For Christmas this year, instead of buying everyone one present, I bought more than enough books to give out, and then mixed and matched them to the right person. It was a more chaotic way of doing things, but it wound up with some terrific results. But also some leftover books. One such book was this:
That was more than fine with me, because I love books like The Annotated Brothers Grimm. I’m fascinated by books that historicize the classics, situating them in a timeline, and giving us not just entertainment value, but a sense of each story’s purpose. Plus, they give me loads and loads of my favorite thing: trivia. (Seriously, play Trivial Pursuit or even Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon against me sometime. I’m maddening.)
Did you know that the complete title of The Frog King is The Frog King, or Iron Heinrich? Did you know that even the Grimms bowdlerized these stories to a degree? I didn’t — I’d always thought of them as sort of the “raw” version of these tales. This is a great edition of these stories, with scads of interesting annotations by Maria Tatar. It’s not bedtime reading, mind you — not because it’s boring, but because the book is heavy. You’ll dent your sternum resting it on there. But at a desk? In a chair? Read away.