By DEBORAH SULLIVAN
On the Shelves
One of my favorite things about the holiday season is the flurry of Christmas movies that run on the Hallmark Channel and ABC Family.
Most memorable to me was watching the consummate Doris Roberts play the role of Mrs. Merkle aka “Mrs. Miracle.” The screenplay was based on the book “Mrs. Miracle” by Debbie Macomber, and you might know Roberts as the overly doting matriarch Marie Barone on “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
Gearing up for the imminent infusion of holiday movies, I am reading Macomber’s sequel “Call Me Mrs. Miracle.” The book recently was released, and the movie, with Roberts again starring in the lead role, is set to premiere on Hallmark Nov. 27.
I am reading it now because I have this crazy notion that when a movie is based on a book, I should read the book before watching the film. This is where having access to more than 600,000 items via our 13 York County Libraries really comes in handy because many movies evolve from books.
Thank heavens not all books are as long as Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind.” It was the first novel I challenged myself to do this with 22 years ago. You would think I would have given this practice up by now, but it is really fun to see the stories and characters come off the pages and onto the screen.
Certainly, Jim Carrey brought “The Grinch” from animation to reality in his unique bigger-than-life way. It was a fascinating transformation from Dr. Seuss’s scraggly looking green cartoon Grinch (the one on the annual television special) to Carrey’s dynamic character. As I write this, I can still picture him encountering little Cindy Lou Who.
Two holiday book and movie combinations suggested by Kreutz Creek Valley Library Center staff member Linda Warner are “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg, and John Grisham’s “Skipping Christmas,” which was renamed “Christmas with the Kranks” for the movie.
York County Libraries’ Paula Gilbert suggests several titles she thinks are guaranteed for family enjoyment. They include Charles Schulz’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey” by Susan Wojciechowski, and Barbara Robinson’s “Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” Check out these holiday books and movies at your local library.
Staff picks for the season:
“My favorite Christmas book is ‘Star Mother’s Youngest Child.’ It is a must read that is so beautiful it makes you cry.” – Barbara Virtue, Dillsburg Area Public Library
“‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ and ‘Dicken’s A Christmas Carol’ are the BEST! (Mostly the Muppets part.)” — Sarah Campbell, Red Land Community Library
“The 1940 movie ‘The Shop Around the Corner,’ with Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, is a wonderfully delightful gem — and is at Martin and Dillsburg.” — Leslie Martin, Collinsville Community Library