Archive for June, 2007

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Oemler’s Characters

June 28, 2007

I’m about to give in and read the third of the Marie Conway Oemler books from Project Gutenberg. But first I’m going to post the cast of characters from each of them, because they’re lots of fun.

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The G-Men Smash the “Professor’s” Gang

June 28, 2007

I feel like The G-Men Smash the “Professor’s” Gang(by William Engle), while an utterly fantastic title, shouldn’t be a hard one to live up to. I mean, as long as there are, you know, FBI agents, and someone called the Professor, and the former smash the latter’s gang, you can’t really go wrong.
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Cormorant Crag

June 25, 2007

Cormorant Crag, by George Manville Fenn, is the story of two young morons named Vince and Mike. They remind me very much of two young morons named Tom and Steve. Vince, like Tom, is not quite so much of an idiot as his friend, and Mike, like Steve, eventually learns to shut up and listen to his smarter, less dithery companion. Although Vince does quite a lot of dithering, too.

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The Dana Girls #9: The Mystery at the Gatehouse

June 25, 2007

In The Mystery at the Gatehouse, Louise and Jean help investigate the disappearance of Mr. Warrington, a wealthy businessman who lives near Starhurst and is being investigated by the government for reasons that are never fully explained.

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The Dana Girls #3: In the Shadow of the Tower

June 25, 2007

We next meet Jean and Louise Dana two books later, in In the Shadow of the Tower, an evocative title that has very little to do with the story.
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The Dana Girls #1: By the Light of the Study Lamp

June 25, 2007

So, The Dana Girls books are nothing special, really, but they are kind of interesting. Apparently they were meant to be a sort of cross between Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.

On the Hardy Boys side:

They’re siblings, and one has dark hair and the other has light hair.

On the Nancy Drew side:

They’re girls

Hmmm. That seems to be about it. The fact that they’re amateur detectives could count towards either side, and the fact that they’re in school and actually, you know, go to class sometimes couldn’t count towards either.
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New acquisitions.

June 20, 2007

The camp where my brother works has a lot of old children’s books. My brother told me about it a while back, but I didn’t see it until yesterday, when my parents and I drove him up to Maine. Most of the books are in terrible condition, but there’s some really excellent stuff. The camp director let me pick out some to take, and I am going to replace them with newer books.

I got an Alger I didn’t have — Frank Hunter’s Peril — Three Dana Girls mysteries (that’s a Stratemeyer series that began in the mid thirties), and Slippy McGee, by Marie Conway Oemler. I was so excited when I saw the latter that I think I squeaked.

I have a copy of Slippy McGee! I can’t wait to reread it.

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Tom Swift in the City of Gold

June 18, 2007


I thought that it would be pretty difficult not to like a book containing a chapter called “Beware The Head-Hunters!” But then, I didn’t expect a Tom Swift book to make blatantly untrue statements about anything but science.

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The Golden Boys in the Maine Woods

June 18, 2007


I’d never heard of the Golden Boys before, but — well, I just had to get The Golden Boys in the Maine Woods. I think I’d better just transcribe the first paragraph:

The sun was hardly half way over the horizon when the door of a small log cabin some fifty feet from the shore of Moosehead Lake opened, and a boy about nineteen years old stepped out. He was dressed only in a pair of swimming trunks and his perfectly formed body, brown as a nut, made a pretty picture against the background of the cabin as he paused to draw into his lungs huge drafts of the spruce scented air. In a moment he was joined by another boy a little younger and not quite as tall, but no less beautifully developed.

The author is L.P. Wyman, Ph.D., Dean of the Pennsylvania Military College.

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New Old Books

June 18, 2007

This weekend I was upstate with my family, and on Saturday we visited a used book store that my parents like a lot but where I’ve never found anything particularly interesting. I was about to not find anything interesting again this time, but while I was looking around the little room where they keep the children’s books, one of the store owners — I think — came into the room to get something out of the closet. I looked over his shoulder and saw piles and piles of exactly the kinds of books I wanted, mostly boys’ series like Tom Swift, The Boy Scouts, and Percy Keese Fitzhugh’s boy scout books. The guy let me look through them, and with the help of my father and my brother, who are much taller than I am, I got to look through most of them.

I ended up getting six books: two Tom Swifts (the first Tom Swift — think Tom Swift’s Motorcycle rather than Tom Swift’s Jetmarine), two Fitzhughs (one Tom Slade and one Pee-Wee Harris), one trashy looking women’s novel with nice illustrations and a main character named Sybil, and The Golden Boys in the Maine Woods.

I’ve just finished reading the latter. I am about to post about it, but I can’t figure out how to post two Flickr photos at once, so…

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Phronsie Pepper; The Youngest of the Five Little Peppers

June 18, 2007

I’m completely confused by Margaret Sidney’s Five Little Peppers books. It’s not about the contents of the books — they’re fairly straightforward. But the number and order of the books has always been a bit jumbled, and now, after reading Phronsie Pepper; The Youngest of the “Five Little Peppers,” I’m baffled.
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Nelson the Newsboy: Ads

June 18, 2007

Nelson the Newsboy has a pretty nice selection of ads in the back. I transcribed a bunch of them because…well, I don’t know why. But I did.

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Nelson the Newsboy

June 18, 2007


This week I finally got a chance to open a box of books that one of my uncles sent me during the winter. It included five Horatio Alger books, four of which I already had. That’s pretty weird, because I only had about twelve Algers, and he wrote about a hundred.

The one that I didn’t already have is Nelson the Newsboy. I don’t know how much of it Alger wrote, though. It’s one of several books left unfinished at Alger’s death and completed by Edward Stratemeyer under the name Arthur M. Winfield, which he also used for the Rover Boys series.
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The Fortunes of Fifi

June 11, 2007

A while back Danielle at A Work in Progress posted a bunch of advertisementsfrom the back of a book that had been published in 1907. The most entertaining one was for a book by Molly Elliot Seawell called The Fortunes of Fifi. I said I’d look out for it, but somehow I never thought to look for it on Google Books ’til the other day. It’s there, freely downloadable as a pdf. I’m kind of entertained by the way they scan things for Google Books — they scan every single page, even the ones that haven’t got anything on them, so each illustration is followed by a blank page; the other side of the thicker, shinier paper used for the illustrations.

So, The Fortunes of Fifi is pretty entertaining. Fifi is a nineteen year-old actress working in a fourth-rate theater in Paris. It’s 1804, and Napoleon is just about to be crowned emperor.
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Patty in the City

June 8, 2007

As I expected, Patty in the City was kind of awesome. Proportion is still mentioned, but only when called for, and Patty finally meets the Farringtons and it turns out that they have a bowling alley inside their house.
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