Wednesday, December 10, 2014

One-paragraph reviews of The Making of a Marchioness, Logopolis, Fidelity, Fact or Fib 1 & 2, and Outrageous Fortune

I've just been paging through my list of books read in 2014 and was a little shocked to find I've forgotten to review quite a few books during the latter part of the year. And, now that I'm looking back, I'd like to have some sort of record of those I skipped for other reasons, as well. So, I'm going to do some 1-paragraph reviews for record-keeping. Most of these were from my personal collection. I've noted the exceptions.

The Making of a Marchioness (or Emily Fox Seton), parts 1 and 2 by Frances Hodgson Burnett - I wrote a bit about reading The Making of a Marchioness and watching the TV movie, The Making of a Lady (page down) but never wrote a review. Perhaps because I watched the TV movie first, I was disappointed at the lack of tension in The Making of a Marchioness but I did enjoy the protagonist. Emily Fox-Seton is a hard-working woman who escapes her hand-to-mouth life when the Marquis of Walderhurst asks her to marry him; but, his family objects and when he leaves for India, Emily is placed in terrible danger.

Logopolis by Christopher H. Bidmead - Logopolis is one of the older Dr. Who books from my husband's collection and near as I can tell the dialogue is almost if not completely word-for-word the same as the script of the 4-part series. This particular set of episodes is among my old favorites from the Tom Baker years so the book caught my eye when I was in the midst of what turned out to be my first slump of the year. I loved it. Reading the book transported me to an earlier time when my husband and I watched Dr. Who in his dorm room every Saturday night.

Fidelity (poems) by Grace Paley - I've written about Fidelity before, as it was a reread so I guess I figured I shouldn't bother, this time. However, I think it's worth mentioning that I felt as if I had an entirely different experience, the second time. That's one of the wonderful things you take away from the reading of poetry. I'm sure I'll reread Fidelity many times.

Fact or Fib and Fact or Fib 2 by Kathy Furgang - Oh, eck, this is a big oops. I read Fact or Fib and Fact or Fib 2 the moment they arrived. They're quiz books in which three bits of information appear on a 2-page spread and then you must determine which are facts and which one is fiction. The answers are on the next spread. They'd make for fun game time on road trips. My only complaint was that there was some cross-over between the two books. These two books were sent to me by Sterling Children's Books.

Outrageous Fortune: Growing Up at Leeds Castle by Anthony Russell - The memoir of a British fellow who grew up filthy rich, spending much of his childhood with the grandmother who owned Leeds Castle, I found Outrageous Fortune very readable but ultimately unsatisfying. While the subtitle indicates that it's about his childhood, the author was vague about many aspects of his life that were mentioned. The reader knows, for example, that he ended up in the United States but there's not even a paragraph or page explaining how or why that occurred. A little bit of material about how his childhood impacted the author's life in later years would have gone a long way toward making the book feel more complete.

Hmm, not bad for the first 6 months of the year. The latter half of the year has been much worse, when it comes to reviews skipped for personal reasons or put off and then forgotten. I'll have to reread quite a few of the children's books I neglected.

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