Thursday, November 13, 2014

Serious Hiatus!

Sorry everyone! It's been a while since I've posted but I've not given up the project. School started and life got a little crazy for me so I haven't been able to read much of Roots, although I am reading it! (Well to be honest it's currently under my bed where it dropped about 2 weeks ago. But up to 2 weeks ago I was reading it. Under my bed is scary so it might be a while till I pull it out.) Anyway! I am on a serious hiatus until probably next spring because I start working on my Master's Thesis for real, next month. I will try to read and finish Roots and update in that time. If I can't manage that, I may switch to a shorter book for a little while, just to get through the list. Happy reading to everyone!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Flux and Other Things

This book has really started to pick up.

In light of my last post I would first like to point out the historical importance of a work of fiction like this. In my line of work, museum exhibits, it is considered good if you can shock the visitor into thinking about a subject in a completely different way. Freeman Tilden's, the main authority on interpretation, 4th rule states that "The chief aim of interpretation is not instruction, but provocation." Basically, people don't understand what they're reading if you simply give them information, you have to startle them into connecting with history on a personal level. I mention this because I just got through the section where Kunta is traveling on a slave ship (and yes I read through the whole disgusting mess without pause.) In this entire section, Alex Haley (or maybe Harry Courlander the author of The African, which Haley did plagiarize) does a fantastic job shocking the reader into thinking differently about the voyage over from Africa to the United States. Personally, I knew that slave ships were horrible; but until reading this book, I never realized just how horrifying it could be for the person going through it.

Just a note about the plagiarism before I go on. I agree that Alex Haley must have plagiarized several parts of the book because he paid a good amount of money, out of court, to Harry Courlander. However, from this point on I plan to refer all credit to Haley. This is because I have not read The African and cannot say exactly what he plagiarized. (Though I do plan to find the book somewhere and take a look at it.) Also, no matter where I look online, no one can tell me an exact passage that Haley plagiarized.1 And those that do go into long, boring articles about the plagiarism love to point out that the book was not really written by Haley at all but was ghost written by whites which I'm sorry but I find completely unbelievable.2 Not that whites couldn't write this but these articles seem to be stressing the white point too much and are obviously a reaction founded in racism. Otherwise there would be no reason to insist that the book was written by whites instead of by a black man. But enough of that, let me move on.

Today, outside of learning about how awful slave ships were, I also learned a little more about dysentery than I liked. Well that would actually be wrong. As grossed out as I was, I was delighted by the grossness. Part of why my boyfriend calls me Terrifyingly Adorable. The truth is, I find the symptoms of diseases to be the most shocking thing you can present someone with. I could gross you out with some symptoms of Spanish Influenza but instead I have dysentery to play with. Or, as they called it in the book The Flux. I do find is suspicious that Kunta managed to pick out that one word when it didn't appear that he picked out any others but well... Anyway, armed with this new word, Flux, I immediately looked it up. Personally I think Dysentery sounds far worse, but Flux is what it was called in the 19th century. It was often caught by sailors and according to WHO is a bacterial infection which results in loose watery stools that contain blood. 3 On a 19th century ship, it is a disgusting, slippery thing. And naturally with a disease like this, most people die from dehydration than anything else.

But I suppose that's all I'll torture you with today. Until the next horrifying thing this book reveals!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Slow Roots

I'm taking a bit longer on this book than I should.

It's been 3 weeks since I began my journey and I'm only 60 pages in. But what a journey it has been. Not in the book, but in the impact that the book has today. But let me explain. When I first told people I was going to read this book I got mixed responses. Some people were excited, some people didn't care, and several people told me that Alex Haley lied in his book.

The last response I thought was incredibly stupid, after all the book is a work of fiction - historical fiction but fiction nonetheless. Now I did do some research, and I am aware that the man plagiarized. But come on, its not like he's a qualified historian who plagiarized from several books, and there have been one or two well known ones who've done this. He admitted he plagiarized the bits about Africa so lets just move on with it.

But that's not really the problem I've been having with the book. For example, last week a coworker saw that I was toting Roots around with me when I went to switch shifts with him. (I say toting because not much reading is being done.) His response was to sneer and say, "Oh, you're reading Roots. Historical fiction." Which was a ridiculous response because this particular co-worker was carting a young adult fantasy romance novel - which I happen to know is in the Twilight style. Besides I've seen him toting around historical fiction himself. Which means, I thought later that evening, that he is not sneering at Roots because it is Historical Fiction. No, he is sneering at it because it is written by an African American writer.

I've never known this coworker to be obviously racist, but towards this book he clearly is. Which brings me to the topic of what the book is about. Firstly, the book is about an African family - the Kinte's and specifically the journey of Kunta Kinte's line to the Americas through the process of slavery. White guilt, which is ridiculous but does exist, leads whites to feel like they themselves are responsible for the actions of their ancestors towards other people. Surprisingly this is mainly seen in America dealing with slavery. I certainly don't see any evidence of German guilt concerning their actions in World War II. Or French and English guilt for owning slaves. I suspect this has little to do with the actual guilt of owning slaves than with the continued treatment of a group of people long after slavery ended. Excellent blog on a similar subject here. But I have sidetracked.

This book must have made quite the splash when it was published let alone the splash it still makes today. If I needed any proof that racism was still alive, the book would have proved it. I wasn't surprised to have one of my friends tell me that the book was worthless since the author lied. I've already observed her repeated racial prejudice. But to have a coworker that I respected act like that, I'm disappointed. Although, after his comment, it makes me more determined to read the book all the way through.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Code of the West - Follow up

What an utter disappointment.

I was really geared to like this book. This is the book I was looking forward to the most after Mr. Blettsworthy.  The opening caught your interest, the descriptions of the landscape made me nostalgic (grew up in El Paso, TX), but the characters were so flat they just couldn't follow through. To be honest, instead of reading about Georgiana and Cal, I would've like to hear more about Enoch and Mary - Georgiana's sister. But let me back up a few paces here.

Here's a synopsis of the story from, which I probably should have read but in the interest of this project I'd like to go into these books as unbiased as possible. Georgianna Stockwell, a free-spirited young woman from the East, moves to the wilds of the Tonto Basin in Arizona and she creates a violent culture clash. She revels in a whirlwind of flirtations and coquetry, outraging the proud Western folk and violating their Code of Honour, Her presence is provocative to all young men in the Basin, but to Cal Thurman in particular she is "like a firebrand in prairie grass." Through Cal she finds a love she does not expect - and a heritage of violence she cannot control. 

Sounds exciting right? A Violent Culture Clash? What is that! I'll tell you though, its not half as interesting as it sounds. The violence is barely existent until the last 30 - 20 pages of the book. Like I said earlier, the story starts out great. Mary Stockwell plays a joke on the boys at the ranch she boards at by asking them to pick up her dour looking sister. Of course, Georgiana is absolutely gorgeous but the boys don't know that. The book is all fun until Georgiana arrives, and then it goes downhill from there. Now granted by the time he wrote Code of the West, Zane Grey was pumping out books at a pace of 1 to 2 books a year. Naturally when you're producing books at that rate, the quality is bound to flag. But once Georgiana arrives, every single person in the book loses any semblance of a character. Cal is a sullen cowboy in love, Georgiana is a flirtatious urban girl, and every other person in the book - except Tuck Merry - is a cowboy looking for trouble.

Perhaps even worse than the bad storytelling, is the insult the book makes towards feminists. One minute Georgiana is all full of fire and feminism, set on having her way. But the second that Cal acts like a caveman and literally kidnaps her to make her marry him, she has a change of heart and can suddenly understand why western women are the way they are. Suddenly she understands how to manage the home and she was made for that her whole life. Also, she's completely unable to be angry at Cal for kidnapping her and forcing her into marriage and she grows to realize she's always loved him.

In the midst of this pathetic dribble is the violence of Cal beating another young cowboy Bid Hatfield for saying slanderous things about his "now" wife. (Well more like trying to beat.) When he returns home bruised and broken, Georgiana resolves to make everything right that her scandalous flirting has ruined! On the one hand, her actions are satisfying because she takes Tuck Merry and has her say about Bid Hatfield right there in front of his boss. Way to stand up for herself! On the other hand, Tuck Merry beats the living daylights out of Bid, so so much for the strong girl rectifying everything on her own.

I will most likely never read another Zane Grey novel again. Luckily, there are no others on my list. I like to think that my Great Grandfather also didn't care for the books. But I figure that's rather modern wishful thinking. Although, from the small time I knew him, my Great Grandfather did seem like a forward thinking man. I leave that question to be settled for the next book, Roots by Alex Haley. As it has been on my own list for a while I can't wait to cross it off.

'Till the next book, patient readers.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Zane Grey

With Pictures!

So last time I said that I would be reading Zane Grey's Code of the West and I am currently halfway through the book. So far I'm really enjoying reading the book, though the going has been slow because of the prose and my personal commitments. Not that I don't like the prose but after a few pages filled with how glorious the Arizona landscape is, you get a little tired. There are some problems I'm having with the book - mainly the slight patriarchal line running through it but I can accept that as a product of its time. (1923) It is nowhere near the level of the Decameron. That being said, I decided I wanted to do a little research on Zane Grey since I'm halfway through this novel.

Pearl Zane Gray was born in 1892 in Zanesville, Ohio. That is how every single biography starts about him online. Apparently Zanesville is named after his mother's family, who settled it. The family's name was changed to Grey sometime after Zane was born. It did not take him long to drop the Pearl from his name. I would like to argue that his books about the west, very geared towards rugged masculinity, might have something to do with him being named Pearl. But that might be a more modern interpretation of it. Perhaps the name Pearl was considered a masculine name in the 1890s.

Zane Grey lived a very interesting life, full of the excitement of fishing, writing, baseball, and dentistry. To appease his dentist father, Zane Grey got into the University of Pennsylvania's Dentistry Department on a baseball scholarship. He graduated and went on to play semi-professional baseball with an occasional dabbling in dentistry. He married Lina Elise Roth, who he decidedly renamed Dolly. (Personally I know that I should be like "Oh! How sweet. He had a pet name for his wife," but since everything from then on refers to her as Dolly I am slightly insulted. She had a name for crying out loud.)
Zane and Dolly on the Delaware. Courtesy of the National Park Service.
His wife made him famous, mostly because she pushed him to write and (before they were married) paid him to publish his first novel. His third novel, his first western, became the novel that launched him into stardom. I have no idea how many books he wrote but when he died he left behind 20 manuscripts which were all published. There is no doubt that Zane Grey was a prolific author. He also dabbled in film, owning a company that produced films of his novels but it was eventually sold to what would become Paramount Films.
Zane Grey at the Filming of Riders of the Purple Sage.
Courtesy of the National Park Service.
Fun to note, Zane Grey was so popular that there was a museum made out of a house that he owned in Lackawaxen Pennsylvania. It is currently owned by the National Park Service as part of the Upper Delaware Park. I found a picture at the National Park website and now I kind of want to go check it out. 
Zane Grey Museum. Courtesy of the National Park Service.
Grey was definitely an interesting man and today has a huge following. Mostly by people who can't accept change and who think that the Simple West (which never existed, historically) is an ideal that we should try to live by today. There is a website, I looked through it, I'm not sharing its address because it annoyed me. But boy did they try to push living by a western code.

It is interesting to note that the response by these people to our modern times almost exactly mirrors the response of Grey's ranch hand characters in Code of the West to the freedom of the 1920s. The things that stay the same. That being said, with feminism on the rise - much like it was in the 1920s, and the insistence for increasing regulation - much like in the 1930s - its not surprising to see people today turning to books like Zane Grey's to grasp a concept of simplicity and rightness. After all, in the west you follow your own law, guns are necessary, and women mind the home in the homestead. (The last is actually something the lead character said to the lead heroine.) 

The correlations between this book's setting and my own is slightly unsettling. I wonder if my great grandfather did read this. Was it simply an interest in westerns? Or was it simply boyhood reading, since his version was a second reprint in 1934. I wonder what he thought about the book?


Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Decameron of Boccaccio Final

I completely skimmed this book.

After reading halfway through it, of course. I believe that I'm covered by skimming it, because technically I finished it. (I even read the conclusion.) I just didn't read every single one of the 100 1/2 stories inside it. I say 100 and 1/2 because Boccaccio started the Fourth Day with a rant about how people need to stop telling him that he spends too much time with women. In this rant, he told a small story as an example, but he only told half of it and for all that I looked in the book - I never did find the other half. Which is annoying.

Outside of that, the book does say a lot about medieval attitudes, or at least the attitudes of the well off. There is, sadly, only one occurrence of a voice from the lower class and it is merely a bawdy old woman - servant - complaining about a man that told her that he knows more about virginity than she does. Which, as proven by the revelers, he did not. First, what was slightly surprising to me, in the medieval ages the clergy was seen as ridiculous. But you still must believe in God, God is great. But the friars, monks, and pope - all shameless sexual deviants - the lot of them. Women, too restrained by Boccaccio's standards. On the one hand, Boccaccio seemed to be arguing - especially in his conclusion - that women should be allowed to hear dirty stories and should give up pretending to be pure. At least, that was my reading of his message. Brown University's page points out that women were seen as having greater sexual desire, so perhaps this is why Boccaccio constantly pointed out that women enjoyed sex.

However, even though women should enjoy sex, they should not be unfaithful. Here is where patriarchy makes all men hypocrites. In his stories, men were to be praised for their successes in sleeping with other men's wives. But women, women were to be censured for sleeping with men other than their husbands. For example, in one tale - a monk meets with a woman who has a very stupid husband. He persuades her, very cleverly, to do away with her husband - tells her how - and then proceeds to enjoy her. At the end of the story, he is lauded by the revelers as being so clever. This doesn't mean that men weren't punished for their actions as well. The prince that steals away the neighboring kingdom's princess is killed in the process. The man who slanders another man's faithful wife to win a bet, is brought before a king and punished. But in each of these tales, the men go above and beyond in their attempts to win their desired goal. Love and money.

To be honest, although a good portion of the stories seemed repetitive, the book does provide a good insight into 14th century Italian life. The mention of other kingdoms, like England, was especially interesting. It was very easy to get a grasp on the Italian world view at the time - which existed of the Mediterranean, Turkey, and some other portions of Europe. The discussion of Muslims was interesting as well, though only one or two stories mentioned them. Mostly the women were considered looser, and in some cases a bit smarter, than the European women. Cleverness in all people was praised. If I could only read a selection of stories from The Decameron I would probably have enjoyed it more, but trying to read all 100 1/2 was just too much for me.

For my next book I'm starting the Code of the West by Zane Grey. I've heard that Zane Grey is fantastic, and I know he was once very popular, so I'm excited to finally start reading one of his novels. 'Til next time, may you all enjoy a very good book. (That is not The Decameron, unless you like that sort of thing.)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C. Clarke is far too technical.

Okay, maybe I'm just a bit too much of a romantic in that I prefer a bit of story with my science fiction and writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs and H.G. Wells. Arthur C. Clarke's Sands of Mars, while entertaining in parts, made for a long read. For a book that I expected to finish in a week, I certainly didn't think I'd take almost three. But its done and I should back-track a little. As anyone following this knows, I took a break from the Decameron because its Medieval and dense. Having finished the Sands of Mars, I still have no desire to return to the book. Especially because Sands of Mars was technical and dense. What I'll probably do is start on the collection of Oscar Wilde's works that I have on the list. My plan is to read a day of the Decameron and then cool my brain off with one or two of Oscar Wilde's writings. (Maybe five if I'm working on the poems.) Otherwise I'm just going to have to abandon the book, and I'd really hate to do that so early in the project. (We'll see about later.) Because I'll be multi-tasking I will post about both books, but they will be treated separately. If that means two short posts on them once in a while then so be it.

But to stop digressing, let me talk about this book. The Sands of Mars was Arthur C. Clarke's first novel, written in the 1940s. The version I purchased was not the same as Joe's, which was published in 1952 and wouldn't have had the introductions that mine did. My version was published in the late '70s and contained two introductions from Clarke that explained the type of novel it was, apologized for the science in it, and explained that the science was based on what people thought at the time. Yes, from the introductions I probably should have been sufficiently warned that this book would be what it was. However, I went into it with a excited mind, ready to see what an, unknown to me, sci-fi writer would imagine about a colony on Mars.

The science was mildly absurd, I just want to point that out now. I'll get to it later. The book is about Martin Gibson, a famous science fiction author who is offered the chance to go to the new colony on Mars to introduce it to Earth. They say write what you know, right? Well, the first half of the book is dedicated to the trip to Mars and the second half is dedicated to Gibson's experiences there. As far as storyline, the book is a bit flat. But before I get into my criticisms, I would like to point out what Clarke did well. For one, there are his descriptions. Although on the technical side, Clarke didn't make the descriptions hard for readers to understand. Which I have to commend him for because that is a tough skill to master. In fact, it was very easy to imagine the ship he flew to Mars in, the planet, the colony, and even the plants there. (Yeah there were plants.) Like all science fiction, there are small pieces of foresight in the book that apply to today. For example, this article in USA Today about landing astronauts on Mars. Just like in his book where the Earth kept threatening to cut off funding to the Mars colony, funding is an issue for expeditions today. Also Clarke's main characters were relatively realistic, if not easy to relate with.

Other than that, the story is borderline cliche. If this wasn't a science-fiction, and Clarke didn't have the technical stuff I would be incredibly bored. In the story Gibson finds that he is actually traveling on a ship in which his son is crew, a son he never knew he had. Their relationship is a backdrop for the adjustment that Gibson is making to life on Mars. Its probably an attempt to make Gibson more relate-able but is really just a distraction for the bigger story of the secret project that the colonists are hiding from Earth. They turn the moon Phobos into a mini sun using nuclear reactions, by blowing it up without blowing it up? I'm not very good with physics but I'm pretty sure that's not how that works. Added on to this story's defunctionality is the constant foreshadowing that Clarke does throughout the book. Its like he doesn't think that the reader will remember what Gibson just discovered is important in the next few pages, so he decides to point out it is important immediately. Towards the end, when they just kept piling on top of each other, it got to the point of being annoying. And then after placing it in his reader's minds that it's an important point, he barely deals with it and spends only a sentence or two on the reveal. And although he details the most minute workings of a machine, he can't bother to detail a single important aspect that deals with the characters of the story.

But this is starting to turn into a rant so I am going to back off now.  Overall I was left with rather mixed feelings about the story. The ending, sad to say, disappointed me immensely. It didn't feel finished, but I can forgive that because colonizing never is and given the subject its acceptable. However, it felt flat, just flat. This book was flat, that is the best description I can think of for it. Flat. (Oh no, ranting is too easy... must stop... thinking about... flaws... Starting... over...)

I have mixed feelings about this book. I really think that's probably where I should leave it. I will point out that some of the ideas were really interesting. The science was awesome and although I know that Mars is nothing like what Clarke described, part of me kind of wishes it was. The book does speak to a desire to (to paraphrase Star Trek) seek out new life and new civilizations, go where no man has gone before. As for my ancestors, I'm definitely starting to see where I get my own love of science fiction. My brother's obsession with science and all things related makes a lot more sense after this book. I also feel slightly justified in my mixed feelings of Clarke's first novel. After all, there's only one Arthur C. Clarke in the list of books  compared to at least 8 Wells novels. ;P

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Taking a Break from The Decameron

Part of me really wants to scream right now that I can't take it anymore. The Decameron is so dense and the medieval viewpoint of women is committing a full frontal assault on my modern sensibilities. So in order to stay sane, I'm going to take a week's break from the Decameron and use the time to read Arthur C. Clarke's Sands of Mars. I'll do my best not to drop the Decameron totally, but to be honest I don't know if I'll return to it.

But in light of not having a post chock full of information about Medieval Italy,  I thought I would finally produce the list of the books that my Great Grandfather owned. This list may be updated in the future, if I ever make it out to my grandparents house, but as of now it contains a full list of the books my mother owns and an almost complete list of the books owned by my Uncle Jimmy.

Obviously I'm a History student because anyone with knowledge of citations will see that I have completed the list using Turabians Chicago Style.(A style drilled into our skulls in history classes in college.) The meanings of the notations beside each item are listed below.

*A World of Great Stories. New York: Crown Publishers, 1947.
*Alfred Hitchcock Presents:  A Month of Mystery
.  New York: Random House, 1969.
*Alfred Hitchcock Presents:  My Favorites in Suspense
.  New York: Random House, 1959.
*Alfred Hitchcock Presents:  Stories That Scared Even Me
.  New York: Random House, 1967.
*Allen, Hervey. Israfel: The Life and Times of Edgar Allen Poe. New York: Farrar and Rinehart, Inc., 1934.
Bailey, Alice A. Problems of Humanity. New York: Lucis Publishing Co., 1947.
°Baird, A.T. One-Hundred Cases for Survival after Death. New York: Bernard Ackerman, 1944.
*Balzac, Honoré De. Droll Stories. New York: Garden City Books, 1946.
°Beecroft, John, ed. Kipling: A Selection of his Stories and Poems. 2 vols. Garden City: Doubleday and Co., 1956.
°____ and Howard Haycraft, eds. Ten Great Mysteries. New York: Doubleday and Co., 1959.

°Boccaccio, Giovanni. The Decameron of Boccaccio. Universal Classics.

-Bridges, William. Wild Animals of the World. Garden City: Publishing Inc., 1944.
°Burton, Richard F. trans. The Arabian Nights. New York: Blue Ribbon Books, 1941.
*Busch, Niven. The Hate Merchant. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1953.
*Cain, James M. The Postman Always Rings Twice. New York: Triangle Books, 1938.
°Cervantes, Miguel. Don Quixote. Edited by Richard Emery Roberts. Translated by P.A. Molluex and Charles Jarvis. New York: Book League of America, 1946.

°Clarke, Arthur C. Sands of Mars. Gnome Press, Inc., 1952.

°The Complete Works of Shakespeare.
Illustrated by Rockwell Kent. New York: Doubleday and Co., 1936.
*Darwin, Charles. The Origin of Species and the Descent of Man. New York: The Modern Library.
-Davies, C.T. The Horse: And How to Care For Him. Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Publishing Company, 1911.
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment. Translated by Constance Garnett. Illinois: Illustrated Modern Library, 1944.
_____. The Idiot. Vol. 2. Translated by Constance Garnett. Macmillian, 1916.
°_____. The Brothers Karamazov. Translated by Constance Garnett. Modern Library, 1929.
*Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan. The Complete Sherlock Holmes. New York: Garden City Books, 1930.
-Ellison, Charles. The Fundamentals of Window Display. International Textbook Company, 1931.
*Forbes, Esther. Paul Revere and the World he Lived in. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1942.
George, W.L. Her Unwelcome Husband. Harper and Brothers, 1922.
Goodwin, Ernest. The Duchess of Siona. Illustrated by W.T. Benda. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1918.

°Grey, Zane. Code of the West. New York: P.F. Collier and Son, 1934.

*Gunther, John. Inside Africa. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1955.

°Haley, Alex. Roots. Garden City: Doubleday, 1976.
*Haggard, Henry Rider. She. New York: Books Inc., 1886.

-Harrison, E.S. A Beginner Spanish Reader. Ginn and Co., 1917.
-_____. An Intermediate Spanish Reader. Ginn and Co., 1917.
*Hart, Frances Noyes. The Bellamy Trial. New York: Doubleday, Page and Company, 1927.
-Harte, Bret. Bret Harte’s Writings: Tales of the Argonauts and Other Sketches. Boston: Houghton Mifflin,1903.
-Hawks, Ellison. Bees Shown to the Child. New York: Platt and Peck Co.
*Hemingway, Ernest. Death in the Afternoon. New York: P.F. Collier and Son, 1938.
*____. For Whom the Bell Tolls.
*____. The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1953.
*Hersey, John. The War Lover. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1959.
Herzberg, Max J. Myths and their Meanings. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1931.
*Hewlett, Maurice. The Forest Lovers. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1898.

-The Home Mechanic’s Handbook
. New York: D. Van Nostrand Company Inc., 1945.
How and Why Wonder Book of Reptiles and Amphibians
. Wonder Books Inc., 1960.
Hugo, Victor. The Hunchback of Notre Dame. 1914.
_____. Les Miserables. Translated by Lacelles Wraxall.
_____. Toilers of the Sea. New York: Hurst and Co., 1922.
°Jackson, Helen Hunt. Ramona. New York: Grossett and Dunlap, 1912.
*Joyce, James. Ulysses.
Lawrence, D.H. Sons and Lovers. Viking Press, 1963.
°Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird.
*London, Jack. The Cruise of the Snark.  New York: The Review of Reviews Company, 1917.
Lytton, Sir Edward Bulwer. The Last Days of Pompeii. Spencer Press, 1936.
Mailer, Norman. Barbary Shore. Rhinehart and Co., Inc., 1951.

Masterpieces of British Literature
. Riverside Press, 1895.
Maugham, W. Somerset, ed. Tellers of Tales. New York: Doubleday, Doran, and Co., 1939.
*Maughan, A. W. Harry of Monmouth. New York: William Sloane Associates, 1956.
°Melville, Herman. Moby Dick. Spencer Press, 1936.
*Pasternak, Boris. Doctor Zhivago. New York: Pantheon Books, Inc., 1958.*Poe, Edgar Allen. Tales of Mystery and Imagination. Spencer Press, 1936.
-Queen, Ellery. Challenge to the Reader: An Anthology. New York: Blue Ribbon Books, 1940.
Shirer, William L. Berlin Diary. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1941.
°Sienkiewicz, Henryk. Quo Vadis. Translated by Jeremiah Curtain. Book League of America, 1925.
°Stevenson, Robert. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde/Kidnapped. Popular Classics Inc.,
*Susann, Jacqueline. Valley of the Dolls. New York: Bernard Geis Associates, 1966.
Tolstoy, Leo. War and Peace. Translated by Constance Garnett. New York: Illustrated Modern Library.
Verne, Jules. From the Earth to the Moon. New York: Lovell Brothers and Co.,
*____. The Lighthouse at the End of the World. New York: G. Howard Watt, 1924.
°_____. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. New York: E. P. Dutton and Co., 1911.
*Waltari, Mika. The Wanderer. Translated by Naomi Walford. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1951.
-Webling, W. Hastings. Fore!: The Call of the Links. H.M. Caldwell Co., 1909.*Wells, H.G. 7 Science Fiction Novels of H.G. Wells. New York: Dover Publications, 1950.
*____.  28 Science Fiction Stories of H.G. Wells. New York: Dover Publications, 1952.

°_____. Mr. Blettsworthy on Rampole Island. Illustrated by George Picken. Garden City: Doubleday, Doran and Co., 1928.

*____. The Croquet Player. New York:  The Viking Press, 1937.
*____. The Holy Terror. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1939.
_ ___. The Outline of History. 4 vols. Macmillion, 1920.
*____. Tono-Bungay. New York:  The Modern Library, 1935.
*____. Twelve Stories and a Dream. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1924.
White, E.B. and K.S. White. A Sub-Treasury of American Humor. New York: Coward-Mclann Inc., 1941.
°Wilde, Oscar. The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde.
Williams, H. P. Our Moon. Frederich Muller LTD, 1954.
Wren, Percival C. Beau Ideal. New York: Grossett and Dunlap, 1929.
_____. Beau Sabreur. New York: Grossett and Dunlap, 1929.
_____. Good Gestes. New York: Grossett and Dunlap, 1929.

*Indicates books owned by my Uncle. 
-Indicates books I believe I cannot find or will not read. 
°Indicates books I own already, have purchased, or can borrow from the library.  
Indicates books I've read

I didn't know, when I asked my Uncle about what books he had, that there would be so many H.G. Wells! But I'm excited because clearly a love of H.G. Wells runs in my family.