Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Dorothy Sayers vs. Teetotallers

It's funny how authors sometimes put their opinions in the mouths of their characters, where they can't get in as much trouble for them. My wife and I are reading Dorothy Sayers' Strong Poison. Dorothy Sayers, who was a big fan of a little drinky-drinky, has her detective, Lord Peter Wimsey, say this of a jury foreman:

"I'm convinced that that foreman is a teetotaller--I saw ginger-beer going into the jury room, and I only hope it explodes and blows his inside through the top of his skull."