Big bands, books, movies, and more: harrygbutler’s 2019 lists — 3

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Big bands, books, movies, and more: harrygbutler’s 2019 lists — 3

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1harrygbutler
Feb 12, 2019, 7:31am


By Music Corporation of America-photo by Maurice Seymour, Chicago. - ebay
front
back, Public Domain, Link


The sweetest music this side of heaven: Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians were one of the most successful of the big bands, with hits in four decades.

1920s:

https://youtu.be/52GWiwCNuUU

1930s:

https://youtu.be/vhr7p97mrxo

1940s:

https://youtu.be/WxUKPLoAlYU

1950s:

https://youtu.be/6At1zW9xSnY

And of course "Auld Lang Syne" has a place here, too:

https://youtu.be/a-yDj8RUSis

Welcome to my third thread for 2019! I’m Harry, and this is my fourth year in the 75 Books Challenge. By training I'm a medievalist, by occupation I’m a project manager, after many years as an editor. My taste in reading runs to Golden Age and earlier mysteries, pulp detective and adventure fiction, Late Antique and medieval literature, westerns, and late nineteenth and early twentieth century popular fiction, among others. I also have a fondness for collections of cartoons and comic strips, and relatively recently I have begun collecting pulp magazines from the first half of the twentieth century. 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.

In 2018, I read nearly 140 books; I’m hoping to hit 150 in 2019. I will also be continuing two projects that I stated last year: reading vintage pulp magazines and keeping track of the movies I’ll be watching. I averaged one fiction magazine every other week in 2018; I’d like to bump that amount up some, so I’ll be aiming for two issues every three weeks, or 39 for the year. On the film front, I averaged 5 movies per week; again, I’d like to do better, so I’ll aim for 6 per week, or a total of 312.

I try to provide some sort of comment on the books and magazines I read and the movies I watch, but they aren't really reviews.

2harrygbutler
Edited: Mar 14, 2019, 7:59am

Books finished in the first quarter

1. Phaenomena, by Aratus
2. Richardson's First Case, by Basil Thomson
3. The Gold Point and Other Strange Stories, by Charles Loring Jackson
4. Best Cartoons of the Year 1945, ed. by Lawrence Lariar
5. The Monster of Grammont, by George Goodchild
6. Noble Society: Five Lives from Twelfth-Century Germany, trans. by Jonathan R. Lyon
7. The Daybreakers, by Louis L'Amour
8. When Body Language Goes Bad, by Scott Adams
9. Ben on the Job, by J. Jefferson Farjeon
10. Tunnel in the Sky, by Robert Heinlein
11. Beetle Bailey, by Mort Walker
12. The Shop Window Murders, by Vernon Loder
13. The Lady Is Transparent, by Carter Brown
14. The Harvey Comics Treasury Volume 1: Casper the Friendly Ghost & Friends, ed. by Leslie Cabarga
15. Death and Immortality, by Josef Pieper
16. Crooks Limited, by Edmund Snell
17. The Cretan Counterfeit, by Katharine Farrer
18. On the Incarnation, by St. Athanasius
19. Hagar the Horrible #2, by Dik Browne
20. Lando, by Louis L'Amour
21. U.S. Self-Propelled Guns in Action, by Jim Mesko
22. Best Cartoons of the Year 1947, ed. by Lawrence Lariar
23. The Brooklyn Murders, by G.D.H. Cole
24. The Dream Is Deadly, by Carter Brown
25. Fergus of Galloway: Knight of King Arthur, by Guillaume le Clerc
26. The Case of the Late Pig, by Margery Allingham
27. Artists in Crime, by Ngaio Marsh
28. The Strange Death of Martin Green, by David Frome
29. An Alphabet of Tales, ed. by Mary Macleod Banks
30. "You Want Proof? I'll Give You Proof!" More Cartoons from Sidney Harris, by Sidney Harris
31. The Valley of Fear, by Arthur Conan Doyle
32. The Lay of Havelok the Dane, ed. by Walter W. Skeat
33. Sackett, by Louis L'Amour
34. Torrent of Portyngale, ed. by E. Adam
35. The Mystery of the Peacock's Eye, by Brian Flynn
36. Best Cartoons of the Year 1955, ed. by Lawrence Lariar
37. Victor of Vita: History of the Vandal Persecution, by Victor of Vita
38. My Dear 500 Friends, by George Price
39. The Double Thirteen, by Anthony Wynne

3harrygbutler
Edited: Feb 16, 2019, 4:39pm



Argosy kicked off the pulp magazine era with its April 1894 issue, and it remained a major pulp until it became a slick-paper magazine in the 1940s. It was published under the title Argosy All-Story Weekly from its merger with All-Story Weekly in July 1920 until late in 1929. My pulp magazine collecting is focused at present on Argosy, and my earliest issues date from the 1920s, so many of those are likely to show up in my reading list this year, but other pulps, including both Railroad Stories and Range Romances, may appear as well.

Magazines completed in 2019

1. Argosy All-Story Weekly, April 8, 1922
2. Argosy All-Story Weekly, October 28, 1922
3. Argosy All-Story Weekly, March 17, 1923
4. Argosy All-Story Weekly, September 22, 1923

4harrygbutler
Edited: Mar 17, 2019, 11:20pm



I grew up watching many old movies on TV with my family, with some trips to the movie theater (most often a drive-in while we were young), so my taste tends to run to studio-era films, with a heavy emphasis on mysteries, comedies, and westerns.

Movies watched in the first quarter

1. Swing Time (RKO, 1936), with the Bugs Bunny cartoon 14 Carrot Rabbit (WB, 1952) and Chapter 3 of the serial Blackhawk (Columbia, 1952)
2. Inspector Hornleigh (Twentieth Century Fox, 1939)
3. Inspector Hornleigh on Holiday (Twentieth Century Fox, 1939)
4. Trail of the Rustlers (Columbia, 1950)
5. Boy Meets Girl (WB, 1938), with the Merrie Melodies cartoon You're an Education (WB, 1938) and Chapter 4 of the serial Blackhawk (Columbia, 1952)
6. Confessions of Boston Blackie (Columbia, 1941)
7. Mark of the Vampire (MGM, 1935)
8. Inspector Hornleigh Goes to It (Twentieth Century Fox, 1941)
9. Man from Sonora (Monogram, 1951)
10. Coffy (American International, 1973)
11. Detective Kitty O'Day (Monogram, 1944)
12. Dangerous Money (Monogram, 1946)
13. Harum Scarum (MGM, 1965), with the Andy Panda cartoon Life Begins for Andy Panda (Lantz / Universal, 1939) and Chapter 5 of the serial Blackhawk (Columbia, 1952)
14. Number 17 (British International Pictures / Wardour, 1932)
15. My Man Godfrey (Universal, 1936), with the Porky Pig cartoon Porky's Railroad (WB, 1937) and Chapter 6 of the serial Blackhawk (Columbia, 1952)
16. Armour of God 2: Operation Condor (Golden Harvest, 1991)
17. The Greene Murder Case (Paramount, 1929)
18. The Benson Murder Case (Paramount, 1930), with the Mickey Mouse and Pluto cartoon Pluto and the Armadillo (Disney / RKO, 1943) and Chapter 7 of the serial Blackhawk (Columbia, 1952)
19. Oklahoma Justice (Monogram, 1951)
20. Blues Busters (Monogram, 1950)
21. The Cocoanuts (Paramount, 1929)
22. The Falcon in Mexico (RKO, 1944), with the Speedy Gonzalez cartoon Cannery Woe (WB, 1961) and Chapter 8 of the serial Blackhawk (Columbia, 1952)
23. The Adventures of Robin Hood (WB, 1938)
24. Murder in the Blue Room (Universal, 1944)
25. Half Shot at Sunrise (RKO, 1930)
26. Tarzan and the Mermaids (RKO, 1948)
27. The Trap (Monogram, 1946), with the Bugs Bunny cartoons Ali Baba Bunny (WB, 1957) and Buccaneer Bunny (WB, 1948) and Chapter 9 of the serial Blackhawk (Columbia, 1952)
28. The Crosby Case (Universal, 1934)
29. Wake Island (Paramount, 1942)
30. Go West, Young Lady (Columbia, 1941)
31. Aunt Clara (British Lion, 1954)
32. Texas Lawmen (Monogram, 1951)
33. By Whose Hand? (Columbia, 1932), with the Andy Panda cartoon Fish Fry (Lantz / Universal, 1944) and Chapter 10 of the serial Blackhawk (Columbia, 1952)
34. Cry of the Werewolf (Columbia, 1944)
35. The Studio Murder Mystery (Paramount, 1929)
36. The Phantom in the House (Continental Talking Pictures, 1929)
37. Shadows over Chinatown (Monogram, 1946)
38. Twin Dragons (Golden Way, 1992)
39. Creature from the Black Lagoon (Universal, 1954)
40. Dinner at Eight (MGM, 1933), with the Popeye cartoon Shoein' Hosses (Fleischer / Paramount, 1934) and Chapter 11 of the serial Blackhawk (Columbia, 1952)
41. It Couldn't Have Happened (But It Did) (Invincible, 1936)
42. Bombay Mail (Universal, 1934)
43. Shadow of the Thin Man (MGM, 1941)
44. Fantômas in the Shadow of the Guillotine (Gaumont, 1913)
45. Racketeers of the Range (RKO, 1939)
46. The Black Doll (Universal, 1938)
47. Murder in Greenwich Village (Columbia, 1937)
48. The Lady in the Morgue (Universal, 1938)
49. Invasion of the Saucer Men (American International, 1957)
50. Murder at Dawn (Big 4 Film, 1932)
51. Love Bound (Peerless, 1932)
52. Jungle Man (PRC, 1941)
53. Juve vs. Fantômas (Gaumont, 1913)
54. Pharaoh's Curse (UA, 1957)
55. Special Mission Lady Chaplin (Fida Cinematographica, 1965)
56. Dragon Strike (Golden Harvest, 1982)
57. Agent 505: Death Trap in Beirut (Rapid Film/Metheus Film/Compagnie Lyonnaise de Cinéma, 1966)
58. SuperSeven Calling Cairo (Romana Film, 1965)
59. The Spy Who Loved Flowers (Romana Film, 1966)
60. Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill (Parnass/Metheus Film/Avala Film, 1966)
61. Death Is Nimble, Death Is Quick (Parnass, 1966)
62. 008: Operation Exterminate (Romana Film/Copro Film, 1965)
63. Decision at Sundown (Columbia, 1957)
64. The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939, Columbia), with the Pluto cartoon Private Pluto (Disney / RKO, 1943) and Chapter 12 of the serial Blackhawk (Columbia, 1952)
65. Brother Orchid (WB, 1940)
66. Mystery Ranch (Reliable, 1934)
67. The Murderous Corpse (Gaumont, 1913)
68. So Darling, So Deadly (Parnass, 1966)
69. Midnight Phantom (Reliable, 1935)
70. 'Neath the Arizona Skies (Monogram, 1934)
71. The Accidental Spy (Golden Harvest, 2001)
72. The Sons of Hercules in the Land of Darkness (aka Hercules the Invincible) (Metheus Film / Alvaro Mancori Produzioni Cinematografica, 1964)
73. Fantômas vs. Fantômas (Gaumont, 1914)
74. The Philadelphia Story (MGM, 1940)

5harrygbutler
Edited: Mar 13, 2019, 8:22am

Shorter Works

I have realized that I've been avoiding reading single works — short stories, essays, treatises, etc. — found in books where I didn't intend to read the whole book at one go. Taking cues from Lori's (thornton37814) decision to track her article-reading this year, and also fuzzi's separate entries for books of the Bible in her thread, I've decided to make a place to track those shorter pieces that I might not otherwise get to.

1. Socrates' Defense (Apology), by Plato
2. Apologia Socratis (Socrates' Defence to the Jury), by Xenophon
3. "The Lost Lady," by Seabury Quinn (short story, first published Weird Tales, January 1931)
4. "The Ghost Helper," by Seabury Quinn (short story, first published Weird Tales, February-March 1931)
5. "Satan's Stepson," by Seabury Quinn (short story, first published Weird Tales, September 1931)
6. Enûma Eliš (The Babylonian Creation)
7. "The Soul of a Regiment," by Talbot Mundy (short story, first published in Adventure, February 1912)
8. "The Code," by Ernest Haycox (short story, first published in The Frontier, June 1926)
9. "Riley of the Bengal Lancers," by Lieut. Scott Morgan
10. First Homily on Fasting, by St. Basil of Caesarea
11. Apology, by Tertullian
12. "Lost Dutchman O'Riley's Luck," by Alan LeMay

6harrygbutler
Feb 12, 2019, 7:43am

Learning Coptic


Saint Ptolemy of Dendera (left) and the monk Paphnutius of Egypt (right), with Coptic text. Pierpont Morgan Library. MS M.581. Source

I have long had a casual interest in Late Antique Egypt, and a chance encounter with a thread on LibraryThing a few years ago prompted me to add a book on Coptic to my wishlist. I unexpectedly received Coptic in 20 Lessons for Christmas in 2018, so I’ve decided to spend part of my time this year trying to learn the language. I began on Jan. 1 and hope to get through all the lessons by the end of the first half of the year. Wish me luck!

Progress has been fairly slow so far, as I wrestle with trying to sound out words convincingly when I really am only seeing them written and working from phonetic guidance. I expect I'll get past that soon.

7harrygbutler
Feb 12, 2019, 7:45am

Next one's yours.

8Crazymamie
Feb 12, 2019, 8:03am

Morning, Harry! Happy new one!

9harrygbutler
Feb 12, 2019, 8:21am

>8 Crazymamie: Thank you, Mamie!

10karenmarie
Feb 12, 2019, 8:24am

Good morning, Harry, and happy new thread!

>6 harrygbutler: Good luck!

From your previous thread, I liked the Jimmy Durante recording of "The Day I Read a Book".

11drneutron
Feb 12, 2019, 9:37am

Hiyah, Harry! Happy new thread!

12harrygbutler
Feb 12, 2019, 10:26am

>10 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen!

The textbook I'm using for Coptic is clearly intended for classroom use, but I think it will work out fine.

I found the Durante song while looking for something else, and I thought it was loads of fun.

"It wasn't a history, I know because it had no plot;
it wasn't a mystery, because nobody there got shot."

13harrygbutler
Feb 12, 2019, 10:27am

>13 harrygbutler: Thank you, Jim!

14figsfromthistle
Feb 12, 2019, 10:28am

Happy new one!

15harrygbutler
Feb 12, 2019, 10:32am

>14 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita!

16fuzzi
Edited: Feb 12, 2019, 11:00am

Love the OP, Harry. I'm old enough to remember seeing Guy Lombardo on New Year's Eve shows.

One memory that stands out is from 1971: I'd just heard about Pete Duel's death when Guy's orchestra started playing "I Want To Be Happy". I immediately thought "I can't be happy".

17harrygbutler
Feb 12, 2019, 12:15pm

>16 fuzzi: Thanks, fuzzi! I remember watching him, too, and he's still a part of our New Year's Eve. Erika and I usually play this album, as it is set up so that, if you start one side at 11:47, it gets to "Auld Lang Syne" at midnight and you can welcome the New Year with the orchestra.


This past New Year's Eve, however, we instead watched this TV special from New Year's Eve 1957 to 1958, with Guy and the band at the Grill Room of the Hotel Roosevelt in New York: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxPArnhtvfc. I started it up at the right point (about quarter after 11, I think) to get the ball dropping at midnight so we could enjoy it as well. :-)

I recall watching and enjoying Alias Smith and Jones.

18harrygbutler
Feb 12, 2019, 12:20pm

21. U.S. Self-Propelled Guns in Action, by Jim Mesko



This is a solid little monograph, heavy on photos, focused on the tracked self-propelled guns of the U.S. Army (and also supplied to U.S. allies) during World War II. Truck-mounted guns are not included, and while the early half-tracks get some mention, I suspect they get more attention in other monographs from the same publisher. A little dry because of all the technical details, but informative. Recommended.

19mstrust
Feb 12, 2019, 12:58pm

Happy new thread, Harry! More room for movie reviews!

20harrygbutler
Feb 12, 2019, 4:07pm

>19 mstrust: Thanks, Jennifer! Yep, there will be more on the way. In fact, I think I'll post one right now. :-)

21harrygbutler
Feb 12, 2019, 4:12pm

Movie 38. Twin Dragons (Golden Way, 1992)



Jackie Chan appears in a dual role as twins separated at birth: one becomes a mechanic in Hong Kong and the other a world-renowned classical pianist, though they remain unconsciously linked. When the pianist comes to Hong Kong for a concert at the same time the mechanic incurs the wrath of a local gangster, mix-up follows mix-up as the pair find both fighting and romance. A fun action flick. Recommended.

22FAMeulstee
Feb 12, 2019, 4:46pm

Happy new thread, Harry!
Sorry for not leaving any messages, except "happy new thread". I am not familiair with any of your books or movies of late. But DO know I keep up with your thread.

23harrygbutler
Feb 12, 2019, 5:00pm

Movie 39. Creature from the Black Lagoon (Universal, 1954)



The passing of Julie Adams earlier this month (noted here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/303410#6730689) prompted me to watch again what is probably her most famous movie. A chance find by a scientific researcher results in an expedition to locate fossil remains that turns into a battle for survival against an amphibious creature from Earth's distant past. Co-starring with Ms. Adams were Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno, and Nestor Paiva. Well-done, even if the contentious dealings of Carlson and Denning are a bit overdone. Recommended.

24harrygbutler
Feb 12, 2019, 5:02pm

>22 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita! I do appreciate your visits! I certainly understand, however; about the only work you've listed recently that I was tempted to comment on was The Golden Ass, but then I got busy and forgot to do so. I was glad to see you enjoyed it, however.

25msf59
Feb 12, 2019, 6:51pm

Happy New Thread, Harry. I hope your week is off to a good start. Absolutely nothing to report on the bird-side of things. With this cruddy weather, they are staying outta sight.

26thornton37814
Feb 12, 2019, 9:27pm

Happy new thread! Looks like you continue to enjoy those older movies. I see you added a magazines completed category!

27fuzzi
Feb 12, 2019, 9:32pm

>21 harrygbutler: I may have seen that one...I watched a slew of Jackie Chan movies in the early 1990's.

28brodiew2
Feb 12, 2019, 10:37pm

Hello Harry! I hope all is well with you.

>23 harrygbutler: Very cool poster. Very reminiscent of Swamp Thing.

Have you seen Act of Violence?

29harrygbutler
Feb 13, 2019, 10:47am

>25 msf59: Thanks, Mark! We've had a bit of an improvement in the weather today, so I've seen some out the window, though nothing particularly unusual. In the snow and sleet we had the last couple days, I didn't see much save the occasional junco.

30The_Hibernator
Feb 13, 2019, 10:49am

>23 harrygbutler: The Creature from the Black Lagoon is something I probably should watch at some point - being a classic. Though I am really slow on catching up on movies that I "should" watch, because I spend most of my time doing things that I value more. Not that I don't value movies, I FEEL like I do, but then I rarely watch them, which shows where my values lie, right?

>21 harrygbutler: I think I've actually seen that one. I love Jackie Chan! Not sure why this reminds me, but have you ever seen My Left Eye Sees Ghosts? When Netflix was carrying it, I watched it a few times in a row because there were a few scenes that made me laugh so hard. Japanese movies are fantastic sometimes. (Yes, I know Jackie Chan is not Japanese...like I said, I don't know why I thought of that.)

Happy New Thread!

31harrygbutler
Feb 13, 2019, 10:50am

>26 thornton37814: Thank you, Lori! Yes, the movies will certainly continue to have a place here. :-)

I do have a spot for magazines, and now a separate spot that I can use for articles when I don't read the whole magazine or collection of essays. I ran into that issue a few times in the last couple years, when I had an academic Festschrift and was only interested in a few of the articles in the volume: I didn't want to count the whole volume, but I also didn't want to list the articles I chose to read in my book count, so I just left them out, but now I'll have a place to record them.

32harrygbutler
Feb 13, 2019, 11:06am

>27 fuzzi: I don't recall seeing this one before, though we also watched a bunch of Jackie Chan movies (and even went to see at least one in the theater). It was in the eight-pack of his movies I got a few weeks ago.

33harrygbutler
Feb 13, 2019, 11:12am

>28 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie!

It's quite an unusual-looking poster for Creature from the Black Lagoon. I thought it might be more recent, say from a DVD cover, but I didn't find any indication when I came across it on IMDB to suggest it was other than an original poster or lobby card.

I don't think I've ever watched Act of Violence, though we have it on DVD. Have you seen it? Should I think about moving it up the "to be watched" list?

34harrygbutler
Edited: Feb 13, 2019, 12:21pm

>30 The_Hibernator: Hi, Rachel! Watching movies together was an integral part of my family life as a child, whether going to the drive-in or tuning into Saturday morning movies or late shows on the weekends and vacations. My parents both like movies and we have many similar tastes, so DVDs as well as books are likely to be lent back and forth.

I don't worry too much about whether a movie is a "classic," as my film library or viewing lists probably would reveal: I get some in the mix, but I'm perfectly willing to avoid those that don't appeal to my tastes and to spend time with others that aren't very good overall because they are a good fit for me.

Erika and I are both fans of Jackie Chan, and have seen many of his movies.

I've never heard of My Left Eye Sees Ghosts, but I just checked out its IMDB page: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0319901/. If that's the right one, it looks like it's actually a Hong Kong picture. It does look enjoyable, so I'll try to remember to give it a try if it shows up on Amazon Prime.

35The_Hibernator
Feb 13, 2019, 12:12pm

>34 harrygbutler: Right you are! It is Hong Kong! I give the excuse that it was years ago since I've even thought about the movie, and at the time I was watching Japanese horror flicks and may have assumed this was one when I first discovered it. Oh well!

36harrygbutler
Feb 13, 2019, 12:21pm

>35 The_Hibernator: Good to know that's the one! I'll keep an eye out for it.

37harrygbutler
Feb 13, 2019, 12:46pm

Movie 40. Dinner at Eight (MGM, 1933), with the Popeye cartoon Shoein' Hosses (Fleischer / Paramount, 1934) and Chapter 11 of the serial Blackhawk (Columbia, 1952)



An excellent example of MGM film-making with an all-star cast, Dinner at Eight, based on a play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber, mingles comedy and drama in the stories of the hosts and guests of a planned dinner party. Marie Dressler is a delight as an actress past her prime, John Barrymore effective in a role that may have hit rather close to home as an actor also past his prime, Lee Tracy his usual wise-cracking self, Wallace Beery boisterous as a crass and crafty man on the make, Lionel Barrymore sympathetic as the head of a shipping line facing ruin, Edmund Lowe rather unsympathetic as a society doctor, and Billie Burke charming as the society hostess with real feelings too. The supporting cast is generally quite good. The standout performance, however, may belong to Jean Harlow, as the brassy blonde second wife of Wallace Beery's character, a woman whose failings are many but whose ambition sets the stage for a happy resolution to some of the troubles. Highly recommended!

Dressler and Harlow discuss a book:


Watch clip on YouTube


38brodiew2
Edited: Feb 13, 2019, 1:19pm

>33 harrygbutler: I have not seen Act of Violence but stumbled on to it when searching something else. I must have missed it during my Noir phase. Not sure how that happened as Robert Ryan was on my front burner at the time.

>37 harrygbutler: What a great film. I have it in a dvd set. I also adore Grand Hotel.

39The_Hibernator
Feb 13, 2019, 2:16pm

>36 harrygbutler: I'd be surprised if there were more than one movie with that title!

40harrygbutler
Feb 13, 2019, 6:36pm

>38 brodiew2: Robert Ryan is an excellent actor. I'll try to get around to Act of Violence sometime soon.

I thought we owned Grand Hotel but don't see it in our library. (Ah, I just checked, and I see it was in the Greta Garbo DVD set that I never got around to purchasing.)

41harrygbutler
Feb 13, 2019, 6:37pm

>39 The_Hibernator: Yep, it would be unexpected! But of course there could have been a remake with the same title.

42fuzzi
Feb 13, 2019, 6:55pm

>32 harrygbutler: have you ever watched City Hunter? It's wacky and wild and hysterically funny in spots, and worth watching the few less interesting bits in between. It's my favorite Jackie Chan movie.

43harrygbutler
Feb 13, 2019, 8:04pm

>42 fuzzi: Aspects of it seem familiar, but I don't know that I've actually seen it. I'll definitely watch for it!

44harrygbutler
Feb 15, 2019, 8:46am

Magazine 3. Argosy All-Story Weekly, March 17, 1923



After the somewhat disappointing issue of October 28, 1922, I was pleased to find some solid entertainment in the March 17, 1923, issue of Argosy All-Story Weekly. The lead novelette by reliable craftsman J. Allan Dunn, “Fool’s Gold,” relates the fate of two crooks on the lam who hide themselves in a mining town. “3–11–125” is one of Karl W. Detzer’s tales of firefighting, as a rookie accompanies a seasoned veteran into an inferno. Florence M. Pettee’s “The Hand of the Hyena” is a slight story, one of a series about the “Exploits of Beau Quicksilver,” a crimefighter who here must outwit a gang set on his destruction. Garret Smith’s “Intent to Kill” is a much better story, of two men who plot to kill each other in staged hunting accidents. In “The Harbor of Broken Men,” by Lieut. C. Donald Feak, an aging sailor faces the temptation to wreck his ship for the insurance money, and Philip M. Fisher, Jr.’s “No Change” offers a twist in a story of love and betrayal. The final story is a comic one, by Carroll John Daly, better known for his hard-boiled stories for Black Mask, especially those featuring Race Williams; here he turns his talents to a sardonic story of a young man’s wooing and the scheming of a younger boy to get what he wants as well. Several poems and of course serials round out the issue.

45karenmarie
Feb 15, 2019, 8:54am

Good morning, Harry, happy Friday to you!

>37 harrygbutler: I enjoyed the clip. Thanks for putting it here.

46harrygbutler
Feb 15, 2019, 9:00am

41. It Couldn't Have Happened (But It Did) (Invincible, 1936)



Reginald Denny heads the cast of this mystery as a playwright cajoled into helping to solve the murder of two producers. Inez Courtney is OK as the secretary with a yen for Mr. Denny, and Evelyn Brent gets rather little to do as the wife of one of the dead men. Jack La Rue does a good job as a gangster who wanted to get his girlfriend into the show and thus comes under suspicion of the killings himself. Rather contrived and lightweight, but still fairly entertaining. Mildly recommended.

47harrygbutler
Feb 15, 2019, 9:02am

>45 karenmarie: Good morning, Karen. Thanks! I'm glad you liked that little bit.

48harrygbutler
Feb 19, 2019, 8:54am

22. Best Cartoons of the Year 1947, ed. by Lawrence Lariar



This entry in the long-running series of cartoon collections has the usual mix of subjects, with some rather too topical to still amuse. Mildly recommended.

49mysterymax
Feb 19, 2019, 9:21am

My father used to cut out cartoons he really enjoyed. He'd past them into a big scrapbook. It's fun to look at them now.

50karenmarie
Feb 19, 2019, 9:24am

'Morning, Harry, and happy Tuesday to you!

>49 mysterymax: When Calvin and Hobbes came out, my father loved them. I cut them from the LA Times every day and put them into a binder for him for his birthday. I think I have that binder somewhere, but am not sure.

51fuzzi
Feb 19, 2019, 10:38am

>49 mysterymax: >50 karenmarie: when I went to summer camp my grandmother knew I liked Little Orphan Annie, so she cut them out of the paper and sent them to me. Wish I still had them.

She also sent me copies of Dondi strips when our local newspaper stopped carrying it.

52harrygbutler
Feb 19, 2019, 4:16pm


A book-related cartoon from Best Cartoons of the Year 1947 of particular interest to mystery fans.

53harrygbutler
Feb 19, 2019, 4:22pm

>49 mysterymax: It's great that you have that scrapbook, and I can see how it would be a pleasure to review. I've occasionally clipped, or more recently photocopied (and now scanned), cartoons of interest, but I never thought to put them together into a scrapbook.

54harrygbutler
Feb 19, 2019, 4:24pm

>50 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen! That was a thoughtful gift. One of my closest friends was a huge Calvin & Hobbes fan; I enjoyed the strip, but not at the same level. I do pick up the collections when I see them.

55harrygbutler
Feb 19, 2019, 4:27pm

>51 fuzzi: That was very nice!

Several years ago, I bought a few dozen old newspaper strips from the 1920s or 1930s — Tillie the Toiler, about a stenographer, which ran from 1921 to 1959, and Smitty, about an office boy, which ran from 1922 to 1973, among them — that someone had clipped out in the past, but I didn't get any context with the purchase. I scanned the strips with a thought of doing something with them, such as posting them to a blog, but I've never gotten around to doing that. Maybe I'll turn a few into thread-toppers next year.

56harrygbutler
Feb 19, 2019, 5:33pm

Movie 42. Bombay Mail (Universal, 1934)



Edmund Lowe has the lead as a detective investigating the murder of a British official on the famed Bombay Mail, whose schedule prevents a lengthy halt and forces the inquiry to go on while the train moves along. A second killing further complicates matters. A fast-paced and effective little mystery. Recommended.

57harrygbutler
Feb 19, 2019, 5:42pm

23. The Brooklyn Murders, by G.D.H. Cole



Inspired by comments on the series in Robin's (rretzler) thread, I recently requested this volume, the first in the long-running Superintendent Wilson series, via interlibrary loan. A few weeks later, I had it in hand and plunged into this mystery by G.D.H. Cole (perhaps with the aid of his wife, Margaret Cole, who is credited as co-author on the rest of the series). Two cousins, heirs to the bulk of an old man's estate, are found murdered on the same morning, and the evidence — clearly false — suggests that each killed the other, though that is physically impossible. A fairly well-crafted but lengthy investigation follows, with both amateurs and professionals involved. I spotted the culprit right away, but the writing was good enough to sustain my interest throughout the remaining 90% of the book. Mildly recommended.

58mysterymax
Edited: Feb 19, 2019, 10:27pm

Hit by a Book Bullet!

I'm beginning to save cartoons on mysteries, murder, etc. and the one you posted fits right in.

59msf59
Edited: Feb 20, 2019, 7:05am

Morning, Harry. Back to the grind after my epic birding weekend. 9 lifers! Not sure that will happen again for awhile, at least not in the states. I heard a couple of cardinals singing yesterday. Welcoming signs...I am a completely tired of winter.

I hope all is well.

60fuzzi
Edited: Feb 20, 2019, 7:17am

>55 harrygbutler: it was very thoughtful, but that was my grandmother!

You've reminded me of another serial that I loved and read well into my teens, until I couldn't find it in the papers anymore, Gasoline Alley. I've read some of the older strips online (I think you pointed me out to a site where it was archived) but am hoping that I don't come across them in book form such as Prince Valiant...I'd have bill collectors beating on my door!

For those unfamiliar with Gasoline Alley, here's a little bit about the longevity of the strip, plus some examples: http://www.tcj.com/growing-old-in-gasoline-alley-ninety-four-years-and-counting/

61alcottacre
Feb 20, 2019, 7:24am

>21 harrygbutler: I read a book several years ago that was authored by a man who drove a tank during WWII. It was very good and I wish I could remember the name of it!

>37 harrygbutler: Oh, that is a great one!

Happy new thread, Harry!

62karenmarie
Feb 20, 2019, 8:24am

Good morning, Harry! Looks like you've got nasty weather today.

>56 harrygbutler: I watched the opening credits just for the heck of it on YouTube - two interesting tidbits are that it's based on a book by L.G. Blochman (haven't ever heard of him) and Hedda Hopper was in it. She's the only name I recognize from the list of players.

>57 harrygbutler: Sounds interesting. I occasionally figure out whodunit and enjoy the rest of the book to see how the author plays it out.

63harrygbutler
Feb 20, 2019, 3:15pm

>58 mysterymax: Excellent!

I've shared a few mystery-related cartoons in my threads before, and here are three I was able to find pretty quickly (click through to a larger version).


By Helen E. Hokinson


By Gary Larson


By Dave Breger

64harrygbutler
Feb 20, 2019, 3:16pm

>59 msf59: Hi, Mark! I was largely absent from LT for the past several days, so I'll have to wander over to your thread and get the birding report. We had a couple cardinals around earlier among the group feeding at the feeders as it snowed.

65harrygbutler
Feb 20, 2019, 3:21pm

>60 fuzzi: I never really got into Gasoline Alley, perhaps because I didn't see it often enough. I don't know of any modern reprint books.

There were a couple movies made based on the strip: Gasoline Alley and Corky of Gasoline Alley, both released by Columbia Pictures back in 1951. Presumably the aim was to get an ongoing movie series going, but without success.

66mysterymax
Edited: Feb 20, 2019, 3:37pm

>63 harrygbutler: Thanks, those are great. Am sending you one of my favorite 'butler' ones.

67harrygbutler
Feb 20, 2019, 4:03pm

>61 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia!

A good while back, I read an enjoyable novel involving a British tank during the retreat to Dunkirk Tramp in Armour.

This thread has a fair number of tanker memoirs listed and discussed: https://www.librarything.com/topic/22284. Perhaps you can find a reminder of the one you read.

68harrygbutler
Feb 20, 2019, 4:10pm

>62 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. We've had snow and it is supposed to change to ice and freezing rain, I think. Not a lot of accumulation, but no fun. A number of businesses closed or sent people home early, and Erika's office was among those that closed for the afternoon.

L. G. Blochman is Lawrence G. Blochman, who wrote an assortment of mysteries, including a forensics-oriented series starring one Dr. Coffee. I own a non-Coffee book by Blochman but haven't yet read it.

69harrygbutler
Feb 20, 2019, 4:17pm

>66 mysterymax: That is a good one. I'm a bit surprised that there hasn't been — so far as I know — a collection of cartoons with murders and mysteries as a theme.

70harrygbutler
Edited: Feb 20, 2019, 4:18pm


19th-century statue of Socrates in front of the modern Academy of Athens
By C messier - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link


As mentioned in post >5 harrygbutler:, I find that I have been somewhat neglecting single, shorter works — short stories, essays, treatises, etc. — found in books where I didn't intend to read the whole book at one go. I've decided to rectify that going forward, and although I may not comment on all of them, I may devote posts to some of them. Here are the first couple I've opted to list.

1. Socrates' Defense (Apology), by Plato
2. Apologia Socratis (Socrates' Defence to the Jury), by Xenophon

Accounts of Socrates’ trial by two of his students – Plato, an eyewitness whose dialogue highlights both his answers to charges such as atheism and more generally the grounds on which Socrates might be considered wise, and the other, Xenophon, who was not in Athens during the trial and wrote his version apparently several years later, with rather different emphases. Plato’s version is of course much more famous, but both will repay the reader’s attention, particularly when read together. And for those whose only exposure to Socrates has been through the Platonic dialogues, I’d recommend a look at the rest of Xenophon’s works featuring him as well.

71harrygbutler
Feb 20, 2019, 5:13pm

Movie 43. Shadow of the Thin Man (MGM, 1941)



When a jockey is found shot to death in the showers at the track, Nick (William Powell) is grudgingly dragged into the investigation, which involves gambling and corruption at the races. And though little Nicky may have slowed things down a bit, both Nick and Nora (Myrna Loy) remain a delight. A twisty case with at least one unexpected solution and if another revelation was not exactly a surprise, it still was a pleasure reaching it. Recommended.

72karenmarie
Feb 21, 2019, 8:22am

Hi Harry, and happy Thursday to you.

I like all the mystery-related cartoons you're posting, especially the one where the suspect gored and trampled the victim to death. *smile*

73harrygbutler
Feb 21, 2019, 8:47am

>72 karenmarie: Good morning, Karen. Thanks! I try to keep an eye out as I go through the cartoon collections for good options to share on LT.

74harrygbutler
Edited: Feb 21, 2019, 8:57am



Noted mystery critic, editor, bookstore owner Otto Penzler is selling off his collection of genre works and other items amassed over 50+ years, with the auction for Part One of the collection occurring on March 6 (though online bidding is open). I shan't be bidding on anything, but I certainly plan to browse what's on offer.

Here's a link to the first part: https://historical.ha.com/c/auction-home.zx?saleNo=6208

HT: I learned about the sale from the enjoyable blog Davy Crockett's Almanack of Mystery, Adventure, and the Wild West, in a post that gives some nice close-up views of an assortment of hard-boiled Race Williams mysteries by Carroll John Daly: http://davycrockettsalmanack.blogspot.com/2019/02/for-sale-otto-penzlers-race-wi...

75harrygbutler
Feb 22, 2019, 2:34pm

24. The Dream Is Deadly, by Carter Brown



A publisher launching a new magazine hires private eye Danny Boyd to discover what became of a rising actress who had a breakdown and disappeared two years ago, but no one else seems interested in her whereabouts, and Boyd soon discovers how dangerous digging into the dead past can prove. Some twists along the way and a fast pace keep things interesting. Mildly recommended.

76harrygbutler
Feb 22, 2019, 2:36pm

Movie 44. Fantômas in the Shadow of the Guillotine (Gaumont, 1913)


Source: IMDB


In a series of films beginning in 1913, French director Louis Feuillade brought to the screen Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre’s master criminal, Fantômas. No Robin Hood, Fantômas is a thief and murderer, and this first film in the series showcases some of his exploits and the efforts of Inspector Juve to bring him to justice. The movie is divided into a few “chapters,” rather than featuring a continuous plot, with each such section telling a portion of the story. Recommended.

77mstrust
Feb 22, 2019, 3:11pm

>74 harrygbutler: Wow, so much stuff to pine after! Of course I want the Dorothy B. Hughes, and also all the James M. Cains. Every one of them. And the Hammetts, Vernes, Woolrichs.

78harrygbutler
Feb 22, 2019, 7:47pm

>77 mstrust: This sort of auction really does make one wish to take a plunge.

79harrygbutler
Feb 23, 2019, 6:52am

Movie 45. Racketeers of the Range (RKO, 1939)



A cowboy fights a big packing concern's attempt to obtain a monopoly by taking over the last independent packer. Along the way, he helps the young owner of the independent packer come to an appreciation of the ranchers and their way of life. George O'Brien's good-natured appeal keeps this one entertaining, though it might have benefited from a slightly longer running time. Recommended.

80karenmarie
Feb 23, 2019, 7:56am

Good morning Harry, and a very happy Saturday to you.

>74 harrygbutler: I just went over there and won't be bidding on anything either. The lowest price I saw was $500...

81harrygbutler
Feb 24, 2019, 10:01am

>80 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. I found some lots that were lower, but the minimum buyer's premium was $49, so even a $1 book would run $50. Fun to look through, though.

82harrygbutler
Feb 24, 2019, 10:05am

25. Fergus of Galloway: Knight of King Arthur, by Guillaume le Clerc



A Scottish knight makes good in a series of adventures that include avenging an insult done to the king, tackling giants, and harassing a town's besiegers. The influence of Chrétien de Troyes is strong. Mildly recommended.

83harrygbutler
Feb 24, 2019, 10:14am

46. The Black Doll (Universal, 1938)



A wealthy man (C. Henry Gordon) with a shady past and a sister (Doris Lloyd) and nephew (William Lundigan) who hate him receives a threat in the form of a voodoo doll. Death follows, but not until after he summons his old accomplices (John Wray and Addison Richards) to his home. The bumbling sheriff (Edgar Kennedy) and his deputy soon arrive, yet the killing hasn't stopped. Fortunately, Nick Halstead (Donald Woods), a private detective and the fiancé of the first victim's daughter (Nan Grey), is on hand to untangle the mystery. Mildly recommended.

84alcottacre
Feb 24, 2019, 10:56am

>67 harrygbutler: I checked there but did not find it. This kind of thing drives me crazy. I will keep looking!

>76 harrygbutler: I will have to see if I can find that one!

85harrygbutler
Feb 24, 2019, 11:18am

>84 alcottacre: Good luck in the hunt!

There's a DVD set with all five of the early Fantômas movies, put out by Kino Lorber: https://www.kinolorber.com/film/fantomas.

86alcottacre
Feb 24, 2019, 11:27am

>85 harrygbutler: Thanks for letting me know, Harry. I will take a look!

87harrygbutler
Feb 24, 2019, 1:07pm

>86 alcottacre: I'm glad you mentioned the Fantômas movie, as it prompted me to watch the second one today, Juve vs. Fantômas, also from 1913.

88harrygbutler
Feb 24, 2019, 1:29pm

A trip to a couple used book sales down in Delaware yesterday netted 31 books and a couple movies on DVD, including several volumes containing two or three mysteries by Erle Stanley Gardner (both Perry Mason and Cool & Lam) and three of Margery Sharp's books about the Rescuers. I haven't gotten around to cataloging them all yet, but I was a little disappointed in the number and selection of older books and in fact found nothing to bring home that would fit into the TBSL category except perhaps a copy of Valiant, Dog of the Timberline, a dog story by Jack O'Brien.

89lyzard
Feb 24, 2019, 4:56pm

Hi, Harry!

I have a favour to ask, or at least a suggestion to make: the Dean Street Press is reissuing some of Moray Dalton's mysteries. I really enjoyed those of her books I've read, but most of them are literally impossible to get hold of now. I was very excited when I got a notification about these! I will be picking up Kindles of the ones I haven't read---and since they are inexpensive, perhaps all of them, just to make a point. If you could find your way to an encouraging purchase, that would be great!

(Hmm. I think they're only doing ebooks, though, which I know may be a problem for you.)

>57 harrygbutler:

Nice start! :)

>63 harrygbutler:

I've been trying to get back to Eberhart's Sarah Keate series forever, but the next one up is a read-in-the-library, so it keeps getting bumped for other reads-in-the-library.

Speaking of which, as you will have noticed I did not end up getting to The Hardway Diamonds Mystery this month but have it definitely on the slate for March.

90harrygbutler
Edited: Feb 24, 2019, 6:57pm

>89 lyzard: Although on Amazon the Moray Dalton books are Kindle-only, I checked bookdepository.com as well, and there they appear to be coming in paperback, too. So I'll go ahead and order at least One by One They Disappeared to try. :-)

I've got several ILL requests in at the moment, but I've got to get my tracking more organized so that I'm sure not to ask a second time for the same unavailable book. (I was doing well, but then a combination of a change in form and a new computer on my side caused me to stop tracking for a time, and now I don't know just what I haven't been able to get in the past.) I put in one request this week for which I needed to do a good bit of groundwork, as checking on worldcat found copies catalogued under the pen name used on the book, under the author's real name, and also under the name of the author of a foreword in the book, such that they appeared as three separate books. Ugh.

I've only read one or two of the Sarah Keate books, and I know I don't own them all at present. I enjoyed them enough to be willing to give the others a go if I can get them. I've advanced one book in a couple series myself in the past week or so, polishing off The Case of the Late Pig for Albert Campion and Artists in Crime for Detective-Inspector Roderick Alleyn. I think my next series book will be The Valley of Fear, as I slowly make my way through a rereading of the Sherlock Holmes series.

Next month is certainly fine for The Hardway Diamonds Mystery. I just wrapped up the non-Mr. Pinkerton David Frome mystery The Strange Death of Martin Green, from 1931. Have you read that one?

ETA: Order placed for One by One They Disappeared. :-)

91lyzard
Edited: Feb 24, 2019, 7:01pm

No, I haven't---but if it's from 1931 it should be on my list! :D

I like the medical content of the Sarah Keate books, and the way they handle the relationship between her and her police contact, keeping it effectively older sister / younger brother (something I gather the film versions tamper with).

The Case Of The Late Pig is also next up for me with the Campions, though I'm not sure when I'll get to it. I may bump it a bit up the TBR.

I haven't had that problem with my ILLs and other requests, although I have struggled with typos in the catalogues, which sometimes prevent a held book from showing up in my search, grr!

Oh, good, I'm glad they will be in book form too! One By One They Disappeared is one of the ones I've read. I remember liking it, though I think I also recall some animal violence, so caveat emptor. (ETA: Eep! Should I have spoken sooner?)

92harrygbutler
Edited: Feb 24, 2019, 7:42pm

>91 lyzard: Yes, I daresay The Strange Death of Martin Green should be on your list! :-)

Right, the Sarah Keate movies go with a romantic relationship, at least in the two I've seen most recently.

Thanks for the warning about One by One They Disappeared, but no need to be concerned. I don't generally picture things in my head as I read, and I've read enough books in which mistreatment of animals is the mark of a villain, or in which animal battles animal, that it's unlikely to put me off the book unless somehow egregious.

93harrygbutler
Feb 24, 2019, 7:56pm

Movie 47. Murder in Greenwich Village (Columbia, 1937)



"Boy" (Richard Arlen, playing a photographer) meets "girl" (Fay Wray as a fetching heiress) as the latter escapes from a notorious playboy's apartment, clad only in pajamas. When the playboy is found murdered and Wray is connected with the building where he and Arlen both lived, she claims to be engaged to Arlen to explain her presence on the premises — though that may end up putting Arlen under suspicion. A policeman suspicious of the alibi, an assortment of wacky characters who work with Arlen, the heiress's father (Thurston Hall), and the playboy's gangster brother (Marc Lawrence), who is keen to find his sibling's slayer, add to the proceedings, with some comic set pieces and some unusual twists—my favorite being the identity of the person who actually solves the murder. Not much of a mystery in some ways, but fun and frenetic. Mildly recommended.

94msf59
Feb 24, 2019, 9:14pm

Happy Sunday, Harry. I hope you are wrapping up a fine weekend. Very blustery here today, so very little feeder activity. Just a few goldfinch.

95richardderus
Feb 24, 2019, 10:39pm

Good gracious, I haven't commented yet?! I love the cartoon in >52 harrygbutler: the best. Spoiler-phobia is not a new phenomenon, is it?

Have a great week.

96brodiew2
Feb 25, 2019, 12:28pm

Good morning Harry. I thought I might ask your opinion on a classic screwball comedy. I own Bringing Up Baby as part of a comedy collection I bought on DVD a while back. I have attempted to watch this movie many times over the years and am continually reminded why I don't click with it. For me There is too much screw in the ball. From the start the movie seems to silly which is ironic because I enjoy many other films of this genre. The back-and-forth between Hepburn and Grant Seems too fast and The entire plot feels contrived.

That said I feel that Hepburn and Grant or a Marvel in The Philadelphia Story which is a favorite film of mine. You never can tell, and it is hard to explain, how a film will click or not click for me. But I suspect we're all like that.

What do you think of Bringing Up Baby?

97harrygbutler
Feb 25, 2019, 5:06pm

>94 msf59: Hi, Mark. The winds arrived here, too, and have continued steadily today. You're right, not much action at the feeders while it is so windy.

98harrygbutler
Feb 25, 2019, 5:08pm

>95 richardderus: Hi, Richard. As someone who rereads mysteries, I'm usually not all that bothered by spoilers myself, but I try to be mindful of the possible impact on others — which contributes to the brevity of my comments on books and movies.

99harrygbutler
Feb 25, 2019, 5:16pm

>96 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie.

I like Bringing Up Baby quite a bit, but it pales in comparison to The Philadelphia Story.

I think the fundamental problem is Katharine Hepburn's character — her madcap heiress just doesn't have enough charm. I don't know whether a different actress might have pulled it off, but perhaps, say, Carole Lombard could have done so. Grant is excellent as the scientist out of his depth, and Charlie Ruggles is excellent in support, but the movie isn't all it could be. Filmgoers at the time shared your judgment, I guess, as it wasn't a successful movie.

100harrygbutler
Feb 25, 2019, 5:25pm

Three short stories about the occult detective Jules de Grandin:

3. "The Lost Lady," by Seabury Quinn (short story, first published Weird Tales, January 1931)
4. "The Ghost Helper," by Seabury Quinn (short story, first published Weird Tales, February-March 1931)
5. "Satan's Stepson," by Seabury Quinn (short story, first published Weird Tales, September 1931)

I've now reached the third volume in the Night Shade Books reprints of Seabury Quinn's stories about the pertinacious French battler against evil, The Dark Angel, but I anticipate spreading the reading out this volume out quite a bit, especially as the next item up is the sole Jules de Grandin novel, The Devil's Bride. Thus, I anticipate counting the short stories among my short work reading, at least for now.

These three are the first in this volume, including a tale of vengeance through sympathetic magic, another of protection reaching beyond the grave to shield survivors, and a third pitting the detective against a devil who has cheated death and stalks the woman whom he had forced to marry him. Dated in some respects, but interesting tales nonetheless.

101karenmarie
Feb 25, 2019, 5:35pm

Hi Harry! Happy Monday to you.

>96 brodiew2: and >99 harrygbutler: I like Bringing Up Baby well enough, especially the parts where they're actually pulling or pushing a very large cat along. I haven't watched Philadelphia Story in a while, perhaps it's time to watch again.

102harrygbutler
Feb 25, 2019, 5:38pm

Movie 48. The Lady in the Morgue (Universal, 1938)



I've tried without success to read the mystery by Jonathan Latimer on which this movie is based, so I guess it should come as no surprise to me that the movie didn't really work, either. Rival crooks, among others, show an interest in the body of an unidentified woman in the morgue. When the body disappears and the morgue attendant is murdered, detective Bill Crane (Preston Foster), who has been hired to determine whether the dead woman was the daughter of a rich family, keeps plugging away. Though it should have been fast-paced, it seemed to drag, and I didn't think Foster had much charisma. Not recommended.

103harrygbutler
Feb 25, 2019, 5:43pm

>101 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. We watched Bringing Up Baby last year, but it has been at least a few years since the last time we watched The Philadelphia Story.

104brodiew2
Feb 25, 2019, 6:00pm

>99 harrygbutler:>101>103 Harry, thank you for your response. I think you hit the nail on the head regard Hepburn's charm in this film. At least with Lomabard and Powell, in My Man Godfrey, their chemistry as well as the story pulls you in almost immediately. In 'Baby', I felt like both leads were over the top, shooting their lines at each other in such rapid succession that, not only was it work to keep, but I found neither character sympathetic. Granted, Grant's fiance is overbearing, but he is also so manic and hapless, I couldn't care much for him either.

I am surprised to hear that the film was not a success because time has been very kind to it and it often listed near the top of best screwball comedies. Perhaps, that is just the star power talking.

I know that Grant was know for a certain amount of manic silliness, especially in the late 1930s and throughout the 1940s. When comparing this character to Mortimer Brewster, or even C. K. Dexter Haven, David loses hands down. I also feel that as far as academics go, Grant's Dr. Barnaby Fulton, in Monkey Business was a cut above as well.

Perhaps, it's time a group watch of The Philadelphia Story. What do you think?

105harrygbutler
Feb 26, 2019, 6:50am

>104 brodiew2: I'd be up for revisiting The Philadelphia Story and can fish out my DVD. Do you know whether it is readily available from one of the streaming services for people who don't own it on DVD? (It's not on Amazon Prime at the moment.)

106harrygbutler
Feb 26, 2019, 6:57am

For the past couple days, I've tried to update my list of movies watched up in >4 harrygbutler: without success, getting a 504 Gateway Timeout error for the touchstones each time. This morning, I haven't been able to get even a single touchstone to work. I'm getting rather tired of the continuing problems, as there seem to be site search failures (which affects touchstones as well) and often other issues on a weekly basis. The responses to the bug reports don't exactly inspire confidence, so I think I'll be backing up my library, and maintaining my lists outside LT, more often.

107karenmarie
Feb 26, 2019, 8:41am

'Morning, Harry, and happy Tuesday to you.

>106 harrygbutler: If the list is more important than the link, I suggest removing the touchtone aspect of your list in >4 harrygbutler:. I discovered a while back that long touchstoned lists were quirky at best, so I have simply removed the touchstones from my lists of books read, books acquired, and books culled.

108harrygbutler
Feb 26, 2019, 9:34am

>107 karenmarie: Hi, Karen.

Yes, I've found some issues in the past with long lists of touchstones, and I might reconsider for those, but this morning the problem extended to a single touchstone when I tried to add it for The Philadelphia Story in >105 harrygbutler:, so the problem was more severe than just the usual delay — which has gotten longer — when working with the longer lists. And I see a Site Search Down bug once a week now, and although there seems to be a different reason offered each time (when reasons are offered), I think the frequency is grounds for concern.

109brodiew2
Feb 26, 2019, 10:20am

>105 harrygbutler: Good morning Harry. I am sure it is not on Netflix but I know a lot of classic movies are available through xfinity for a rental fee usually 399 to 599.

110fuzzi
Edited: Feb 26, 2019, 10:58am

>88 harrygbutler: I read that book by Jack O'Brien, gave it 4 stars.

>106 harrygbutler: I have also been having a lot of touchstone issues. I went through and made sure that all my urls were "https" instead of "http" and that seemed to help, some.

Are you interested in scheduling an Alistair MacLean read for March? It's been several months since I read the last one.

111harrygbutler
Feb 26, 2019, 8:41pm

>109 brodiew2: Ah, then it may be possible for those without a DVD to get a look, too. Maybe we should aim for sometime in mid-March, to allow anyone who can get it from the library to do so, too?

112harrygbutler
Feb 26, 2019, 8:46pm

>110 fuzzi: That sounds like a solid approval for Valiant, Dog of the Timberline, then.

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one encountering these issues.

Sure, I'd be up for a MacLean: Offhand, how about either H.M.S. Ulysses, Fear Is the Key, or The Dark Crusader (aka The Black Shrike)?

113harrygbutler
Feb 26, 2019, 8:50pm

26. The Case of the Late Pig, by Margery Allingham



On a whim, though in part prompted by an odd anonymous letter, Albert Campion attends the funeral of a former schoolmate, only to be surprised to discover the fellow murdered several months later. He of course investigates, dealing with an odd cast of characters as he looks for the truth behind the double death. Recommended.

114harrygbutler
Feb 26, 2019, 9:12pm

Movie 49. Invasion of the Saucer Men (American International, 1957)



Little green men land in their saucer. Can an eloping couple who encounter them put paid to the alien menace? Silly but fairly fun, with Raymond Hatton good as a farmer bothered by the local teens using his property as a makeout spot. Mildly recommended.

115brodiew2
Feb 26, 2019, 9:26pm

>111 harrygbutler: Sounds good to me, Harry. I'm happy to discuss with as many or as few can participate. :-)

116harrygbutler
Feb 27, 2019, 6:45am

>115 brodiew2: OK, how about aiming for watching The Philadelphia Story during the span March 15-17? Anyone else care to join in?

This isn't really a group read or a readathon, but maybe we could mention it on the announcements thread.

117fuzzi
Feb 27, 2019, 8:49am

>112 harrygbutler: I've previously read HMS Ulysses, and it's very good, but I'd rather read one of the others, your choice. :)

118karenmarie
Feb 27, 2019, 8:53am

Good morning, Harry!

>113 harrygbutler: What a lovely book title!

119mstrust
Feb 27, 2019, 11:15am

>114 harrygbutler: Spectacular poster! And I'm guessing that Frank Gorshin was playing a teenager back then.

120harrygbutler
Feb 27, 2019, 5:38pm

>117 fuzzi: Ah, I guess I missed that you had read H.M.S. Ulysses. Let's go for The Dark Crusader (aka The Black Shrike).

121harrygbutler
Feb 27, 2019, 5:41pm

>118 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! It certainly has more interest than some. The next Campion novel is Dancers in Mourning, though I may read the stories in Mr. Campion: Criminologist first (which is where The Case of the Late Pig was drawn from, according to the Penguin copy).

122harrygbutler
Feb 27, 2019, 5:47pm

>119 mstrust: It is a cool poster, and the aliens are actually pretty well designed. Frank Gorshin isn't a teen; he's a young man in town with his buddy, who narrates part of the story.

123fuzzi
Feb 27, 2019, 8:13pm

124harrygbutler
Feb 28, 2019, 2:56pm

>123 fuzzi: OK! Now to find my copy. :-)

125harrygbutler
Feb 28, 2019, 2:57pm

27. Artists in Crime, by Ngaio Marsh



When the model is murdered in front of an entire class of art students by means of a fiendish booby trap, Detective-Inspector Roderick Alleyn finds himself wrestling with his personal feelings for the instructor as he tackles the case. The murdered woman’s lover, the likeliest suspect, has disappeared, and reconstructing his movements is key to learning just what happened, but motives abound, so Alleyn and his assistants relentlessly delve into the secrets of the rest of the artists as well. A decent procedural, and while I saw some of the final explanation, I didn’t manage to figure it all out. Recommended.

126karenmarie
Mar 1, 2019, 8:00am

'Morning, Harry, and happy Friday to you!

I really need to re-acquire the Roderick Alleyn series - I have a few of them, don't remember what I've read or not. Ah well, another book 'to do' for 2019!

127harrygbutler
Mar 1, 2019, 8:13am

>126 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! Parts of Artists in Crime seemed quite familiar, so I think I may have read it years ago. However, I may have read a later one that picked up threads from this entry in the series. I know I did read at least one, and that not the first one, before deciding to get the whole series.

128mstrust
Mar 1, 2019, 10:12am

>125 harrygbutler: I do believe I have that one on the shelf. But not that edition- what a nightmarish cover!

129richardderus
Mar 1, 2019, 12:35pm

>125 harrygbutler: I had every Alleyn book at one point in the 1980s, and I know I read them; that edition, even; but can I call forth a single memorable line? Nope. Was she that blah a writer or am I simply that far away from the read?

130harrygbutler
Mar 1, 2019, 5:27pm

>128 mstrust: There's nightmarish crime in this one! Offhand, I don't know whether one must read the earlier books first, but I'd recommend reading this one before reading later books in the series.

131harrygbutler
Mar 1, 2019, 5:29pm

>129 richardderus: I found the writing efficient and effective, but not the sort that would be likely to be memorable. There were some touches that weren't to my taste, but I'll certainly keep going with the series.

132harrygbutler
Mar 1, 2019, 5:44pm

Movie 50. Murder at Dawn (Big 4 Film, 1932)



A scientist working on solar power is targeted for his new invention. Murderous mayhem, kidnapping, strange appearances and disappearances follow. A fun premise is let down by weak comic relief and poor cinematography and set design; I'm still not convinced that the house isn't laid out rather like Escher's Relativity:


Fair use, Link

133harrygbutler
Mar 1, 2019, 6:05pm

Movie 51. Love Bound (Peerless, 1932)


Source: Vintage45's Blog


I was tricked into watching this while in the mood for an old mystery, as it was available under its reissue title, Murder on the High Seas. No mystery this, but rather a fairly dismal drama, with Natalie Moorhead (seen above) in a good role as the woman in a scandalous court case and Jack Mulhall as the son of the man against whom she won a verdict, hoping to trap her into exonerating his father and enabling his family to stay together. Watching two Jack Mulhall movies back to back was likely a mistake, especially given the genre this turned out to be. Not recommended.

134harrygbutler
Mar 1, 2019, 6:14pm

Anyone who orders books online is likely to have encountered flimsy packaging that resulted in some sort of damage, or that could have resulted in such damage if it weren't for exceptionally good luck. I know it has happened to me, including with new books, with the book left to rattle around loose in a box, or enclosed in nothing more than an envelope, or shipped with other items that should have been packaged separately.

Thus, I'd like to draw attention to the Amazon Marketplace seller Flamingo Books & Ephemera. I've so far obtained two books from them, in two separate orders, and in each case the packaging was excellent — a protective plastic bag, within a paper bag, within bubble wrap, within a fitted cardboard "box" (cut-down from a larger box, I think), within the mailing envelope, guarding against not just bumps and nicks, but water as well, an important consideration for wintertime shipping especially. I'll certainly order from them again if they should have books that I want.

(Note: I don't know whether this is the same business as Flamingo Eventz, which runs book & ephemera and antiques & collectibles shows, including one coming up in Manhattan on the 9th of March, but it does seem likely.)

135fuzzi
Mar 1, 2019, 7:58pm

>134 harrygbutler: thanks for the recommendation. I generally buy from Ebay versus Amazon because Ebay sellers seem to care more about bad reviews, and I came to that conclusion through experience. I also mention the superior packaging IN my reviews, too.

A couple of my Prince Valiants were shoved in a flimsy mailing envelope, and arrived with damage. I hate seeing books needlessly ruined through poor planning.

136harrygbutler
Mar 1, 2019, 8:20pm

>135 fuzzi: I seldom get books via eBay, but did acquire a couple that way last month. They arrived undamaged but not particularly well-packaged. For some of the books I look for, sellers are often on both platforms, and if so, I may shift to Amazon for the actual order.

137mstrust
Mar 2, 2019, 10:37am

Many times I've received books from Amazon sellers that are packaged in nothing more than that gray plastic bag, no padding at all. They usually arrive with dented covers and corners. I've even gotten some that I suspect were sold as new or excellent condition, but were actually damaged. The seller put them in that flimsy bag and hoped they could pass it off as damaged in the mail.

138harrygbutler
Mar 2, 2019, 2:25pm

>137 mstrust: You know, that never occurred to me, but I can see how that might be a temptation for some sellers.

139harrygbutler
Mar 2, 2019, 2:58pm

28. The Strange Death of Martin Green, by David Frome



When unpopular Martin Green is found dead in the swampy area below the sixth tee at the country club's golf course, accident is possible but to some at least seems unlikely, especially as it is followed nearly immediately by the flight of the unfaithful wife who had been his lover. When the finger of suspicion points to some of those with whom his hosts are friendly, and perhaps even to one of his hosts, experienced investigator Gregory Lewis, houseguest of the Wakefields, essays to uncover the truth of the death. An interesting approach is having parts of the story related in the first person by different members of the close-knit group living around the club. Although I spotted part of the solution to the mystery at the very start, I didn't get at the whole and was surprised by some developments. Some dated elements, but the mystery was fairly good. To borrow Stasia's (alcottacre) phrase, guardedly recommended.

140harrygbutler
Mar 2, 2019, 3:09pm

Movie 52. Jungle Man (PRC, 1941)



A doctor (Buster Crabbe) who has been working on a cure for a tropical disease becomes involved with a safari looking for a lost city. Crabbe is as pleasantly entertaining as he usually is, and it is a pleasure, too, to see him paired with Charles Middleton (Ming in the Flash Gordon serials) as friends. A low-budget adventure with limited thrills, though the former athlete does get to do some swimming. Mildly recommended.

141fuzzi
Mar 2, 2019, 8:36pm

>137 mstrust: that's how some of my books were damaged, flimsy bags. I also ordered a children's book that was shipped in one of those flexible cardboard mailers, the type where two sheets of thin cardboard are glued around the book. Some USPS person tried to bend the package to fit in my mailbox and damaged the book.

142harrygbutler
Mar 2, 2019, 8:44pm

>141 fuzzi: Those cardboard mailers provide slightly better protection than the bags, but not by much, that's for sure.

143harrygbutler
Mar 2, 2019, 8:55pm

29. An Alphabet of Tales, ed. by Mary Macleod Banks



I've had this book going for some time and have at long last finished it. It's a 15th-century Middle English translation of the Alphabetum narrationum of Etienne de Besançon, a collection of 801 exempla — anecdotes for use to illustrate a point or draw a moral in a sermon, organized alphabetically by what would now be called the keyword, and with many cross references as well. The exempla vary in length and interest, and it was difficult to read more than a handful at a time, but I'm glad to have read them. I've at least one other collection of Middle English exempla, also published by the Early English Text Society, but I don't expect to tackle it very soon. Recommended.

144harrygbutler
Mar 3, 2019, 9:05am

Movie 53. Juve vs. Fantômas (Gaumont, 1913)



Inspector Juve continues to battle Fantômas, even as that archcriminal targets a train full of people to cover up a crime and sets more than one trap for the detective. This second film in the series moves right along and leaves the viewer wanting to see more. Recommended.

145karenmarie
Mar 3, 2019, 10:03am

'Morning, Harry!

Flamingo Books & Ephemera sounds like one of the good'uns.

I don't tolerate damaged books from Amazon. I always send them back, making sure I'm not charged for the UPS label, and they send another. Sometimes they just come in a box, no waterproofing, but I've never had water damage.

146richardderus
Mar 3, 2019, 10:33am

>134 harrygbutler: I will seek them out. Thank you for recommending them.

Have a wonderful week ahead.

147harrygbutler
Mar 3, 2019, 11:19am

>145 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! I have no problem with returning if there's a notable problem, but if I see what I also see on the shelves at bookstores and would be willing to buy the book as new there, I don't bother about it. I've never had any issue with being asked to pay for the return shipping when I have had to return something. (I should probably also note that I buy a lot of used books via Amazon, and having long ago forced myself to recognize that booksellers on the whole describe as "good" the condition of a book I'd be likely to discard as in terrible shape, I may be more tolerant of some condition issues in those.)

148harrygbutler
Mar 3, 2019, 11:20am

>146 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. I tend to lose track of the average seller, with nothing to make them stand out, so I wanted to be sure to highlight someone doing more than is usual.

Have a good week yourself.

149harrygbutler
Mar 3, 2019, 11:24am

30. "You Want Proof? I'll Give You Proof!" More Cartoons from Sidney Harris, by Sidney Harris



Sidney Harris exposes the seamy underbelly of scientific research... Nah, what he does is offer up another batch of cartoons related to scientific matters, more or less amusing. His style variations mean that some have more appeal to me than others, and though I wouldn't exactly call myself a fan, I enjoy enough of them to keep picking up the collections when I come across them in used-book sales. The cover cartoon is probably the best of the lot in this one. Mildly recommended.

150mstrust
Mar 3, 2019, 6:56pm

>138 harrygbutler: >141 fuzzi: I've had just a few that show up with the book very damaged but no corresponding damage on the packing, which makes it pretty obvious that the seller wasn't being honest. But most book sellers are being honest and I've had a few that have been so well padded and secured that I've had to use multiple tools to get them open, ha!

151harrygbutler
Mar 4, 2019, 6:08am

>150 mstrust: Ah, yes, that would indeed be a clue.

152harrygbutler
Mar 4, 2019, 6:08am

153harrygbutler
Mar 4, 2019, 6:27am

31. The Valley of Fear, by Arthur Conan Doyle



The fourth and final Sherlock Holmes novel is to some extent a return to the first, with a mystery in the present in part explained by happenings in the past in America. Well-written and — especially in the second half — exciting. Recommended.

154harrygbutler
Mar 4, 2019, 6:32am

Movie 54. Pharaoh's Curse (UA, 1957)



An unexpectedly well-done little movie, with the titular curse resulting in doom for members of an archaeological expedition. Recommended.

155msf59
Mar 4, 2019, 6:38am

>152 harrygbutler: LIKE!

Morning, Harry. I hope you had a nice weekend. We are back to frigid temps. Only 14F today. It is supposed to inch back up to normal by the end of the week. The feeders were hopping yesterday, in advance of the cold snap, especially the finch feeder. Need to replenish.

156richardderus
Mar 4, 2019, 10:13am

>152 harrygbutler: What >155 msf59: said.

>154 harrygbutler: Oh, that looks like fun. Off to source it.

157fuzzi
Mar 4, 2019, 12:44pm

>150 mstrust: I had two (2!) Amazon Marketplace sellers send me a used paperback version of a book that was described as new and hardcover. I had to fight hard to get a refund both times. The only difficult experience with Ebay was recently, where the aforementioned new book was damaged in transit due to shoddy packaging. I was offered a 25% discount, which I refused as the book was a gift. I finally was offered and accepted a "full refund", but they only paid the price of the book, not the shipping. I lodged a complaint with Ebay, and received the remainder of my costs. If that had not worked I could also have lodged a complaint with Paypal.

158harrygbutler
Mar 4, 2019, 6:01pm

>155 msf59: We're due for a couple days with low temperatures, but should rebound by the weekend. Nothing particularly unusual at the feeders, but they've been busy.

159harrygbutler
Mar 4, 2019, 6:01pm

>156 richardderus: I hope you enjoy it, Richard. I think I saw it via YouTube.

160harrygbutler
Mar 4, 2019, 6:02pm

>157 fuzzi: That's a shame. I've had good luck with all my returns or complaints, which have been few.

161harrygbutler
Edited: Mar 5, 2019, 2:46pm

Movie 55. Special Mission Lady Chaplin (Fida Cinematographica, 1965)



I kicked off a run of several Eurospy / Eurocrime movies (with one exception) with this entry from 1966, originally titled Missione speciale Lady Chaplin, starring Daniela Bianchi (best known for her performance in From Russia with Love but here the lethal title character). As far as plot goes, a criminal mastermind is looking to salvage the 16 nuclear missiles carried aboard the sunken USS Thresher, and it falls to agent Dick Malloy (Ken Clark, who essayed the role in three movies) to thwart the evil plan. Fun enough for what it was. Recommended if it sounds appealing.

162karenmarie
Mar 5, 2019, 8:08am

Happy Tuesday to you, Harry!

>152 harrygbutler: Made me smile.

>158 harrygbutler: Our feeders have been very busy, too. I see a Cardinal, a House Finch, a Titmouse and a Blue Jay as I look out right now.

163harrygbutler
Mar 6, 2019, 6:11pm

>162 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! Thanks for stopping by yesterday. I've been busy, but I've got a little time now to put up a post or two and maybe drop by some threads.

I just replenished our tube and platform feeders as well as the shelled peanut tube that is popular with the red-bellied woodpecker and the nuthatches.

164harrygbutler
Mar 6, 2019, 6:20pm

32. The Lay of Havelok the Dane, ed. by Walter W. Skeat



The early deaths of two kings — whose wives apparently predeceased them — leave their heirs and their realms at the mercy of the leading nobles to whom they entrust their care. Alas, in both cases the guardians prove untrue, with Goldeboru, daughter of England's King Athelwold, kept disgracefully imprisoned by Earl Godrich of Cornwall, and Havelok, son of Denmark's King Birkabeyn, forced to watch his sisters' murders and be threatened with destruction himself by the usurper Godard. How the two unfortunates persevere and pursue justice is the burden of this Middle English lay, marred a bit by missing lines but nonetheless entertaining. Recommended.

165harrygbutler
Mar 6, 2019, 6:25pm

Movie 56. Dragon Lord (Golden Harvest, 1982)



Jackie Chan plays the lazy son of an important man who accidentally becomes involved with villains. Much of the film's focus is rather on the doings of one of the thieves. A somewhat entertaining blend of comedy and action with too many sequences that don't work all that well. Mildly recommended.

166fuzzi
Mar 6, 2019, 7:45pm

>164 harrygbutler: interesting title. There's a town called Havelock not far from where we live. The area around that town was settled mainly by Swiss, hence New Bern.

167harrygbutler
Mar 6, 2019, 7:47pm

Movie 57. Agent 505: Death Trap in Beirut (Rapid Film/Metheus Film/Compagnie Lyonnaise de Cinéma, 1966)



Back to the Eurospy genre with this West German-Italian-French co-production, originally titled Agent 505 - Todesfalle Beirut. Frederick Stafford stars as Richard Blake, Agent 505, summoned to Beirut to thwart an extortion plot that threatens to destroy the city's inhabitants. Suspicion rests on a wealthy philanthropist as Blake and his partner contend with the gang of the archcriminal known only as "the Sheikh." Mildly recommended.

168harrygbutler
Mar 6, 2019, 7:52pm

>166 fuzzi: I don't know whether there is any sort of connection. I checked Wikipedia, which says that your local Havelock was named after a British general, but whence his family name came I do not know.

169harrygbutler
Mar 7, 2019, 8:49am

170fuzzi
Mar 7, 2019, 8:55am

>169 harrygbutler: bwahahahaha!

That reminds me, I need to get back to Prince Valiant, my last read was #5.

171harrygbutler
Edited: Mar 7, 2019, 9:08am

>170 fuzzi: I'm stalled partway through volume 9; I set it aside and haven't picked it back up yet. I should do so.

I'm planning to read The Dark Crusader (aka The Black Shrike) next week. It is one of his books where the chapters are tied to days (or parts of days), and I'm hoping to read, say, the Wednesday chapters on Wednesday. :-)

172harrygbutler
Mar 7, 2019, 9:29am

33. Sackett, by Louis L'Amour



This entry in Louis L'Amour's Sacket family saga introduces the reader to William Tell Sackett, elder brother of Orrin and Tyrel, whom we met in The Daybreakers. Tell's years of wandering have yet to result in much in the way of tangible accomplishments, no matter what they may have yielded in experience. Fate seems to smile, however, when he discovers a hidden source of high-grade gold ore, and together with old Cap Rountree, he sets out to stake a claim to conceal the real source of his gold but also with the hope of establishing a town, though of course predatory antagonists soon make themselves known. Recommended.

173harrygbutler
Mar 7, 2019, 9:46am

Movie 58. SuperSeven Calling Cairo (Romana Film, 1965)



When a top-secret metal is stolen and smuggled out of England as the zoom lens on a camera, agent Martin Stevens (aka SuperSeven) is sent to Egypt to track down the tourist who ended up with the camera, even as the criminals behind the original theft also attempt to recover it. The first of two movies in the SuperSeven Eurospy series isn't all that good, and star Roger Browne hasn't much to recommend him beyond a jutting jaw. Mildly recommended at best.

174harrygbutler
Mar 7, 2019, 11:26am

Shorter work #6. Enûma Eliš (The Babylonian Creation)


By Ben Pirard at nl.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Neo-Assyrian cylinder seal impression from the eighth century BCE identified by several sources as a possible depiction of the slaying of Tiamat from the Enûma Eliš.

This approximately thousand-line poem recounts the generation and contentions of the gods, and the victory of the hero-god Marduk over the primeval goddess Tiamat, who has birthed monsters to battle the gods, and the subsequent creation of the world and mankind. I recently reread this work in the Penguin collection Poems of Heaven and Hell from Ancient Mesopotamia. Certainly worth a look.

175fuzzi
Mar 7, 2019, 11:34am

>171 harrygbutler: I'm hoping to be done with Middlemarch by then. It's a very good read, but slow-going.

176harrygbutler
Mar 7, 2019, 11:47am

>175 fuzzi: I can sympathize with that situation.

I have a couple other shared reads planned for this month, and I'm not sure, but I may go ahead with Sir Walter Scott's Kenilworth between now and then.

177richardderus
Mar 7, 2019, 12:53pm

>164 harrygbutler: Oh my...that's a cheery little bagatelle, isn't it.

>169 harrygbutler: *bwaaahaaaahaaaa*

>172 harrygbutler: Yes indeedy do, the best of the Sackett tales (to me, anyway). Always a good time, reading about the Sacketts.

>174 harrygbutler: ...!...

178brodiew2
Mar 7, 2019, 3:11pm

Hi Harry! It appears you've been having fun spying abroad.

Are we still on the for The Philadelphia Story next week?

179harrygbutler
Mar 8, 2019, 8:04am

>177 richardderus: Havelok certainly has some gruesomeness.

Tell may be my favorite of the Sacketts, though perhaps that's a response to his creator's greater attention to him.

180harrygbutler
Mar 8, 2019, 8:07am

>178 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie! Yep, I enjoyed my "spy-athon" last weekend, and I have a few more to write up. They're rather like many snacks — not necessarily very good, but easy to consume one right after another.

I double-checked that I have The Philadelphia Story ready to hand, so we're definitely on.

181karenmarie
Mar 8, 2019, 8:07am

'Morning, Harry, and happy Friday to you.

>169 harrygbutler: *smile*

182harrygbutler
Mar 8, 2019, 8:26am

34. Torrent of Portyngale, ed. by E. Adam



Back again to the world of romance, with this Middle English poem on the adventures of the title character, who is set a series of tasks — chiefly killing giants who are terrorizing various neighborhoods — and must overcome treachery and forcible separation from his beloved, who endures her own adventures as well, including a plot similar to that found in, say, the Middle English romance Octovian. Mildly recommended.

183harrygbutler
Mar 8, 2019, 8:27am

>181 karenmarie: Good morning, Karen. Thanks!

184richardderus
Edited: Mar 8, 2019, 1:57pm

>182 harrygbutler: *yawn*stretch* So you're on a self-flagellation kick, eh what? :)

It truly amazes me how the Victorians used mass-produced books to keep the...abstruse...corners of Literature from vanishing. They seem to me to be constitutionally consummate censors....

ETA fatfingered spellings

185harrygbutler
Edited: Mar 8, 2019, 4:45pm

>184 richardderus: Nope. :-) The relevant part of my profile up in post 1:

By training I'm a medievalist .... My taste in reading runs to ... Late Antique and medieval literature, ... among others.

186harrygbutler
Mar 8, 2019, 4:44pm

Movie 59. The Spy Who Loved Flowers (Romana Film, 1966)



The second movie starring Roger Browne as Agent SuperSeven finds our prognathous protagonist, who has recovered a device that could knock out power, assigned to kill the people who have knowledge of the device, only to find that his mission has been compromised. Twists — at least some predictable — are in store as he seeks to figure out what is really going on. Fairly entertaining, though. Mildly recommended.

187richardderus
Mar 8, 2019, 5:32pm

>185 harrygbutler: ...and the difference is...?

A friend on FB is an Anglo-Saxonist whose light bedtime reads are these sorts of deep-dive books. I'm endlessly amazed and impressed at the exuberance y'all bring to the table, for works utterly and completely marginalized from the larger literary conversation, and how completely these older works please and excite y'all's academical hearts.

188PaulCranswick
Mar 8, 2019, 5:33pm

>186 harrygbutler: Roger Browne dubbed over 800 films apparently and those 60s and 70s Eurospy films were great fun and nonsense.

189harrygbutler
Mar 8, 2019, 7:28pm

>187 richardderus: There are certainly books out there that I would find or have found burdensome and self-punishing to read, but nowadays I largely avoid them.

190harrygbutler
Mar 8, 2019, 7:30pm

>188 PaulCranswick: That's quite a lengthy list of credits for Mr. Browne, I'd say, Paul.

And I do agree on the Eurospy films. I was quite in the mood for something of the sort last week, and they fit the bill quite well.

191harrygbutler
Mar 8, 2019, 7:39pm

35. The Mystery of the Peacock's Eye, by Brian Flynn



When a young woman is murdered while sitting in a dentist's chair, Chief-Inspector Bannister, one of Scotland Yard's "Big Six," has his seaside holiday interrupted. The victim is first misidentified, and the error brings in detective Anthony Bathurst, who is acting on behalf of a blackmail victim with ties to the woman supposed to have been killed. The investigation that follows sees the two detectives, official and private, working sometimes together, sometimes on their own, and building to an ending that I found quite a surprise. Recommended.

192harrygbutler
Mar 9, 2019, 6:52am

Movie 60. Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill (Parnass/Metheus Film/Avala Film, 1966)



The first of the Kommissar X movies starring Tony Kendall and Brad Harris, Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill (original title Kommissar X - Jagd auf Unbekannt) sets the pattern for the series. Suave ladies' man Jo Walker (Kendall) and no-nonsense policeman Capt. Tom Rowland (Harris) work together (albeit sometimes grudgingly on Rowland's part) to foil the schemes of a criminal mastermind, here responsible for a series of murders as part of a larger plot reminiscent of Goldfinger. Not too serious, and it's easy to see why it spawned a series. Recommended.

193harrygbutler
Mar 11, 2019, 8:43am

Shorter work 7. "The Soul of a Regiment," by Talbot Mundy



This fine short story, first published in Adventure in February 1912, proved quite popular with the magazine's readers as well. Although in some ways dated and thus likely to sit uncomfortably with readers, the account of perseverance and dedication rises above the limitations of its context. Recommended.

194harrygbutler
Mar 11, 2019, 8:55am

36. Best Cartoons of the Year 1955, ed. by Lawrence Lariar



Another fun collection of cartoons edited by Lawrence Lariar, with the usual mix of topical and lasting humor. Recommended.

195harrygbutler
Mar 11, 2019, 8:55am

And one last cartoon from that volume:

196fuzzi
Mar 11, 2019, 9:00am

197harrygbutler
Mar 11, 2019, 9:05am

>196 fuzzi: I considered saving that one until the summertime, but since I had it handy... :-)

198harrygbutler
Edited: Mar 11, 2019, 9:12am

Movie 61. Death Is Nimble, Death Is Quick (Parnass, 1966)



The second Kommissar X movie, originally titled Kommissar X - Drei gelbe Katzen sees Jo Walker (Tony Kendall) and Capt. Rowland (Brad Harris) off to South Asia to battle a villainous mastermind hoping to use a cult — and a flesh-eating bacterium — to gain power. Some interesting locations, an amusing "lake monster," and fairly well-scripted fights provide plenty of entertainment. Recommended.

199mstrust
Mar 11, 2019, 11:38am

I'm going to look for those Kommissar movies on Prime or Netfilx. I'm betting they are the movies I've seen clips of about 10 minutes at a time of at our tiki bar in Vegas, which has tvs on mute but all kinds of weird stuff. If this is the right series, I thought they were pretty good in a knock-off Bond way.

200harrygbutler
Mar 11, 2019, 12:02pm

>199 mstrust: They have been fun; I just watched another yesterday. I found them, and a bunch of other Eurospy entries, on Youtube.

201karenmarie
Mar 12, 2019, 9:18am

Good morning, Harry, and happy Tuesday to you!

I jumped the gun with The Philadelphia Story when my daughter was home for Spring Break last week. She says she's seen it before, but it would only have been with me, and I don't remember watching it with her. Anyway, we watched it on Friday and so I'm ready to go! I have it on this DVD:



TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Romantic Comedies (Adam's Rib / Woman of the Year / The Philadelphia Story / Bringing Up Baby).

202brodiew2
Mar 12, 2019, 12:07pm

Good morning Harry. I hope all is well with you.

>201 karenmarie: hi Karen. I look forward to watching in discussing it. Woman of the Year is also a great one.

203harrygbutler
Mar 13, 2019, 8:25am

>201 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! Glad to hear you were able to share it with Jenna.

I'm not sure which DVD set yielded our copy, although if it was included in a Cary Grant set, that would be the likely source.

204harrygbutler
Mar 13, 2019, 8:26am

>202 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie! I'm looking forward to revisiting it, too.

205harrygbutler
Mar 13, 2019, 8:35am

Shorter work 8. "The Code," by Ernest Haycox (short story, first published in The Frontier, June 1926)


Source: Galactic Central

The first story in the anthology The Big Book of Western Action Stories is this piece by Ernest Haycox, in which an old man, down on his luck and the butt of abuse, recovers a measure of self-respect by doing a good turn for another in accordance with "the code." Recommended.

206harrygbutler
Mar 13, 2019, 8:45am

Movie 62. 008: Operation Exterminate (Romana Film/Copro Film, 1965)



British intelligence sends a top agent (Alberto Lupo) to Cairo to partner with an American agent (Ingrid Schoeller as the Agent 008 of the title) in recovering a dangerous anti-radar device that is also wanted by the Russians (naturally). Chases, fights, and the usual sparks, with a couple twists at the end, make for a fairly entertaining Eurospy flick. Recommended.

207harrygbutler
Mar 13, 2019, 9:01am

The auction of Otto Penzler's books I mentioned before has happened, and the blog Davy Crockett's Almanack of Mystery, Adventure, and the Wild West (http://davycrockettsalmanack.blogspot.com/) is reporting some of the realized prices.


The top book price mentioned on the blog (that I saw) was for a first edition of Hammett's Red Harvest, at $75,000. (http://davycrockettsalmanack.blogspot.com/2019/03/otto-penzler-aucton-results-ha...)


An inscribed first edition of The Big Sleep sold for $57,500. (http://davycrockettsalmanack.blogspot.com/2019/03/otto-penzler-auction-results-r...)

208mstrust
Edited: Mar 13, 2019, 12:36pm

>199 mstrust: >200 harrygbutler: I looked it up on Prime and they have just one of this series available, Kommissar X Kill Panther Kill. I have to wait until Mike has time because he wants to watch it too.
>207 harrygbutler: I'm going to check out the selling prices. And now I know I'll never own a first edition of Chandler, dang it.
Edit- some of those books went for surprisingly reasonable prices!

209harrygbutler
Mar 13, 2019, 2:36pm

>208 mstrust: I hope you both enjoy it! I haven't seen that one yet. Erika didn't really set out to watch the Eurospy movies with me, but she did get drawn into watching at least some of them.

Have you ever seen Operation Kid Brother, starring Sean Connery's brother Neil? Mystery Science Theater 3000 tackled it in one episode, but it is fairly enjoyable on its own, too. (MST3K did at least one other that I can recall, Secret Agent Super Dragon, starring Ray Danton.)

I was surprised at the relatively low prices of some of the books, too — still too high for me for a single book, but not completely out of reach. I assume it's a combination of relatively large numbers of surviving copies in fine shape and a relatively small pool of devoted collectors.

210brodiew2
Mar 13, 2019, 2:38pm

Hello Harry. I recently piked up a hardcover biography of George Raft. I've been picking through, but think I might take full plunge. From what I already know, he a fascinating person.

211harrygbutler
Mar 13, 2019, 5:39pm

>210 brodiew2: I really know very little about Raft. I recall a rumor that he was associated with mobsters, but I don't know the truth of that, and that's pretty close to all I've ever heard about his life outside movies, and inside the industry, I think he turned down more than one role that became a big hit for someone else.

212mstrust
Mar 13, 2019, 5:46pm

>209 harrygbutler: I didn't know Sean had a brother!
I really thought the majority of the books I'd like in the auction would be really expensive. I need to make a dark corner of my house with a glass case and velvet ropes all around it, waiting for the next time something like this happens.

213brodiew2
Edited: Mar 13, 2019, 6:38pm

>211 harrygbutler: I'll let you know. I'm a huge fan of Each Dawn I Die and They Drive by Night among others.

214harrygbutler
Mar 13, 2019, 7:32pm

>212 mstrust: Yep. I don't know whether he made many movies, but he did appear in this one, along with other folks from the Bond movies.

I have one book that would probably be worth a few hundred dollars if I could find the right buyer (a Photoplay edition of Frankenstein with photos from the movie, in dust jacket), but that's about it, I suspect.

215harrygbutler
Mar 13, 2019, 7:33pm

>213 brodiew2: Thanks. Those are good. I do like his performances in general. We have at least one of his later movies, The Man from Cairo, on DVD; not a great picture, but fun enough.

216fuzzi
Mar 13, 2019, 8:24pm

>213 brodiew2: I recall seeing They Drive by Night, but don't remember a thing about it!

217brodiew2
Mar 13, 2019, 10:02pm

Great performances main and supporting. I love Ann Sheridan with Alan Hale, Sr. and George Tobias. Not to mentions Bogie and Raft and Ida Lupino. What a cast!

Google summary: Brothers Joe (George Raft) and Paul Fabrini (Humphrey Bogart), who are delivery-truck drivers, push themselves hard trying to run their own business. One night, a fatigued Paul falls asleep behind the wheel, demolishing the truck and losing an arm. Joe is then offered a job by a truck company owner (Alan Hale) whose wife, Lana (Ida Lupino), falls for Joe. Lana kills her husband to be with Joe, but when he refuses her advances because he loves Cassie (Ann Sheridan), Lana frames him for murder.

218harrygbutler
Mar 14, 2019, 8:11am

>216 fuzzi: >217 brodiew2: A very good movie that I thought we owned on DVD, but apparently we do not. I'll have to keep an eye out when I hit my sources for used DVDs.

219harrygbutler
Mar 15, 2019, 8:38pm

Come visit the new thread: https://www.librarything.com/topic/304811.