Monday, March 22, 2010

My book pile at home shrunk by two this past weekend, as I had the chance to read remarkably different selections. I picked The Goose Girl up at a rummage sale because I like the cover. The gift inscription reads "Merry Christmas To Clarence From Mabel & Bob, Dec, 25, 1910."
The charming, but predictable story, focuses on the kidnap, and mistaken identity of a princess from a picturesque German town in the 1800's. I could easily see how pre-pubescent, turn of the century girls would enjoy this grown-up fairy tale filled with all the right components: romance, mystery, and disguise. I couldn't help but wonder if Clarence, the recipient of the book, enjoyed it. But who wouldn't love a book with powerful lines like "Why couldn't I have fallen in loved with some one like this?" he cogitated. ?
Besides the occasional cogitation, a whole slew of fun awaited me after the story ended. The publishers, Grosset & Dunlap, provided me with a complete list of reading selections guaranteed to be "brilliant," "spirited" and "fascinating", not to mention "popular priced." The Six-Cylinder Courtship is "...full of interesting folks, " and even though The Secret Orchard is set in Paris "most of the characters are English speaking."
Nedra, by George Barr McCutcheon, sounds like a fine read. - "The story of an elopement of a young couple from Chicago who decide to go to London travelling as brother and sister. Their difficulties commence in New York and become equally exaggerated when they are shipwrecked in mid-ocean. The new husband finds himself on an island with a strange, beautiful woman, resulting in unmentionable circumstances."
My favorite title - 'Red Fox: the Story of His Adventurous Career in the Ringwaak Wilds, and his Triumphs over the Enemies of his Kind. How could anyone resist reading a book with a title that compelling? I do own one other book on this extensive list, and have seen a movie version - The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Reinhart. The edition promoted has illustrations - not something we see in murder mysteries with any frequency these days.
John Strausbaugh's Black Like You: Blackface, Whiteface, Insult & Imitation in American Popular Culture took me in a totally different direction. The author, a regular contributor to the New York Times uses remarkable common sense and condor to illuminate realities about race that are rarely discussed in polite conversation. I'm not quite finished, but what I'm taking from it so far is the idea that no matter how uncomfortable it may be to face certain aspects of our country's history, or our personal history, no history is better or useful, if forgotten. I know the book sounds dry, and I put off reading it for a long time because I figured ti would read like someone's doctoral dissertaiton. Just the opposite is true. Strausbaugh makes this readable, and -odd to say- enjoyable. I'm thinking about suggesting it as a title for my book group to read.
That's it for now. We're getting into the thick of Heart-A-Rama so I may skip a post now and again. Keep checking back. Maybe I can get the dog to ante up with a few words.
Thanks for stopping by.
Sorry about the lack of spaces between paragraphs. This blog generator get persnickity from time to time. Today is one of those days.! If you're reading this Blogspot monitors...fix it, please.