Good books–open minds

I’m in another spate of good books. Posy Simmonds’ new one, Tamara Drewe, sends chills while being both delightfully arch and wholly credible. And I’ve just begun Ancient Highway (Brett Lott) and am enjoying the language and the revisit of Hollywood (always better in a book than with my body).

But a children’s book has given me pause, not because of any substantive angle but the reality of its American assumptions, a tiny detail I wouldn’t have noticed–or understood–last year. It opens during summer and there is the inevitable especially hot day reported, with an allusion to the temp–in Fahrenheit, of course. Here’s my “water” in Helen Keller terms: I finally get the essential complaint Canadian librarians make about needing more Canadian books. I got it intellectually before, but now I finally get it thoroughly–perhaps because the reported temp in the story and today’s in Halifax amount to the same (30C/90F), but I had to convert back from Centigrade to get the story….

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