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Showing posts from September, 2018

Robida's Fantastic Drawings of the "Twentieth Century"

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On Monday, the podcast returns for Season 3!  I have quite a line-up planned, with plenty of variety, so stay tuned for that.

As a sneak peek - Monday's episode features two French authors: Jules Verne and Albert Robida. Both authors wrote futuristic, coming-of-age novels set in the 20th century.  I'll talk about their predictions in the episode, but for now, check out these illustrations by Robida:









"My Kinsman, Major Molineux"

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Over on Instagram, I'd mentioned I've been getting into Hawthorne's short stories again.  He's a favorite author of mine, and when I read the collection Twice Told Tales (already five years ago, wow!), I was blown away by the craft of his shorter works.  I finally broke down and bought the complete Tales and Sketches, and for my first reading chose "My Kinsman, Major Molineux," one of the more famous ones.

The story is set up simply enough: a young man and clergyman's son, Robin, sets out one day to seek his fortune.  More specifically, he leaves the countryside and arrives in Boston in order to get in touch with Major Molineux, a relative who had once offered to help him get started in life.

It's a dark, gloomy night in Boston.  Robin goes from door to door, inquiring for his kinsman.  Everyone laughs at him, while he wanders through the streets looking for at least one towns-person who will listen to him seriously.  Finally, he meets a man who tell…

Ten TBR Classics by My Favorite Authors

This week's Top Ten Tuesday challenges us to come up with to-be-read books by our favorite authors...

1. Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter
Yes, I probably sound like a broken record, but I still haven't read this one.

2. Joseph Conrad: Nostromo

3. Franz Kafka: Diaries
Diaries...that's a little awkward.

4. Jules Verne: From the Earth to the Moon

5. Agatha Christie: The rest of the Poirot series
It's been over a decade since I read it, so I might just start over.

6. Charlotte Bronte: The Professor and Emma

7. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Firm of Girdlestone
This is getting obscure, but Doyle's lesser-known works rarely disappoint.

8. J. R. R. Tolkien: The Fall of Gondolin

9. Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Crime and Punishment

10. Soren Kierkegaard: The Concept of Anxiety

My biggest takeaway from this list is that, barring Dostoyevsky and Kierkegaard, I've scarcely discovered any new favorite authors in the past 6–8 years.  Pretty sad.

Dear Mrs. Bird - A Lovely Read for Fall

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I first heard of this book from Cirtnecce at Mockingbirds, Looking Glasses & Prejudices...She wrote so highly of Dear Mrs. Bird that I couldn't wait to get my hands on a library copy.  Three months later, it finally arrived!


It's London in the middle of the Blitz, and twenty-something Miss Emmy Lake wants desperately to leave her dull desk job and become a War Correspondent.  Opportunities are scarce, especially for young women, so when she spies a job opening at The Evening Chronicle, she takes it, no questions asked.

Unfortunately, it turns out Emmy has agreed to become a typist for a ladies' magazine: Woman's Friend.  The eminent yet stringent editor, Mrs. Henrietta Bird, runs an advice column for women.  To her disappointment, Emmy has not been hired to get the scoop on the latest War developments - in fact, her job is merely to type up Mrs. Bird's responses to readers' questions, on topics ranging from the absurd to the tragic.

What seems like a simple…