Posted in May 2013

Getting (a little) technical: NGrams

Thanks for Colin on Literary Taste for drawing my attention to the Google’s neat little NGram tool. I was immediately fascinated! But what, you may ask, is an NGram? It is a technical term, usually used in computational linguistics, for a sequence of letters of any length. The Google Ngram Viewer is something more specific: … Continue reading

Sussex Gorse by Sheila Kaye Smith (1916)

Our second reading group looked at the novels of Sheila Kaye Smith this month. We had a few Kaye Smith novels, and then were delighted to receive a donation of several more from Pat, who is doing a PhD on her – thank you Pat! Previous reviews of Kaye Smith’s novel Joanna Godden (1921)have been … Continue reading

The ‘Bartimeus’ Omnibus (1935)

Review by George Simmers – see his Great War Fiction blog here The author was born Lewis Anselm da Costa Ricci in 1886; he anglicised his name to Ritchie and trained to become a naval officer. While still young, he contracted Malta Fever (brucellosis); this cost him the sight of one eye and damaged the … Continue reading

All Hands! by H. M. Tomlinson (1937)

As part of our adventure stories month, we set sail with a sea story… Review by John S. Plot summary: The Hestia, a tramp steamer, is the main character in this novel. We meet her in the East Indies where she is regarded by the crew as an unlucky, even cursed vessel – ‘there’s a … Continue reading

Judith Paris by Hugh Walpole (1931)

This novel was on the catalogue as ‘adventure fiction’, but a bit of a misfile there methinks. More a romantic family saga… Review by Pat P: I have read Judith Paris by Hugh Walpole, 1931, dedicated to John Galsworthy.  It is part of a historical saga about a family called Herries.  The saga extends over two … Continue reading

Riders of the Purple Sage (1912) by Zane Grey

This month we are reading adventure and sea stories. First up, we head on out to the western canyons with the cowboys… Review by A Reading Group Member Plot Summary: Jane Withersteen, a young and beautiful Mormon rancher, is in conflict with the corrupt patriarchal leadership of her Mormon community. She is resisting becoming a … Continue reading