World Book Day
Top of the pile (and the one I'm currently reading) is "Wildthyme Beyond" by Paul Magrs, sequel to a book I read before Yule. It details the adventures of the eccentric and irascible Iris Wildthyme, a sort of female version of Doctor Who who traverses the cosmos in a magical London bus, accompanied by a variety of companions - most entertaining of whom is a talking stuffed panda. The second book is partly an adventure in time and pace, partly a meta-analysis of the writing process and the semi-independent life of fictional characters. I'm enjoying it!
Second on the pile is "The Moving Toyshop" by Edmund Crispin, a rather campy sounding murder mystery set in Oxford with strong literary overtones. I've not read any of Crispin's work before, but it looks interesting.
Third, "The Human Predicament" by the wonderful Magnus Pyke, whose intellectual enthusiasm was a source of inspiration in my childhood. This book is a exploration both of his scientific ideas, and his notions around the future of humanity and our strengths and weaknesses. In an age where celebrity scientists seem to unquestioningly eulogise Science (with a capital S), Pyke is the fascinating and much needed anomaly of a scientist who is willing to talk about the flaws and limitations of the approach and the political underpinnings of the scientific community.
Below that, "The Gold Tip Pfitzer" by the lovely Irene Handl, a character actress of yesteryear who specialised in playing potty old dears. The novel is a family drama about a wealthy French family about to face a crisis one summer. I'm not big on Aga-sagas, but am giving this ago because the author was such an interesting person.
Finally, a bit of light fluff - "Worzel Gummidge" by Barbara Euphan-Todd. I've love the TV series from my childhood, and have often wanted to compare the original books to the TV show they inspired. It's children's literature, but hopefully pretty good for all that!
There are so many things that I could say about the sheer pleasure of reading, and the pleasure of books, but it's late and I'll leave it to a quote from C S Lewis ~ "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."