Catching Up 2/1/2017

February 1, 2017

For a while there in early to mid-January, I didn’t want to do anything but read. Then I got a little bogged down. Reading often distracts me and cheers me up, but sometimes the world is too scary to be distracted from. Bad things are happening out there. If you’re in the US, I encourage you to call your elected representatives often.*

Anyway, things I’ve read, so that I can hopefully move forward:

Six Girls Growing Older, by Marion Ames Taggart

I don’t know what it says that this is the second time I’ve gotten this far in the series and stopped reading. Possibly that it ought to have ended here? Margery and Laura return home, the two romantic storylines are resolved, and there’s a description of waiting for election results that I found much more interesting and much less depressing last time I read it.

Red Pepper Burns, by Grace S. Richmond

I really, really like Grace S. Richmond, guys. This is a very episodic book about a doctor who lives in the suburbs, and how hot and honorable and good at surgery he is. He also adopts a small child and drives his car very well and falls in love with a widow instead of the flashy young woman who’s falling all over herself to attract him. If you are a person who should read this book, every one of those items will have piqued your interest.

I also listened to audiobooks of Aunt Crete’s Emancipation, Stalky & Co., and Grace Harlowe’s Golden Summer.

Aunt Crete’s Emancipation, read by Cori Samuel, is my favorite thing I’ve listened to from LibriVox. At first I was a little thrown off by hearing an American book in an English accent, but Samuel is a really good reader, and somehow this was just a really fun story to listen to.

Stalky & Co., read by Tim Bulkeley, didn’t really work for me. This is one of my favorite books, and Bulkeley is a perfectly competent reader, but…I don’t know. I think the biggest problem was that I found the character voices silly and distracting.

Grace Harlowe’s Golden Summer was read by ashleighjane, who’s done a bunch of other books in the series. I listened to it to reorient myself in the series, thinking I’d move on to later books I haven’t read before, but it was…uninspiring. Like, I don’t have specific complaints. It was fine. But it did not make me want to read the next book.

*Calling your reps is a good thing to do no matter what your political affiliation is, but if you’re pleased with our new authoritarian government, why are you here reading a blog about books that emphasize things like honor and truth and charity?


  1. The Grace Harlowe series was going pretty strong for me and then suddenly – meh. Some of the main characters disappear and one of the college women I loved is suddenly silly, foolish – a joke. I can’t tell if they switched authors behind the psuedonym or the author got bored.

    • Jessie Graham Flower is a pseudonym, but it seems to have belonged to one person: Josephine Chase. But I feel like I’ve heard elsewhere that the quality goes downhill at some point. Where do you think the shift takes place?

      • When they go to war. There are parts of the Overseas books I liked – but she’s suddenly not careful about this community she’s built up over a dozen books. The story themselves are not bad (although I’m missing two from the middle) but there are no letters home and the characters who are over there seem to have had personality swaps.

        I’ve read three of the Overland Riders series and I keep wondering if I missed a book where everyone back home died. But the Overland books have convinced me to stop.

        • Yuck. I’ll probably try a couple of the Overseas books at some point, at least, but I’ll make sure not to get my hopes up. Grace’s growing network of friends is one of the best things about the first two series.

          • I’d love to hear your take on the Overseas books. I may just be too harsh.

            I agree with you that the community is the best part of the series. I don’t find it hard to keep track of the characters in the High School & College set at all because I like them all so much.

            • BTW, have you tried the Marjorie Dean series – very similar to Grace Harlowe.

              • I read them a bunch of years ago and remember liking them–aren’t they by the same author?

  2. I love Grace S Richmond so much, but I never finished Red Pepper Burns. I made it as far as him apologizing to the mother of the dead boy, (which is to say not very far, maybe the second chapter?) … and noped out. Dead children and grieving parents are my kryptonite. There’s a passage in the “Blue Castle” that I have to skip or I cry for a day.
    Maybe I should give Red Pepper Burns another chance?

    I’ve also been reading a lot of WWI and WWII stories these days to remind me that it was really really bad once upon a time and the world bounced back, kinda.

    • Hey, if it’s not for you, it’s not. I put books down when pets are killed.

      If you do decide to give it another chance: the stuff about the dead boy is over very quickly, but he’s brought up again briefly later in the book. And there is another instance where a young patient dies. The book only deals with the aftermath, and I don’t think the parents appear, but it did bring me close to tears.

      Any particular WWI or WWII stories you’ve been enjoying?

  3. Hello Melody, http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/54116 Castle Blair by Fiora L. Shaw.

    It was cheerful, historical, many kids running about. Enjoy your day, Meg

    In 2017 I expect flowers will grow. Because me and mine planted flowers.ūüĆł


    • Thanks–that sounds great.

      (doing my best to plant flowers too)

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