Saturday, December 29, 2007

Books from the Attic, Part 1

I'm really enjoying rereading the Little House books to the Budza. My grown-up self is blown away by how well written they are: how powerful the simple language is, how skillfully drawn and three-dimensional the characters are, how closely nature and daily life are observed.

Now I'm hankering to go up into the attic and bring down boxes and boxes of old favorites, once we clear some space in Budza's bookcase by rotating some picture books to the attic (some of those can go to the East Somerville Community School, which lost most of its books in a recent fire).

I'm eager to read to Bud or just to myself some E. Nesbit--I only ever read The Enchanted Castle, myself, but there are many more. I want to revisit Zilpha Keatley Snyder's The Velvet Room, and just for a trip down memory lane some Enid Blyton boarding school stories. In 1973, the year I was in the seventh grade in the International School in Bangkok, I read Lloyd Alexander's Book of Three and The Black Cauldron in Puffin Armada paperback editions, and Enid Blyton's St. Clare boarding school series. I notice from looking for The Velvet Room online that there is an Author's Guild website called, which bears further exploration.

No single best site for E. Nesbit, surprisingly, but I found a wicked cool site with free audio files of books in the public domain, LibriVox, which has The Enchanted Castle for a free download. LibriVox itself seems worthy of a separate post, if I have success downloading and unzipping a free audiobook.

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