This Is our Village

Friday, April 12, 2013

Their OTHER Books . . .

There is nothing like coming upon a less famous book by a great author and finding it a delightful read. Jack London’s “White Fang” and “Call of the Wild” are well known, but recently I came across his “The Road” among free books listed for the Kindle. “The Road” tells about London’s days as a hobo, riding the rails in his late teens, when there were no cars and the railroads stretched from coast to coast across the US and Canada. It’s a fascinating story. So, I found, was London’s “Tales of the Fish Patrol,” a collection of true short stories of his adventures in enforcing fishing rules and regulations off the Pacific coast.
The great Charles Dickens is probably best known for his novels “David Copperfield,” “Oliver Twist,” and “Great Expectations,” plus “A Christmas Carol"— but two others by him that I have loved are “The Old Curiosity Shop” (where there's a heroine instead of a hero) and “Dombey and Son.”

Farley Mowat, the Canadian author who writes mostly about the northern climes, is one of my favorites. He wrote “The People of the Deer,” which is a classic, and “Never Cry Wolf,” which was made into a movie. His “The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be,” “The Boat Who Wouldn’t Float,” and “Owls in the Family,” all told in his humorous style, will have you in stitches. His well-researched (Farley was the son of a librarian) “Ordeal by Ice” is the fascinating account of centuries of voyagers who sought a “Northwest Passage” from the North Atlantic Ocean to the North Pacific Ocean by water route. You may have to settle for a used copy of this book, which describes how a number of these explorers got stuck in the ice, in some cases for two, three and four years.

I could go on, but that’s enough for now. I wonder about you? Can you share on the Blog some great authors, some of whose less well-known books you found to be great reads?


  1. Hi Lanny,

    I also enjoy such rare treasures, I commend to your perusal "Almost Periodic Functions" by Besicovitch.

    I'm sure you will find it most elucidating.

    Dave Israel

  2. Thank you. I checked this out on to be sure no purple birds or snakes were getting in the back door. They weren't, so I have ordered the book.

  3. Hi Lanny,
    April 12, 2013 at 10:49 PM,

    That was a joke Grasshopper, that little book is end-to-end heavy duty math.

    It was required reading in my Topology course way back in 1957; I'm surprised it is still in print!

    I hope you have a math major in your family.

    Dave Israel


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