Imagine the scene: A warm Spring evening. Good French wine and an authentic steak-frites. Talk of Edith Wharton, Kurt Vonnegut and Ernest Hemingway. Are we in Paris? No, I’m with my 7 and 11 year old son and daughter in a local restaurant and we’re playing a new card game,
Notable Novelists of the 20th Century while waiting for dessert.
For a book lover who would be pleased to have his kids grow up scanning the New York Review, this was heaven; my son carefully trying to pronounce “Hemingway” and my daughter asking if I have a F. Scott Fitzgerald author card. I have to say I was strangely proud as fellow diners listened to my kids’ recitation of a pantheon of literary greats of the last century.
The game isn’t as intellectual as the authors it salutes, however. It can be played by anyone who can, or almost, can read. All it requires is being able to organize cards into sets containing a bio card, an author card, and a library card for each author. And that’s the genius actually. Adults wouldn’t have the interest to play a game this simple – basically a literary version of Go Fish, but kids like these games and will soak up facts and titles as they play. The cards themselves have old New Yorker-style graphics and some basic and some esoteric facts about the authors, which will also entertain adult players. But the best part is feeling that your kids might actually grow up to read the same books that formed us as we grew up.
Playing this game was a fun and nostalgic way to close out another good evening with my kids.
Notable Novelists – $10.99 on Amazon. Makes a good gift for the book-loving dad too.