Oh, Wilkie Collins. I love you so much! The Woman in White was delightful and may have been better written than Armadale (a reread is in order to determine if that is so). The Moonstone, as a mystery, was well developed but simply okay for me, a non-mystery person. But Armadale just topped them both

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Beatrice Nash is an educated, talented, and pleasant woman. But life in 1914 England does not give much credence to those qualities when she has been left orphaned and impoverished at the old maid age of 22 without any marriage prospects. To make matters worse, she must rely on her unfriendly relatives for assistance in finding

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Ancient Greek and Roman mythology has always fascinated me. First I fell in love with D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths. But then, even as a young teenager, I remember reading Mythology by Edith Hamilton, one of the first “pop culture” books that brought Greek mythology into the main stream for the general reader. It’s easy to

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I’ve been blogging on this page for eight years now. It’s kind of hard to believe that my oldest child was five months old when I began. Here I am, two more children later (and the youngest is 5 months old), and I struggle to find time to read the books I love let alone

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Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens (published serially from 1838-1839) meets the Dickensian stereotype of a very long book. I began reading it when my daughter was newborn and I finally finished it, now that she’s three and half. Nicholas Nickleby is definitely not my favorite Dickens novel. In some respects it’s obvious that its a early

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Alice Have I Been by Melanie Benjamin (Random House, December 2010) is a fictionalized historical biography of Alice Liddell Hargreaves, the woman who was as a child friends of Charles L. Dodgson (the man who later wrote under the pen name Lewis Carroll). It was young Alice Liddell who begged Mr. Dodgson to write down

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Way back in August and September, Jenny from Reading the End suggested I read Sophie Blackall’s illustrated book based on the personal “missed connections” posts found on Craig’s List. I love her illustration style, as I mentioned when I reviewed her picture book. Missed Connections captures the personal ads just perfectly with Ms Blackall’s style.

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The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells (published 1897) is another fascinating science fiction look at the implications of a changing world of acceptance. The titular character in this story, Griffin, is an albino who had once studied medicine. Tired of being marginalized for his strange appearance, he undergoes medical experiments, ultimately succeeding in creating a

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The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (originally published 1895) is a short novella that, on the surface, is about a man who invents and then uses a time machine to travel 800,000 years into the future. More specifically, however, The Time Machine is about class division. In the futuristic world the Time Traveller visits, the evolved

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In The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty (Random House, 1972), middle-aged Laurel Hand evaluates her life and that of her childhood associates in the wake of her father’s recent death. It is a contemplative novel of relationships, life, and hopes and dreams.

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Since my son and I have been learning about Ancient Greece and Greek mythology over the last few weeks, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit some familiar stories. Given my more recent lack of reading time or inclination, I determined not to attempt The Odyssey this year; but I did manage to read

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Before I left for a quick family trip, I finally finished Those Who Love by Irving Stone, a novelization of the John and Abigail Adams relationship. As I wrote in my first post two months ago, it was nice to recognize the impact the revolution and war must have had on the personal lives of

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