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…

Unique Baby Names

We (meaning our modern culture) like to have unique baby names. This is no less true for my wife and I. I certainly don't know any other kids named Luther or Anthea. But perhaps we wouldn't have fared so well in the 1600s in George Herbert's church. Writing of bringing children for baptism, he counsels pastors in this way.
"He admits no vain or idle names, but such as are usual and accustomed."