I first read Joan Bodger’s How the Heather Looks: A Joyous Journey to the British Sources of Children’s Books (1959) about twenty years ago, and I recall liking it well enough, but wishing that there was a little more about their bookishness and a little less about England.
Now I think it’s a perfect blend. Mum and Dad and Ian [...]
House of Anansi, 2011
Edem Awumey’s Dirty Feet is a slim volume, but its contents are hefty indeed.
Askia’s story reminds the reader that one is wise not to judge insides by outsides, that the dimensions of an individual’s inner life expand even beyond personal experiences, that one can spend a lifetime trying to [...]
I borrowed books in this series repeatedly as a girl. I knew exactly which shelves they were on.
If that old library was still operational, I think I could find them in an instant.
What I wasn’t so sure of, was whether I would enjoy the stories as much as an adult.
Monica Dickens’ World’s [...]
Of a 16-year-old's devotion
Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind (1936) Avon Books, 1973
This is my original copy of this novel, which I first read when I was sixteen years old. You’ve seen one like it, right?
It’s the copy that I remember seeing on the shelves of my older female relatives as [...]
Houghton Mifflin, 1986
“I want everything back, the way it was. But there is no point to it, this wanting.”
So says the narrator, whom we know as Offred. But that’s not her real name.
And it doesn’t feel to her that this is her real life, what she’s doing now.
That’s all back [...]
November is the perfect time to re-read old favourites, so when Olduvai reminded me that Jean Webster’s novel would fit perfectly into my epistolary Fridays, it wasn’t long before I was re-reading.
I first read this book the summer that I was eleven, the first summer in which I was allowed to walk downtown to [...]
Published 1970 (edition shown, Penguin Books, paperback 1990)
When I first mentioned that Fridays were going to be reserved for letters, Laura mentioned Helene Hanff’s epistolary classic right off.
She reminded me how much I love this collection. And, so, I pulled the volume off the shelf and aimed for a re-read.
If you’re [...]
Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (1983) Women’s Press, 1984
Celie begins writing letters to God because the man who is married to her mother has said that’s all who will listen, all who should be bothered with listening.
(It’s just wrong to call him her father, after he has raped and abused her, but some [...]
When I look for the words to describe re-visiting the books in the series I loved to read when I was a girl, I pluck words like ‘delightful’ and ‘splendid’ from the possibilities.
Old-fashioned joy words that fit perfectly with the old-fashioned flavour of the tales I loved. Language suitable for Susan Coolidge and Louisa [...]
Sydney Taylor’s All-of-a-Kind Family Uptown (1958). Illus. Mary Stevens NY: Dell Publishing, 1968.
Even though it’s the fourth, rather than the first, this is the volume of Sydney Taylor’s series that I re-read most often.
(Actually, I never read either the third or the fifth/final volumes until now; I didn’t have my own copies of [...]