kind of pleased that I had. While it felt like X-Files, the investigations felt incredibly forced and like an awful lot of running around with very little to show for it, and I found that a huge boring drag. The action’s good when it happens, at least. Not really all that scary for me -- very little atmosphere, very little build-up. And I wish we had seen more of Pendergast, who is nominally the lead for the series, and less of Margo.

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url 2015-07-05 21:32
BookRiot: Cool Maps of Fictional Literary Places


Source: bookriot.com/2015/07/04/cool-maps-of-fictional-literary-places
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