Monday, April 21, 2008


Well hello. I know that I went missing for awhile here at Keep The Wisdom. I have been traveling and writing but mostly reading. I've probably lost the few readers I had, but I might as well keep going.

So without further ado, here is the final installment of books I read from 1952.

Voyage of the Dawntreader, C S Lewis, HarperCollins Inc, 1952, 248 pp

Lucy and Edmond (and their disgusting cousin Eustace) go to Narnia and join King Caspian on a voyage to the End of the World. They find several Narnians who had attempted the voyage earlier and had become enchanted; naturally the kids face dangers and free these trapped travelers.

I think the idea here is that they are traveling towards heaven or infinity. Cousin Eustace improves his personality and Reepicheep, the Chief Mouse, is the only one who gets to stay. Lucy and Edmond learn that this will be their last visit to Narnia because they are getting too old.

I liked this volume of the Narnia series. The story keeps moving and the descriptions of the End of the World are beautiful and entrancing. I recall liking it also when I was young. I wonder what comes next.

Charlotte's Web, E B White, HarperCollins Publishers, 1952, 184 pp

I cannot recall how many times I read this book as I was growing up, but it was several times. I read it again for the first time as an adult because it was published in 1952 and a new movie version had just come out.

It is still a wonderful story. What was new to me was the character of Charlotte, whom I did not remember as such a motherly person. I also noticed that Fern, the girl who originally saved Wilbur, quickly gets relegated to sitting on a stool in the barnyard and plays no further part in the story except to watch. Finally, in my memory, the story ended at the fair with Charlotte's death. How odd that the descendants of Charlotte who represent that life goes on and Wilbur's long happy life at the farm left little to no impression on me as a child. I guess I really loved Charlotte back then.

PULITZER: The Caine Mutiny, Herman Wouk. Already reviewed in Books Read From 1952, Part One, as it was the #2 bestseller in 1952.

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD: From Here to Eternity, James Jones. Already reviewed in Books Read From 1951, Part One, as it was the #1 bestseller in 1951.

NEWBERY MEDAL: Ginger Pye, Eleanor Estes, Harcourt, Brace & World, 1951, 250 pp

Ginger Pye is a dog who belongs to Jerry Pye, ten year old son of the Pye family. In a small town in New York State, the Pye family is close knit, not particularly well off, but happy. Jerry has a sister named Rachel and a three year old uncle named Bennie.

The three children worked hard to get Ginger Pye, who cost $1.00 and then lost him. The search for their beloved puppy goes on for many months and becomes a mystery complete with an unsavory character, clues and a villain. The kids are smart and intrepid. I liked the depiction of an earlier more innocent time when children could move about their environment on their own and have big adventures.

CALDECOTT MEDAL: Finders, Keepers, William Lipkind, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers, 28 pp

The Caldecott Medal being an award for illustration, this is a picture book. Two dogs dig up a bone together and can't decide who should get it. They go asking other animals and people, who never give them an answer. Finally a bigger dog tries to take the bone away, they defend the bone together, then eat it together.

There is definitely an original look to the illustrations by Nicholas Mordvinoff. The title phrase, finders keepers is never used in the text of the story which seemed odd to me.

This completes the books I read for 1952. Soon, by this weekend I hope, I will have the next installment of Reading For My Life posted. I plan to spend either Saturday or Sunday at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this coming weekend, seeing some authors speak and just hanging out with book lovers. Meanwhile I will post some reviews of current fiction I have been reading.

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