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

75 Books Challenge for 2019

Join LibraryThing to post.

1harrygbutler
Feb 12, 7:31am Top


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: Feb 19, 7:17am Top

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

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



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: Yesterday, 10:58pm Top



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)

5harrygbutler
Edited: Feb 12, 8:05am Top

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

6harrygbutler
Feb 12, 7:43am Top

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, 7:45am Top

Next one's yours.

8Crazymamie
Feb 12, 8:03am Top

Morning, Harry! Happy new one!

9harrygbutler
Feb 12, 8:21am Top

>8 Crazymamie: Thank you, Mamie!

10karenmarie
Feb 12, 8:24am Top

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, 9:37am Top

Hiyah, Harry! Happy new thread!

12harrygbutler
Feb 12, 10:26am Top

>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, 10:27am Top

>13 harrygbutler: Thank you, Jim!

14figsfromthistle
Feb 12, 10:28am Top

Happy new one!

15harrygbutler
Feb 12, 10:32am Top

>14 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita!

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

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, 12:15pm Top

>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, 12:20pm Top

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, 12:58pm Top

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

20harrygbutler
Feb 12, 4:07pm Top

>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, 4:12pm Top

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, 4:46pm Top

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, 5:00pm Top

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, 5:02pm Top

>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, 6:51pm Top

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, 9:27pm Top

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

27fuzzi
Feb 12, 9:32pm Top

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

28brodiew2
Feb 12, 10:37pm Top

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, 10:47am Top

>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, 10:49am Top

>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, 10:50am Top

>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, 11:06am Top

>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, 11:12am Top

>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, 12:21pm Top

>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, 12:12pm Top

>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, 12:21pm Top

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

37harrygbutler
Feb 13, 12:46pm Top

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, 1:19pm Top

>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, 2:16pm Top

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

40harrygbutler
Feb 13, 6:36pm Top

>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, 6:37pm Top

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

42fuzzi
Feb 13, 6:55pm Top

>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, 8:04pm Top

>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, 8:46am Top

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, 8:54am Top

Good morning, Harry, happy Friday to you!

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

46harrygbutler
Feb 15, 9:00am Top

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, 9:02am Top

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

48harrygbutler
Feb 19, 8:54am Top

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, 9:21am Top

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, 9:24am Top

'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, 10:38am Top

>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, 4:16pm Top


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

53harrygbutler
Feb 19, 4:22pm Top

>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, 4:24pm Top

>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, 4:27pm Top

>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, 5:33pm Top

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, 5:42pm Top

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, 10:27pm Top

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, 7:05am Top

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, 7:17am Top

>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, 7:24am Top

>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, 8:24am Top

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, 3:15pm Top

>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, 3:16pm Top

>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, 3:21pm Top

>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, 3:37pm Top

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

67harrygbutler
Feb 20, 4:03pm Top

>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, 4:10pm Top

>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, 4:17pm Top

>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, 4:18pm Top


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, 5:13pm Top

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
Yesterday, 8:22am Top

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
Yesterday, 8:47am Top

>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: Yesterday, 8:57am Top



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...

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