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My summer holiday reading


si1I have been away on vacation for the past week. I thought it would be nice to not think much about books but, of course, they kept cropping up everywhere. My summer holiday reading was a copy of a collection of Sports Illustrated’s best essays. It’s a thick book and I didn’t even get close to finishing it. It’s becoming rather dog-earred now as I kept carrying it about with the hope of reading it but I usually failed. The kids each took a bag stuffed full of reading matter. The eight-year-old continues to devour more Michael Murpugo books and Gawain and the Green Knight is her latest favourite. She seemed to delight in the fact that the Green Knight is beheaded in the middle of Arthur’s court but didn’t really seem to notice that ladies were continually trying to seduce Gawain.

Before leaving, we took out three audio books from the library – Tigger Comes to the Forest (voiced by Stephen Fry, Judy Dench and others), and two Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles books. We listened to Pooh many times over as we drove around British Columbia. As time went on, I became convinced that the most likeable animal in Hundred Acre Wood is Eeyore. I love how he describes the other animals as stupid and dismisses Tigger as some kind of freak.

beyond-spiderwickThe Spiderwick books grew on me. At first, I didn’t know what to make of them. My eight-year-old loves them and answered our questions about why there were giants, dragons and fairies in Florida. Our favourite characters from the books were the Nixies – water spirits who live in fresh water and speak in a sing-song fashion.

We visited a wonderful used bookshop in a place called Penticton where I found a copy of Essential John Arlott: Forty Years of Classic Cricket Writing. How odd to find what is now an fairly obscure cricket book in a small town buried in rural western Canada? The eight-year-old spent her pocket money on Harry Potter 5 and we’re now fighting our way through this behemoth chapter by chapter each evening.

Back to reality, back to the here and now.

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Richard Davies

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