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…

A Plug for Pratchett

I’m currently reading Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett, and of course it’s funny in the way that only a sharp British author can be. If you’ve never read one of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, you really need to give one a try. Aside from the great set up, (Discworld is a flat planet that moves through space on the back of four giant elephants who are in turn standing on the shell of a giant turtle, whose sex is, to this point, unknown) his writing style is wonderful. His books are full of witty satire on our modern world, obvious parodies of pop culture and various genres of literature, and that subtle humor that you don’t even realize is humor until a few seconds later when it hits you with the force of a thick rubber band that has been pulled to the breaking point and let fly at your head. For example, this morning I was reading the following passage. (My thought process appears in italics.)

“…there is, on the pillow, an elderly teddy bear called Mr. Wobble.

Traditionally, in the lexicon of pathos, such a bear should have only one eye, but as a result of a childhood error in Glenda’s sewing, he has three, and is more enlightened than the average bear.

Juliet Stollop’s bed was marketed to her…”

wait a second “…more enlightened than the average bear…” did Terry Pratchett just make a Yogi Bear joke? *slight chuckle* well that’s odd. Anyway...

“Juliet Stollop's bed was marketed to...”

hold on

“…he has three, and is more enlightened than…” three eyes…Yogi…enlightened



So anyway, that’s how it goes with Terry Pratchett. Go read one of his books. It’s worth it.