December 29th, 2011

reading

My Christmas Books



Starting with the best: What I Hate from A to Z by Roz Chast was a wonderful surprise as I didn’t know it existed. In her introduction she writes, ‘I am an anxious person. I come from a long line of anxious people.’ This must be one of the reasons I love her work so much. She is well known as a cartoonist for The New Yorker and I first heard of her in the late 1980s when a review in The Guardian made me think I’d like her book The Four Elements. I ordered it from our local bookshop (Ah, those pre-Amazon days) and loved it. In our family Roz Chast has almost the status of Posy Simmonds, in that any allusion is instantly recognised and will perfectly sum up the situation discussed. In this new book the things she hates include Getting Lost, Elevators and Spontaneous Human Combustion. Worrying about things that may never happen is what all Roz Chast’s characters do. I’d recommend The Four Elements over this book, simply because there’s more in it. I love the road designed for nervous drivers (no overtaking allowed, etc.) and the Children’s House of Horrors with ‘The Hall of Snowsuits’. If writing this could convert just one other person into a Roz Chast fan, I’d be happy.
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