What’s the point of beautiful books?

Beautiful books — IMHO — are more likely to be read. Which could well be a brill thing if the book is a good’un.

I’ve long appreciated the Penguin series, Clothbound Classics. The Snufferjog bought us Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray which was beautifully produced, and the footnotes added interest. That whetted the appetite.

A few years down the line, my Father-in-Law generously gave me a bit of dosh for Xmas, so I decided to treat myself to another.

But which one to buy!?

I’d noticed that this series were numbered, (our Dorian was number ten, por ejemplo). So I began my internet hunt for which book was number one in the series, a task you might think was very easy, but oh no. No reference on any Penguin affiliated website of any sort of enumeration.

Hope came in the form of Google Image Search which showed me a wealthy woman’s full collection. In numerical order. And the first in the series is… Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.


“Didn’t do it in school so ‘aven’t ‘eard of it.”

Well, uninitiated. It’s French. That’s all you need to know.

I bought it and I read it. That’s an achievement. (This was an English translation, so not that much of an achievement).

One minor issue though, the edition I bought was not numbered, so there was no real reason to buy that particular book. Oh well.

But I’m hooked anyway. So what to buy next is the question?

Well, let’s stick with the French theme he says, buy a book written around the same period he says. And by the following Thursday Les Miserables is on my doormat.

Wow. 1,231 pages… ABRIDGED.

So that’s that phase over. Although I did see that next month, Augustine’s Confessions is being released in the series. A two birds one stone killing asking to be made if ever I saw one, I’m only studying ruddy theology. So that’s getting pre-ordered. Maybe.


One more thing. I feel I need to explain to the ethereal head-shrinker why I have a desire in the first place to buy the number one in a series of somethings.

It all began in Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Disney Store, 1994. I’ve got some Christmas money to spend (sounds familiar) and I’m keen to get me a VHS of Sing-Along-Songs, fronted by the inimitable Jiminy Cricket. The one I wanted to get was the one with Peter Pan on the front because I liked the one with Peter Pan on the front. But Dad jumps in.

“Heyheyheyheyheyhey, don’t be so rash there son. Think about it. What you’re gonna wanna do is get Volume One and work your way up to Peter Pan which is Volume Seven. Think about it.”

“But Volume One has Bagheera on the front and he’s got more tough love than my four year old brain can handle”

“You’re getting volume one.”

“Um… okay.”


And from that day forth, I was PROGRAMMED to seek-out the first in the series of stuff.

Right, I’m off back to my Hugo. Only 1,147 pages to go!


What’s the difference between a ‘Disney Classic’ and a ‘Disney Pixar’?

Disney Classics

1. Pixar

Pixar Animation Studios was a company who wanted to make films, they needed money to finance and distribute their films, so they teamed up with Walt Disney Pictures to do that.

My understanding is that up until Toy Story 2, they were still two separate companies teaming together. But then they had a big hoo-hah and almost broke up, because Disney Pictures wanted to pretty much eat them and make Pixar disappear. But then — after lots of arguing — Disney bought Pixar, but promised to give Pixar creative control and their name still on the films they made. So films made by the company Pixar are not just Disney films, they are Disney Pixar films — films made by Pixar Animation Studios, funded and distributed by The Walt Disney Company.

2. Disney Classics

Disney Classics are the — mostly annual — feature length animated releases made by Walt Disney Animation Studios. It started with Snow White, which Walt Disney re-mortgaged his house to make, it was the most expensive animated film ever made for its time. Since Snow White, Disney Animation Studios have — most years — released an animated feature length film, and that is what a Disney Classic is. The most recent is Frozen.

Walt Disney Studios/Pictures make other films too like Mary Poppins and Enchanted, they are Disney films, but not Disney Classics, because they are not the films made exclusively by Disney Animation Studios, they are just made by Walt Disney Studios/Pictures [not Walt Disney Animation Studios].

By now The Walt Disney Company owns loads, they’ve got the Disney Channels, Buena Vista which is their distributing company. They’ve bought Marvel, Star Wars, The Muppets — loadsa stuff.

That’s my understanding of it, but it does get a bit confusing because Disney Classics was a term also used to market the videos, some of which were actual Walt Disney Animation Studios films, but some were things like Pete’s Dragon.

Here‘s a list of those Disney Classics which should officially be called Feature Films of Walt Disney Animation Studios.

What Jack Skellington believes is the formula for Christmas (by Sibyl):


Homemade Disney Collaged Toybox

I had a calendar for Christmas which gives you a frame from a Disney every day for a year. It felt a waste throwing them all in the bin, so we bought a wooden box and stuck them on! Can you name all the films?