Read classic children's book The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry to the kid. He quite liked it, especially the early chapters about the stupidity of grown-ups and their inability to recognise a picture of boa constrictors eating an elephant. The satire and analogies about love went over his head though and he seemed a bit bored during the rest. After the poignant death-or-return ending where the Prince is bitten by a venomous snake ending he said "Finally!" when I got to The End.
What I'm Reading 2
Five Get Into Trouble by Enid Blyton on the other hand he demanded and was spellbound by. This one has Dick getting accidentally kidnapped and locked up in an Elizabethan manor house in what proves to be major piece of bad luck for a group of criminals who have a kind of underground railround for getting escaped prisoners out of the country.
Once again there's a big difference between the books adults want children to like and the books they actually like. To be fair there's a notable contrast between the Little Prince wafting aimlessly around learning life lessons and the Five exploring sinister mansions, breaking out of locked rooms and mounting daring escapes in car boots.
For all Enid Blyton's literary faults: the Five are dynamic and drive the action. Adults are either antagonists, in the background or instrumental: providing slap-up cream teas or arresting the culprits once the Five have investigated. Blyton provides a children's world, not one where the children are acted upon by adults.
What I'm Reading 3
A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik has an effective new take on the magical school genre. The world is full of a variety of monstrous creatures, the mals, who seek to eat wizards and devour their magical mana. Adults wizards are formidable, so they prefer to prey on the children. To try to protect them, a magical school was set up where the year-levels physically rotate, but they couldn't keep them out and to graduate you have to pass through the fearsome graduation hall where the mals devour all those not part of a sufficiently powerful alliance. What this means is that being part of the right high school clique is literally a matter of life and death.
Really enjoyed this book. The protagonist is appealing, the world-building great with the grotesque school well depicted, good action scenes and a decent plot. Will definitely get the next volume.
What I'm Watching
Watched "WandaVision" and liked it a lot. Thought it kept the sitcom gimmick going just long enough that we didn't get bored with it. Handled the plot very well without falling into the "Sherlock" trap of trying to outguess obsessed fans. Liked the story, liked the characters, liked the ending.
Kid has gone back to school which is a huge relief. Onto my second diet of the lockdown which is working slowly. Running going OK: trying more strides and exercise to try to deal with my speed problems which seems to be working. Haven't signed up for any more races yet.
Any time you are told a problem is your fault because you are not behaving responsibly, there is a good chance that you are being deflected from systemic solutions and policies.Random. 10 violations of the Hays Code in one picture. Sounds of an empty Tube train.
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