Patsy, Beth, and Louise are on vacation with their Uncle John at the farmhouse in Millville. When they hear someone complaining that there is no morning newspaper, they decide to start printing a paper of their own. Uncle John buys a printing press, and the girls do all the journalism and editing. They charge one penny for each paper, but are steadily losing money because of all the expenses. The local mill workers start riots, and local politicians try to bribe the editor. Is running a country newspaper more trouble than it’s worth?
I loved this funny story about the girls taking up journalism as their new hobby. You would think that the plot would be boring with such a peaceful and quiet country setting, but there is plenty of action and mystery.
Eight Cousins (or The Aunt-Hill) by Louisa May Alcott 5 out of 5 stars After her father’s death Rose is listless and ill, until her new guardian, Uncle Alec, encourages her to try healthful food, sunshine, and exercise. Gradually, Rose begins to improve both in health and spirits, and soon she is able to join her cousins in their frolics and adventures. She has seven cousins, all boys, who gather around her with energetic fun. But Rose also has a great many meddlesome aunts, who object to Uncle Alec’s parenting style, saying that he will make her into a shameful tomboy instead of an elegant young lady. Ultimately, Rose has to decide which path is the best for her own happiness.
This book just gets sweeter every time I read it! What a comfort it is to reread old favorites! I always cry at the sad parts and cheer for Rose when she triumphs.
Persuasion by Jane Austen 5 out of 5 stars Anne Elliot meets Captain Wentworth again after breaking off their engagement eight years before. She is filled with doubt and anxiety, and wonders how she should behave and whether or not his feelings have changed. Captain Wentworth tries to ignore her without actually being rude, and flirts with other young ladies of their acquaintance. It is impossible to tell if he is trying to hide a broken heart or if he has truly left behind his old feelings for Anne, but a few little words and looks might tell the true story.
A perfect masterpiece! Every time I reread this book I love it more and more, and see more depth in the characters, and more humor in the sarcastic writing style.
There are so many sweet little moments between Anne and Captain Wentworth! A glance, a small gesture, a chance word; all these things create such a suspense and make the story exciting. It’s the little undercurrents of emotion behind everyday scenes that make this book so special. On the surface, the plot doesn’t have much going on; but we get such an intimate look into Anne’s heart, and so much depth from each of the supporting characters, that it shows that there is quite a lot happening under the surface.
The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois 5 out of 5 stars Professor Sherman is sick of teaching mathematics to unruly children in San Francisco, so he decides to take a year-long balloon ride around the world and never touch land in all that time. However, within days his balloon crashes near the mysterious island of Krakatoa, and he discovers the secrets of the island where a most unusual society is flourishing and fabulous diamonds are available to anyone.
This is such a fun and entertaining story! The plot has all these hilarious details all about the reception for Professor Sherman when he returns to San Francisco, his arrangements for his balloon house and how he planned his balloon trip, and the strange society that lives on Krakatoa and how they organize their days. Most of the narrative is explaining things, so there isn’t a ton of action, but the descriptions are so wild and interesting that you never feel bored.
That Hideous Strength (The Space Trilogy, #3) by C.S. Lewis 4 out of 5 stars Jane and Mark are caught between the forces of good and evil. As the N.I.C.E. corporation offers Mark a job to lure him into their wicked schemes, Jane is approached by a very different group of people who have gathered around Ransom. They each have to decide what they believe in when it turns out that archangels and ancient legends are real.
This book has a very different format from the other books in the series, and Ransom is a side character in his own story. The trouble with Jane and Mark being the main characters, is that I don’t really like either of them. They are so wishy-washy and both their personalities are unattractive. However, they do both have extreme character development and really interesting internal journeys.
Poirot is traveling on the blue train when one of the passengers is murdered and a famous ruby called the Heart of Fire is stolen. There are several mysterious clues in the case that only the great Hercule Poirot can bring to light.
Poirot really is one of my favorite detectives! He definitely shines in this book, and I love the way that he is so protective of the innocent victims. He is wonderfully shrewd. His strong temperament pulls the story forward. Even if he is just having tea with some friends, every word takes on a special meaning when Poirot is part of the conversation!
I love the complex characters in this book! There is a lot of focus on unraveling their personalities and there are so many good scenes where they interact and react to one another. I just love the way each person has their own vivid and memorable personality.
The author tells the story of her own childhood growing up in London and then later in the country. She describes her grandparents, her aunts and uncles, and the little joys and sorrows of her childhood. There is a lot of interesting description about the 1910s, how people lived, how their homes were organized, how they cooked and cleaned and dressed.
In the second half of the book, she goes to a new school which she loves. She makes new friends and discovers the beauties of the countryside. This began a life-long love of nature for the author. There are many descriptions of favorite plants and animals and country fairs.
Perelandra (Space Trilogy, #2) by C.S. Lewis 4 out of 5 stars In this second book of the trilogy, Ransom travels to another alien planet at the request of Maleldil. This time he goes to Perelandra (Venus), and encounters a new race of aliens, who are struggling with the same temptations from the Evil One that Adam and Eve fell victim to in our own world. Ransom must battle against the Evil Presence in order to protect the innocent new society that is just beginning to form.
I love the imaginative world-building in this book! There are so many different settings and alien animals and weird plants. Perelandra is such a strange planet with a perpetually cloudy sky and rolling islands that float on the seas. And even when you are more than halfway through the book, and you think you’ve seen all the scenery and met all the animals that Perelandra could possibly have, then there are still more mysteries and wildlife and extreme mountains and rivers to be explored.
Patsy and Beth are on a cross-country automobile drive with their father and uncle John, when they encounter a disabled young girl searching for her distant relatives. They decide to help her, and the group travels across the Southwest, finding adventure on their way to California.
The plot can be a little slow with all the descriptions of travelling, and the scenery, and the mountains and deserts and the plants and wildlife, etc… If you enjoy travelling-style books, then you would like this one. I found it interesting to hear about all the different places they visit, but it definitely slows down the main plot.
Emily is left behind at New Moon while her friends pursue their dreams and travel the world. She throws herself into her writing and struggles to get her stories published, but gradually earns the respect of her family when she begins to make her writing a success. Through a series of mishaps, she loses her connection to some of her dearest friends and her childhood sweetheart, Teddy Kent. She searches for happiness with a man she doesn’t really love. Emily has to face the truth deep within her heart before she loses Teddy Kent for good.
This has always been my least favorite book in the Emily trilogy. She spends so much of the book being lonely and melancholy, and it makes me depressed. There isn’t as much humor in this book as the other ones. However, it is still an excellent book and an enjoyable read!