Are you in the mood for a little G. K. Chesterton? I enjoyed reading “The Man Who Was Thursday” a few years ago (see my book review here), but I am enjoying Geoffrey Palmer’s reading of it even more! For a limited time, you can listen to it for free on BBC Radio 4.
Tag Archives: humor
Plot Summary: Molly, a young widow, has a problem: she needs to lose weight and fast! An old beau is renewing his acquaintance by coming back to his old hometown where she still lives, but she looks nothing like she did 10 years ago. The only one who can help her attain her goal is the next door doctor. But he likes her as she is. What’s a girl to do when several men start to pay her more attention?
My Book Review: This was a fast, enjoyable read! I originally discovered it on Librivox (listen to it for free here) and soon after found an old copy of it at a library book sale. I found it cute that, in a story about a girl on a diet, a bookworm chewed a neat little hole through the edges of the pages. 🙂
The story takes place in the Gibson girl era, where things were not much different than they are today in that a woman’s worth was often judged on the dimension of her waistline. Only they had corsets back then to help them out. Molly is a delightfully funny character, honest and vain, but thoroughly woman. I loved the old illustrations throughout the book as well. And the doctor was a swoon! Perhaps one can see the ending from the start, but poor Molly can’t and it’s fun to watch her transformation when all the time she has a good man’s unconditional love.
This book is a simple read. Don’t expect too much out of it. But if you are wanting to get into a cute little love story, this entertaining novel will probably satisfy. Just ask the bookworm.
I also recommend:
Plot Summary: [from Wikipedia:] “The Club of Queer Trades is a collection of stories by G. K. Chesterton first published in 1905. Each story in the collection is centered on a person who is making his living by some novel and extraordinary means… To gain admittance one must have invented a unique means of earning a living and the subsequent trade being the main source of income.”
My Book Review: If you’ve come to this blog post thinking you were going to read something on sexual identities, sorry to disappoint. Once upon a time the word ‘queer’ was used to mean ‘peculiar’. (I suppose ‘peculiar’ means something else now, too. We’re so creative as to assign a double meaning to every word that already exists.)
There are ordinary men who lead ordinary lives with their chosen ordinary careers. And then there are others who take a different route in life. They are the eccentrics, the colorful, and the crazy. …Or are we, as ordinary citizens, the crazies?
If someone asked you to invent a whole new career that had never been thought of before, do you think you could do it and make money from it? Not merely recycling an existing career, substituting one thing for another, but actually coming up with a line of trade that’s never been done before. It’s harder than it at first seems. Of course, there would have to be a market for it. And in the case of many of the extraordinary tradesmen in this collection of short stories, their careers are kept secret either because of the nature of their work, or because they would be thought insane.
As one would guess, this leads to many bizarre circumstances of ordinaries encountering these oddbodies (or geniuses) in society. The facts are there in front of their noses, but they can’t make sense of them. It takes a remarkable fellow straddling the best of both worlds to make sense of the mysterious cases brought before him. It makes for a curious read.
Although I usually dislike short story collections, I was glad this was written as it was. I didn’t particularly feel in the mood for a novel-length Chesterton at the time. Sometimes he’s best taken in ‘doses’ because he can be so thick in his nonsense. 🙂 Really, G.K. was such a Mad Hatter! Chesterton is never for those wanting a nice little story. And it definitely isn’t my favorite book of all time. But I enjoyed reading it anyway, because he picks you out of the mundane and makes you view the world at a different angle. It gives the brain a good exercise!
I would say my favorite chapter story was “The Adventures of Major Brown”, in which a man is caught in an awfully good escapade, but doesn’t realize how much fun it was until it was over! How often are we the same in life? We read novels for “escape” or to pseudo-live other “experiences”, but when some adventure happens in real life we are too overwhelmed to enjoy it in the moment. Then of course, there’s the debate over modern-day video games. Guys are so eager to play at fantasy games because it feeds something deep in their souls- the need for adventure. But what happened to living real life? Life is full of exciting experiences if only we accept its opportunities.
You can listen to the audiobook on Librivox by clicking here.
If you liked this book, I also recommend…:
What do heffalumps, woozles, birthday parties, and very tight places all have in common? Why Winnie-the-Pooh of course! And autumn is the perfect time to settle in for the evening with some classic Pooh-bear stories read by Alan Bennett. So grab your children, grandma and grandpa, too and get ready to go on an expotition! Only available for a limited time.
If you love audiobooks and have ever listened to “Marley & Me”, the “Horrible Harry” childrens’ series, or “Lusitania”, chances are you probably were listening to the voice of Johnny Heller. Having narrated over 200 titles, won many different awards including a few Audie Awards, Heller has been named among the top 50 narrators of the 20th century by Audiofile Magazine. Last June Johnny Heller came to a library in my local area.
I really appreciated that he and his wife came all the way from New York, even though there wasn’t as big of a turnout as was expected. It didn’t seem to bother them and Mr. Heller was gracious and relaxed as he started out the evening by describing the process of creating an audiobook. He brought humor to it all as well, when he chose a couple of his favorite excerpts from past projects he’s recorded. I was also pleased to hear that he explained he doesn’t accept reading titles that go against his values, such as books that denigrate women.
During the last part of his visit, he accepted Q&A time, and I got to ask him two questions that I had. I only wish I could have asked him more. It never occurred to me to take pictures, so sorry about that oversight! It was a fun evening, I wish it had been longer– but thank you Mr. Heller for coming to perform! 🙂