Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Books worth taking your shoes off for

I have a guilty secret: I enjoy reading children's books. I think I've known this all along, but a most recent awareness of this dubious pleasure occurred when I was given a copy of "Prince Of Mist" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. The fact that I've got all the Tintin adventures, and am almost picture-perfect with them, surely cannot count. As a middle-aged Englishman, I consider the works of Hergé as items of shared cultural heritage, like the instinct to form a queue, or wear socks with sandals. Anyway, kid's book or not, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Personally, I've always had a sneaking suspicion that labels like "children's book", are abused by insecure intellectuals, in order to bolster their own feelings of superiority. All because they weren't allowed to read comics as kids. Or am I getting just a tad paranoid? Probably.
Other books I've recently enjoyed, which although not sold as kids' books, firmly belong to the category marked "frivolous", are the Gervase Fen mysteries by Edmund Crispin, and the novels of Magnus Mills. "Piano" by Jean Echenoz, and "The Pendragon Legend" by Antal Szerb are also hugely enjoyable reads, as is anything by Haruki Murakami. Maybe that's it? If a book is too much fun, certain literary factions start getting snooty. Must go, the bouncy castle has just been delivered.

1 comment:

  1. You might have guessed I'm missing all your prattle.. I love children's books too!!!! (probably slightly different ones to you..) Will you PLEASE write more posts? Why should just a select few brave enough to hang out in the Parish Centre kitchen have the pleasure of your banter??! as you can tell, I'm your no.1 fan :-/