Archive for May, 2007


Patty at Home

May 29, 2007

So, it’s the second book, and Patty and her dad are still talking about proportion constantly. I’m curious to see if this lasts into book three, because I don’t remember there being a single mention of it in Patty’s Summer Days, and I’ve read that, like, five times.

Anyway, when we left Patty and Mr. Fairfield, they’d just decided to settle down in the town of Vernondale so that they could keep hanging out with their proportionally perfect relatives, the Elliots. But at the beginning of Patty at Home, Carolyn Wells pretends that they haven’t really made a decision yet so that the Fairfields and the Elliots can have a really dumb mock debate that’s oddly reminiscent of some little kids pretending to be royalty in Marjorie at Seacote, another Wells book. Read the rest of this entry ?


Alger-related ramblings

May 23, 2007

I major in history at school, and I really like it. I don’t think I’d want to be an English major, and yet when I find myself trying to come up with topics for my thesis, all I can think about are books.

That’s why I spent my shower this morning thinking about an imaginary paper that I would barely need to do any additional research for about money and capitalism in Horatio Alger.

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May 20, 2007

Moonfleet is a sort of Robert Louis Stevenson-esque historical adventure novel. I don’t know that I really have much of an excuse for calling it RLS-esque except that it reminds me of Kidnapped and Catriona. There’s a similar friendship between a sometimes kind of idiotic young man and an older guy who is involved with something illegal but sympathetic. And, like David Balfour and Alan Breck, these two spend a while in hiding, with prices on their heads.

On the other hand, even David Balfour isn’t as annoyingly stupid as John Trenchard sometimes is. Read the rest of this entry ?


Patty Fairfield

May 19, 2007

I intend to reread as many of Carolyn Wells’ Patty Fairfield books as I can get my hands on this summer. Seven out of the seventeen books are up on Project Gutenberg, and I own one of the others. I’ve never found a Patty book in a bookstore, but they’re not terribly hard to find online, and…well, the Patty books somehow seem more worth owning than other girls’ series. I hope to own the whole series someday.
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Vita S. Epiphanii

May 19, 2007

 This is kind of an odd post. I’m working on a research paper about a late Roman bishop, Epiphanius of Pavia, and while Magnus Felix Ennodius’ biography of Epiphanius isn’t much like the other books I talk about here, there is a sort of fundamental similarity in that it’s considered to be pretty mediocre and the only people who read it nowadays are classicists mining it for historical detail. Read the rest of this entry ?


8 Random Facts

May 17, 2007

Jill at My Individual Take (On the Subject) tagged me for the 8 Random Facts meme, so here goes:

The rules –
1: Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
2: People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 8 random things, and post these rules.
3: At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names.
4: Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I’m writing this while packing. Today is the day I leave school for the summer.

2. I have a large and ever-growing collection of paint samples. I stop in at hardware stores just to collect more, and sometimes the employees eye me suspiciously.

3. I had a slight infestation of ladybugs in my room earlier this year, and just now I found dead one stuck to the bottom of my foot. No, seriously.

4. John Le Carré’s George Smiley is pretty much my favorite fictional character ever. And Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy is one of the few cases where I like a movie better than the book it was adapted from. But it’s close.

5. I named my cat, Stella, after the author of Cold Comfort Farm, which was my favorite book when I was thirteen. A lot of people do impressions of Marlon Brando when they hear her name, and I find it really irritating.

6. I won a prize last year for my collection of old children’s books.

7. There are piles of books all over the floor in my room at home, but this summer I’m finally going to get some new bookshelves. I know it’s bad that my first shelf-space-related thought is “now I can buy books again.”

8. I wrote my big interdisciplinary paper in 11th grade on Horatio Alger. I used a Jean Webster book and an anonymous short story from the back of an Alger book for an English paper this semester. I am currently trying to figure out how my history thesis next year can be about children’s books. Or Terry and the Pirates.

I’m not going to tag anyone. Sorry.


The Queen of the Pirate Isle

May 16, 2007


Remember how Little Old New York claimed to be “profusely illustrated”? Well, their definition of “profuse” clearly didn’t agree with mine. I’d be more inclined to apply the phrase to The Queen of the Pirate Isle, written by Bret Harte and illustrated by Kate Greenaway. In general, I like Greenaway’s work, and this batch of illustrations is very enjoyable, despite — or perhaps partly because of — the fact that the main character’s clothes seem to change period at random.
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