Archive for April, 2011


Mae Madden

April 25, 2011

I have no idea why I decided to read this book. I clicked on a random author name on Project Gutenberg — Mary Murdoch Mason — and there was one title there — Mae Madden — and I thought, “that’s a lot of initial Ms,” and read it.

I’m not sure how much else I have to say about it.

Mae is a nineteen year old American girl traveling in Europe with her two brothers, her friend Edith, Edith’s mother, and Edith’s cousin Norman Mann, who is presumably named that so that Mae can have an additional initial M when they get married. But first she has to get entangled with a flirtatious Piedmontese officer.

The book is completely fine, I guess. The dialogue is a bit above average, and there are some nifty psychological bits, although I wish the book as a whole had been less down on the concept of young women having fun and taking care of themselves, but: fine. Totally, totally fine.


Precious Bane

April 23, 2011

You may have noticed I haven’t been around much lately. I’ve been pretty busy, and I haven’t been doing much other than working, sleeping and eating. That bit’s over now, but somehow the idea of reading a book is still kind of daunting. I’m working on that.

Mary Webb’s Precious Bane was the last book I managed to finish before I got too busy to read, which was, I guess, a few weeks ago. This is the second time I’ve read it. The first time was during my freshman year of college. It kind of bowled me over then, and it bowls me over even more now.

I feel sort of guilty about liking Precious Bane as much as I do, because my favorite book when I was in my early teens was Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons, and when she’s not sneaking in weird futuristic bits about glass pants and videophones, Gibbons is making fun of exactly this kind of earthy rural novel. On the other hand, “earthy” sort of implies that something takes place on earth, and it is my private conviction that Precious Bane does not. Read the rest of this entry ?