Friday, 4 March 2016

World Book Day

It was World Book Day yesterday.  It seems, for parents of school-aged children in the UK, to have turned into an annual ritual whereby one is supposed to make a fancy dress outfit so that your child can go into school dressed as a character from a book.  I don't think that can have been the original spirit of World Book Day, but judging by pictures posted by either proud or weary parents on Facebook, this seems to be what happened.  I think I preferred the pictures of kids with simple additions to their normal clothes rather than the attitude from the rather despondent parent I met at nursery complaining that they paid £6 for special delivery of an outfit, from an online shop, that didn't arrive on time.  Alba, pictured, went in as Posy from the Pip and Posy books, who just wears normal but distinctive clothes.

My University made an interesting blog post entitled "13 books to read before starting University".  The list just comes from a single Department at the University, which is a shame, but it doesn't read like a canonical list of Nation's Favourite Books.  I can only admit to having read two of them:  Herman Melville's Moby Dick and Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed by our very own Jim Al-Khalili.  That leaves 11 unread, though a bit late for me to read them before starting University.  Can any readers recommend any of them in particular?  I'm slightly trepidatious about the first book on the list, which looks like it could be a book on magical thinking dressed up as self-help pop psychology, but it's won a Royal Society prize, so may be not so bad.  I was also surprised that the authors used the word inarguably in describing book number 13 (Complete works of Shakespeare).  Neither OED or Chambers list the word, though it's obvious what it ought to mean.  If it existed.  Perhaps I'm missing something and it's a word that Shakespeare uses.  Guess I should read his complete works and at least up my tally of the list to three books read.

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