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Happy 7th, blog.

March 4, 2014

WordPress has kindly reminded me that today is the 7th anniversary of Redeeming Qualities. So, you know, happy birthday to my blog, which I’ve been neglecting shamefully. Normally I’d try to do something special for today, but between the vast amount of work stress I’m experiencing at the moment, and also the NHL trade deadline, I don’t really have the capacity.

I’m currently in the first third of a hilariously terrible adventure novel set in China, which I will report back on when I’ve finished. Meanwhile, what are you folks reading? Comment with recommendations — or, better yet, with anti-recommendations. Is there a word for that? I basically haven’t had a full night’s sleep in three weeks, so I can’t be expected to remember words.

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24 comments

  1. Happy 7th! An important anniversary. I was from family of 10 kids and we got ‘big’ birthdays only on 7, 14, and 21. Other b’days we got cake at home, but with 11 of us it was still a party. (Dad died when i was four).
    So I just finished an Amish romance given to me by a friend and liked it. Not an author I knew, but I like her better than B. Lewis.
    Now I’m back to my kindle and the public domain. I got into Jean Stratton Porter and read Freckles and Girl of the Limberlost just last month. First time hearing of them, except for a vague memory of the Girl title. Liked them so much that I’m now reading The Harvester. I think I’m liking this better than the first two. I’ve developed a new skill for reading JSP, I may have learned by reading so many of Mr & Mrs Anderson’s road books. Skim over weed collection stuff…stop read personal stuff… skim over scenery …stop read new details …skim over herb cures… okay I read a little of that. Skim til he finds the girl… read read read…. skim over the rides in the woods. The problem with e-books is you can’t see how hunking big they are. This one must be 500 pages. 300 of which are herbs, flowers and scenery. And I’m only at 60%. In ‘real’ books, I rarely pick them up if they are thicker than half an inch!
    Thanks again, Melody, for turning me on to the wonders of the public domain.


    • Wow, 11 kids. That must have been crazy. Birthdays all the time! Seven is actually a milestone for me here, but mostly because it means I’ve had this blog for fully a quarter of my life.

      Freckles and Girl of the Limberlost are the only two Stratton Porter books I’ve read, although I think I have a copy of Michael O’ Halloran somewhere. Is the nature description stuff in The Harvester worse than in the other ones you’ve read? I found it to be integratedinto the story enough tha it didn’t bother me in Freckles, but I definitely skimmed some in Limberlost.

      You’re welcome! If I can really take credit for tuning you onto the public domain, I’m going to feel pretty smug about it :)


      • Yes, I found it a bit more bothersome in this one. With Girl and Freckles it was more a part of it and I don’t remember the descriptions going on for pages. I know I skipped a whole lot more in Harvester. I was just careful to look at every page and check for dialog or ‘thought bits’. But still, I liked Harvester the most.
        I’ve just finished my first Myrtle Reed, The Master’s Violin. It was good. The ending for the young couple was fine. But the Doctor got a raw deal in my opinion. It may work out okay, but it made me kinda sad. Don’t want to spoil it too much. Worth reading, I thought.
        And yes you can, so gloat or preen, whichever you do when you’re being smug!


        • I think the only nature description-heavy book that’s ever not made me want to skim a lot is Precious Bane. If you’re liking GSP but want more people-related stuff, have you tried Marie Conway Oemler?

          Myrtle Reed would have to do a lot to crawl back into my good graces. Although if there’s no mass dog murder, that’s a step forward.


  2. Congratulations on your 7th! I am reading a “new” Carolyn Wells, The Dorrance Domain, about a poor family (4 kids and grandmother) who move into an abandoned hotel conveniently left to them by their deceased grandfather. Also I have discovered Wadsworth Camp (father of Madeleine L’Engle) who wrote potboilers back in the day.


    • Thanks! I’ve heard of the Dorrance Domain, but have never come across it. Is it as much fun as that description makes it sound? And how are the Wadsworth Camp potboilers?


      • Yes, I loved The Dorrance Domain–my kind of book! I enjoyed The Abandoned Room and Sinister Island (Wadsworth Camp) but I may need to wait a bit before reading any more. A little goes a long way with him.


        • I’ll keep an eye out for Wadsworth Camp, then, and I might just start reading The Dorrance Domain right away — the book I’m reading now is terrible and I don’t know why I haven’t given up on it yet.


          • Wish I had a son so I could name him Wadsworth Camp.


  3. Happy bloggiversary! Right now I’m reading I’ve Come to Stay by Mary Heaton Vorse. It’s delightful.


    • Thanks!

      I read your review of I’ve Come to Stay, and it sounds like a lot of fun, but Vorse wrote one of my least favorite chapters of The Whole Family.


      • Aw, that’s too bad. I downloaded it when I realized she had a chapter in there! I downloaded a few more of her books, too, so we’ll see how that goes.


        • To be fair, she had a really difficult chapter — the one right after Mary Wilkins Freeman turned everything upside down.


  4. Happy bloggiversary, and many more. I’m on “The Return of Fu Manchu.”


    • For about the third time.


      • Thanks! I wouldn’t have picked out Fu Manchu for repeated rereading, but I’m weirdly glad that someone would.


  5. Happy bloggiversary! I’m a third of the way through a mystery and still can’t tell if the good parts outweigh the 1920s stereotyping. It is set in a tuberculosis recovery community, so there’s that.

    Which NHL team are you?


    • Thanks! That sounds kind of exciting — the TB recovery part, anyway. I thought I’d feel like that about the book I’m reading now, but I can’t even tell if the bad parts outweigh the worse parts.

      I’m at least enough of a New Yorker that I was never going to be anything but a Rangers fan. And…the trade deadline hit us pretty hard.


      • Sorry about the trade deadline. (But not too much…I’m Flyers born and bred.)

        It was “The Winning Clue,” by James Hay. The TB really didn’t play too big of a part other than that a few characters were housebound, but there were two equally-emphasized detectives with compelling cases against different suspects for the same crime. The creativity of the plot was almost enough to counteract the heavy racism.


        • Ugh, Flyers. I don’t know if we can be friends ;)

          I’ve got pretty limited information, only having read one book by James Hay, but it sounds like he’s got a habit of failing to do justice to really interesting scenarios.


  6. Happy Anniversary! I love your blog. I’m behind on my Project Gutenberg books, but loved Wanted: A Husband, which I learned about here.


    • Thanks! Glad you like Wanted: A Husband. Have you tried any of SHA’s other books? He’s pretty consistently delightful.


  7. Congratulations on your bloggiversary! And thank you to whovever suggested The Dorrance Domain; I have just read and greatly enjoyed it.


    • Thanks! I actually just posted a review explaining why I didn’t like The Dorrance Domain, but I’m glad you did.



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