|Rudyard Kipling (image from Wikipedia)|
Did you read the Just So stories by Rudyard Kipling when you were young (or even not-so-young)? We had an audiobook of them when I was a child and I still remember many of them vividly. For those who have somehow avoided them - I'm not sure if they made it internationally or not - the Just So stories were Kipling's fanciful explanations of why things were 'just so'. Most of the stories were about animals, although I think a few were on other topics.
The stories I remember well include, How The Rhinoceros Got His Skin and How The Elephant Got His Trunk. The reason I'm mentioning these stories now is because BBC Radio Four have just started a second series of 15 minutes programmes called Just So Science. These programmes look at the real science behind the Just So stories. Science and classic story-telling - I can't think of a more beautiful combination! You can find all previous episodes here.
I rarely re-read books, but I have just indulged in another jaunt into Jasper Fforde's novel The Eyre Affair. If you love books and like a light-hearted but intelligent read then this is perfect for you. The premise of a villain getting inside classic books and kidnapping the characters is brilliant and Jasper Fforde carries off the idea wonderfully. There are so many little literary in-jokes and the book is set in a parallel version of the world where most things are the same but history turned out just a little differently. In some ways it reminds me of the Just So stories as a good subtitle for it might be, How Jane Eyre Got Its Ending. If you haven't read it, read it!