Tag Archives: humour

A children’s series that ages with its audience: Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill captures 10 year old life well

Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill is the third in Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy series. The girls are now 10 years old and the largely standalone chapters of the first two books smoothly transition into larger story arcs … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century Children's, 7 years and up, American, Children's, Children's Classic, Children's Classics, Coming of Age/Rites of Passage, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Novel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Would you like world-ending pink topping with that? Lost is a Good Book is a generous second helping of Thursday Next from Jasper Fforde

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde is the second book in the Thursday Next series. Despite a sudden celebrity for saving Jane Eyre and improving the ending, not every one is happy with what Thursday has done. A … Continue reading

Posted in British, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, General adult audience, Novel, Speculative Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Problem-solving run amok in Stuck, a quirky picture book by Oliver Jeffers

Stuck, written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, is an absurd picture book about a boy named Floyd, whose kite gets stuck in a tree. The book follows his outrageous problem solving as he tries to get it down.

Posted in 2 years and up, American, Contemporary Children's, Irish, Picture Books, Under 7 years | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pleasant, light reading that leaves me with a warm feeling towards my fellow-human beings: The 44 Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith

The 44 Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith is a modern serial novel published daily in the Scotsman and subsequently in book form. It follows a number of characters in Edinburgh as they drink coffee, negotiate childhood with a … Continue reading

Posted in British, Contemporary, General adult audience, Light Fiction, Scottish, Serial Novel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Climbing trees, cutting your own hair and making messes with all the things you find in the kitchen: Maud Hart Lovelace’s second Betsy-Tacy book beautifully captures the experience of being 8 years old

Betsy-Tacy and Tib continues Maud Hart Lovelace’s engaging series of early 20th century American childhood. Betsy, Tacy and their new friend Tib are now 8-year-olds. Life is full of adventures, often with their genesis in Betsy’s fertile imagination. In this … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century Children's, 5 years and up, American, Children's Classics, Novel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our attitudes and experiences of near neighbours haven’t changed all that much in the last 160 years, if Emily Eden’s The Semi-Detached House is any guide

The Semi-Detached House by Emily Eden is a social satire written in the mid-19th century. When young Lady Chester moves into a semi-detached house in the suburbs she anticipates being forced into awkward intimacy with vulgar neighbours, whose daughters will … Continue reading

Posted in 18th Century, British, General adult audience, Novel, Novel of Manners, Victorian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A book that argues the indispensable value of spinsters: Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym is about capable spinsters – truly excellent women capable of dealing with any sort of drama – observant, helpful, available and overlooked. Mildred, the protagonist, is just one of these women, pondering her life and … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century Literature, General adult audience, Novel of Manners, Social Novel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Capturing childhood: Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace

I recently discovered Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy series doing a literature-map search of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Similarly, Lovelace’s series draws on her own American childhood and the target audience ages with the protagonists. In the first book, Betsy-Tacy, the girls … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century Children's, 5 years and up, American, Children's Classics, Coming of Age/Rites of Passage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A nonsensical tale for grown-ups: Once On a Time by A.A. Milne

A little known story by A.A. Milne, Once On a Time is an absurd and whimsical fairy story. It starts when one king takes exception to another king taking a morning walk over his battlements during breakfast time while wearing … Continue reading

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Spending time with a delightful dead guy: The Essays of Elia by Charles Lamb

I was curious about Charles Lamb after references to him in Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and I was surprised at how enjoyable The Essays of Elia and The Last Essays of Elia actually were. Published in magazines … Continue reading

Posted in 18th Century, Arts Criticism, Biography/Autobiography, Essays, General adult audience, Miscellaneous Non-Fiction, Social Commentary/Analysis, Travel and Geography Non-Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment