Thursday, December 22, 2011

{Review} The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum & Book Challenges

Since the New Year is almost upon us, I have had book challenges on the brain (how is it already almost the end of December, again...?). I've been looking about and have discovered a LOT of them, but I'm having a hard time deciding which ones to take part in, if I decide to take part in any. This past year I simply made a goal regarding the number of books to read in 2011, but that was it. I suppose my main problem with book challenges is that they are usually by genre, and I like to skip around between genres. A lot. I also enjoy randomly pulling books from my to-read list; it's a nice bit of spontaneity (or rather, spontaneity I can handle since it tends to freak me out, ha). So, how do you feel about book challenges? Do you usually take part in ones that are already organized? Do you create your own? Or do you just read what you want, when you want, and don't worry about them at all? This will obviously influence future blog posts, since if I take part in any book challenges I will discuss them a bit on bibliophyte throughout the year. So what do you think? Please let me know in the comments below :)
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum
Originally published 1902
Paperback, 136 pages
Genres: children's fiction, fantasy, holiday, YA

I've been trying to read this tiny little book. It is ridiculously small and I should have whipped through it in a very short amount of time. But I just can't finish it. I always try to read books in their entirety on principle but I've granted myself a once-in-a-blue-moon exception. I love the story's premise, that Santa Claus was raised in a magical forest by fairies, nymphs and other magical creatures, who gave him his special gifts (and who are also all very delightful little characters). However, I can't get past L. Frank Baum's writing style. I find it stifling and looking back, I suppose I've always found it as such because I've never been able to get the whole way through one of his books. Every time I even think about finishing this book I cringe, so I think I'm just going to go read some more about Matthias the mouse at Redwall Abbey instead. You can never be too old for Redwall, right?
Mary Beth


  1. If you can't through a book about Santa Claus, it's probably a bad book. Watch Elf instead.

  2. Lol! You're probably right. I've never seen Elf actually... though I could go for The Muppet Christmas Carol :)

  3. I must admit to an uneasy relationship with challenges, I find I am attracted to them and enjoy following the reviews that often result from reading challenges but I am generally an undisciplined reader who dosn't really like reading to a timetable. Having said that, I must admit to signing up for a few challenges for next year but usually at a limited level of participation. Mostly I am just looking forward to discovering new titles/authors from the reviews of other challenge participants. (For a christmas viewing experience I go for the Dr Who version of A Christmas Carol.) Have a great Christmas!

  4. Merry Christmas to you and yours as well, Arabella! Thank you for sharing your opinion about book challenges! I think I'll follow other peoples' this year and, as you mentioned, enjoy discovering new authors and books, but as of right now I'll just set myself a number-of-books-read goal again. I thought that was fun without having to worry about keeping track of anything. I have been hearing so much about Dr. Who recently. Must check that show out!!


I'd love to hear your thoughts!