Several years ago I was trawling through Wikipedia lists, and I believe while on some list of ‘greatest books’ (but I cannot recall which one) I came across a book that at the time I didn’t really give a second thought but later I became fascinated by. The details are as follows. It was written I think sometime in the 1880s or 1890s, and I believe by an Italian (though this is tentative). However, it’s setting may have been ‘Central Asia’ in the general and indistinct sense. The framing was that there was some very large fortress that was on the edge of a desert and the main character is serving there, with some sort of army. What I think was what struck me later is that it wasn’t exactly supposed to be the Russian army (which is what one would expect, as the Russian conquest of Central Asia was just wrapping up at this point, and there were indeed several fortresses, as inane as it sounds to say), but it was just ‘an army’. Furthermore, the Wikipedia page described it as a novel about futility and hopelessness, and vaguely anti-war. These things all further intrigued me, later on, as I came to reflect that it at once reminded me of Kafka’s The Castle, Mervyn Peake’s Gormeghast, and Bowles’ The Sheltering Sky.
There was an image associated with the Wikipedia article as well, but I cannot recall if it was a cover or an illustration. At any rate I shall try to describe it. It seemed to be set at night, and there was a eerie olive-dark-greenish hue to it all. It seemed to be done in a hazy sort of pastel way. The image itself was very reminiscent of this (link embedded) illustration of the British retreat from the first Anglo-Afghan war, so much that I am worried in fact I am filling this in artificially. On the left side of the image there was a large fortress, set probably half way up the page, on a rocky outcropping. Down below, on the right side, on what looks like a small road, there was a small silhouetted figure on a horse that was rearing up on its hind legs. This figure and their horse only occupied the smallest part of the page. Beyond them, on the right side, the desert stretched off “ringed by the flat horizon only”. The ‘right’ and ‘left’ sides may be flipped, but I am fairly certain of the features and relations of this composition.
That is as much as I can recall of this book. I would be very grateful if you could find it for me, but please do not put any pressure on yourself to find it.
I’ve been searching for this book for years. I cannot remember all the details but the basics:
Farm kids during the great depression, I think a boy and a girl. They go exploring a cave nearby and pretend its their mansion. So they don’t get lost they use breadcrumbs but birds eat it. They decide to use string instead. A mystery of some sort is solved. I seem to recall mention of the Hobos that would come around looking for work, and their family took one in and fed him a meal. At the end of the book he left markings on their fence that was code for “friendly family” or something like that. Other details: I THINK they took a canary into the cave, there was something to do with the underground railroad, and ration books were mentioned.
I read this book when I was in 6th grade, possibly 1977/78. It was an old book at the time, hardbound with the old fabric book covering. I think it had illustrations but can’t quite remember–I read a LOT in those days. This book belonged to my mom who was born in 38–sadly its been long lost.
My friend remembers that the first book she read was called Tina And The Tall Man. She can’t remember anything else about it, and I’ve been unable to find that title on the internet. It might help to know that my friend is about 80 years old (born early 1940’s, I think, possibly late 1930’s) and was born and grew up in Newport News, Virginia (I think Newport News and her current location of Gloucester, Virginia are the only places she’s ever lived). For all I know, it might have been a regional publication. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
I’m trying to find a children’s book my mother read me over 50 years ago.
I remember vividly.
The mouse tells all the animals at the waterhole:
There’s a creature in my house yelling and screaming and throwing the furniture out of the windows.
He says this to lions, tigers, giraffes. In the end, it turns out the creature is an owl that the jungle animals trumpet and roar at, and it flies out of the mouse’s house in the tree.
Then, the lions realize they are hungry, and the giraffes and zebras etc. run away before the lions and tigers can get them. The mouse returns to his house in the tree.
In the mid-1950s I had a book about two children learning about nature from their grandfather(?). Probably an elementary textbook from the 1930s (I had a second book at the same time: “Following the Frontier” by W. L. Nida, 1934, so the book in question probably came from the same school discards). The book in question had ink line drawings — I remember a drawing of a potter wasp or mud dauber wasps’ nest shaped like a vase.
The book I’m trying to find was a mystery written by an Italian Psychologist. I believe he wrote three books, all mysteries with different modes of transportation as the setting (an airplane, a train, and a ship.) The book I’m looking for was the mystery on an airplane. The murder occurred during the flight and the killer was exposed during the end of the flight. The author being a psychologist introduced some of his psychological theories into the story and I believe that this was the purpose of the three books – to explain his theories.
The book was probably written prior to the 1960’s but after the 1920’s. The title was short. I’m not sure if all the books were translated into the English language.
I enjoyed the story and wish I wouldn’t have sold my copy (it was a nice English first edition.) If you need more details, I’ll try to recall what I can. Thank You and good luck.
Young Adult historical novel about the childhood/teenage years of Margaret Plantagenet of York, who later became Margaret Pole, and her brother Ned (Edward, Duke of Warwick), at the end of the War of the Roses and beginning of the Tudor period. It starts in the court of her uncle, Edward IV, after her father (George, Duke of Clarence) has been executed for treason, and ends with her brother’s execution and her romance with Reginald Pole. My memory is that the heroine is known as Meggy or Peggy. I probably read this in the early 60s, but it might have been written in the 30s, 40s or 50s. I thought the author might be Elizabeth Janet Gray, Rosemary Sutcliffe, Margaret C. Leighton, or Elizabeth George Speare but can’t find anything that seems to match this story among their titles.
I am looking for an approximately 1930s children’s book with a brother and sister on cover using a cardboard box as a rocket.
1. No Title (the cover is missing
2. Book is about 100 pages +/-; Chapters are individual stories with a moral such as: Page 17, The Storm, Page 2, The Burglar; Page 71, The Letter to Mama, etc.; also includes black/white photography of animals, children, people, scenes with captions & guessing the “origin” such as “@ Topical” or H.A. Roberts titled “It’s Lots of Fun Helping Daddy” page 64; or Page 58 Gendreau “Feeding the Horse”;
3. There were at least 1 or 2 others books very similar to the above. Our mom would read a story at nap time or bedtime in the 1940s-1950s; The books we had were soft-back.
When I was in about 3rd to 6th grade in the early 1970s, my favorite book in my NJ public school library was a hardcover chapter book about kids on summer vacation, possibly in upstate New York, who get involved in some kind of mystery involving a neighboring house they call the Chateau. I think a diamond necklace came into it, and I’m pretty sure the children of one family joined forces with a boy from another family (maybe living in the Chateau?) to solve the mystery. Either Chateau or Diamond Necklace might have been in the title, but I’ve had no luck Googling for it. It was an old-fashioned story at the time, probably could have been written any time from the late 1930s to the mid 60s. There were illustrations, but a limited number, and I think they might have been listed by caption after the table of contents. I think it was the first time I had heard of a “Porte cochere”, which I had to look up. I think the binding was red, and may have had an imprint illustration of a country house on the cover — but I could be making that up!
I loved it and probably read it four or five times, but these scraps are all I can remember! I’d dearly love to find a copy.