Rock Crystal

November 29, 2020

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  • I am intrigued. I’m reminded of the little prince by the way you describe the story, it sounds like it has a similar feel to it. I hope it’s available in the UK because I’m about to go looking. Thanks for this post DG, it’s a pleasure to read.

  • DG Strong is a WONderful addition to MDK –looking forward to the read as well.

  • Sounds like the kind of book I love, like The Little Prince as Ruth says. Or The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge, another wonderful story. It can also be purchased at for those of us who are Amazon averse….

  • Please recommend supporting small businesses and consider supporting independent book stores and use their links.

  • will take to you a local independent bookstore and they have an affiliate program

  • Thanks for the post. Had to buy it and so look forward to reading it to my husband at Christmastime.

  • After seeing your recommendation on IG a few years ago, I found this book on Kindle. Is that heresy? Thanks for the reminder to re-read.

  • I’ve learned anything recommended by DG Strong is something you just need to go and watch or listen to or read.

  • “A Christmas Memory” by Truman Capote is the book that I’ve read aloud over Christmas dinner for many years. (It’s very short). Highly recommend.

  • Fabulous! Ordered mine and looking forward to this read. Thank you DG. P.s. My husband, also a former graphic designer, burst out laughing in complete understanding at the description of your final client. Great move on your part!

  • I very rarely go for someone’s online book recommendations unless I can get them free from the library (just in case our taste differs wildly, nothing lost), but with our library currently shut down I went ahead and took a chance, ordered mine from Abe Books. I will say, regarding Amazon, that if you order your books used through the Marketplace you can choose your seller, and many of them are various Goodwill branches, etc., that do good things with the money. Abe Books is the same. Covid cases are way up in my county and I’m not going indoors anywhere unnecessarily, not even to pick up a book. I do hope my local bookstore survives, but there’s a limit to the chances I will take.

    I’m looking forward to an actual Christmas read, thank you for the recommendation.

  • Just read the blog. <3

  • Mr. Strong, you make me laugh out loud, for which I thank you most profusely.

  • Ditto. Thank you for the recommendation. Thank you MDK for featuring DG Strong — his writing sings to me.

  • I love Amazon’s One Click. Thank you!

    • I understand that this book has religious overtones. If that’s true, I wish you would have told us that up front.

      • It does in the sense that almost all Christmas tales have religious overtones of one sort or another; even “Frosty the Snowman” can be read as a resurrection tale. There are a few baby Jesus shoutouts in “Rock Crystal,” yes. But the subtext of it is concerned with less traditional spirituality, and it lands quite squarely among the Transcendentalists of the 19th century — the way Stifter handles the long descriptions of the natural world and our smallness within it outs him as straight-up sympathetic to Thoreau and Emerson.

  • I am loving your posts. They introduce fascinating books and are sardonic yet written with hope. “Ticks all the boxes” if you’re a GBBO fan. This sounds wonderful and I AM the sort to look for an illustrated edition because of that pic next to the title.

    • I accidentally short-shrifted the illustrator, Josef Scharl, who illustrated the edition I have (from which this piece’s illustration was lifted).There are some previous editions (the pre-1945, non-Marianne Moore translations) that use a more traditional sort of illustration. It sounds like a backhanded compliment (it’s not), but all of the Scharl Rock Crystal art would make fantastic Christmas cards.

  • Ordered. I can’t wait. I have a similar love in my life. I read it to my class, no matter the age, every year. The Animal Family, by Randall Jarrell.

  • I found a compilation of 18th century German classics on Downloaded and sent to my Kindle app!! Thanks; I am really looking forward to reading a new Christmas tale.

    • I also found it. Rock Crystal is about 3/4 of the way down.

    • Just ordered… in German…. it’ll be a test to see how far I’ve got with learning German!

      My favourite book for this time of year is “The Father Christmas Letters” by JRR Tolkien (no hobbits but there are goblins & elves). I was given a copy as a child (1st edition, so I was probably 3 or 4 years old) & thankfully kept it. My husband reads me a letter a night through Advent as my Advent calendar. The illustrations are beautiful.

  • I’ll hunt up a copy. Thank you!

  • I bought this a few years ago based on your recommendation. I’ll need to remember to re-read it on Christmas Eve. I just love an annual tradition.

  • What age group would you recommend this be for storytelling time? (Not necessarily in one sitting)

    • There’s a chunk of fairly dry “describing the village” at the beginning, but once the story proper starts, it’s good for everyone.