The Classics section is home to the important classics of literature that don't fit into other categories. Some of the titles include Lost Horizon by James Hilton, The Lost Prince by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Little Women, King Solomon's Mines, Babbitt, a lot of Edith Wharton, The Handmaid's Tale, A nimal Farm, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.
This category could use some revamp, since I established a "Historical Fiction" category later in the game, that provides a place for works that aren't classic but older.
This collection grew out of the fact that Harper Collins has so thoughtfully made the shorts available as standalones. I have some of the collection books, but this is a handy way to spend a little time with Dame Agatha. It includes one-offs, as well as Poirot, Miss Marple, Parker Pyne and the Mysterious Mr. Quin. Not ALL of the shorts are in here, however, because some of them live in the Desert Island collection.
The Bobbsey Twins ones in here are actually older (1904, copyright free) Kindle versions, so they have a little of the old-fashioned element. I will say that NOT too much changedm although the treatment of Sam and Dinah improved with revisions.
With Cherry on Kindle, I've discovered some of books are actually collections. That's been handy a time or two. The Cherry collection is mainly backup for when the books are packed up.
I didn't want this one to get lost in the list.
Shirley Kennedy is a name I know from category Regencies, but recently she's branched into Western historicals. The first one, Wagon Train Cinderella, had a Cinderella-motif that was okay, although the main character was a bit of a doormat. (I was sort of waiting for some big reveal that she was an illegitimate child, but she seemed to just be an orphan.) But it fit with the story.
However, another Kennedy Western historical, called Heartbreak Trail, came up on the Kindle deals, so I went ahead and bought it.
I read it. I enjoyed it. But... well, let's put it this way. If I were to give you a snappy summary full of pop culture markers, I'd say that the book is basically what I'd expect if George R.R. Martin played Oregon Trail for a day straight, then wrote a romance novel about it. I gave it 3 stars on Amazon.
Why? Let me tell you (with spoilers)...
Since the Kindle lists things alphabetically, Dame Agatha's collection comes up first. There's currently 18 items in it - but the Agatha Christie collection does not include titles that are listed in my Desert Island collection, or the separate collection of Christie shorts.
I don't have all of her work on Kindle, although it's mostly represented in my print collection (with a few titles that I didn't like) since Harper Collins put out some lovely trades. I do keep my eye on Kindle Daily Deals to add to the collection.
The collection includes: Murder on the Links, Hercule Poirot's Christmas, Five Little Pigs, Towards Zero, Poirot's Early Cases, The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side, 4:50 from Paddington, At Bertram's Hotel, A Murder is Announced, Murder in Mesopotamia, Endless Night, Peril at End House, Lord Edgware Dies, The Murder at the Vicarage, and Sparkling Cyanide.
There are also a few titles that aren't strictly Christie mysteries. John Curran's Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks is in here (which I found fascinating from a writer's POV, just seeing some of the different paths she didn't take), as well as Clues to Christie, which is a sort of roundup of Christies work. It also includes the new Poirot mystery by Sophie Hannah, called The Monogram Murders. It was a decent read, but I'm glad I got it on a Daily Deal and not in HC.
51. The Spanish Cape Mystery by Ellery Queen. Pretty decent EQ outing (visitors at a crime scene) although I agree with the reviewers who thought it would have made a better novella. It wasn't exactly padded but there's a convenient missed phone call that extends the plot. It's also pretty obvious, if you're a mystery reader who the culprit is. Amazon review here.
52. The Climb Up to Hell by Jack Olsen. Mountain-climbing human interest story involving a daring rescue on the Eiger in Switzerland and the aftermath. It was a pretty good read, definitely did NOT want to put the book down. It's focused more on the people involved in the events, although there is enough climbing description/technical language to make it clear what happened. Short but tense. Amazon review here.
53. All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot. If you've read his work, you know what you're going to get. This one had several stories that got me right in the feels, luckily most of them with happy enough endings. I love Herriot's voice and the pictures he evokes. Torn between Maudie the housecat and the old cow who comes home for the best story. These have been coming up as $1.99 and $2.99 deals lately, so keep your eyes open. Amazon review here.
54. Amish Sampler by JEB Spredemann. This was one of the first books I read in this period. It was a collection of four novellas that could best be described as "Amish soap opera" with a fair amount of witnessing for "faith alone" salvation that I found distasteful. The first one, Amish by Accident, is the best of the bunch. There's also one with a serious anti-abortion screed. If you can find this one for cheap, it can be entertaining. You should just read the Amazon review here.
55. Bessie Coleman: Queen of the Skies by Phyllis J. Perry. The MV did Bessie Coleman for the school's Living History museum, and this was one of the books we read. Pretty decent.
56. Cordially Invited to Meet Death by Rex Stout. A Nero Wolfe novella basically hinging on the idea of a socialite who's got the nerve to ask Nero Wolfe to arrange a "murder" for a party. No, he doesn't kill her. Fast-paced but probably not a good introduction to Nero Wolfe.
57. Double Life by Linda Wolfe. True crime book dealing with Judge Sol Wachtler, and his mistress. It's a nice change from true murders, as this one mostly features messed-up family dynamics, cheating, and attempts to threaten. Amazon review here.
58. Round the Fire Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes is not in this one, but Doyle's talent for creepy and haunting is definitely on display. There's an excellent one about a wife's desperate last stand for her husband, another about an ingenious plan to inherit that bites back, and another about a disappearing train. Quite good. Amazon review here.
59. Tell Me A Story by Tamara Lush. This was an excellent erotica novella that starts out with storytelling and progresses as you would expect. Hot but not crude or nasty. I would definitely read more by this author. Amazon review here.
60. The Red Record by Ida B. Wells. Presentation of Wells' then-current reporting on lynchings in the late 19th/early 20th century time period.
61. The Search for an Abortionist by Nancy Lee Howell. Study from pre-Roe time period on how women managed to obtain abortions. It is someone's graduate study, and has lots of data and explanations concerning the data, but it also has lots of the human element from a time period I sincerely hope we aren't heading back to. Amazon review here.
62. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Classic I had never read, some interesting differences from the movie.
63. Tutt and Mr. Tutt by Arthur Train. An early lawyer in the Perry Mason model. Decent read but a little clunky.
64. Poisoned by Politics (R&R book) by Bill Hiatt. Brief look at one teacher's opinion on why our educational system is broken. He mostly lays the blame on people's desires for a "quick fix". Amazon review here.
65. The Rise of Memphis (R&R book) by Kitty Kendall. Erotica novella. Sadly this one was not as good as #59. See my Amazon review.
66. The Ultimate Guide to Raised Beds by Emily Josephine. Reference book about raised bed gardening. It was interesting, going in my idea file.
67. R. Holmes and Company by John Kendrick Bangs. If you ever wondered what the result of Holmes and Raffles meeting would be, look no further. This one was written by a major Holmes fan back in the day, and it's entertaining - especially the times when the narrator gets just slightly swindled. Amazon review here.
68. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Yes, another childhood classic I am just now reading. Very enjoyable.
69. Odysseus in the Serpent Maze (Young Heroes) by Jane Yolen and Robert Harris. Excellent look at what Odysseus and Penelope might have been like as teens. It does a good job of projecting back and weaving in familiar elements with a twist. Previewing this one for the MV. Amazon review here.
70. The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer. If you read the first one, you know what you're getting. Yellow peril. Brave white men. The mysteries of the East. Nayland Smith definitely seems to be a spiritual ancestor to Miles Vorkosigan. Amazon review here.
71. Three Ghost Stories by Charles Dickens. Pretty much what the title says. Two of the three are pretty good (the middle one is the best, with a murder victim who haunts a juror) and the first one gets kind of muddled. Amazon review here.
72. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle. I've read this and enjoyed it, but found a nice copy of it for free. This one does have the mansucript and articles that are missing in some e-versions.
73. The Unique Hamlet by Vincent Starrett. Holmes pastiche, a decent read if you find it for free.
74. The Poisoned Pen by Arthur B. Reeve. Professor Craig Kennedy short stories, sort of an old-school CSI. Interesting but definitely better in the short stories.
75. The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. Another classic, you know what to expect. Disguises, rescues, Englishmen laughing in the face of death. More like a collection of shorts than a connected novel, although some of them do tie into each other.
76. For Mercie's Sake by Sharon Srock. Novella by Christian inspirational author. It's pretty good, and not overly preachy. Amazon review here.
77. The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin. I could not put this one down, especially to do housework! Creepy feminist classic, especially the ending. Amazon review here.
78. Uncle Abner: Master of Mysteries by Melville Davisson Post. Historical fiction about a man who believes in justice, both from men and God. Not exactly a detective, but one of those people who gets called on to help deal with issues, especially inheritance issues. The language is very good. Amazon review here.
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.
1. Animal Farm by George Orwell - I have read this one before, of course, but I enjoyed it much more this time around. Found it on Gutenberg, I think.
2. Calendar of Crime by Ellery Queen - 12 short stories featuring Ellery Queen. I really enjoyed the one about the Emperor's Dice. Worth reading but the regular price Kindle edition is a little pricey. Amazon review is here.
3. Devil's Wind by Patricia Wentworth - Adventure/romance in the Indian Mutiny era. Amazon review is here.
4. Ethel Morton at Rose House by Mabell S.C. Smith - Early 20th C teen fiction. Available at Gutenberg.
5. His Last Bow: Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle - Collection of later Holmes stories.
6. Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling - Classic, available on Gutenberg.
7. Kilmeny of the Orchard by L.M. Montgomery - One of her non-Anne works that I had never heard of. This one is available for Kindle for only $0.99 and well-worth the price. The best way to describe it is that it's a story Anne herself might have told and thrilled to. Amazon review is here.
8. Mary Louise by L. Frank Baum - No trip to Oz, but it's an early 20th century teen adventure melodrama. Available on Gutenberg.
9. Nan Sherwood at Rose Ranch by Annie Roe Carr - More early 20th century girls' books. This one is okay, for the period. Available on Gutenberg.
10. Paradise Valley by Dale Cramer - This was a surprisingly good book, based on actual historical events. Early 20th century Amish community has members move to settle in Mexico after their children are taken away and forced to go to school. Very good, doesn't whitewash Amish but makes them relatable. Amazon review is here.
11. Philomel Cottage (short story) by Agatha Christie - Good short story about a woman who finds she's inadvertently married a Bluebeard type.
12. Tabitha by Vikki Kestell - This one ended up in my Bad Examples folder. It's a way overwrought Christian historical combined with Cherry Ames. Amazon review here.
13. The Automobile Girls in the Berkshires by Laura Dent Crane - Early 20th century girls' adventure book based on group of girls who go for automobile tours. This one does have a great deal of period racism towards Native Americans. Available from Gutenberg.
14. The People of the River by Edgar Wallace - White man's burden fiction about an English commissioner in Africa. However, the commissioner actually treats the natives like people (children, perhaps) and individuals. It belongs to its period, but it's an entertaining read. For Bujold fans, the main character could be said to take an auditorial approach, at times.
Example: Bosambo he trusted in all big things, though in the matter of goods movable and goods convertible he had no such confidence.
Amazon review is here.
15. The Yellow Iris by Agatha Christie (short story) - Short story version of Sparkling Cyanide, but worth the read.
16. Triangle at Rhodes by Agatha Christie (short story) - Short story version of the love triangle in Evil Under The Sun, with a twist. Enjoyable read.
17. Booby Trap by Rex Stout - A Nero Wolfe novella set during World War II. A little unusual ending for Wolfe (in my reading, at least). Allows you to have the enjoyable image of Major Archie Goodwin in uniform.
18. James Beard Theory and Practice by James Beard - An interesting read from one of the cooking masters on not only how, but why.
19. In the Pulps by Rex Stout - A collection of various Stout short stories, many with an ironic twist. They are not all mysteries. Amazon review here.
20. The City on the Edge of Forever by Harlan Ellison - The original award-winning script for the TOS episode of the same name, and an introductory essay by Ellison. I had no idea there were so many behind-the-scenes things. I still love the original episode as aired, but I would have liked to see this one filmed as well. Amazon review is here.
21. The Wicked Marquis by E. Phillips Oppenheim - Good historical fiction piece. The titular Marquis isn't really wicked, but you'll pity the people who have to deal with him. Amazon review is here.
22. Ravished Armenia by Aurora Mardiganian - Supposed to be a true historical account, but I have read that it was intended as propaganda based on actual events compiled together.
23. 15 Minute Healthy Organic Meals Under $10 by Susan Patterson - Trying to appeal to this niche but not very good. My review says it all.
24. The Land of Ararat by Stephen Gregory - Good obscure historical stuff about Armenia but HORRIBLE Kindle conversion with artifacts and OCR scan issues.
25. Unfinished Murder: Pursuit of a Serial Rapist by James Neff - Solid true crime book about a serial rapist in 1980s Cleveland, with strong emphasis on how the victims dealt with it - or didn't deal with it. Amazon review here.