Showing posts from July, 2016

Pointless books?

There's a game show a friend introduced me to recently called Pointless. It's on at a time when I am usually in full writing flow, but in the name of research I took a break from my latest epic at tea time to check it out, and I'll admit to being hooked.

If you haven't seen the show, contestants have to guess which of a list of possible answers is the 'pointless' answer... i.e. the one fewest people (or nobody in the case of a truly pointless answer) gave to that question, when asked. So you might have a question like "Name a movie starring Sean Connery", and the general public are polled beforehand for answers. These are then displayed on a list for the contestants along with a few red herrings. Obviously the most popular answer on the list is also the safest, since it is likely to be correct. The danger of going for one of the more obscure answers is that it might be wrong, and there are big penalties for getting it wrong - an extra 100 points in t…

Favourite children's books - poll vs personal

Every so often, someone will come up with a list of books everyone (or every child) should read. This week it is the BBC's turn following a local radio poll.

Often, as this list shows, the books that make it on to such lists are classic titles - books that have been in print for years and republished many times because they prove so popular. So if your favourite book is not on this list, don't despair. It's always difficult to judge a newly published title against such classics, since some titles that seem mega-popular with the reading public today will later sink into obscurity, and perhaps even vice versa... I don't have a crystal ball!

I find this particular list quite interesting. Harry Potter is there, along with the more old fashioned Famous Five. So far, so predictable. Both are popular choices for middle grade readers. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Wind in the Willows complete the middle reads for the more traditional. I never really got on with …