Saturday, September 19, 2009

Time for another Bookish Post

Inspired by punarjanman's list (Via Blogpourri):

I most definitely remember, not the Chalet School stories, but the Maids of La Rochelle books. There is something very appealing about leaving your hot, humid country, as I subconsciously imagined myself doing, and going off to live on a windswept craggy island with an exotic name like Guernsey, where people speak a variant of English that bears more resemblance to French than the language as we know it.

And then, I remembered a book about a horse. Not Black Beauty, though that must have started it all, but a story about a moonlight pale, silver horse, so silent that he slipped through the mists, evading all men who tried to capture him on the Australian highlands: The Silver Brumby series, by Elyne Mitchell (available only second-hand now, sometimes at exhorbitant prices. I ordered my copies, which will be M's, from
Eva Ibbotson's delightful "Which Witch", and her other 'The Secret of Platform 13', and 'The Beasts of Clawstone Castle'. The latter was inspired by real beasts, the Chillingham cattle, who are as gorgeous as they sound (see pic.). M adored these (books,not beasts!) and gobbled them up in short order.

Despite the fame accorded to his Paddington books, about the bear from the deepest darkest recesses of Peru, but a very English sensibility, my favorite Michael Bond book remains "Thursday in Paris", about an enterprising mouse family that is on a grand trip to a Mouse Cheese exposition at Les Halles, Paris, and run into trouble with an Irish-Chinese mafioso by the unlikely name of Shamus O'Wong- 'At your service', he says with a sweeping wave of the paw, Irish and Chinese brogue evident in his speech. There is a whole series about young Thursday and his family, but the one above is the only one that I've read, and loved.

The Narnia series is now much talked about, now that Hollywood has made it into a movie series, complete with glitzy computer effects and pitch-perfect casting. But the only book I enjoyed without reservation in the series was the curious little standalone "The Horse and His Boy". Never mind the faintly racist overtones of having an obviously light-skinned kid enslaved by a rather Mid-eastern sounding crowd ( echoing the Crusades, perhaps?)- I was oblivious to all those echoes of history that become obvious to the older reader, and thoroughly identified and enjoyed the antics of Shasta and his horse ( or rather the Horse and his Shasta.)


Choxbox said...

hi. hopped over from suj of blogpourri.

nice list!

Sujatha said...

Thanks, choxbox. It is a rather sparse list, I'm afraid, in comparison with Suj of Blogpourri's and Ra's lists. But I decided to focus on well-loved ones that still linger in my memory.