Archive for June, 2013

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Molly Brown 2/3

June 24, 2013

I’ve now read books five and six of the Molly Brown series — Molly Brown’s Post-Graduate Days and Molly Brown’s Orchard Home. And I think I’m taking a break for a bit. I don’t like anyone anymore. Or care about what happens to Molly.

Here’s what happens in the first two post-college Molly Brown books:

A bunch of people fall in love with each other. Everyone is super jealous of everyone else. Molly and Professor Green are much less entertaining than they were before. Molly’s aunt, for whatever reason, is evil. So is the mother of a girl they meet on their way to France in book six. The kind of people who were redeemable in the earlier books aren’t anymore. The humor is meaner. The friendships are less convincing.

I’m sure part of the way I feel about these two books is about my having run out of patience, but not all of it. So, I hope to come back to Molly Brown at some point and finish the series, but for now I am done.

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Molly Brown, 1/2 — or maybe 3

June 23, 2013

People have been bugging me about reading Nell Speed for a long time. LadyMem on Twitter, in particular, reminds me every so often that this is something I have to do. And since it seemed like last week was coming late to the party week for me, I have finally started reading the Molly Brown series. This post deals with the first half of the series — Molly Brown’s Freshman Days through Molly Brown’s Senior Days.

And yeah, they’re fun. Really, really fun.

This is actually the first college girl series I’ve read in years that hasn’t made me feel like a lousy person for not liking college. I don’t know if that’s because they’re less intent on preaching the gospel of their fictional college, or just that I’ve moved past that. I think it might be a little of both. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Short story series #2: We’ve been here before

June 20, 2013

Check out the previous post in the series for stuff about short story series you’ve almost certainly heard of, and for my philosophy of short stories, which pretty much boils down to “they’re better when they come by the bookful and are all about the same character.”

These are the stories that I’ve written about here before. They’re in order from least to most awesome, which is not to say that the Our Square stories aren’t pretty good, or that Torchy isn’t a little higher on my list of favorite things ever than Emma McChesney. I mean, I put them in worst-to-best order by accident, and thought I might as well make a note of it. Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Adventure of Princess Sylvia / Princess Virginia

June 18, 2013

So, yeah, The Adventure of Princess Sylvia and Princess Virginia (the latter credited to both Williamsons, the former to Alice) are the same book. According to this advertisement, Sylvia is the original and Virginia is the revision. But, contrary to the advertisement’s assertion, it hardly qualifies as a new story.

Almost everyone’s names are changed, as are some nationalities. The Ruritanian country of Rhaetia retains its name, but its emperor is now Leopold rather than Maximilian. And Princess Virginia adds some American blood to Sylvia’s mix of English and German. Things are a little more up to date — it’s a different English monarch that provides the heroine and her mother with a home, and there’s a sprinking of automobiles in Virginia that aren’t present in Sylvia. The dialog is a little snappier (as Jenn pointed out), and there are places where the plot has been smoothed over a little, making it seem less as if A.M. Williamson made it up as she went along. If you’re going to read one of these, Virginia is better, but again: same book. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Jane of Lantern Hill

June 17, 2013

General consensus seemed to be that, after The Blue Castle, Jane of Lantern Hill was the best L.M. Montgomery book. So, when I detached myself from the internet yesterday and had a mini reading spree, it was the first thing I read. I mean, after I finished the Nero Wolfe book I was in the middle of.

I’m sorry I’m late to the L.M. Montgomery party, but I’m not sorry I’m getting to read these books for the first time now. There are children’s books that I’ve read as an adult and wished I had read as a kid, but Jane of Lantern Hill isn’t one of them. Yes, reading it at the appropriate age would have been a very different experience, but I don’t think it would have necessarily been a better one; I have so much more context for things now. This is just me trying to rationalize, though. Mostly I can’t imagine enjoying Jane of Lantern Hill more when I was a kid than I did yesterday. Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Blue Castle

June 15, 2013

I’m exceedingly thankful to Jenn right now for recommending a book that sounded so exactly like what I wanted that, less than seven hours after she posted the link, I’m already writing a review. I think this means my reading drought is over, although it will probably be hard to tell until after the Stanley Cup final is over too.

The book is The Blue Castle, and I expect that some of you have already read it, because it’s by L.M. Montgomery, and if you love Anne of Green Gables and are in the habit of reading public domain fiction, you’ve probably read everything of hers that’s available. I sort of love Anne of Green Gables, just…selectively. And The Blue Castle isn’t public domain here in the US, but Project Gutenberg Australia is a beautiful thing. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Updates, or a lack thereof.

June 5, 2013

So, here’s a cool thing: Tasha from Truth, Beauty Freedom and Books and a couple of her book blogging cohorts have this project called Book Bloggers International, where they post interviews with book bloggers around the world, as well as general book blogging tips and things. It’s a nifty idea, the interviews are super enjoyable, and the latest featured blogger is me. So, check that out for a bit of rambling about my childhood reading and…nothing that should come as a surprise to anyone, actually.

As for new content here…I’m in a bit of a reading drought at the moment. This is a thing that happens, I know, but it always makes me feel kind of guilty and bereft. Like, reading is so easy; why don’t I just do it. And what else am I going to do, anyway?

I probably should have known this was coming, because I hadn’t wanted to read anything but fanfiction for a few weeks, and that’s a pretty good sign of incipient reading fatigue. Oh well. I’m alternating between trying to power through it and waiting it out, and eventually one of those things will work.