Archive for the ‘books’ Category

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The Seven Conundrums

August 19, 2019

I’ve been reading a lot of E. Phillips Oppenheim lately. This is a thing that happens to me sometimes. It’s kind of like getting a cold.

I’m afraid of running out of Oppenheim short stories at some point, so I’ve mostly been reading ones I’ve already read. One of those is The Seven Conundrums, a series of seven stories–and an intro–about three young entertainers working for a mysterious epicure. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Polly and Eleanor

April 14, 2019

So, I don’t know if the whole Polly and Eleanor series is going to happen for me, this time around. It’s partly that I’ve been reading too slowly and I’ve lost momentum, and partly that my attention is on other things. But also Polly and Eleanor is, you know, not very good–and in frustrating ways. Read the rest of this entry ?

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12th Blogiversary/Polly of Pebbly Pit

March 4, 2019

I read the first five books in Lillian Elizabeth Roy’s Polly Brewster series in 2007, right around when I started this blog. I had to stop there, because the sixth book wasn’t out of copyright yet, but since then, when I’ve thought about the public domain expanding in 2019, I’ve thought, “Oh, then I’ll be able to read the next Polly and Eleanor book.” 2019 felt really far away in 2007, but it’s finally here, so it feels appropriate to celebrate this blogiversary by revisiting this series.

This is making it sound like these books are really great, and if I recall correctly, they’re not. Polly of Pebbly Pit certainly isn’t, but it’s not bad, either–it’s just a decent girls’ series book for people who like girls’ series books, with an emphasis on sensible parenting and some mean-spirited comic relief. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Philippa

January 18, 2019

I’m always so impressed by Mrs. Molesworth. Not so much by her fantasy-tinged stuff for younger readers — the same grounded-ness that makes her other books so good drags her down there. But her more realistic books — mostly the ones for older girls — are so smart in such a light-handed, careful way, and even when I think I’m expecting it, I’m always a little surprised. They’re didactic — they’re very straightforwardly about learning to exist as a woman in the world — but not in the pejorative sense. They feel like very kind and human instruction manuals. And I have a lot of affection for instruction manuals. Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Devil’s Cub

January 14, 2019

I read The Devil’s Cub, by Georgette Heyer, on Friday and Saturday, mostly with my feet up in front of a fire. That felt right, and picturesque, but also necessary, since the heating system was off and the house took a while to get comfortable again after we got it turned back on.

I’m pretty sure this is the third time I’ve read The Devil’s Cub. It’s not one of my favorite Heyers. I wasn’t crazy about it the first time I read it, I liked it a little better the second time, and this time was a different kind of experience because I was reading it knowing I was going to write about it.

The Devil’s Cub is a sequel to These Old Shades, which is a pseudo-sequel to The Black Moth, which I could have sworn I’d posted about, but I guess not. In The Black Moth, the hero and heroine are menaced by Tracy Belmanoir, Duke of Andover, AKA “Devil.” In These Old Shades, Tracy has been transformed into Justin Alastair, Duke of Avon, AKA “Satanas,” but he’s the same person, temporarily transported to Paris. There he meets and employs a boy who turns out to be a girl. Eventually he marries her. You know how it goes.

The Devil’s Cub takes place about 25 years later. Justin and LĂ©onie’s son Dominic, Marquis of Vidal, has something of his father’s bad reputation. He eventually makes London too hot to hold him, and his father orders him to flee to the Continent. He makes a pit stop to pick up Sophia Challoner, the girl he’s been planning on making his mistress, but here things go (more) wrong. His letter to Sophia ends up in the hands of her much more virtuous older sister, Mary, and she takes Sophia’s place to save her virtue, assuming Vidal will send her home when he discovers the switch. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Tell me what to read

January 9, 2019

I know these aren’t super clear or, um, well-lit, but: pick something out for me to read and review this weekend.

ETA: I have packed for the weekend. The Devil’s Cub and The Motion Picture Chums at Seaside Park are in my bag.

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Year in Books 2018

January 1, 2019

Meant to do this yesterday, but oops.

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