The Timeless Tale…. review

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Okay, I now have in my hands (well, not in my hands as I type, but it’s sitting right by me) a copy of the self-published “A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Timeless Tale of Joy and Meaning”: Unwrapping the True Spirit of the Holiday Season with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the Peanuts Gang” that was published last month. And it looks like my predictions I made the other day about what this 33-page volume might be are all wrong. It is not:

  • a copy of the Wikipedia entry on A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • a ChatGPT-generated description or analysis of the special
  • merely the words from the title printed one per page
  • a book

I mean, it is a book in the physical sense, but what it really is is a pitch for a book. Each of the chapters is just describing what would be in that chapter if the book were written. “In this chapter, we will explore the role that Snoopy plays in the series and how his distinct personality sets him apart from other comic strip and animated characters.” “Readers will gain insight into how this interaction between Lucy and Charlie Brown reflects the pressures and anxieties that many people experience during the holidays.” With each chapter having several sections and each section getting two or three sentences of description, set it in large type, include a table of contents, and viola! your few pages are quickly filled.

Should you buy this? Of course not! You’re not the audience for this… unless you happen to be a book publisher, as i happen to be. Should publishers buy it? Of course not, if someone wants to pitch a book to you, they send you the pitch.

I certainly understand that someone might look at things they have on the hard disk and hope to turn them into money, but if they won’t be discerning, then you should be. Do not put this on your Chanukah gift list.

New releases
Look! A mook!

Mooks – that is, items with magazine-like content but sold more like a book – are popular in Japan. Many of them come bundled with extra items, and there have been a fair number with Peanuts items. Most often these are bags – a handbag or a tote of some …

New releases
Bringing up the rear

I’m interrupting my coverage of the shipment of books I got from Japan to cover another foreign book that just arrived. Now, I don’t try to collect every foreign Peanuts book. My collection is out of control as it is. I try to find books in languages that I don’t …

New releases
Writing Japanese, I think I’m writing Japanese, I really think so…

My main goal of ordering Peanuts books from Japan was to get a copy of the new Japanese edition of Charles M. Schulz: The Art and Life of the Peanuts Creator in 100 Objects, the book that I co-wrote for the Schulz Museum. After all, I want to have Peanuts …