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The Active-Enzyme Lemon-Freshened Junior High School Witch by E.W. Hildick
Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Rift Part 2 by Gene Luen Yang
Bad Luck Girl by Sarah Zettel
Blandings' Way by Eric Hodgins
Blue Moon by James Ponti
Bones Never Lie by Elizabeth MacLeod
The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
The Elevator Family by Douglas Evans
Ghostbusters, Volume 5: The New Ghostbusters by Erik Burnham
Good Harbor by Anita Diamant
The Grannyman by Judy Schachner
Hilda and the Midnight Giant by Luke Pearson
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
I Am Pusheen the Cat by Claire Belton
I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett
Lucky by Gabrielle Bell
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems
Neighborhood Watch by Cammie McGovern
New American Poetry edited by Richard Monaco
The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger
The Pigeon Needs a Bath! by Mo Willems
Sign of Foul Play by Penny Warner
Simon's Cat vs. the World by Simon Tofield
Sufficient Ransom by Sylvia Sarno
Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle
xxxHolic 14 by CLAMP
xxxHolic 15 by CLAMP
Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston

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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 Blandings' Way

Blandings' Way: 09/18/14

cover artBlandings' Way by Eric Hodgins is the sequel to the hilarious roman a clef, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. Now that the house is built, the Blandings family settle in with being residents of a small Connecticut town.

The problem of purchasing or building a larger home on cheaper land, out in the countryside away from one's job is the commute. Daily routines stop being about family meals and become instead about getting to and from work. Lingering too long over morning coffee means a missed train. A late night in the office means a night in the city away from family. Finally, there's a cultural disconnect that develops between the home town and city; they don't share the same issues or follow the same ebb and flow.

The Blandings family goes through all these states. The daughters, sent away to school, grow into their own people and take their parents by surprise. Mrs. Blandings as a homemaker is perhaps the most in tune with their adopted town. She becomes a gardener and in her exuberance over does it in a few places but still manages to make Blandings Way a better home.

The person suffering the most from the move is naturally Mr. Blandings. He is the one commuting. He is the one living half his day in Manhattan's hustle and bustle and the other half in a sleepy Connecticut town that can trace its roots back to colonial days. He more than anyone feels the need to find a niche for himself in his adopted town.

Now interestingly, Mr. Blandings and his home are modeled on real life. Eric Hodgins was the vice president of Time Inc and did build a home in New Milford, Connecticut. The expenses of maintaing the house ended up being too much for him and he had to short sell the place a few years later. In 1992, The New York Times published an article about the house. Interestingly, too, there are now copies of the home scattered across the country in part as a promotion for the release of the film Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.

If you're interested in reading the book, the Internet Archive has a digital copy courtesy of the University of Florida.

 

 

Four stars

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