Friday, January 19, 2007

Library bag: retro reading

Though my husband is busy this weekend, I am in good company. My library bag is jammed with older books I noted on a favorite new blog. Why didn't anyone tell me that such a place like Pleasant View Schoolhouse exists, or that I'd suddenly be longing to sew flower-sprigged flannel housecoats and make shortbread? Anna recommends the recently reprinted Beany Malone series, which my library had in stock. She also dedicates a separate blog to Grace Livingston Hill, whose homey writings are also new to me. Delicious!

On another retro note, first the Deputy Headmistress and then Mama Squirrel discuss prewar budget menus and why they are so strangely canned. If you're interested in home economics and kitchen history, you simply must check out Perfection Salad by Laura Shapiro. Those 40's home ec books we love to ponder? They are rooted in feminism, not biblical womanhood. The earliest labs for women focused on uniform cookery and hygiene. Domestic scientists sparked an educational/social movement that replaced local farmwife favorites with sanitary, industrial Bisquik and Jello. Then they told our grandmothers it was more nutritious! A surprising read for this thinking woman in the kitchen.


Anonymous said...


I grew up reading Grace Livingston Hill, and to this day own every book she's written! :)Many of those books belonged to my Grandmother. Every couple of years, I go back and re-read them. Sweet, sweet books! thanks for the link to that blog.

Goslyn said...

Oh oh, I do love me some Grace Livingston Hill. My absolute favorite of her titles? "Marcia Schyler." You should definately take an evening to read it.

On another note, I have a book that makes me think of you every time I pick it up. It's called "The Mother's Almanac" and it was published maybe in the 60s or 70s, but is full of wonderful, common sense, inexpensive child-rearing ideas and projects. Definately worth a read if you can locate a copy at a yard sale or the library.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the fun links! I've been meaning to check out a Grace Livingston Hill book now for awhile. Thanks for the reminder.

I have, though, been enjoying Pleasant View Schoolhouse for some time now. Anna's blog is one of my favorites!

Karen G. said...

My favorite GLH is Aunt Crete's Emancipation. It's one of the non-romance ones, but so, so sweet. In a good way.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post. I'll be searching some of these out at my library I hope. And I just have to ask, since you mentioned it on Mama Squirrel's blog, what is junket? The old cookbooks I read as an adolescent mentioned it but I never did figure what it was.

Anonymous said...

I love Beany books. Lenora Mattingly Weber was a wonderful author. Her characters really come off the pages. I also am always edified when I read GLH books. Joy