Book Reviews

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Loved That Were Written Before I Was Born


I’ve tweaked this week’s topic. I made it books I’ve enjoyed that were written before JFK was president. (I was born in 1962). I also tried to NOT use the same old books I always use. And, I stuck to fiction only.


Dick Francis published Dead Cert in 1962, so Alan York and I arrived on the world scene the same year. This is the first of his racing murder mystery novels.


Barbara Pym’s Excellent Women was an absolute treat to read. Published in 1952, the year of Queen Elizabeth’s long ago ascension to the throne, it is still a fun read.


All of the Miss Read books are wonderful, but this is the very first one. It is utterly charming. How I wish children could enjoy such a school today. Village School by Miss Read was published in 1955.


Passing by Nella Larsen was published in 1929, but is enjoying a resurgence of interest among readers today. The ideas of what is race and what is culture are consuming us all right now. It is a short, but good, read and does generate a lot of ideas.


Published in 1928, World War I poet, Siegfried Sasson’s wonderful fictionalized autobiography (or should that be autobiographical novel?) Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man is a delight. The Edwardian life of a young man without great means, but with good-enough lineage.


Lady Audley’s Secret still holds its allure, in spite of turning 100 the year of my birth.


Published in 1957, A House in the Country features a group of friends who go together to take a country manor house on.


Naturalist and write Gene (short for Geneva) Stratton Porter was one of the best selling authors of the early 20th century. A Girl of the Limberlost is one of several of her books I’ve enjoyed reading in the last several years. It concerns a young woman desperate for an education.  In 2015 a friend and I visited one of her two homes in Indiana. You can read about that visit HERE.


A teenage boy who freaks out when a girl tries to sit on his lap because he is wearing his father’s old suit? A delightful, if somewhat dotty, mother who adores father and their 4  boys is just one of the reasons this book from 1935 (but set in 1890’s fashionable New York). The movie is good, too. Life With Father by Clarence Day, Jr.


Oh the poor Vicar! He and his family were really in it, weren’t they? Published 10 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, this was a surprisingly lively read. The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith.

Why not join the fun next week? You can read the rules here.

13 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Loved That Were Written Before I Was Born

  1. I love so many older books. Cool for the GSP mention; my friend is just finishing reading her “The Harvester.” She isn’t a big reader but said it’s good “once you get into the story.”


  2. Aw, Miss Read. Such a quaint little series. I randomly stumbled across No Holly For Miss Quinn and found it to be a perfect Christmas read, and only realized it was part of a MUCH larger series afterward.

    A Girl of the Limberlost has been one of my favorite books since high school. I had no idea one of her houses had been preserved as a museum — I just read your post about your visit and I’m bookmarking it to read again later because I’m overwhelmed by how enchanted I am about both the house and your descriptions/photos of it.


    Liked by 1 person

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