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Month in review

Book Reviews:
Blake's Therapy by Ariel Dorfman
Bleach 8 by Tite Kubo
The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Death's Acre by Bill Bass and John Jefferson
Click, Clack, Splish, Splash by Doreen Cronin
The Eight Nights of Hanukkah by Judy Nayer
Opposites by Eric Carle
Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler
A Little Twist of Texas by Linda Raven Moore
Mad About Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger
Olivia... And the Missing Toy by Ian Falconer
Olivia Forms a Band by Ian Falconer
On the First Night of Chanukah by Cecily Kaiser
Pat of Silver Bush by L. M. Montgomery
Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire by Rafe Esquith
Tom Sawyer, Detective by Mark Twain
Tommy's Tale by Alan Cumming
Velocity by Dean Koontz
Women of the Ukiyo-e by Ming-Ju Sun

FSF Reviews:
Balancing Accounts James L. Cambias
Bread and Circus by Steven Popkes
It's a Wonderful Life by Michaela Roessen
Mars: A Traveler's Guide by Ruth Nestvold
Memoirs of the Witch Queen by Ron Goulart
Mystery Hill by Wendy Walker
Petri Parousia by Matthew Hughes
Pride and Prometheus by John Kessel
The Quest for Creeping Charlie by James Powell
Retrospect by Ann Miller

Miscellaneous:
641 Reviews
Boys and Girls
Caligula
Sand Therapy

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for The Blithedale Romance

The Blithedale RomanceThe Blithedale Romance: 01/25/08

I fell in love with Hawthorne's books and short stories when I was in junior high school. Twenty years later he continues to be on my list of top ten favorites. His novels strike me as incredibly modern and relevant to modern day life.

The Blithedale Romance has many elements in common with the much sillier novel Tommy's Tale by Alan Cumming. The events at Blithedale (a commune in the woods) are laid out in chronological order by Miles Coverdale who proves to be as unreliable a narrator as Tommy. Cloverdale's omissions are a result of Puritan embarrassment but the sexual tension is hovering just below the surface of his euphemisms.

Like Tommy who lives in a flat with Sadie, Bobby and Charlie, Cloverdale moves into Blithedale to live with two women (Zenobia, Priscilla) and a man, Hollingsworth. Unlike Tommy's flat, the two men and women pair up in more conventional ways but Cloverdale hints that the four are more open with their adult desires than what Cloverdale feels is proper. Nonetheless, he is a willing participant.

Blithedale, though, ends up being a failed experiment. Puritan mores and hot tempers ultimately brings the downfall of the commune and Zenobia, the liberated modern woman, pays the ultimate price.

If you like character driven tragedies like Hamlet, I highly recommend The Blithedale Romance.

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