Contented Reader

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  • Miss Mapp, by E. F. Benson.  This book is hilarious.  It concerns the small-town petty drama and snobbery of the title character, and the writing just sparkles.  It was the basis, along with other books in the series, for the TV series Mapp and Lucia.
  • Sir Nigel, by Arthur Conan Doyle.  Because he didn’t only write Sherlock Holmes, although that’s all anyone reads now.  This is the story of the life and adventures of a medieval knight during the Hundred Years’ War.
  • The Career of Katherine Bush, by Elinor Glyn.  She was an author of mildly naughty romantic fiction.  I know her from Dorothy Parker’s little poem: Would you like to sin/with Elinor Glyn/on a tiger sin?/Or would you prefer/to err with her/ on some other fur?
  • Our British Snails, by John William Horsley.  I don’t know.  There’s just something appealing about this idea to me.  Here’s Reverent Horsley, who, in 1915, wrote a book about snails.  If any book could reasonably be expected to vanish entirely from the world, this is it.  And yet, here it is, and, in his tiny, tiny, snail-like way, Reverent Horsley is immortal.
  • The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsene Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar, by Maurice Leblanc.  By day, Lupin is a stylish man of taste and culture.  At night, he robs the homes of the rich.  Like Batman, but not.  And funnier than Batman.  Loads funnier.
  • The Great God Panby Arthur Machen.  This horror story inspired both HP Lovecraft and Stephen King.
  • Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda.  This spiritual journey is a classic of eastern mysticism.


  • Rapture of the Nerds, by Cory Doctorow and Charlie Stross.  Doctorow always releases his books under a Creative Commons license, and makes them available for free download.  In this one, humans get a choice between life on Earth, and having their minds uploaded to a community of minds.  I’ll be watching his web site for his newest book, which is supposed to come out this week, too.

Written by Contented Reader

October 3, 2012 at 6:14 am

Posted in Project Gutenberg


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