I was *desperate *for something to read, and browsing through the library shelves came across a rare Booth Tarkington I had never read, his 1905 novel The Conquest of Canaan. As usual, it is terrific! The story of a small town and various loves and hatreds and rivalries. He is so good at books where nothing big or dramatic really happens, but they are such great character studies, you really feel you get to know the people and their world.
His “kid” books (the Penrods and Orvies and Seventeen) are unrivaled for that sort of heartwarming early-20th-century nostalgia, and I also loved The Magnificent Ambersons, Alice Adams (though I *hate *the fey, fluttery Hepburn movie) *Presenting Lily Mars, The Show Piece, The Flirt *. . . It’s like visiting those towns that everyone in The Twilight Zone wanted to return to.
Does anyone else read Booth Tarkington these days, or am I the last dinosaur? (And ask me sometime about Christopher Morley or Olive Higgins Prouty . . .)