markgritter leaves for Las Vegas today. Sigh. But he'll be back Wednesday afternoon, so it could be worse. (It could be better, though: my brain could not get the smell of Las Vegas in my nose every time I hear or read the words "Las Vegas." This scent-suggestibility thing: it is not all it's cracked up to be.)
I got to open some of my birthday presents last night. Not all. Good stuff, though, a banana hook and a watch and a skirt and some sandals, a new billfold, lots of sparklies (some made by elisem and some by porphyrin and all wonderful), some book money, two books. One of the books claims to be D'Aulaire's Book of Norse Myths, but I know it's really Norse Gods and Giants, one of the books that most thoroughly warped my brain when I was small. They gave it a new title for copies you buy for yourself that don't have coffee stains and someone else's snot on the jacket, I guess -- I learned to get the jacket off the library copy without ripping the library tape so that I would have to deal absolutely minimally with this problem. It is wonderful. I am reduced to incoherent little noises when I open it to any page at all, because there is my childhood right on the page, and there is what I have done since, the sea serpents and the gods hunting on skis in the cold twilight. Mine, mine, mine. I did not sleep with it under my pillow, but it was a near thing.
Among all the other things this book taught me, it taught me that if you want your book to be Jesusy, tacking him on at the end won't do. The D'Aulaires used the saga endings from after the coming of Christianity, the ones that go "and then Ragnarok came and the gods all died [except for Magni and Modi and Vidar and Vali, but let's not talk about them, hmm?] and now we have Jesus, hooray!" Even when I was 6, this seemed like it was a piece of something else entirely, and the general lesson about not tacking on extraneous morals to your story seemed clear at the time.
Did you read this at the library when you were small? If not, what library book from your younger days do you wish you had now?