18 March 2009

What I'm Reading

Fiction Binge:

Schweizer, Mark: The Mezzo Wore Mink: a liturgical mystery. Hopkinsville KY: St. James Music Press, 2008. 191 p. illustrator: Jim Hunt. I don't read mysteries but I do make exceptions. Schweizer's six books featuring an Episopal choir director who is also a small town chief of police and a wanna be writer who channels Raymond Chandler... Well, what more can I say. Laugh out loud funny! Unfortunately the slip case issued with this book probably marks the end of the series. Perfect for a cold, rainy day. Read every word including the added material and adverts on the frontis. This is one you'll either lover or hate. The series in order: The Alto Wore Tweed, The Baritone Wore Chiffon, The Tenor Wore Tapshoes, The Soprano wore Falsettos, The Bass Wore Scales, The Mezzo Wore Mink. MYSTERY EPISCOPAL CHURCH POLITICS SMALL TOWN ROMANCE 20th Century

Rolls, Elizabeth: His Lady Mistress. free download link from Kindle Daily Post, Tue. March 10, 2009 in celebration of Harlquin's 60th anniversary. This is a Harlequin Historical Romance, "a bodice ripper." ROMANCE HARLEQUIN ORCZY Several decades ago I was badly addicted to paperback romances; since I could read the shorter ones in under 2.5 hours, I read about 3 each and every week. I eventually tired of the genre as I do all formulaic ficition. Since I've been studying a lot of 19th and early 20th Century novels written by women, I found this reading of a current romance novel quite interesting. Except for the mandatory three erotic scenes in the 21st Century version and the diminishment of vocabulary and syntax, this novel is much the same as the earliest romance novels. I wonder if Rolls use of "Blakeney" is a conscious allusion to Emmuska Orczy's Pimpernel.

Bedside Book:

Mariani, Paul L.: Gerard Manley Hopkins: A life. New York: Viking, the Penguin Group, 2008. 496 p. includes index BIOGRAPHY POETS CATHOLIC OXFORD 19th Century 21st Century Hopkins has been my favorite poet since I discovered him during my freshman year at Rice Univerisity. I like Marianni's writing very much; superb shaping of excerpts from poems, journals, letters into a very readable text. One of the best accounts of Hopkins life I have read. A gift from David on my 60th brithday.

Chairside Nibbles:

Yonge, Charolotte M. (ed.): Gold Dust: a collection of golden counsels for the santification of daily life. New York: Thomas Whittaker n.d.. 165 p. DEVOTION 19th Century


Radcliffe, Ann: The Mysteries of Udolpho. A Project Gutenberg Book first published in 1794. This is the book everyone is reading and talking about in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. FICTION 18th Century


Patten, Robert L.: George Cruikshank's Life, Times, and Art. Volume1: 1792-1835. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1992. BIOGRAPHY ARTIST ILLUSTRATOR 18th Century 19th Century 20th Century This award winning biography by one of my English literature professors from Rice University is proving a most enjoyable re-read. One of Patten's strong points as a professor was rooting the literature in the history, the sociology, and the culture of the time, He offers rich details in a very readable frame. With my new interest in book illustration it is even more interesting to me now than it was on my first reading some years ago.

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