October 2021 books read

  • The Rescuers – Margery Sharp, 1959. I loved these books as a child but only the Garth Williams illustrations really hold up, so I actually let this copy go! Yay one fewer book (they flood back in so quickly…).
  • Five Bushel Farm – Elizabeth Coatsworth, 1939. A new-to-me children’s book (The Cat Who Went to Heaven I’ve loved and re-read many times, and I’ve read The Enchanted at least once, but that might be it) which is good-not-great. It also has what would have seemed to most (white) readers at the time like a “sympathetic” portrayal of Native Americans, but is actually classic erasure. Another to purge!
  • Hot Milk – Deborah Levy, 2015 – quotes pulled, TBD
  • The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World – Andrea Wulf, 2015 – quotes pulled, TBD
  • The Lathe of Heaven – Ursula K. Le Guin, 1971. No matter how many times I read it, it still strikes me as a perfectly done novel.
  • The School for Scandal – Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 1777. For Irish Writers, but not enough quotes for a full post. I enjoyed reading it but would like to see it performed even more.
    • “Wit loses its respect with me, when I see it in company with malice.”
    • Lady Teazle: “I’ll swear her color is natural—I have seen it come and go—” Crabtree: “I dare swear you have, ma’am; it goes of a Night, and comes again in the morning.”
    • avadavat: a small songbird imported from India
  • The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevksy, 1879 (David McDuff translation, 2003). Second read this year – this translation is much better. Quotes pulled, TBD.
  • How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America – Clint Smith, 2021 – quotes pulled, TBD
  • Tender is the Night – F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1934. Read by mistake for Great Books instead of This Side of Paradise – I’ve worried about doing that before but this is the first time it happened. I actually embarked on several minutes of discussion before we all realized we were talking about two different books! Quotes pulled, TBD.
  • Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier, 1938. I think this is a re-read but not positive, since I’ve seen the movie several times and now want to re-watch it. One of the reasons I picked it up again was to compare Rebecca to the similar character Rowena in the next book on the list:
  • This Publican – Dornford Yates, 1938 (re-read) I was wondering which of the two influenced the other if at all, so it’s fascinating they came out the same year. Rebecca is better-written, of course, but This Publican builds equally gripping psychological suspense without recourse to shipwrecks and corpses and what-have-you. Especially intriguing that there’s a Thackeray novel titled Rebecca and Rowena – but aha, they are the two women in Ivanhoe (which I’ve read but isn’t top of mind, and neither of them was evil to the bone…).

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