The Girl in a Swing, 1980 – One of my all-time favorites. A+
Maia, 1984 – ditto, although in some ways too self-indulgent. A+
The Copper Beech, 1992 – B+
The Lilac Bus: Stories, 1992 (originally two novels, 1982 and 1984) – A-. The first Binchy I ever read and still one of my favorites.
Blyton, Enid – Third Year at Malory Towers, 1948 – C+
Card, Orson Scott:
The Folk of the Fringe, 1989 – B-
Lost Boys, 1992 – A-
Collins, Wilkie – The Moonstone, 1868 – B. Funny and well-written, but I had forgotten how unbelievable the plot is.
Cross, Amanda, In the Last Analysis, 1964 – B.
Curtis, Christopher Paul – Bucking the Sarge, 2004. The ending isn’t very satisfactory, but Curtis is still one of the best new writers for kids out there. B+
Delafield, E. M. – The Diary of a Provincial Lady, 1931 – A
DiCamillo, Kate – The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane – 2006. B+
Durrell, Gerald – The Bafut Beagles, 1954 – B+. I idolized Durrell as a child, but some of his attitudes are a little hard to take now.
Half Magic – 1954 – A
Knight’s Castle – 1956 – A
Magic By the Lake – 1957 – A-
Seven-Day Magic – 1962 – A-
Enss, Chris – Hearts West : True Stories of Mail Order Brides on the Frontier – 2005. Slight, but interesting because of the primary source letters and advertisements included. B-
Assault on a Queen, 1959 – B-. My least favorite Finney; grim and devoid of his usual quirkiness. I think I’ll get rid of it.
Forgotten News: The Crime of the Century and Other Lost Stories, 1983 – B+
Amphigorey – 1972
Amphigorey II – 1975
Like nothing else, but don’t have nearly the appeal to me now they did when I was a teenager.
Grove, Andrew S. – One on One With Andy Grove: How to Manage Your Boss, Yourself and Your Coworkers, 1987 – B+. Lots of decent common sense.
Henry, Marguerite – King of the Wind: The Story of the Godolphin Arabian, 1948 – A-
Horne, S. Hamill – Camp Choconut : a history of the boys’ camp near Friendsville, Pennsylvania – 2005. Just a few miles from our house, so I was interested. Cool to hear about created traditions that work–“heads and heels,” “the Villa Hunt,” “the Blinded Wanderer.” B
Jansson, Tove – Moonminvalley in November – 1971 – B. No Moomins in this one, just their long shadows as Snufkin, the Hemulen, the fillyjonk and a few new characters move into the Moomin house.
The Complete Stalky & Co. – 1930 – B+. Some stories that weren’t in my Stalky as a teen. I idolized Stalky. Now a lot of it is either opaque or offensive.
The Jungle Book – 1894 – A
Kim, 1901 – A
The Second Jungle Book – 1895 – A (“Red Dog” was always one of my favorite stories; doesn’t hold up quite that well anymore…)
Lang, Andrew (editor) – The Green Fairy Book – 1892 – A. Introduced by saying “this is … probably the last of the Fairy Books of many colors.” Ha! Like comic books (and music to a certain extent), it seems that the exemplars I was exposed to at a formative age have much the strongest hold on my imagination and emotions–this, Flora Steel’s English Fairy Tales, the single-volume Grimm and selection of Hans Christian Anderson tales are THE fairy stories for me still.
The Lathe of Heaven, 1971 – A+. A perfect novel.
The Telling – 2000 – A. I have bookmarks in it for quotes I wanted to repeat. Will read again within a few years.
Very Far Away From Anywhere Else – 1976 – B+
Levin, Ira – A Kiss Before Dying – 1953 – Suspense classic. B+
Libbrecht, Kenneth; photos by Patricia Rasmussen – The Snowflake: Winter’s Secret Beauty – 2003. Amazing. A
McCaffrey, Anne – Crystal Singer, 1982 – B. Wonderful descriptions of food!
Mitford, Nancy – The Blessing, 1951 – A+. Brilliant and very funny; I’ve read it many times since I was a teenager, and it never gets old.
Montgomery, Sy – The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood – 2006. B
Nabokov, Vladimir (edited by Alfred Appel Jr) – The Annotated Lolita – 1991 – Novel A+, annotations B.
Nesbit, E: (Edith):
The Book of Dragons – Watermill edition 1987 – B
The Enchanted Castle – 1907 – A+
Five Children and It – 1902 – A+
The Phoenix and the Carpet – 1904 – A+
The New Treasure Seekers – 1904 – B-
The Railway Children – ? – B+. Only now do I see the problem of this family’s toxic secret hiding…
The Story of the Amulet – c 1901, first published 1906 – A
Oxford Book of Fantasy Stories – 1994; A Treasury of Modern Fantasy – ed. Carr and Greenberg – 1981. I read every word of these so I could give them away without that sense of missing something… and now I have no memory of them whatsoever. But they have authors I’d like to be complete on, like A. Merritt and Jack Vance, so now I want to keep them… at this rate I will never shrink my collection!
Nichols, Beverley – No Man’s Street, 1954 – B. Nichols was quite a hack, so it’s not suprising that this doesn’t have as much flavor as his garden memoirs (what he really loved). Too bad, though–I was very excited to find this at an estate sale for a buck!
Parker, Richard – The House that Guilda Drew – 1963 – B. In Australia, Guilda and her family finally find a house to live in.
Peddiwell, J. Abner – The Saber-Tooth Curriculum – 1939 – Brilliant! A-
Roach, Mary – Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers – 2003. Fascinating book and wonderful attitude: to want to be useful after one’s death. A-
Schulz, Charles M. – Young Pillars: The Creator of Peanuts Takes a Look At Young Church People – 1958 – C+. A curiosity I’m getting rid of now. Take Linus and stretch him to six feet tall, then give him a one-panel strip with very, very weak jokes…
Sedaris, David – Me Talk Pretty One Day – 2000. B+
Strieber, Whitley and James Kunetka
Nature’s End, 1986 – A-
War Day – 1984 – A-
Tannen, Deborah – You’re Wearing That? Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation – 2006. Tannen is always wonderful. A-
Voltaire – Candide (edition illustrated by Rockwell Kent, 1963). Since the 2004 elections, I’ve been feeling like all I can do is cultivate my garden…