I enjoyed Elizabeth Kolbert's article "Goodnight Mush" in the Dec. 4 issue of the New Yorker:
'If, as Joan Didion famously put it, “we tell ourselves stories in order to live,” why do we tell stories to our children? In my experience, mostly it is to get them to shut up. A book read to a toddler who, after running around the house all day, has had to be stuffed, quite literally, into his pajamas, may traffic in imaginative freedom and wonder, but it is still an instrument of control. I will read this to you, and then you will go to sleep. End of story.'
The article lives up to this opening (and it is nice to see that EK can write well about other things, and not just about her usual terrifying topic, global warming).