March 4th, 2013

March 4, 2013

As of today, Redeeming Qualities has been around for 6 years. I know I was better at posting regularly when I was a student, or when I was unemployed, but even when I haven’t posted for months at a time, Redeeming Qualities has always been a source of good feelings and I’ve never considered abandoning it. So if you’re reading this — and especially if you read RQ regularly, thanks for being around and for sharing opinions and recommendations and for enjoying ridiculous books with me. Some of you are as important to this blog as the Williamsons, and none of you are less important to it than John Kendrick Bangs.

I’m thankful to be done with my Edgar Wallace kick, which culminated in me rereading several of his books that I had read once already. Hopefully I will soon be posting something about Geoffrey Strong, by Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards, although I might wait untill I’ve finished what seem to be the two other books in the series. Meanwhile, I’ve also just finished rereading Set in Silver (which may have overtaken Secret History Revealed by Lady Peggy O’Malley as my favorite Williamsons) and I’ve just started another of A.E.W. Mason’s Hanaud mysteries (The House of the Arrow, which so far I’m enjoying a lot). Plus I’m rereading The Hobbit for the first time since I was a kid, and finding it less awesome than I remembered, so maybe I should stop.

The House of the Arrow
came from a book shopping expedition on Saturday, when I set out with a couple of family members in search of a fairly recent bestseller and a copy of Frankenstein. Neither of the two indie bookstores we tried had Frankenstein, but the second one had the other book. We continued on to one of my favorite used bookstores, but they were in the process of moving, and if they had a copy of Frankenstein, it was inaccessible. But we’d noticed another used bookstore around the corner, one I’d never been to, and it turned out to be kind of amazing.

Not only did we find a copy of Frankenstein, we found two, although the second was abridged and therefore unacceptable, in spite of the excellent 1960s children’s adventure style illustrations, which made Frankenstein’s monster look an awful lot like the Hulk.

For the rest, this store was a monument to paperbacked genre fiction. Romance novels took up the most space — there were signs saying things like, “We’re sorry, Nora Roberts has been moved to the back room,” and when you would go to the back room, you’d see an entire bookcase devoted to her — but there were also bookcases for different categories of thrillers and mysteries. My companions were inclined to be mean about the romance novels, which always makes me kind of angry on principle, but we all found things we wanted. I came away with three post-1923 Mary Roberts Rinehart mysteries, as well as the A.E.W. Mason, so I left pretty happy, but I want to go back soon, with less judgmental people.


  1. 6 years- Congratulations! Here’s to many more years of wonderful posts!

    You made me laugh when you wrote that the abridged Frankenstein book had an illustration of the monster that looked like the Hulk :)

    • Thanks!

      I tried to find the Frankenstein illustrations online, but no luck. They were only one step removed from ’60s comic book illustrations, and if you think about it, it kind of makes sense that the monster would look like the Hulk.

  2. Happy Anniversary, Redeeming Qualities!
    I love this blog, and I cherish the day I found out there was someone else named Melody who loved books of this vintage as much as I.
    thank you for having such a terrific site!

    • Thank you for reading it!

      I enjoy that you’re around, too. If you had a book blog — or even a general media review blog — I would read it religiously. Just saying.

  3. When I scanned the email notice that there was a new post on your blog, I got a sinking feeling. It had been wonderful knowing that I wasn’t alone in my appreciation of turn of the 20th century books, and it was with dismay that I began to read your latest post.
    “As of today, Redeeming Qualities has been around for 6 years”.

    “Oh no”, I thought, “she’s had enough”. What a relief when I realized that you were merely marking an anniversary! (As if an anniversary can be ‘merely’ marked…)

    Congrats and please keep up the good work for at least another six years! Your blog is the only one I read religiously, and it’s a delight to read your posts and discover new authors and books, almost serendipitously…

    So keep it up, and let us know when you discover the next Williamsons, Rinehart, Tracy, Adams, Jenkins, Farnol, Ingram, etc.!!!

    • Don’t worry — of all the projects I’ve ever started, this is the one I always come back to. Thanks so much for reading.

  4. Happy anniversary! I’m excited to read your review of Geoffrey Strong and the others in the series. I love Laura E. Richards (well, I love the Hildegarde-Margaret series and a book of short stories called “The Green Satin Gown”) so I’m interested in whether I should try and find these other books, too!

    • Thanks! I think I’m going to post about Geoffrey Strong soon, because I don’t know when I’ll get around to reading the related books. I definitely recommend it, anyway.

      I think I read the first story in The Green Satin Gown, but I don’t remember any of the others. Laura E. Richards is pretty much always great, though.

  5. Congratulations on six years! Keep up the good work. I’ve discovered a lot of good authors through you.

    • Thanks!

  6. Congratulations on your six years, and may you keep up the good work for a long time! I’ll always be grateful for the introduction to Laura E. Richards/

    • Thank you! (and you’re welcome)

  7. Sheesh, we weren’t that judgmental were we? LOL, Congratulations Melody! Speaking for my sister, we two Aunts are very proud of you. Keep up the amazing work! Thanks for taking us book shopping.

    • You were pretty dismissive, and women being dismissive of women’s fiction makes me sad. Book shopping was awesome, though, and we should do it again sometime.

  8. Congrats on six years! I think I’ve actually been reading for about five of them, even if I don’t always comment. I love finding out about new authors and vicariously reading old books through your summaries. Hope there are many more years to come!

    • Thanks!

      Yeah, you’ve definitely been hanging around here as long as almost anyone. By the way, I was really sorry to see you’d stopped book blogging — I don’t read anyone’s blog regularly, but I’ve always liked stopping by every once in a while to catch up on yours.

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