harrygbutler's Tomes and Trifles in 2017, Part 5
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End papers from The Black Stallion Challenged
Hello, I’m Harry, and this is my second year in the 75 Books Challenge. By training I'm a medievalist, by occupation an editor; my taste in reading runs to Golden Age and earlier mysteries, pulp detective and adventure fiction, Late Antique and medieval literature, and westerns, among others. I also have a fondness for collections of cartoons and comic strips. A fairly recent discovery for me is the appeal of late nineteenth and early twentieth century popular fiction. I usually have a few books going at once.
My wife Erika and I live in eastern Pennsylvania with three cats — Elli, Otto, and Pixie — and a dog, Hildy. Our pets occasionally make an appearance in my thread. My other interests include model railroading, gardening, and birding, so you'll sometimes see something related to them as well.
I try to provide some sort of comment on the books I read, but they aren't really reviews.
1. Why Shoot a Butler?, by Georgette Heyer
2. The Exeter Book Riddles, trans. by Kevin Crossley-Holland
3. Bear Island, by Alistair MacLean
4. The Annals of Flodoard of Reims, 919-966, ed. and trans. by Bernard S. Bachrach and Steven Fanning
5. Murder in Maryland, by Leslie Ford
6. Kate Carnegie, by Ian Maclaren
7. Babylonian Literary Texts in the Schøyen Collection, by A. R. George
8. The Destroying Angel, by Norman Klein
9. Sweet Danger, by Margery Allingham
10. Rudder Grange, by Frank R. Stockton
11. Best Cartoons of the Year 1943, ed. by Lawrence Lariar
12. Norse Romance I: The Tristan Legend, ed. by Marianne E. Karlinke
13. The Footsteps at the Lock, by Ronald A. Knox
14. Proverbs of Ancient Sumer, by Bendt Alster
15. Solomon Kane, by Robert E. Howard
16. Hägar the Horrible: The Epic Chronicles: The Dailies 1983 to 1984, by Dik Browne
17. The Case Is Closed, by Patricia Wentworth
18. Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology, ed. by Milton J. Davis and Charles R. Saunders
19. Ava's New Testament Narratives: "When the Old Law Passed Away", by Ava
20. The Blackout, by Constance and Gwenyth Little
21. Local Saints and Local Churches in the Early Medieval West, ed. by Alan Thacker and Richard Sharpe
22. Early Medieval Rome and the Christian West: Essays in Honour of Donald A. Bullough, ed. by Julia M.H. Smith
23. Lonesome Road, by Patricia Wentworth
24. Gray Dusk, by Octavus Roy Cohen
25. East of Samarinda, by Carl Jacobi
26. Partners in Crime, by Agatha Christie
27. The Crock of Gold, by James Stephens
28. The Eye in the Museum, by J. J. Connington
29. The Life of Bishop Wilfrid, by Eddius Stephanus
30. League of the Grateful Dead and Other Stories, by Day Keene
31. The Black Stallion Returns, by Walter Farley
32. The History of Leo the Deacon: Byzantine Military Expansion in the Tenth Century, by Leo the Deacon
33. Galusha the Magnificent, by Joseph C. Lincoln
34. The Riddle of the Yellow Zuri, by Harry Stephen Keeler
35. The Amazing Adventures of Letitia Carberry, by Mary Roberts Rinehart
36. The Dain Curse, by Dashiell Hammett
37. The Sherlock of Sageland: The Complete Tales of Sheriff Henry, Volume 1, by W. C. Tuttle
38. The Mysterious Mr. Quin, by Agatha Christie
39. Tam O' the Scoots, by Edgar Wallace
40. The Shepherd of Hermas (in 1173782::Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2) (anonymous)
41. Einstein Simplified: Cartoons on Science, by Sidney Harris
42. Santorini, by Alistair MacLean
43. Danger Point, by Patricia Wentworth
44. Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle
45. Prince Valiant, Vol. 8: 1951-1952, by Hal Foster
46. The End of Time: A Meditation on the Philosophy of History, by Josef Pieper
47. The Land of Hana: Kings, Chronology, and Scribal Tradition, by Amanda H. Podany
48. The Ghosts’ High Noon, by Carolyn Wells
49. All Creatures Great and Small, by James Herriot
50. Epics of Sumerian Kings: The Matter of Aratta, trans. by Herman Vanstiphout
51. The Mummy Moves, by Mary Gaunt
52. Son of the Black Stallion, by Walter Farley
53. Juliet Dies Twice, by Lange Lewis
54. The Murder at the Vicarage, by Agatha Christie
55. Punch in the Air: A Cartoon History of Flying, ed. by David Langdon
56. The Chronicle of Ireland, trans. by T. M. Charles-Edwards
57. The Ahhiyawa Texts, by Gary Beckman, Trevor Bryce, and Eric Cline
58. Torchy, by Sewell Ford
59. The Chinese Shawl, by Patricia Wentworth
60. Ugaritic Narrative Poetry, trans. by Mark S. Smith, Simon B. Parker, Edward L. Greenstein, Theodore J. Lewis, and David Marcus; ed. by Simon B. Parker
61. The House Opposite, by J. Jefferson Farjeon
62. Gone North, by Charles Alden Seltzer
63. Hittite Myths, by Harry A. Hoffner, Jr.
64. The Lacquer Screen, by Robert van Gulik
65. Epigrammes and The Forest, by Ben Jonson
66. The Island Stallion, by Walter Farley
67. Heart Throbs
68. A Bullet in the Ballet, by Caryl Brahms and S. J. Simon
69. Partisans, by Alistair MacLean
70. The Ruin of Britain and Other Works, by Gildas
71. Death in the Tunnel, by Miles Burton
72. Sources for the Study of Nisibis, trans. by Adam H. Becker
73. The Bellamy Case, by James Hay, Jr.
74. Joseph Redhorn, by J. J. Bell
75. Mesopotamian Chronicles, by Jean-Jacques Glassner
76. The Holy War Made by King Shaddai upon Diabolus, To Regain the Metropolis of the World, by John Bunyan
77. The Black Stallion and Satan, by Walter Farley
78. The Billiard Room Mystery, by Brian Flynn
79. A Tale of Two Saints: The Martyrdoms and Miracles of Saints Theodore "the Recruit" and "the General", trans. by John Haldon
80. Ted Key’s Phyllis, by Ted Key
81. The Fifth Latchkey, by Natalie Sumner Lincoln
82. The Loudwater Mystery, by Edgar Jepson
83. Blind Date with Death, by Cornell Woolrich
84. Walt Disney's Donald Duck: "The Ghost Sheriff of Last Gasp", by Carl Barks
85. Grubstake Gold, by James B. Hendryx
86. Murder in Room 700, by Mary Hastings Bradley
87. Seeds of Murder, by Van Wyck Mason
88. The Spy Paramount, by E. Phillips Oppenheim
89. Wigamur, ed. and trans. by Joseph M. Sullivan
90. The Good Humor Book, ed. by Robert Rango
91. Pax Hethitica: Studies on the Hittites and Their Neighbours in Honour of Itamar Singer, ed. by Yoram Cohen, Amir Gilan, and Jared L. Miller
92. The Corpse on the Bridge, by Charles Barry
93. Iron Age Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions, by Annick Payne
94. Leave It to Psmith, by P. G. Wodehouse
95. Tumblin' Creek Tales, by Richard M. "Pek" Gunn
96. The Merrivale Mystery, by James Corbett
97. The Blood Bay Colt, by Walter Farley
98. Wolfville Folks, by Alfred Henry Lewis
99. The Black Cap, ed. by Cynthia Asquith
100. Deathblow Hill, by Phoebe Atwood Taylor
101. Oh, Money! Money!, by Eleanor H. Porter
102. Nuzi Texts and Their Uses as Historical Evidence, by Maynard Paul Maidman
103. Legacy of Death, by R. A. J. Walling
104. The Satan Bug, by Alistair MacLean
105. No. 17, by J. Jefferson Farjeon
106. The Student Body: Great Cartoons from the Kappan, ed. by Carol Bucheri
107. The Libyan Anarchy: Inscriptions from Egypt's Third Intermediate Period, by Robert K. Ritner
108. The Case of the Black Twenty-Two, by Brian Flynn
109. The Poems of Blathmac, Son of Cú Brettan, Together with the Irish Gospel of Thomas and a Poem on the Virgin Mary, ed. by James Carney
110. Finger-Prints Never Lie!, by John G. Brandon
111. Four Corners, Volume 1, by Theodore Roscoe
112. The Island Stallion's Fury, by Walter Farley
113. The Sign of Evil, by Anthony Wynne
114. "Keep on Laughing": Tennessee Folk Lore, by Richard M. "Pek" Gunn
115. Letters from Early Mesopotamia, by Piotr Michalowski
116. Step-Sons of France, by P. C. Wren
117. The Gododdin of Aneirin: Text and Context from Dark-Age North Britain, ed. by John Thomas Koch
118. Death of a Ghost, by Margery Allingham
119. A Princess of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs
120. Favorite Haunts, by Charles Addams
121. German Romance, Volume I: Daniel von dem Blühenden Tal, by Der Stricker
122. Celtic Hagiography and Saints' Cults, ed. by Jane Cartwright
123. Murder in the Tomb, by Lucian Austin Osgood
124. Emar: The History, Religion, and Culture of a Syrian Town in the Late Bronze Age, ed. by Mark W. Chavalas
125. The Laugh Round-Up
126. Letters from the Hittite Kingdom, by Harry A. Hoffner, Jr.
127. Cape Cod Stories, by Joseph C. Lincoln
128. Miss Silver Intervenes, by Patricia Wentworth
129. Old Irish Wisdom Attributed to Aldrith of Northumbria: An Edition of Bríathra Flainn Fhína maic Ossu, ed. and trans. by Colin A. Ireland
130. The Curse of Doone, by Sydney Horler
131. Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, by P. G. Wodehouse
132. Vampire's Honeymoon, by Cornell Woolrich
133. The Wrong Letter, by Walter S. Masterman
Stellar posting and stellar reading this year.
Funny how the memory works: as you know I blanked on whether you'd read The House Of Terror or not; but as soon as I started it and read the name "Cuthbery Merrivale", our little chat came flooding back... :D
(And by the way, what was it with The Mystery League and the name "Merrivale"??)
The murder of prominent Lord Arthur Warnecke reveals the hidden weakness of the Amalgamated British Shipping Trust and other firms associated with the peer, causing a financial panic and costing many their savings. Further, the rifling of Lord Warnecke’s safe at the time of the murder means the disappearance of about a million pounds worth of funds and negotiable securities he had looted from the failing companies. Moreover, the German Baron Von Helst arrives to lay claim to the shipping trust, which his family had established before the Great War but lost because of that conflict. Could he be implicated? And what secrets has Janet Rosedale, Lord Warnecke’s private secretary?
Finger-Prints Never Lie! is a bit of an odd duck. It plays out rather more as a thriller than as a mystery, as who is responsible for the murder and robbery isn’t really in doubt for long, especially as one suspect is pretty much dismissed on one of Detective-Inspector McCarthy’s hunches. Interest is added by the activities of a couple “good bad guys,” “The Wallflower” and his partner Osaki du Channe. I liked it well enough, despite the flaws. Also of interest is the cooperation with British police provided by the police in Berlin, in a book published in 1939. Mildly recommended.
First sentence: “The night ’plane of the Berlin-Paris air-mail wheeled and glided slowly down upon the aviation ground of Le Bourget.”
I like her work, a lot. The cover of The Black Stallion Challenged looks like she used watercolors. Wow.
Oh, and I finished reading The Satan Bug this evening, comments are on your previous thread.
I haven't read much Sabatini, though I made a point of reading Captain Blood a couple of years ago when I was dealing with the forced abdication of James II at my book blog. I re-watched the movie then too for an interesting compare / contrast. I like his history but his habit of separating his couples for the entire story (presumably to avoid too much "mushy stuff") is a bit exasperating.
>34 funny how that works. Me too.
This is the first of a planned two volumes collecting Theodore Roscoe’s stories set in the upstate New York town of Four Corners, published originally in Argosy magazine in the 1930s. The five stories are mostly focused on crime, with a pleasing variety of plots and perspectives; details are given below. Highly recommended.
“He Took Richmond”
The first story, subtitled “A Novelette for Decoration Day,” is an excellent introduction to the small town, one whose inhabitants all head over to the next town for the Armistice Day celebrations. Gangsters come to town on this particular Armistice Day, however, and only old Anecdote Jones, who bores both locals and visitors alike with his repeated tale of holding a hill against Rebels during the Civil War, a tale that always fades out at the end, stands between the gangsters and their escape with a kidnapped child and a hostage. The story provides an ending to Jones’s tale, and a final twist in the narrative doesn’t render it ineffective.
First sentence: “Four Corners may not be as big as New York, but it has as much civic pride.”
Crime, potential crime, and death all have their place in this cautionary tale, as fears by local hypocrites about the possible tell-all aspects of the diary kept by a dying woman, an outcast who had ended up keeping a roadhouse near town, lead to a whispered campaign that ends up threatening mob violence.
First sentence: “Frivolous Sal was dying.”
“Barber, Barber, Shave a Pig”
A downtrodden barber exonerates an innocent man, framed for the crimes, and reveals the culprit behind a bank robbery and murder.
First sentence: “‘Next—’ Willie Updyke shook brown needles of hair off the white apron, and confronted the line-up sitting along the side wall with somewhat the anxiety of a bull-fighter not too sure of his talent.”
“I Was the Kid with the Drum”
Perhaps the standout story in this collection, “I Was the Kid with the Drum” is the tale of how a murderer was caught, and of the unusual means by which the murderer aimed to conceal and get rid of the body, told from the perspective of a young boy.
First sentence: “The drum was beating by itself….”
“Daisies Won’t Tell”
A gangster on the run murders an old lady with whom he takes refuge, steals her jewels, and hides them nearby, where they await his return after thirty years in prison for the killing.
First sentence: “People who saw him that afternoon thought he was an old, old man."
I read Scaramouche, probably in my 20s, don't remember a single thing about it except the first line, and, interestingly, Sabatini died in Switzerland February 13, 1950. He was buried in Adelboden, Switzerland. On his headstone his wife had written, "He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad", the first line of Scaramouche.
Steve and Pitch are back again on Azul Island, with Steve enjoying spending time with Flame and Pitch busy with his research into the Spanish presence on the island. They also take on the task of hand-raising a foal abandoned by his dam. Yet over this idyll hangs the shadow of Pitch’s stepbrother, Tom — and when Tom follows them back to the island, he threatens to destroy it all. Recommended.
First sentence: “Azul Island broke the turquoise blue waters with a startling suddenness.”
I hope you have a great weekend.
Shortly after Sir William Armand compels his daughter Estelle to break her engagement with the man she loves, Jack Derwick, the old lawyer is brutally murdered, his body concealed in a recent grave. Derwick had both motive and opportunity, and Inspector Biles of Scotland Yard directs an investigation that ultimately leads to Derwick’s arrest and trial. Dr. Eustace Hailey, who works with the police, has another idea, however, and instead pursues inquiries aimed at identifying the mysterious Sawyer, whom Armand had met with at the village inn right before his murder, and who indeed accompanied Armand into the fatal woods, but whose movements were sufficiently witnessed that it seemed impossible he could have had time to conceal the body. Hailey relentlessly uncovers the scheming of this party, but will this investigation disclose the true culprit?
Anthony Wynne’s The Sign of Evil was an effective mystery. Though I had a certain amount of suspicion of the guilty party from the first, I was caught up in the twists and turns of the competing investigations of Biles and Hailey, which to some extent distracted me from that first suspicion. Recommended.
First sentence: “‘But it’s absurd,’ Jack Derwick declared. ‘We have been engaged for two months. Our happiness is complete. What right has your father to shatter it in this fashion?’”
The Sign of Evil sounds good. Nice review.
I hope you're having a good Sunday.
Hmm. I don't think I can say anything without spoiler tags:
Do you know any other early mysteries that deal with this sort of situation?
Sadly, very little bird sighting reports.
The second book by Tennessee poet laureate Pek Gunn is another pleasant little collection of poems, but this time with more prose anecdotes. Highlights were again the humorous bits of nostalgia. Mildly recommended, and likely to be of greater interest to Tennesseeans.
For some reason >59 makes me think of Will Rogers.
This volume of Writings from the Ancient World brings together representative examples of letters from Mesopotamia, from their first appearance (ca. 2350 B.C., or several hundred years after Sumerian writing began) through the Early Old Babylonian period around the start of the second millennium B.C. Nearly all of the letters are short, functional messages — instructions for an official or occasionally, say, a merchant — but a few are more verbose, such as a letter (in the Eblaite language) from ’Enna-Dagan, a ruler of Mari, to the king of the realm of Ebla. Many of the letters are in Sumerian, and most of the rest in Akkadian, though eventually there is a shift away from Sumerian. The similarities among these short epistles made it a bit of a slog to read through, despite their brevity. Mildly recommended, but I suggest dipping in from time to time rather than reading the entire collection at once.
Step-Sons of France is a fine collection of stories of the Foreign Legion, or more particularly of legionnaires, by P. C. Wren, author of Beau Geste. Characters are shared among the stories, though each tale tends to focus on one particular person. The collection starts off strong, with “Ten Little Legionaries,” in which a group of bad legionnaires attempt to escape from their post across the desert to the sea. “The Dead Hand” is a bit of a shaggy-dog story told to humble a self-important young officer. “The Gift” highlights generosity in little things, and “The Deserter” elicits sympathy on the side of the title character. “The Quest” offers a tinge of romance, and “Sermons in Stones” gives a taste of the supernatural. There are a number of other stories, some comic, some tragic. Recommended.
Soldats de la Légion,
De la Légion Etrangère,
N’ayant pas de nation,
La France est votre Mère.
—War-Song of the Legion
>65 Hi, Julia! It really is a well-done book, so I can see that happening.
The Welsh Y Gododdin is a collection of elegies on the warriors of the northern British kingdom of Gododdin who fell during a battle at Catraeth, which may be Catterick, North Yorkshire. The work is attributed to the poet Aneirin and survives in a single Middle Welsh manuscript. The Gododdin of Aneirin: Text and Context from Dark-Age North Britain is a contentious book, in which the editor and translator, John Thomas Koch, attempts to reconstruct an Ur-text in Brittonic that might have been composed shortly after the battle, in the late-sixth century, before the destruction of the kingdom (ca. AD 638) and before being handed down and altered over the centuries in Wales. Much of the volume is given over to an extensive introduction that argues for the antiquity of the core of the work and attempts to identify the later accretions and their causes. I’m no expert on the subject, but it made for engaging reading, save in the more technical areas. The reconstructed Brittonic text follows, with copious notes and a serviceable translation. Recommended, but a reader new to the subject should likely first read a standard edition and translation of the work.
First line of the introduction: “Today, anyone who has acquired an overview of Welsh literature will know the collection of heroic death-songs called the Gododdin as a recognized classic.”
First lines of the reconstructed early text:
Leech lou-tüt, tüt lou-breg
Uoto̧din streg — streg ancat.
The rock of Lleu’s tribe,
the folk of Lleu’s mountain stronghold,
at Gododdin’s frontier; the frontier was held.
Happy Saturday, Harry! Finally wrapping up my long work week. Now I have Monday off, which is my favorite day to be off. Grins...
Have a great weekend.
My daughter got me a Gosky scope for a late birthday present - I'm thrilled. It's got a cute little tripod that when set on the dresser in the sunroom can focus perfectly on the front porch bird feeder. I also have a full-sized tripod that (once I get the rubber leg tips replaced) will be perfect for longer-distance spotting.
>73 Hi, Karen! I posted on your thread, too. A very thoughtful gift from your daughter, and one I'm sure will find plenty of use.
>74 I hadn't heard that term before. Around here you hear a lot about "peeps" — the masses of little shorebirds that haven't much to distinguish them as they run back and forth on the tidal sands.
>76 sandpipers can be very confusing!
I don't worry too much about identifying sandpipers, unless I run into strays at an inland catchment basin or similar location.
Death of a Ghost was a reread for me. It was the first of the Albert Campion series I read, and a fairly good one. A murder takes place in a darkened room during a reception — clearly a killing of opportunity, as the sudden blackout was accidental. The most likely suspect is the victim’s jilted lover, but Campion believes her protestations of innocence and undertakes to clear her and find the guilty party. As certainty mounts, the book transitions from a whodunit to a battle of wits between Campion and the murderer, more akin to some of the earlier entries in the series, as Campion is repeatedly foiled and it appears that the murderer not only will escape justice, but also may bring about Campion’s demise. Recommended.
First sentence: “There are, fortunately, very few people who can say that they have actually attended a murder.”
I had to buy rubber leg tips for my old full-sized tripod, but I actually managed to order the right thing and the scope is set up on the full-sized tripod right now. Yesterday got away from me, but I just may take it outside on the front deck and see what I can see once it gets light. Insomnia has reared its ugly head.
Sorry to hear about the insomnia. I hope you'll be able to get some rest later to compensate.
The misty overcast weather was present all day yesterday, plus I wasn't feeling 100% either. I think daughter wore me out! No scoping except a bit from the Sunroom out to the feeder.
I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday.
>85 Hi, Karen! Thanks for stopping by yesterday. I'll have to scan for some pygmy goat videos sometime; I might be too impatient for sloths. :-)
FYI, Miss Silver is on her way, and I should be able to fit The Curse Of Doone in this month; so let's go nuts! :D
The joyous thing about baby sloths is their cute little squeaks.
>90 Hi, Karen! I do sometimes wander through the posts from ZooBorns, for all the little animals, but I don't watch a lot of the videos. I'll have to check out a baby sloth video sometime.
Hotel rooms in the evenings are lovely for getting some good reading in. Enjoy the reading time!
>97 Thanks, Karen! I started and finished a couple books and made some headway on others. Unfortunately the timing didn't work out to visit the used book stores in the area, but maybe next trip.
Though I'm not much of a reader of science fiction these days, I'll probably go ahead and get these.
Personally I could have lived with "Quoth the tortoise---"
>102 It took me a bit to get it, but I laughed out loud when I did. Thanks for sharing.
Every see the "old" Mad Magazine's rendition of The Raven? It's a hoot, no pun intended...
Aha! I found it, online, here: (you'll have to scroll just a little bit, then click on each page to view it full size)
I used to be an avid birder, but now I've cut back. However, any day that I see a new species is still a red-letter day for me.
>104 This is my favorite Addams pig cartoon, Julia:
Addams is probably the one cartoonist for whom it is true that when I don't find a particular cartoon funny, I think it is probably that I missed something. Decades and decades of often macabre humor, and very few duds.
>106 That was pretty amusing — thanks for sharing!
>108 Thank you! We're nowhere near as active as birders as we were about 10 years ago, but I think we're getting close to a happy medium with the pace of walks and outings this year.
I’ve reread A Princess of Mars for the first time in quite a few years, and once again I was swept along by the action, the adventure, the romance, and the descriptions of the lands and peoples of the planet. Burroughs is an effective tale-teller, and it is easy to see why he has proved so influential. I’m planning to reread the whole series, and I’m already looking forward to the next one. Highly recommended.
I love ERB. His stories immediately pull you in and keep you in. I've read all the Tarzan series, 7 of 8 of the Pellucidar series, but only A Princess of Mars, the first of the Barsoom series.
I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday.
Charles Addams was easily the best of the mid-twentieth century magazine cartoonists. His work, chiefly for the New Yorker is consistently amusing and clever, and though the cartoons aren’t all winners, there are remarkably few that don’t work. I’m a big fan of his macabre humor and have many of the books that collected his cartoons. I’ve revisited Favorite Haunts multiple times and will certainly do so again. Highly recommended!
Do you also have a birdbath? Ours is getting a lot of use lately, I have to freshen it up, every other day.
We have a functional but not particularly beautiful bird bath at the moment. I put it together with some spare bricks and a large ceramic tray that we had gotten to use as a saucer for a big planter, I think. I'll try to get a photo later and share it. We have styles that we'd like to get, but we haven't found them in the garden centers around here, so we're waiting until we make a trip out to Ohio that could let us visit Roseville and get one from the maker.
I have seen some Charles Addams' cartoons but never an entire book of them. That cartoon in >114 is a riot!
It will do until we get the sort we really want.
>119 It may be cobbled together, but I bet the birds don't mind.
Happy Sunday, Harry. Had a great time at Horicon Marsh, in WI. I did not realize, that migration has all ready been underway for 6 weeks, so many birds have all ready passed through. This novice birder has still a lot to learn. Still, there was plenty to enjoy and the area is stunningly beautiful, so the trip was well worth it.
Did you make it to the Hawk Watch?
>121 I haven't seen them because of where it is located, but I find evidence that they've been there when I clean it or add water.
>122 Thanks for stopping by, Paul!
>123 Hi, Mark! I'm glad you enjoyed your marsh birding trip! We didn't make it to the Hawk Watch this weekend, but it is usually moderately active for another six weeks or so, so we have time. It does take some adjusting to realize that birds start migrating during the height of summer — I didn't realize it myself before we started birding.
First library sale:
- A Big Book of Mystery Stories: The Ghoul & Terror at Staups House, by Frank King (ca. 1929-1930; I already had a copy of Terror at Staups House, so that is probably now excess)
- Dead Man Manor, by Valentine Williams (mid-1930s entry in his Secret Service series)
- The Five Arrows, by Allan Chase (1944)
Second library sale:
- The Golden Gate, by Alistair MacLean
- Puppet on a Chain, by Alistair MacLean
- Bear Island, by Alistair MacLean
- Breakheart Pass, by Alistair MacLean (hardcover to replace paperback)
- Circus, by Alistair MacLean
- The Case of the Calendar Girl, by Erle Stanley Gardner
- Maigret and the Man on the Bench, by Georges Simenon
- The Empty Trap, by John D. MacDonald
I'll set Breakheart Pass aside for you.
Have you ever read any of Erle Stanley Gardner's Donald Lam and Bertha Cool series? He wrote them under the pen name A.A. Fair. I remember loving them as a teenager.
Nice! I may be after you at some point about the Valentine Williams. :)
I don't know if you've started Miss Silver, but after all my Wentworth catch-ups I wanted to give you a heads-up: it turns out Miss Silver Intervenes not only brings Inspector Lamb and Sergeant Abbot into this series, it significantly crosses over the Frank Garrett series (he's not in it, but there's lots of references and call-backs). It may be a weird read for someone who hasn't read those related books.
In the early thirteenth century, the Middle High German poet known as der Stricker (“the weaver”) wrote this nearly 8,500-line Arthurian romance. Daniel von dem Blühenden Tal (“Daniel of the Blossoming Valley”) is the story of a young knight who makes good through bravery, yes, but also through cleverness. In fact, his ability to outwit opponents is a distinctive feature of the story, as Daniel induces an evil dwarf armed with an all-conquering sword to fight without that sword to prove his bravery, uses a mirror to escape destruction and turns a death-dealing head against a “bellyless demon,” (shades of Perseus), and foils an ogre that lives by bathing in human blood. Also somewhat unusual is the active role taken by King Arthur in this romance, as he leads his knights in battle against King Matur in response to that king’s threats. I wouldn’t place this in the first rank of German Arthurian tales, but it was a pleasant read nonetheless. Recommended.
Swer gerne allez daz vernimt
daz guoten liuten wol gezimt,
der wirt es selten âne muot,
unz er der werc ein teil getuot.
He who gladly hears those things which are proper for men of virtue shall be always mindful of such tales when he himself performs deeds of virtue.
My mom was reading ERS - Perry Mason - when I was 11 and since I had read all the Nancy Drew books by then it seemed like a natural progression. I didn't understand half of what was going on, of course.
This is a moderately interesting collection of scholarly essays (originating as conference papers) on saints and saints’ cults in Celtic regions, including Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, and Brittany. I liked the history that some of the authors were able to uncover, but others seemed a little too intent on making the objects of their papers fit their theses. A substantial weakness was the tendency of some authors to vocally disclaim any belief in the miracles or even some other aspects of the hagiographical record, frequently with a totalizing suggestion that everyone in their audience of course held the same opinion — a bit too much “we moderns” for my taste.
Getting hot here again. Pushing 90 for the next several days. Ugh!
There's a bit of a heat wave here, too, but I don't much mind, since we had the unexpectedly cooler weather in August.
I'm no collector, and my preference runs to older pens and those with small barrels, so I don't have a Pelikan myself. Erika has just one, a Pelikan M405 in Anthracite (the Stresemann). She has gotten a couple neat pens from other makers recently, including a couple of this summer's limited editions, the Sailor Pro Gear Slim in Purple Cosmos, and also the Edison Nouveau Premiere in Delphinium (from Goulet Pen Co.) earlier in the year.
Deep Lay the Dead, by Frederick C. Davis
Trademark of a Traitor, by Kathleen Moore Knight
Look Your Last, by John Stephen Strange
>145 Thank you, Paul! Mine has been enjoyable, and I hope yours was as well.
Hot here, too, so we haven't spent any time looking for birds.
Wealthy collector Howard Ralston is on the cusp of a triumph: he has successfully acquired a poison-bearing ring, a vengeance dagger, and a sinister mummy, thereby winning a bet with his friend and neighbor (and fellow antiquarian) M. Cornier. Yet others with claims to the objects are after them, and they threaten harm if they don’t get them. Death strikes in the night in Ralston’s treasure room (the “tomb” of the title), with Ralston’s secretary a witness (albeit an unreliable one, as he has been drugged). The police are called when the killing is discovered, but in the interim the body disappears. Family friend Benjamin Butler Bailey, a young private investigator, is also called in, and it is soon revealed that the supposedly secure treasure room is practically porous, and many people may have had access to commit the crime.
Murder in the Tomb is moderately fun but mediocre, with some dated aspects and a detective who is idiosyncratic without being memorable. It might have been an entertaining mystery programmer, but is only so-so as a book. Still, I'm glad Coachwhip reprinted it and made it available. Mildly recommended.
First sentence: "The headlines stream their story across the front page of the Minnesota Clarion, under the date of August 16, 1932, where it lies spread before me on the top of my desk in the big room at Windermere."
In other great news, I just got the email notification from the library that my copy of Miss Silver Deals With Death has come in. I'll download it tonight and start it tomorrow. It looks like it will end up being a September read after all!
We're north of you (ha ha), but it isn't any cooler here than where you are.
All Concerned Notified, by Helen Reilly
The Blue Hammer, by Ross Macdonald
Tenant for the Tomb, by Anthony Gilbert
The Dossier of Solar Pons, by Basil Copper
More Good Old Stuff, by John D. MacDonald
Battle Cry, by Leon Uris
The Angry Hills, by Leon Uris
No Love Lost, by Margery Allingham
The Brigand, by Edgar Wallace
The Naked Land, by Hammond Innes
Gale Warning, by Hammond Innes
The Dude, by Max Brand
Fear Is the Key, by Alistair MacLean
The Black Shrike, by Alistair MacLean
Goodbye California, by Alistair MacLean
The Stem of the Crimson Dahlia, by James Locke
The Late Mrs. Null, by Frank R. Stockton
Morning, Harry. Hope the week is off to a good start. It should be our last day of steamy weather. Low 70s tomorrow. Yah!
I agree with Mark - nice book haul!
I've read several by Leon Uris but not those two. Daughter and I were just discussing QB VII yesterday.
>160 Thanks, Julia! There'll be a break soon. It was just a lot to get going with a big new project.
>161 Hi, Karen! Thank you! Battle Cry and The Angry Hills were his first two books, so they seemed like a good way to begin reading Uris.
The ancient Syrian city of Emar, along the Middle Euphrates, was a part of the Hittite Empire in the Late Bronze Age. A sizable assortment of texts from the city was unearthed by archaeologists during excavations ahead of a dam project. The contents of this book grew out of a 1994 symposium of the American Oriental Society Middle West Region. The essays cover a variety of topics, including the archaeology of the city, what documents reveal about family and kinship structures, the identity of certain Assyrian leaders, the religious festivals of the city, and the care and attitude toward the dead — curiously the latter in two separate essays.
I read them through in sequence several decades ago and loved it. Of course, unlike modern series, there's no narrative thread to worry about, so it's just about savoring the development of a writer. Ross MacDonald's books remain my model of what great mystery writing looks like.
Congrats on new arrivals. Isn't it fun to add books to our catalogs?
>168 I'm seriously considering a re-read of QB VII now that daughter and I are talking about it.
>169 Hi, Karen! It certainly is, though it gets a bit fatiguing when you get a large batch of books all at once.
I'll probably not look to add more by Leon Uris until after I give the two I just bought a try.
Morning, Harry. Happy Friday. Getting ready to head out on an organized birdwalk. Hope to see some fall migrants. Another one scheduled for tomorrow morning.
Have a good weekend.
Where are you?
We'd love your input:
>174 I'm back (I think). I've been busy, but I think that has eased. I'll pop over and make my contribution.
Hope your week is off to a good start.
>177 Hi, Karen! Thanks for stopping by!
There's a sequel, And Now All This. I recall that it is not as good but has its moments.
I finished it a bit ago. I didn't realize that it was originally published in 1930. Silly me.
Happy Thursday to you, Harry!
What do you call a book bullet where you don't have to actually acquire the book? Is it still a book bullet? Inquiring minds need to know!
The Kidnap Murder Case, by S. S. Van Dine
The Greene Murder Case, by S. S. Van Dine
The Floating Light of the Goodwin Sands, by R. M. Ballantyne
A Mysterious Disappearance, by Gordon Holmes
Karl Grier: The Strange Story of a Man with a Sixth Sense, by Louis Tracy
54-40 or Fight, by Emerson Hough
Kick-In: A Novelization of Willard Mack's Play, by D. Torbett
Mysterious Mr. Sabin; or, Love and Intrigue, by E. Phillips Oppenheim
A Lost Leader, by E. Phillips Oppenheim
The Governors, by E. Phillips Oppenheim
Plan on going on a solo walk tomorrow.
Brrrr! It's 35F here in central NC. I'm so happy. I hope No More Summer.
>192 Hi! Are you back from your trip or still in the Midwest?
I hope you have a wonderful Thursday.
This is a solid collection of letters that have survived from the Hittite empire. Nearly all are in some way administrative in nature, involving reports to the Hittite king from officials in various locales or communications from the king or others to subordinates. A few touch on the personal: These are chiefly in the form of “piggyback letters” sent together with the official letters, most often from the scribe of the enclosed letter to a scribe who will receive (and perhaps read) the enclosure at the destination. Most of the letters are quite brief and allusive, but the accompanying notes and commentary did a good job of teasing out some of the historical context. Recommended.
Hope the week is off to a good start.
>203 Hi, Karen! A bit of wind, but not too bad. The rain has cleared off, and it has gotten sunny and warm.
>202 we did the Field Museum in May, and loved it. I think we were there for over three hours, and didn't even take the time to check out the "extra" ($$) exhibits.
I loved the bird area, too. So many of those stuffed birds were about 100 years old! I noticed the museum had extinct butterflies on display, too, that had been collected long before they were endangered. Great place to visit!
- The Door, by Mary Roberts Rinehart (a paperback reprint of a 1930 mystery)
- Wild Justice, by George A. Birmingham (an old hardcover reprint of a 1930 mystery)
- The Day of the Dog and Other Stories by George Barr McCutcheon (hardcover published in 1916)
- The Good Shepherd, by C. S. Forester (the story of a destroyer and its commander protecting a convoy and fighting submarines during World War II; published in 1955)
>209 Thanks, Mark. A fair amount of work this weekend, so not as much reading as I'd be likely to do on a rainy Sunday here. Not quite that cold yet, though Erika had to scrape some frost from the windshield last week.
>213 Thanks, Karen! It was a fairly busy one.
I've started seeing Carolina Chickadees on my feeders, but mostly the birds are staying away.
>221 I didn't realize that they were among the birds who've been renamed or reclassified.
>222 I don't know whether we'll try anything different this year for the birds.
They really do like those peanut butter "suet" cakes. I'm not sure how far north they'll stay during the winter, but we have them here in NC even during below freezing weather.
Here's a pic I took last January:
>224 Cute warbler!
I'm not sure I've seen them this far north in the cooler season, but we don't usually go where they might be huddling for warmth. When we have done winter birding, it has been ducks and owls and birds like that. And though winter is a good time for pelagics, we've never been tempted to head out to sea in a small boat at that time of year. :-)
>224 Wonderful pic, fuzzi. I haven't had to deal with slightly officious bird shop employees, fortunately, because I'm so woefully ignorant about so much that they'd have a field day with me. I think I'm going to move the suet feeder to the front porch, which is prime viewing position from the Sunroom, where I spent most of the day. The hummingbird feeders are down, so it's perfect timing to move the suet feeder.
fuzzi kindly shares a lot of great bird pics!
I definitely recommend this show for anyone who can attend who has an interest in older fiction, especially of the adventure, crime and mystery, horror, science fiction, and fantasy genres.
Here are some of the issues that readers could have perused in November 1917. Adventure, Argosy, Blue Book, and Short Stories were the Big Four of the pulps, with a fairly wide variety in their content.
I'll report on my haul this weekend sometime.
>231 drool! I want that first cover as a print!
>228 I was trying to be kind about the employee. One should not treat a customer in a "I know better than YOU!" manner, good way to lose business.
I have been watching birds for 50 years, but I am still learning! I am woefully ignorant on shore birds, and only partly aware of differences in raptors.
>229 thank you, I hope I don't clutter up your thread too much!
That is a pretty striking cover on that issue of Adventure, isn't it? I may try to pick up a couple issues of one of the general fiction pulps tomorrow. It is my understanding that they aren't quite as collectible as some of the genre titles, unless they contain something really important (like Under the Moons of Mars -- better known as A Princess of Mars), so perhaps I can get a few at reasonable prices.
I'm always glad to have pictures like the warbler shared here!
Used books were sparser this show, I think, but I got a couple paperbacks (one unfortunately a duplicate, Death on Scurvy Street) as well as one hardcover mystery in dust jacket, Murder Goes South, one of a series of mysteries by Amelia R. Long starring mystery writer Peter Piper. The back cover of this dust jacket lists a number of other mysteries available from Phoenix Press at the time, including the interestingly named Murder Does Light Housekeeping.
Sounds like a nice haul.
I actually wanted to ask you what Will Levinrew books you might own, if any? (She said, casually...)
Thanks. I'm looking forward to reading the magazines. And if Murder Goes South is any good, then I'll end up looking out for others in that series as well. I'll be interested to see whether the fact that the protagonist is a mystery writer leads to any discussion of contemporary detective novels. At the very least I expect some fictitious book titles. :-)
I have the two Will Levinrew books put out in Mystery League editions: For Sale — Murder and Death Points a Finger.
I have the two Will Levinrew books put out in Mystery League editions
Lucky you. I was looking at this---
---but baulking at the shipping. Thought we might have worked something out if you weren't already taken care of. Never mind. :)
I wonder if those covers are available as prints?
Hope you are enjoying the weekend.
I've been buying reprint collections (and will doubtless continue to do so), but I was so annoyed with the level of avoidable typographical errors in one such volume that at least with regard to those stories I decided to just buy the original magazines instead. (In this particular case, each volume of reprints was about $15 and had three novellas, and it looks like I can generally pay about that total for three issues of the original magazines.)
We might still be able to work something out regarding the Levinrew books, Liz. I'll send you a message.
I'll get to The Black Stallion Revolts soon. I have a few ILL books to finish up first, but I think I have no more on the way at the moment.
>240 I would have thought that the pre-1923 covers (and any others in the public domain) would have been grabbed by someone to make prints, but in checking around this morning it looks like the prints that are available generally come from the science fiction and weird fiction pulps, with some detective/crime pulps mixed in. It's a difficult search, as the post-pulp magazines and paperbacks (often called "pulp") tend to be mixed in. Your best bet might be to keep an eye out for stray covers in those antique and flea market booths that have lots of vintage pages from broken-up old magazines (and a similar search on ebBay might work, too).
Nice read about the artist, here:
Charles Livingston Bull, Wildlife Artist
Now I just need to find that print...
Retired sailor Captain Jonadab Wixon and his former mate, Barzilla Wingate, run a summer hotel on Cape Cod on property Captain Wixon had inherited, aided by young go-getter Peter T. Brown, who is the person who convinces them to enter the hotel business. The stories, chiefly related to the hotel, the Old Home House (the original title of the book) are narrated by Barzilla — gentle tales of humor, romance, fish out of water, and more. Recommended!
First sentence of the first story, “Two Pairs of Shoes”: “I don’t exactly know why Cap’n Jonadab and me went to the post-office that night; we wa’n’t expecting any mail, that’s sartin.”
Studio Historiae Ardens: Ancient Near Eastern Studies Presented to Philo H. J. Houwink ten Cate on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday, ed. by Theo P. J. van den Hout and Johan de Roos
These are among several collections of essays on topics in ancient Near Eastern history and language (e.g., Hittite, Akkadian, Luwian) that I have read, or at least dipped into, recently. All have had articles of interest, even though admittedly some of the topics have gone a bit deep into technicalities only likely to be clear to a specialist in the subjects. Recommended for those with an interest in the topic.
I hate you!! :D