Mar. 13th, 2016

desertvixen: woman reading a book (reading)
 So this post's theme is pretty much "vintage teen stuff" because I love it.  (I scored on a visit to a used book store this weekend, so there will be more coming...)

18. Polly Perry, TV Cook by Ethel M. Bangert (1959) - This is another of the ones I looked up after reading Pink Think.  It was pretty good, and I liked that the main character not only had a personality, but actually learned from events in the story, after quite a few falls.

19 & 20. Hostess in the Sky and Senior Hostess by Margaret Hill (1955 and 1958) - These two books complete the trilogy about Beth Dean, stewardess (or as her airline prefers, "hostess") from DTR 2016 #4.  They were both pretty good, with learning from mistakes, some entertaining situations, and a hint of romance to end the trilogy.  These are different from the Vicky Barr novels, in which Vicky's career is more of a vehicle for her to solve a mystery.  Instead, these books are about being an air hostess - Beth is the type of person who gets very interested in people's problems and trying to help them.  There are plenty of interesting moments, including when a passenger dies on the flight and the hostesses have to keep everyone else from panicking.  The third book, Senior Hostess, has a fun setup, when Beth (previously the junior hostess who had a bit of a knack for getting in trouble) gets assigned to be senior hostess to a junior hostess who also has a knack for trouble.

21. Judy Bolton #34 The Puzzle in the Pond by Margaret Sutton - I treated myself to this after taxes, and it was an enjoyable read, tieing back to the beginning of the series and showing Judy following her detective instincts and helping people.  The later books in the series after Peter joins the FBI are kind of hit or miss for me, but this one was good.  It's an Applewood trade reissue in the blue cover, very nice presentation.

22 - 24.  A New Life for Peggy, Open Doors for Peggy, and More Answers for Peggy by Dorothy Martin - These three books are part of a teen series published by Moody Press in the 1960s, and my interest was sparked after a discussion on a board I frequent.  They're published by Moody Press, which apparently lived in a world where almost no one is a REAL Christian, almost no one is REALLY saved, and there's a bunch of worldly people who just go to church.  (So far, no characters have been identified as Catholic or Jewish.)

One of the books actually has this line - "What's a Christian?" Sally asked.  "Is that like your nationality"  

The main character is actually pretty realistic - a teenager trying to deal with difficult family situations and just being a teen - but the preachy factor is a bit much.  However, I was able to score most of the series off Paperback Swap, so I'll be working through them.

Also, the MV and I read Are You There God?  It's Me, Margaret, and apparently not a moment too soon.

desertvixen: woman reading a book (reading)

 Time for another Kindle roundup!

 26. The Last Houseparty by Peter Dickinson - This was one of those books where I liked the blurb, but the story didn't work for me.  The Kindle version could have used some more obvious breaks (the book has a number of flashbacks/time trips), but the mystery really didn't get solved.  Amazon review is here.

 27. Harvest of Blessings by Charlotte Hubbard - This is part of an Amish country series (book 5) but has a number of characters who deal with the English world.  I enjoyed it, the author lets you know there's continuity but you're not lost if you haven't read the other books, and I definitely want to read more.  This is focused on Nora, a woman who ran away from her Amish community as a teen when she was raped and got pregnant by a respected member of the community.  She's lived English a long time, and ends up not going back to the Amish ways, but turning Mennonite instead.  Very readable. Amazon review is here.

28. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman - Classic creepy story of Victorian days, and done so that it's hard to tell if there really are "designs" on the woman or not.  CPG was a huge feminist, so not sure if the husband was deliberately trying to drive the wife over the edge, or if it was just benevolent but badly carried out behavior of the "poor little woman" type.  Amazon review is here.

29. Blood Justice: True Story of Multiple Murders by Tom Henderson - True crime, deals with a pair of murders that were seemingly unconnected, and an offender who kept getting away because his initial crimes were no big deal.  It was a good book, not overly sensational, and humanizing.  Amazon review is here.

30. Etiquette (1922) by Emily Post - I read this because it was nominated for Yuletide (specifically the characters in the examples).  I may be doing a NYR on it.  It's an etiquette book, so no real huge surprises.

31. Flights of No Return by Steven A. Ruffin - Good roundup of flights that took off and never came home.  Some of them are missing-presumed-crashed planes, such as the Avengers of Flight 19, Glenn Miller's last flight, and MH 370.  There are some in here that I had not heard of, but if you've read anything on this subject, there will be some golden oldies.  Good overview of the subject.  Amazon review is here.

32. Helmets and Lipstick: An Army Nurse in WW2 by Ruth Haskell - Good WW2 memoir, but not one of the better nurse ones.  This one is very focused on the hurry up and wait mentality of the US Army, and there's not very much about actual medicine at all.  (The author had to be evacuated due to an injury of her own, which may account for some of this.)  It's very readable and entertaining though.  Amazon review is here.

33 & 34. Sending Jack Off to Jesus and My Big Fat Southern Gay Wedding by Sara York - These books, along with Pray The Gay Away, make up a trilogy focused on young gay men living in the South.  Jack, the son of a very anti-gay preacher, is the main character.  In Sending, Jack gets sent off to one of the places where they try to make young men not gay anymore, and almost gets killed from mistreatement - luckily his mother defies her husband and gets him out of there.  Jack has a partner, Andrew, who also has issues with family not accepting him as he is.  After a lot of tension in Sending, including Andrew hitching around the country, MBFSGW goes a little too far towards the "we're gay and everyone's okay with it" side (not to mention about a third of the young male cast at that point revealing that they're also gay) but to be honest, you're kind of enjoying the happy ending.  The author does not have everyone convert to insta-acceptance, which I appreciated.  I also appreciated the way she communicated safe sex messages (protection and consent) without coming across as preachy.  Amazon review here and here.

35. She by H. Rider Haggard - This was one I had not read, so when it was free I pounced on it.  However, it's not one of the better ones, like King Solomon's Mines.  It's got everything you expect from a Haggard novel, and no real surprises.  Amazon review is here.

36. The Blooding by Joseph Wambaugh - I had read this one ages ago, but it's a pretty hefty mass market paperback, so I was happy to find it on Kindle for $1.99.  This is about the first case in Britain (or ever) to be solved by DNA, with a little about the discovery of DNA.  Wambaugh's gift for writing shows here, and for a long book it keeps you engaged.  Amazon review is here.

37. The Glitter Dome by Joseph Wambaugh - This is one of his novels, about cops in LA during the 1970s and 1980s.  It's readable and entertaining, but may not be to everyone's taste (very un-PC).  The end has a twist I saw coming about two seconds before it happened.  Amazon review is here.

38. What Wendy Wants by Nikki Sex - This is an erotica book with an interesting twist - husband and wife accidentally get their Kindles switched, and he discovers she has some very naughty stuff on there.  This causes him to realize how much their sex life has degraded, so he decides to give her the fantasy for real.  It's got a definitely cheesy vibe to it, but it goes so far into the cheese that you're actually entertained.  It is a fantasy - I mean, what else would you call a book where the male lead can't remember the last time he orally pleasured his partner, and in the next chapter he's got a FetLife account?  Amazon review is here.

39. Writing Irresistable Kidlit by Mary Kole - This is a pretty good book about writing in general, with an emphasis on things specific to kidlit (young adult and kids books).  Worth reading.  Amazon review is here.

40. The Chase of the Golden Plate by Jacques Futrelle - A sleight-of-hand historical mystery romp.  It's readable but not a standout.

41. Ruse and Romance by Suzanne G. Rogers - Enjoyable but pretty forgettable historical romance (vaguely Victorian era).  The entire cast sort of has TSTL syndrome. Amazon review is here.

42. Retirement Basics by Donna Davis - Rundown of retirement stuff (current for 2016).  It was free when I got it, but I wouldn't recommend paying for it, strictly an overview and no real shockers.  There's also a ton of plugs for other stuff by the author in the body of the book, which irritates me.  Amazon review is here.

43. The Seven Secrets by William LeQueux - A historical fiction mystery that's pretty engaging and readable - I definitely wanted to find out how it ended - but even for Victorian-era writing, the narrator (a medical doctor, you don't say, narrating a mystery!) is kind of a misogynistic tool who jumps to conclusions about someone.

Example: "When I think of all my own little love episodes, and of the ingenious diplomacy to which I have been compelled to resort in order to avoid tumbling into pitfalls set by certain designing Daughters of Eve, I cannot but sympathise with every other medical man who is on the right side of forty and sound of wind and limb."

Amazon review is here.

44. Terri by Sharon Srock - This is an inspirational fiction book, part of a series.  I'd read one of the other books and enjoyed it, so I decided to give this a try.  It was also readable but not as good as the other book (Callie).  Not overly preachy, which is good.  Amazon review is here.

45. The Dating Manifesto by Lisa Anderson - This is written by someone who works for Focus on the Family, but it was cheap.  It was actually pretty good, although not really relevant to my interests.  Amazon review is here.

46. Make Me Whole by R.C. Matthews - This is an erotica title that deals with a MFM threesome.  There's a twist, though, because one of the Ms has become paralyzed.  The sex scenes showed promise (hot and inventive) but the overall theme of the book is helping the paralyzed M come to terms with his new life, rather than being resentful over what he's lost.  It was good, but I take points off for the soap opera-y elements towards the end.  This was a title I was given through Choosy Bookworm to review.  Amazon review is here.

47. The Thinking Machine on the Case by Jacques Futrelle - Another of the books dealing with The Thinking Machine, Professor Van Dusen.  This was a better approach, because the short stories in it make the Thinking Machine less annoying, and more entertaining.  The book-length one I read got a little too quirky for my taste.  There is an editing issue where parts of a story get mixed up with another story, but it's pretty clear where the mistake happens.  Amazon review is here.

48. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs - My first exposure to John Carter of Mars, but I guarantee it won't be my last.  Very readable.  Amazon review is here.

49. Twin of Ice by Jude Deveraux - One of her Chandler Twins two-book set (and a start to her Taggart family offshoot of the Montgomery series).  I had read it years ago, but cheap on Kindle... so hard to resist.  It was still enjoyable.


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