Monday, January 25, 2010

Book nine: The Log-Cabin Lady, an Anonymous Autobiography

I'm happy to loan this book out to anyone who wants to increase their books-read-per-year tally (or Darr found a free copy online you can download here). It was a pleasant, quick read. I love how the lady continues to ask her husband how to act, he tells her she's fine and to "just be herself," and then after a social blunder, he responds with an "oh yeah, I forgot to tell you we don't do that."

Excerpt 1:
"...But mother, despite all of those hard, lonely years in our rough country and the many interesting things for her to do and see in New York -- mother wanted nothing better than to stay with the baby. With all of the children she had brought into this world one might think she had seen enough of babies. But she adored my little son. ... I felt that she loved my baby boy as she had never loved me or any of her other children. And I understood why mother never had time to love her own babies. In the struggle for existence of those hard years she had never had a minute to indulge in the pure joy of having her baby."
Excerpt 2:
"For the first time I realized that custom is merely a matter of geography. One takes off one's shoes to enter the presence of the ruler of Persia. One wears a black tie until eleven o'clock in Vienna -- or doesn't. One uses fish knives in England until he dines with royalty -- then one must manage with a fork and a piece of bread ... No one ever speaks of himself in England. They are sensitive about everything personal. But there is an underground and very perfect system by which everything about everybody is known and noised about and discussed with everybody except the person in question. It is a mysterious and elaborate hypocrisy."
Even the copyright page of this book was interesting. It contains all of four lines - the year of the copyright (1922), the publisher's name, the statement "All rights reserved," and a line at the bottom stating it was printed in the U.S. Compare that to the 31 lines of the copyright page in the Niffenegger book I just finished. Egads. 9 down, 17 to go.

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