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Sons will converse with their fathers about life and work, and sometimes that makes its way into a family reunion booklet or genealogical research for the county historical society. If your name is Robert H. Gollmar, and your father is Fred C. Gollmar, you can claim My Father Owned a Circus, and supplement your income selling a few books, and the impresario of the 1:48 actual size Karlson Brothers Circus will ultimately write Book Review No. 30 about it.

Read more...Collapse )Keep in mind that the public zoological garden is a relatively new institution, and for many years the circus provided education in the form of exotic animals, with a menagerie tent set up between the main entrance and the side show, and lions or tigers along didn't necessarily mean a big cat act. But without the thundering herd of pachyderms, it's not a circus.

The Amazon listing for My Father Owned a Circus offers a few copies at collector prices. I'd best treat my copy, which came from a library de-accessioning sale a few years ago, as an asset.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)

Jul. 19th, 2009

65. A Riband on My Rein- Nancy Byrd Turner, 120 pages, 2/5
This was a pretty random collection of poems and a lot of them made me cringe.

66. A Book of Modern Verse (1939)- Various, 64 pages, 4/5
Good anthology with lots of my favourite poets included and with some of their best poems.

67. Blow For Balloons: Being the First Hemisphere of the History of Henry Airbubble- W.J. Turner, 298 pages, 2/5
Turner wrote like he was very clever but actually this is the biggest load of old nonsense. Fabulous title though!

68. Maurice- EM Forster, 224 pages, 5/5
An Edwardian gay love story with a happy ending. This was great! Scudder is my favourite- he's so sweet.

Books: 68 Pages: 18500

Currently reading: The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa

Jul. 7th, 2009

57+58. 84 Charing Cross Road/The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street- Helene Hanff, 230 pages, 5/5, 4/5.
The first book is correspondence between Hanff and Marks & Co. bookstore. She wrote to them for twenty years, buying antiquarian books from them and sending them food parcels during rationing. It was a lovely little read. I often visit the antiquarian bookshops around Charing Cross Road and have always taken it for granted but not after reading this! The second book was a diary of Hanff's visit to London after the publication of 84 Charing Cross Road (and after Marks and Co. was closed). She visited lots of places of historical significance in and around London that I have never seen so it's given me a few ideas!

59. Poems of the Great War 1914-1918- Various, 144 pages, 5/5.
Great poems and it introduced me to a few new war poets that I was unfamiliar with.

60. The Daffodil Murderer- Saul Kain (Siegfried Sassoon), 5/5
This book is literally just one poem taking the piss out of John Masefield. It's very amusing, particularly the preface which, depending on which biography of Sassoon you read was written by either Sassoon himself or TWH Crossland.

Books: 60 Pages: 17336

Book #2

The Collectors by David Baldacci, 436 pages.
My dad gave me this for Christmas 3 years ago, and it never made it more than half-way up my to-read pile. I picked it up after New Years, and it hooked me straight away. A murder-mystery, con-artists, two plots that end up twisting together - and it's partially set in the Rare Books Division of a library.
It's very much a stand-alone book, but it is the second in a series - and i think i would have understood more about the characters if I had that background. There will definitely be some more Baldacci on my reading list this year.

23 and 24

I had a productive two days ... 

23.  We Are All Fine Here by Mary Guterson

Lot's of mixed reviews on this one, but I really liked it.  It's referred to as chick lit and I think that's part of the problem.  Chick lit tends to be fluffy.  This book is not.  It'd edgy and funny and honest.  Many laugh out loud moments, but definitely dark as well.  


24.  Year of Wonders (A Novel of the Plague) by Geradine Brooks

Is about the plague.  Actually, a very good book.  


My complete list
I'm giving this book a mixed review. It started out okay, but lost speed for me as I got near the end.

Four Princeton students get caught up in the mystery of a 500 year old book - Hypnerotomachia, that leads them down a dangerous path.



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