Girl Sleuth

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Are you feeling the excitement of Suggestion Saturday dear readers? Because I am. Today's book was suggested by Allison. Thanks for the suggestion.

Back by popular demand (and by popular I mean two people said they liked it) :

Questions I've been asked once -

1. What's your favorite book so far? - Other than the Little House books, which are on my all-time favorites list, I would have to say that it's a tie between Leaving Church (because it really made me think about some things in a way I never had before) and Something from the Oven (because I love all things retro).

2. Are you reading other books besides the ones for the blog? - No. Although I have been tempted from time to time. I'm still getting used to not reading books in the evening. I kind of miss that, but I want to stick to just the book that I write about on the blog each day.

3. Do you ever read ahead? - No. That would feel too much like cheating. I don't start the book for the day until that morning.

Now for today's book: "In 1930 a plucky girl detective stepped out of her shiny blue roadster, dressed in a smart tweed suit, ready to restore a stolen inheritance to its rightful owner. Later, tied up by the villains, she manages to free herself and bring them to justice - all while wearing a pencil skirt and high heels. Eighty million books later, Nancy Drew has survived the depression, World War II, and the sixties (when she was taken up with a vengeance by women's libbers), and emerged as beloved by girls today as she was by their grandmothers. Now, in a narrative with all the fast-paced thrill of one of Nancy's adventures, Melanie Rehak solves a page-turning literary mystery: Who created Nancy Drew? And how did she go from pulp heroine to American icon?"

Shallow thoughts from today's book:

I went into reading today's book expecting to not like it - because I never read Nancy Drew books as a child. I was a Babysitters' Club kind of girl. But I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It was full of fun facts, and it really made me want to read through some of the juvenile books that I missed out on the first time around. I smell a Nancy Drew book in this blog's future.

Fun facts from the book:

  • Nancy Drew narrowly escaped being named Stella Strong - which kind of sounds like a stripper name. Other names that were under consideration: Diana Drew, Diana Dare, Nan Nelson, Nan Drew, and Helen Hale.
  • Wellesley didn't give out grades until the year 1912. - There's a nice useless piece of trivia that you can whip out at a party some time - provided you're at a party with people who are dorky enough to appreciate a pointless piece of information like that.
  • The University of Iowa, which started in 1855, was the first public institution in the U.S. to admit men and women on an equal basis. - Another useless fact you can use to impress people.

I'm endlessly amused by the quote from a writer (although it doesn't mention which writer, I hate it when books do that) who described the books being produced for children during the early part of the 20th century as, "an insidious narcotic with the habit-forming properties of opium." I guess this means I didn't have as wholesome of a childhood as I had originally thought - I was really just an addict looking for my next fix. It always makes me laugh when parents in old books complain about their children wasting time with unwholesome books - particularly in light of the fact that I spent the second half of my childhood reading unwholesome books and no one stopped to question it. They were so happy that I was reading that no one thought to investigate what kind of books they actually were. Adults would just nod their heads and say, "Oh isn't that nice, she's reading" or "Thank goodness she's reading and not wasting her time playing video games." And I would just smile and nod (they didn't need to know that I had a secret Superio Marios Brother's obsession as well). So, if yesterday's parents were horrified by an activity such as their children reading (the kind of activity that would fill today's parents with joy), does that mean that tomorrow's parents will be endlessly relieved to see how much their children enjoy television. Are parents 80 years from now going to look at their children who are parked in front of the television and say, "Thank goodness he's watching television."

If you have any suggestions for future Suggestion Saturdays, please leave them in the comments section dear readers. And if anyone is still having trouble getting their comments to go through e-mail me at