Thursday, December 29, 2011
Last book notes of 2011
77. Penny Plain
by O. Douglas
Kindle book, 46
plain and simple
I imagine the 1920 audience for O. Douglas' book knew exactly what the title referred to, while this reader ninety years on had to look it up. Jean, the heroine of the book is indeed this kind of person - she is 'plain and simple' with no airs about her. She is honest and forthright. She is the older sister of three young boys; two of whom are biologically related while the youngest one has a rather complicated connection. They all love him to pieces. Since the death of their aunt, Jean has been older sister and mother to the boys. She devotes herself to them without complaint. The book is a chronicle of daily life in her beloved Priorsford; the people who come into the town and into her life, and the people who are the inhabitants of the town. It is sweet and kindly and really everything you might want in a book when you are a wee bit tired of the news, or the pace of modern life. This is not to say that the characters have perfect or easy lives. Not by any means. There is for example a mother whose sons were all killed in what they called then, the Great War.
I came upon three wonderful writings about Penny Plain, and you may read them here, and here, and here.
78. The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding
by Agatha Christie
mystery - short story collection, 1960
Kindle book, 47
I wrote about The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding here, and then went on to read the rest of them. I didn't think any of them were quite as good as that one, though with any Agatha story there is always some appeal. There's an intriguing death in The Mystery of the Spanish Chest, which Poirot solves by using his excellent powers of observation, which also come into play in the story Four and Twenty Blackbirds. I guess I would say this collection was 'okay' but not particularly excellent or that memorable.