This is an assortment of books that caught my eye in flipping through the new books posted to PG in September. It's idiosyncratic to me and the stuff I like best (history, science, travel, memoir and biography, genre fiction, things that would work well for short work collections...) so if you were to go through you might see entirely different interesting books!
Here we go...
Book Suggestions - New Books on PG 9/30/20
Amid the High Hills - Sir Hugh Fraser
Hunting and fishing in the wilds of Scotland. Since it seems to be very episodic, chapters might also make good standalone entries for nonfiction short works collections.
Two Years in the French Indies - Lafcadio Hearn
Hearn is a wonderful writer and I've enjoyed several of his books on Japan. This one on the West Indies is a change of pace. Looks like there will be a lot of French phrases mixed in so a reader should be comfortable with that.
The Horse's Friend - O.S. Pratt
Long (around 500 pp) book with lots and LOTS of detail on the raising and training of horses, including a lot of tricks for circus-type performances.
Warrior of Two Worlds - Manly Wade Wellman
Novella, so best for a short solo or group project as it's a little long for a short works collection. Here's the teaser from the story heading: "He was the man of two planets, drawn through the blackness of space to save a nation from ruthless invaders. He was Yandro, the Stranger of the Prophecy—and he found that he was destined to fight both sides."
Pirate Princes and Yankee Jacks - Daniel Henderson
YA "boys adventure" novel - title page description: "Setting forth David Forsyth's adventures in America's battles in sea and desert with the buccaneer princes of Barbary, with an account of a search under the sands of the Sahara desert for the treasure-filled tomb of ancient kings"
True Love: A Story of English Domestic Life - Sarah E. Farro IN PROGRESS! Link: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=82434
Short novel (about 121 pages) and apparently the only one published by Sarah Farro. While little is known about Farro, she was apparently Black, which makes her book one of only a handful of novels by African Americans published in the 19th century.
Here's the wikipedia entry on Farro: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Farro
And here's a 2016 article from The Independent about the book and its rediscovery by the scholar who found it: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/sarah-e-farro-african-american-novel-19th-century-why-forgotten-a7057966.html
Beyond the Lines; or, A Yankee Prisoner Loose in Dixie - John James Geer
As the title suggests, it's a memoir of the adventures of a US soldier who was a POW in the confederacy, his escape and subsequent adventures, with a lot of religious overtones.
The Two Spies: Nathan Hale and John Andre - Benson John Lossing
Lossing was a famous US historian -- the Wikipedia article says that in the 19th century he was cited by last name only like "Toynbee" or "Gibbon" -- and while PG has 5 of his books, none have been recorded for LV yet.
The Two Spies is a short-to-medium-length bio of the two famously captured and executed Revolutionary War spies. About 165 pages, so a very manageable solo project.
Minions of the Crystal Sphere - Albert De Pina
1944 SF novella from Planet Stories, six chapter, would make a short solo or group project.
The Teaser: "Like a monster flashing jewel, Plastica hovered over Neptune. And burning at its heart like the malignant sparkle of a gem was the blazing hate of millions of
slaves, ready to flare into raging battle at the ringing tocsin of Vyrl Guerlan, the man without a country."
Treasure of the Brasada - Les Savage
1947 Dell paperback Western - Looks like it's as much a murder mystery as a Western from the description: "Being caught, bloody gun in hand, leaning over the body of the man he had threatened to kill forces bronc-buster Glenn Crawford to turn up at the Big O ranch, a weary, footsore fugitive with more than one score to settle.
Even the murder of the ranch owner in San Antonio had not prepared Crawford for the state of affairs he finds at the ranch. His sudden presence there seems to scare some of the crew half to death and lead others to try to kill him every chance they get."
The Soul of a Cat, and Other Stories - Margaret Benson
I'm not quite sure what this book is, other than all the stories seem to be about animals. The title makes it sound like fiction, but the photos of cats and other animals makes it seem more like an "animals I have known or pondered" set of essays. Either way, a short-to-medium length project for the animal lover, and it looks like the pieces could stand alone for short works collections. There are two pieces about dogs ("Taffy" and "Confucius") that might work for the current Coffee Break collection.
A Pacific Coast Vacation - Mrs. James Edwin Morris
Travel books always catch my eye, and in 1901 a West Coast trip was still a strenuous and adventurous undertaking, especially if it includes Alaska, as this trip does.
Letters to a Young Housekeeper - Jane Prince
A short handbook of 8 chapters, published in 1917, on how to manage a middle-class household of the era (including 2 chapters on the care and handling of servants!).
The Critic and the Drama - George Jean Nathan
A book discussing drama and dramatic criticism, mainly in the US. Nathan died in 1958, so this one is not yet PD in life+70 countries.
This might be a nice companion piece with the other book about theatre that is currently in progress.
Lords of Creation by Ella Cheever Thayer
For the drama folks - a three-act play about woman suffrage!
A Boy's Trip Across the Plains - Laura Preston
Early (1868) YA novel of covered wagon travel across the plains to find a new homestead site in the West.
A Year With a Whaler - Walter Noble Burns
Memoir of a man in search of adventure who ships out on a whaler as a "green hand" for a year. Published in 1913 so well after the heyday of whaling, but probably still very interesting.
Discovery at Aspen - Sophie Ruskay
More recent than most of the works on PG, this is a mid-century (1960) YA girls adventure novel.
Travels in Virginia in Revolutionary Times - Alfred J. Morrison
Various narratives of men traveling through and around Virginia between the years 1769 and 1802, some are locals, others travelers from abroad. Individual chapters could work as pieces for short non-fiction collections.
Two Stories - Leonard Woolf and Virginia Woolf
Two short stories, could be recorded together or separately for short works collections. "Three Jews" by Leonard Woolf has not been recorded for LV before, while "The Mark on the Wall" by Virginia Woolf has, but way back in short story collection 014.
China's Revolution 1911-1912 - Edwin J. Dingle
Story of a tumultuous year in China as a revolution overthrew the last emperor and China attempted to move toward becoming a republic. The author was present in China and was a close friend to one of the generals leading the revolution, so this is more of an insider account with a definite bias toward the revolutionaries than an objective history, but an interesting contemporary document.
The Book of the Pearl - George Frederick Kunz and Charles Hugh Stevenson
Everything you ever wanted to know about pearls, by author who wrote "The Curious Lore of Precious Stones", already in catalog.
I'd Like to Do It Again - Owen Davis
Breezy autobiography of successful early 20th century playwright, with chapters on how he became a theatre success as well as adventures in Hollywood.
Deep-Sea Plunderings by Frank Thomas Bullen
Short stories of high seas adventures. Could be done as full work or single pieces used for short fiction collections.
THirty Years from Home, or a Voice from the Main Deck by Samuel Leech
1909 reprint of an 1843 book describing experiences of a common sailor who served in both the British and American navies during war of 1812 and after.
Editor preface from 1909 edition: "Narratives of service, a century ago, written by private soldiers, are rare, but such by common sailors are almost unknown.
Samuel Leech’s narrative “Thirty Years from Home, a voice from the Main-Deck” is a unique book, and now scarce. It is a valuable contribution to our history, giving a sailor’s experience in both British and American navies, and being the sole account by a British seaman of the capture of the Macedonian by the United States, in 1812.
The revelations he makes of the cruel treatment of their men by British naval officers are unfortunately matched by the similar account of life on the same frigate United States, then under command of “Captain Claret” in 1843-44, given by Herman Melville in his remarkable book “White Jacket, or the World in a Man of War.” Though he is writing of an era thirty years later than Leech’s, the picture is equally distressing.
Leech also gives almost as bad a character to Captain David Porter (father of the late Admiral David D. Porter) as to the British tyrants."
Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1913 IN PROGRESS! Link: viewtopic.php?p=1796965#p1796965
Possible source for anyone looking for poetry to read for short collections or weekly/fortnightly poems. I don't recognize most of the names but does include poems by Joyce Kilmer. Sara Teasdale, Louis Untermeyer, Madison Cawein and others.
Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
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Two of these books are underway as Librivox projects!
Top post updated to show info and link to project pages.
Top post updated to show info and link to project pages.