A Guide to Choosing the Best

Children’s Books, that would be. The Resident IT Consultant felt your witch could do with a guide to picking good books. (You mean I can’t just close my eyes and throw a dart at the piles?)

So, a book about books, was what he got me for Christmas. Along with those chilli oat cakes, I must add, and a book on the nation’s favourite comic poems.

Even I can’t review a book overnight on Christmas night, although having already done church, I have one thing less to do. Sleeping is what I’d prefer to be doing, so this will be brief and irreverent. Michele Landsberg’s guide is from 1988, so pre-Potter and pre-His Dark Materials and everything.

There’s a good chapter on fantasy, and Michele has an interesting selection of suggested books for over 13s. I’m not sure you can write this kind of guide any more. It would go out-of-date almost immediately, but I can understand the urge to advise. That’s what I do on a daily basis here, except I know that much of what I say is fresh, and will be obsolete next week.

You do get books on what to read next, but surely we all now see the book world spinning ever faster and we can’t read all the worthwhile books, let alone write a book about them. But as a piece of history this guide will be fun to look at. And I’m sure to find something new in there that I will enjoy.

Daughter very wisely stayed out of the book game, and Son only provided a book I had suggested as being suitable. It was on the advice of one of you, but I’m not telling. Yet.

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