What I’ve Just Finished Reading
I finished The Railway Children
had acquired a copy of the most recent movie for us to watch, which gave me extra impetus, but it was a real pleasure to read so I probably would have galloped through it anyway. Highly recommended if you like early twentieth-century children’s books.
Also highly recommended: the 2000 film version of The Railway Children
, which is quite faithful to the book - it cuts a couple of scenes (and one of the cut scenes is the one tragically sexist scene in the book, which is otherwise so good about letting the girls be just as heroic as their brother) but doesn’t add much, which IMO is generally where adaptations go wrong, adding in scenes that don’t suit at all. The biggest addition, I think, is that the film draws out some of the stuff about class relations which is latent in the book - but it doesn’t become overbearing or anything; it’s still quite secondary to the fun adventures.
, by Jean Webster - who is most famous for writing Daddy-Long-Legs
- and this is definitely a case where I can see why that’s
the book she’s remembered for, although Jerry
is not without charms. A young American man - and, as a side note, his name is Jerymn, which I have never seen before and would be inclined to take as a misspelling of Jermyn except Webster spells it that way every single time. Has anyone else run across this name? How do you pronounce it?
Anyway, Jerry - to give him his easily pronounceable nickname - Jerry is vacationing in a dull Italian country town when he meets a beautiful American girl. To get closer to her (and enliven his dull days), he masquerades as an Italian tour guide. She sees through him at once, but doesn’t let on, and the rest of the book consists of the two of them gleefully upping the ante of the masquerade. What I’m Reading Now
I’m almost done with Jane Langton’s The Astonishing Stereoscope
, which sadly I think is not nearly as good as either The Fragile Flag
or The Fledgling
, although also not nearly as bad as The Time Bike
. A good middling Langton! And I will continue to search for The Swing in the Summerhouse
, which is about, I think, a magical swing, which I think is just perfect and delightful and I hope the book lives up to it.
There are also a couple of post-Time Bike
books in this series, but I am a little leery about reading them. Still, if I do run across them… What I Plan to Read Next
My next reading challenge is coming up! It is “a book published before you were born,” and the only challenging part of this will be fixing on just one. The library has kindly purchased Kate Seredy’s The Chestry Oak
for me (this is the first time I have made a purchase request at a library! I feel so powerful!), so perhaps that; but there is also the possibility of reading more Nesbit...