Happy Birthday Sarah Webster
Having brought a copy back from Vancouver with me, I am re-reading Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass for what could certainly be the fiftieth time. No book of mine has been read more often, though I probably read Michael Crighton‘s The Andromeda Strain at least thirty times in elementary school (it was profoundly frightening).
Pullman’s book is superb; the protagonist, literally, my hero. The book definitely affected my decision to come to Oxford. Even having read it so many times, the surprising parts remain just that, and the parts that I have always enjoyed most are still compelling. Those who have not read it should.
Some parts are even better after you’ve had a year in Oxford to learn the layout and the names of places. Though today’s Jericho, as you see above, is nothing like what I imagined, on the basis of the book. This has also been a year in which I did not have a copy of the book (despite buying at least four as gifts for friends).
[Update: 6:00am] Insomniac, yes (though I was woken by a special alarm). I wanted to note my special appreciation for Lapland witches. Pullman discusses them at length, but they derive from Paradise Lost (II, 622â€“666).