AoM Book Club December 2013: A Christmas Carol

by Jeremy Anderberg on November 25, 2013 · 10 comments

in Book Club, Travel & Leisure


Although oft told as a children’s tale in various mediums, A Christmas Carol — the novella by Charles Dickens — is not often assessed for its values and lessons in character and manliness. With the holiday season and the new year approaching, it’s the perfect pick for our December book club.

The tale begins on Christmas Eve with the greedy and stingy businessman Ebenezer Scrooge. He has no place in his life for kindness, compassion, charity, or benevolence. After being warned by his former business partner’s ghost to change his ways, Scrooge is visited by three additional ghosts who each accompany him to the past, present, and future of his life in hopes of him changing his ways. Many a man deals with greed and pride (and even plain old cynicism), much like Mr. Scrooge. Learn how he overcame his shortcomings, and how you can too.


Since the book is very short, we’ll only do two discussions:

  • The first discussion will be posted on Monday, December 9th, and will cover the first three “staves” (chapters).
  • The second discussion will be post on Monday, December 23rd, and will cover the remaining two staves, as well as concluding thoughts.

How to Join the Book Club

We make announcements about the book club here on the main site, while housing the book’s discussion over on the AoM Community in a private group called “The Official Art of Manliness Book Club.” In addition to online discussion in the group forums, the club offers other great features including video chats and Q&As with some literary experts on the subjects of our discussions.

To join the AoM Book Club you pay a one-time $1 membership fee (the aim of this nominal fee is to simply keep out trolls and hopefully increase your commitment). If you’ve already joined the book club group and paid, you don’t have to do so again. You’ll have access to all our discussions, notes, video chats, and expert Q&As from here on out.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Evan S. November 25, 2013 at 5:15 pm

My family has a tradition of reading a section of this book every night in the week leading up to Christmas.
As a young man, I do not have a credit card, so how would I go about joining the group? Is there an address to send my payment?
All the best, Evan

2 joel November 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Thanks for posting this today! I will be traveling over the weekend and was hoping to get a start on whatever the decmeber book ended up being.

3 AfroArtemis November 25, 2013 at 8:15 pm

I am a lurker (and a woman) on this site, but I have a response to Even S. Have you tried Paypal? You can link it to your checking account and use it to make secure payments online. I am not affiliated with paypal in anyway and they are not paying me for this message. There are probably other ways of making online payments without a credit card out there too.

4 Jan November 26, 2013 at 7:46 am

Does anybody know which painting the book club logo (worker reading book on his knees) is taken from? I am sure to have seen it somewhere before but can’t place it accurately. I think the original painting pertained to the themes of industrialization/worker’s rights/self-education. Any help would be appreciated.

As for the book club; I’m way behind schedule but might skip Gates of Fire in order to read A Christmas Carol in the appropriate season.

5 RiotReiben November 27, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Hey Jan,

A quick google image search of the image of the worker reading a book leads to a poster which encourages people to go to the library.
Hope thats what you was looking for! (If not than sorry)

6 Kammes November 29, 2013 at 12:23 am

I was skeptical of this book but I started a few pages yesterday and found myself really enjoying how it was written. I’ve only seen comedy bits and remakes of the story. Reading it brings a freshness to the story. Again, written really well- looking forward to the discussions

7 John P. November 30, 2013 at 8:32 am

And FYI….since the book is old enough to be public domain. The e-book version is free from most sources.

8 mark December 4, 2013 at 6:35 am

Here’s an interesting fact. “Ebenezer” in Hebrew means the “Stone of Help”… Charles Dickens really was a Master writer.

9 Joey E December 8, 2013 at 3:55 pm

I am not able to join the book discussion (I just got it a few days ago). But I appreciate the encouragement to read it, and I plan to over the next couple of weeks. I’m 37, and I’ve never read this book!

10 Kevin December 23, 2013 at 9:15 am

What a great story! I, like man others who have posted, have never read the original text until this year. My wife and I are using this as the bedtime story for our son during the lead-up to Christmas. I’ll admit that reading this story aloud to each other and our baby is very corny, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it nonetheless. I wish I had noticed earlier that this was the book club selection for December!

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