Contented Reader

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For your reading benefit, I’ve sorted through and looked up the books that have been added or updated at Project Gutenberg lately.  Here are a few of the things that might be interesting to add to your Personal Reading Device.

  • This Simian World, by Clarence Day.  I didn’t realize I knew Clarence Day until I looked him up.  It turns out he’s the author of  Life with Father, a book I read repeatedly as a teacher and remember liking a lot.  On a quick skim, it appears to be a reflection on evolution, and the degree to which it is not all that offensive to be called an ape.  With whimsy.
  • Greater Britain: A Record of Travel in English-Speaking Countries during 1866-1867, by Charles Wentworth Dilke.  If you read here regularly then you’ll have noticed that I’m a sucker for old travel books.  They don’t even have to be especially well-written.  I’m just fascinated by one traveler’s experience of places that are changed or gone forever, filtered through the expectations and prejudices of that time.  I haven’t gotten far into this one, but it opens with a description of the southern United States, which Dilke apparently visited immediately after the Civil War.  With a chapter titled, “The Negro,” in which he will explain about that subject to the British reader.  It is, you’ll be shocked to learn, a little racist.
  • Half a Hundred Hero Tales.  Published 1913, a collection of stories from mythology, intended for children.  Aeneas, Theseus, and Hercules seem to figure prominently.
  • Through the Year with Famous Authors, by Mabel Patterson.  It’s a calendar, with dates associated with famous authors.  The interest, to me, is that many of the ‘famous’ authors Patterson describes and excerpts in 1925 are people I’ve never heard of.  It might make an interesting starting point for someone like me, who uses the electronic reader and the resources of Project Gutenberg to rediscover forgotten books.
  • The Queer, the Quaint, and the Quizzical: A Cabinet for the Curious, by Frank H. Stauffer. I’m not sure quite how to describe this.  Like an ancestor of the bathroom reader, maybe?  It contains lots of very short, one-sentence to one-paragraph descriptions of things you might find interesting.  A list of Puritan names.  A description of misprinted Bibles.  Short, amusing wills.
  • The City of Beautiful Nonsense, by E. Temple Thurston.  A woman is in love with a poor man, but feels obligated to marry for money.  This book was a bestseller and the source for two movies.  It isn’t usually difficult to find old silent movies online, but I couldn’t find the 1919 film anywhere I looked, though it seems to have been a good movie, from the little writing about it I found.  Now I’m curious.
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Written by Contented Reader

January 9, 2013 at 7:56 am

Posted in Project Gutenberg

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