lördag 7 januari 2012

What I forgot


Tom and the Andirons

It was perfectly natural in one respect, anyhow. There was really no reason in the world why Tom should not lie upon the great bear-skin rug in front of the library fire those cold winter nights if he wanted to, nor need anyone be surprised that he should want to. It was indeed a most delightful place to lie in. The bear-skin was soft and in every way comfortable and comforting. The fireplace itself was one of those huge hospitable affairs that might pass in some apartment houses in our narrow cooped-up city streets for a butler's pantry or small reception room—in fact in the summer time Tom used to sit in the fireplace and pretend he was in his office transacting business with such of his sister's dolls as could be induced to visit him there; giving orders to imaginary clerks and bookkeepers and keeping an equally fanciful office boy continually on the run. And then apart from the rug and the fireplace it was a beautiful room in which they were. Tom's father was very fond of books, and, although he was a great many years older than Tom, he had not forgotten how to enjoy the very same kind of books that Tom liked. He was not ashamed to have one little niche of his library filled with the stories which had delighted him in his boyhood days, and which still continued to please him, and, of course, this lent an additional charm to the library in Tom's eyes. It held his heroes, and on some of those drowsy nights when the only sounds to break the stillness of the room were the scratching of his father's pen, the soft humming of some little tune by his mother sitting and sewing by the evening lamp, and the fierce crackling of the burning logs, Tom could almost see these heroes stepping down from the shelves and like so many phantoms flitting in and about the room. In fact, upon one occasion, Tom is convinced he did see these very people having a dance upon the great tiled hearth—but of that you shall hear later.
From "Andiron Tales" from 1906, by John Kendrick Bangs and illustrations by Clare Victor Dwiggins.

My mind is not only simple — it’s tired. In the last post I forgot to write about the other simple books I’ve read this fall. Maybe beacuse I had forgotten the titles (I told you my mind is tired), and when I went over to Gutenberg to check the titles, I forgot what I was looking for, and I started to look at other interesting books!
So here I am with only a vague notion of what I’ve read, and what I thought about it. Yes, I remember that I read “The Enchanted Barn” by Grace Livingston Hill Lutz, but not what I meant to say about it. I’ve written about the author before, and I’m still not quite sure what I think about her. This time I kept notes while I read — notes that now are resting in my other computer. The men in her books are either unlikely gentlemanly, or terrible villans — while the the female protagonist is feminine and ladylike (and usually poor). It sure sounds as cheap pulp literature, doesn’t it?

One of the books I’ve enjoyed is “Dandelion Cottage” by Carroll Watson Rankin. The book was first published in 1904, but this edition was printed in 1977, and had rather modern illustration by Mary Stevens. They are not bad, but I don’t care for them.
I’ve never heard of the book before, but I understand that it is considered a classic — at least in the midwest where it take place. It’s a charming book, and I think I’ll read “The Cinder Pond“, by the same author, which also is available at Gutenberg.

I’m about to start reading “Andiron Tales”  so far I haven’t read much more than the paragraph above. If the rest of the book is as delightful as the beginning, I will not be disappointed.

4 kommentarer:

  1. Andiron Tales sounds good. Grace Livingston Hill is too sugary for my taste. I've read a few of her books, but I can't seem to like them.

  2. Jodi,
    I do agree - but there is still something in Grace Livingstone Hill's books that fascinates me. Maybe the same thing that I find so fascinating with Eleanor Porter's books, and quite a few books from that era. Those authors used pretty much the same ingredients, and their language is usually good, and for some reason I get curious if the book will end as I think it will - they usually do.

  3. I think many of GLH's books are too over the top for me, but I did enjoy The Enchanted Barn.....It is like some of what I think of as "house books" by Grace S. Richmond, books like Strawberry Acres and Under the Country Skies....(These titles may be slightly off...But perhaps Gutenberg has Some titles by Richmond. These books are a little beyond belief, but satisfying in an odd way....Mother Carey's Chickens and some of Kate Douglas Wiggins books are like this too....Timothy's Quest, for instance...

  4. Kristi,
    I do agreee, many of Livingstone's books are just too much - and some are not good at all. And still I'm fascinated..
    I have been looking at the illustrations in Richmonds books, but not read any of them, until the other day when I started to read "Under the Country Skies". Gutenberg has quite a few of her books.
    For the moment I'm also reading Rex Stout.
    Take care!