Posted on 2 Comments

My Bookshelf: Alcott, The Goonies, Masters, Armstrong, and Berube

The Goonies book cover

It’s time to take another peek at the items on my bookshelf! I’m having so much fun with this series, and I hope you are enjoying it. Has it encouraged you to go to your bookshelves and rediscover the books you own?

My husband purchased this hardback copy of Behind a Mask: The Unknown Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott, edited by Madeleine Stern with stories by Louisa May Alcott. This beautiful Christmas gift thrilled me, as I had never heard of the four stories.

Some of the stories in the book were published anonymously or under the name A.M. Barnard. The stories included are: “Pauline’s Passion and Punishment,” “The Mysterious Key,” “The Abbot’s Ghost,” and “Behind a Mask.”

Six years before she wrote Little Women, Louisa May Alcott was in financial straits. She entered “Pauline’s Passion and Punishment,” a novelette, in a newspaper contest. She published it anonymously, and it won the $100 prize. The subsequent “blood and thunder” tales she published would provide her livelihood for years.

Download a copy of the story from Project Gutenberg.

Listen to the audio recording of the short story “Behind a Mask” by Green Audio Books.


Who doesn’t love “The Goonies” movie? I love the artwork on this 1985 edition.

Steven Spielberg presents The Goonies, a novel by James Kahn, story by Steven Spielberg, and screenplay by Chris Columbus. 

“I will never betray my Goon Dock friends,

We will stick together until the whole world ends,

Through heaven and hell and nuclear war,

Good pals like us will stick like tar,

In the city, or the country, or the forest, or the boonies

I am proudly declared a fellow Goony.” — The Goony Oath

If you haven’t heard, they are making a sequel.

I’ve been enamored with Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Less Masters since high school. A teacher read parts of the book to my class, and I found it to be a unique method of telling a story. The stories unfold in a series of epitaphs.

I’ve since purchased the audiobook, and I love to play it in the car for friends who’ve never read it. They are instantly drawn into the tragic and scandalous tales of the people buried in little Spoon River.

The book is in the public domain, and you can download a free version at Project Gutenberg.

Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong is a new addition to my bookshelf. If you haven’t done it yet, you should scoot over and give a listen to my podcast. I review this book and share news about the second book in the new trilogy.

Whenever my eyes fall upon Joint Mission by D. Gary Berube, I smile and instantly remember the author. He was my high school janitor. I was a reporter for the high school newspaper, and a teacher thought Mr. Berube’s story would make an interesting article.

Mr. Berube didn’t look like other janitors. His long hair fell just below his shirt collar, and he wore jeans and short-sleeved plaid shirts. I always thought he looked as though he were headed out to a concert. He was easy-going and kind. I remember how tickled he was when I interviewed him for the paper.

He autographed this copy he gave me, and I’ve always cherished it. The cover and internal illustrations are his work, too.

Did you miss the last items on my bookshelf?

Posted on Leave a comment

Spring Into A Good Book

book by W. Houghton


Forgive me. Yes, I should love spring. Spring has its benefits–my yard chipmunks begin to frolic and play, the robins return to their favorite feeders, and the winter that continually covered the ground in ice has been defeated. Yes, there are positive aspects.

Then, there are those spring rituals and problems that I’d rather do without. The grass needs mowing, trees and shrubs call for pruning, an old house has drainage and flooding issues, and my sinus cavities are invaded and react violently to the blooming bounty of spring.

I’d rather stay inside and read a bit.

Like most book lovers, I find it difficult to say no to any homeless book. I have multiple copies of my favorites and just can’t seem to stop purchasing anthologies of literature. I hated lugging those things all over campus and yet am compelled to fill my bookshelves with them now.

While I still find the actual smell and weight of a book comforting, I do enjoy reading books online. Here are a few of my favorite places to turn to when in need of a good book (distraction).

Project Gutenberg: So old school it’s new again. Over 27,000 entries to tempt you.

LibriVox: While most audiobooks seem to relax me and lull me to sleep, I do enjoy them. Free audiobooks and you can volunteer to record chapters. I vow to volunteer at some point during the year. I will, I really will.

Bibliomania: Should your online reading hit a wall and you find yourself struggling, these guides can help you.

World eBook Fair: July 4th – August 4th, 2009 – You’ll have 1.5 million eBooks at your disposal. Pace yourself, you only get a month of free access. Annual membership is $8.95.

Any links you would like to share?


Country Walks of a Naturalist with His Children by W. Houghton @ Project Gutenberg