Posts Tagged ‘favorite books’

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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 ?

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The Starling

May 7, 2018

For someone I think of primarily as an author of fluff, Juliet Wilbor Tompkins writes an awful lot about people who, out of fear (Dr. Ellen) or selfishness (Diantha, Pleasures and Palaces) stifle the growth of others, usually family members. But usually it’s a subplot, and in The Starling it’s the entire book. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Ann and her Mother

March 2, 2018

You know who’s really, really good? Anna Buchan. Even at her worst, which I expect is what Ann and her Mother is.

It’s a structural thing, mostly: Ann Douglas and her mother have recently moved into a new house, built to Ann’s specifications on some land left to her by an uncle. They’re a little isolated, and there’s not a lot to do, so Ann decides to write her mother’s biography. The book consists of their conversations as they unsystematically recall family history. Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Story Book Girls

January 12, 2018

I’m having an absurdly good run of book luck to start the year: first The Wings of Youth and the less-good-but-not-bad Girl in the Mirror, then Meg’s Friend, and now The Story Book Girls, by Christina Gowans Whyte. I can’t imagine it getting any better than The Story Book Girls, though. I tried to write about the book while I was reading it, but my notes are mostly things like “Elma! and Mabel!” and “I am wildly in love with the whole Leighton family.”

This is one of those books that I liked too much to be able to write about easily. I am at the best of times mostly a seething mass of emotion, and this book had my eyes welling up with (good) tears about twice a chapter. So, where to start? Read the rest of this entry ?

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Ask Miss Mott

November 1, 2017

When I say I kept forgetting Ask Miss Mott was by E. Phillips Oppenheim and not Edgar Wallace, it’s a compliment. There are things that point towards Oppenheim: a lack of humor, an uglier snobbishness,  a brand of racism that’s slightly different from Wallace’s. But the world feels like it belongs to Wallace, with its melodramatic gangs of master criminals, its gallant Scotland Yard official and its intrepid girl detective. The style is Oppenheim, but the substance is mostly Wallace, and that has immediately vaulted Ask Miss Mott into second place on my list of favorite Oppenheim books. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Tom Slade at Temple Camp

September 1, 2017

I think I must have randomly come across Tom Slade at Temple Camp in a used bookstore when I was in high school. It was the first Percy Keese Fitzhugh book I read, and the one I’ve reread the most. So it’s hard to tell whether I think it’s good because it is good, or if I think it’s good because I love it. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Patty Blossom

May 18, 2017

For once, we’ve got a reasonably coherent plot in Patty Blossom. Wells uses the advent of a pair of ridiculous Bohemian types to draw out Patty’s feelings about Phil and Bill, and she finally comes to decisions about both of them.

Sam and Alla Blaney don’t call themselves Bohemians — they claim that only fake Bohemians do that. They’re pretty caricaturish, though. Alla wears shapeless cloths in ugly colors and parts her hair in the middle, and Sam has long hair and writes odd poetry. And actually, if there’s something that’s solidly in Carolyn Wells’ skillset, it’s parodying poetry, and I feel like there should be more of that here. I’m not a huge fan of Wells’ verse, and if one of her mysteries entertains me more than in irritates me I count it as a win, but I do like it when Wells’ other selves find their way into the Patty books. Read the rest of this entry ?