It has been a very good week (or so) of reading. I have finished three books for two challenges. I am participating in the Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge and the 2013 Pre-1960 Childrens Book Reading Challenge hosted by turningthepagesx.blogspot.com.
I don't know whether I am just reading faster or if I am just choosing books that are quick reads but I have been truckin' right along with the 2013 Goodreads Reading Challenge. This go around I finished The Cross Country Quilters by Jennifer Chiaverini, Aunt Dimity Takes a Holiday by Nancy Atherton and The Bobbsey Twins at London Tower by Laura Lee Hope.
The Cross Country Quilters is the third in the Chiaverini series about the Elm Creek Quilters. I like how the first book was about the beginning of the Elm Creek Mansion and all the back history and the books expand to include the stories of the campers at the quilt camps held by Sylvia Compson and her friend and substitute daughter, Sarah McClure. Each of these individual stories start at Elm Creek Manor, the idyllic home of the Elm Creek Quilters and the camp, and take the reader away from the camp into the environment of the characters and they all end up back at the camp at the end. While the reader might not identify with every character and their situation, there is always one that comes home in the readers mind. These are great books, very comfortable yet thought provoking, set in a wonderful setting that takes you to another place for a little while as you watch the characters deal with and solve contemporary problems. Great reads, for sure.
The next adult book I read was Aunt Dimity Takes a Holiday by Nancy Atherton. This is part of the Aunt Dimity series and followed true to the series. The main characters are Lori Shepherd, her husband Bill Willis, Emma and Derek Harris and their children and, of course, the sweet, loveable, brilliant yet slightly dead Aunt Dimity. This book follows the tale of Derek Harris who is the slightly mysterious owner of Anscombe Manor -- well, he wasn't so mysterious until his wife Emma discovered there was another side to him -- and another name! Yes, well, that is all that I am going to say except that this episode in the series involves children's nurseries, poison-pen letters, secrets and burning bushes. Yes, it was good -- read it for yourself and see.
The book that I read for the childrens book challenge was The Bobbsey Twins at London Tower. My copy wasn't this colorful version but rather the faded green fabric of all my other BT books. However, I think they might have had dust covers which I believe this is a photo of. I chose to use this photo as it is a bit more colorful and I think my original copy might have been this one. In any event, it was published in 1959 and I received a copy right off the presses. I was an Anglophile even back then and absolutely inhaled this book. Reading it as an adult I enjoyed it but I was a bit taken aback at the adult responses assigned to the elder twins. I was also a bit befuddled at the Bobbsey adults' dismissive reactions to their children running all over London with children they didn't know confronting criminals -- yes, yes, I know -- this is fiction not to be confused with reality but, in reading these books as an adult, it is surprising to me the "adultness" of the children that I didn't catch when reading them as a child. Hmm..maybe I thought I was just as grown up! In any event, the Bobbsey family finds themselves going to England with their father who is going on an impromptu business trip. Before leaving, however, the elder twins find themselves embroiled in a petty theft at a local collectible shop and the mystery follows them across the great pond and finally resolves itself in London. Unrealistic, yes, but it was written very cleverly in that the mystery was entwined with the Bobbsey's visiting the historical sites and the countryside and meeting new friends and it didn't come across as being contrived at all -- well, except for the aforementioned things. All in all, it was an enjoyable re-read. It meant more having now been to the UK and visited the places the Bobbsey's visit. While the storyline is a bit unbelievable, it was still a bit magical for me. Who knows, I might read it for a third time!
Each of these books were good in my opinion. I would recommend them and intend to continue reading each series myself.