This has been my week off between ending at the bookshop and starting at the Fringe, and it has been a lovely opportunity to read a great deal. Today I finished Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, and started and finished Word Hunters: The Curious Dictionary by Nick Earls & Terry Whidbourne. Stardust I loved, and Word Hunters was quite good too – it is a story about a pair of children who have to travel back in time to find the origin of words so they don’t disappear forever. Terry Whidbourne has done some lovely illustrations for it, like this one:
(Have a look at this link, where Nick Earls explains the origin of a book about the origin of words.)
But aside from lazing about reading, this week has also been a week of ‘getting things done’. I have bought a stack of tea to take to my new work (of very high priority), gotten a long overdue haircut, and gone to the library to return my almost overdue books while picking a new stack to start reading after my week of cheating is over.
I have come up with an interesting method of choosing library books from the 1001 Children Books I Must Read Before I Grow Up list. There are SO many to choose from (1001, in fact) but, of course, the library can’t possibly have all of them. So I have come up with a sort of lucky dip method to work out what I am going to read next. I just flick open my copy of 1001 Children’s Books, type in the title of the book living on that page, and if the book is available from the library, I add it to my list to borrow that day. Some of the books I have never heard of before, and have absolutely no idea what they are about, but that adds to the fun. Flicking open a book with a completely blank slate, with no preconception of what it is about, not even someone else’s review of the book? All you have to conjure up an idea of the book is the title.
So through this lucky dip method (or madness) I collected a stack of books including:
– Grimpow by Rafael Abalos
– The Changeover by Margaret Mahy
– Just William by Richmal Crompton
– Elidor by Alan Garner
– Ash Road by Ivan Southall
and the third book in A Series of Unfortunate Events (while not strictly part of the list, I feel I need to read them all to get up to the eight book, which is on the list)
That should keep me going for a little while, I think!
Has anyone read any of these books? Loved them? Hated them? Any words of warning before I plunge into one of them?