November was a weird reading month, with Halloween and Christmas book-ending a Midwestern coming-of-age story.
“The Giant Wisteria” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
I love “The Yellow Wallpaper” so I was excited to read this one, which is sort of a ghost story inside a feminist story. I can’t say more without major spoilers, but there is an unwed mother and a haunted wisteria involved…
Carmilla by J Sheridan Le Fanu
One of our friends was going to see a movie based on this book and when he told me about it, I ordered it from the library and put down The Sundial to make time for vampires. Carmilla predates Dracula by a quarter of a century and is one of the first novels published with lesbian love scenes. It’s provocative and really good! Put it on your list for next Halloween!
The Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter
This was our book club read, chosen because it was referenced in Not Without Laughter last month. It reminded me a lot of Anne of Green Gables (which to me, is the gold standard of old coming of age books.) Maybe that’s why I didn’t love this…the main character was too perfect. Anne is so lovable because she is flawed and has some very relateable embarrassing moments. Elnora is so perfect that she’s kind of boring, even though her adventures in the limberlost were interesting to read about. (I had no idea there used to be a lot of swampland in Indiana!) Oh and there’s a love triangle that reminds me of a Hallmark movie, which just does not work in the same way as it does on the Hallmark channel.
Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
This is a sweet Christmas short story. It’s a super quick read and it warms the heart more than a hot cup of cider.
A Kidnapped Santa Claus by L Frank Baum
This one is so weird, and I loved it. Santa gets kidnapped by some cave daemons and his virtues are tested. It’s a simple moral story but I really enjoyed it, especially the illustrations by Richard Rosenblum. I’ve never read The Wizard of Oz and now I kind of want to…
That’s all for November. So far, I haven’t read anything this month, even though I have a book of Christmas murder mysteries and our book club book to read…I’m two books away from finishing fifty books/stories this year, so I better get a move on so I can meet my goal!