Archive for the ‘Vintage Books’ Category

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Empty Hands

June 22, 2018

Robert Endicott, early in Arthur Stringer’s Empty Hands, compares his employee Shomer Grimshaw to a Diesel engine, efficient and emotionless, and wonders who would win out if Grimshaw had to deal with Endicott’s modern, spoiled daughter Claire. As a reader, you know what this signals: they will meet, and probably fall in love, and we’ll find out just how human Grimshaw can be. And I guess we do, but — and I suspect Stringer didn’t intend this — the answer is “not very.”

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Nina’s Career

June 7, 2018

The bad news is that Nina’s Career isn’t as good as The Story Book Girls. The good news is that it’s still good enough that I want to read everything Christina Gowans Whyte ever wrote.

Nina Wentworth is an orphan being raised in London by three spinster aunts. Their income will die with them, so eventually Nina will have to support herself, and as she’s shown some artistic talent, she’s training to be an artist.

That’s not what the book is about. Read the rest of this entry ?

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An Everyday Girl

June 5, 2018

An Everyday Girl, by Amy Ella Blanchard, is one of those books that wants to be two or three completely unrelated books, but it’s fine. I didn’t mind the structural issues half as much as the casual racism (including blackface and the N-word).  Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Seed of the Righteous

June 3, 2018

The Seed of the Righteous feels like Juliet Wilbor Tompkins’s entry into the subgenre that includes V.V.’s Eyes, The Clarion, and A Poor Wise Man. But those are about wealthy young people coming to terms with the ethical realities of their situations, and this is about a poor one. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Tom Slade, Forest Ranger

June 2, 2018

I started Tom Slade, Forest Ranger in January (at a hockey game) but I couldn’t get through it. This kid Henny Vollmer kills someone by accident, and it was stressing me out. Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Girl Crusoes

June 1, 2018

I don’t know how I feel about The Girl Crusoes (by Mrs. Herbert Strang, a pseudonym for the same two guys who wrote as Mr. Herbert Strang). I love a good survival story, which I think means this isn’t one. Also I wish people writing about castaways wouldn’t populate their tropical islands; so often it just seems like an excuse to be super racist. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Why Not?

May 25, 2018

It’s funny how much text sources influence my reading. When I want to read Margaret Widdemer, I always go for The Rose-Garden Husband and The Wishing-Ring Man, and that’s mostly because they’re great, and a bit because each one makes me want to read the other, but it’s also a little bit because they’re on Project Gutenberg. If Why Not? was on Gutenberg instead of Google Books, it would go on my list of favorite Widdemer books. Read the rest of this entry ?