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THE BOOKMAN'S GUIDE TO FICTION
THE BOOKMAN will present each month tabloid reviews of a selected list of recent fiction. This section will include also the books most in demand according to the current reports in "Books of the Month", compiled by the R. R. Bowker Company, The Baker and Taylor Company's "Retail Bookseller", and "THE BOOKMAN'S Monthly Score". Such books as the editor specially recommends are marked with a star.
THE NINTH OF NOVEMBER Bernhard Kellermann - McBride. A story of the downfall of Prussian militarism and of the degeneration of a city and its people under the strain of war. (See page 223.)
*THE CONSTANT NYMPH Margaret Kennedy Doubleday, Page. An artistic, unmoral family seems all the more lovable by contrast with a prim, mid-Victorian set in a book that deserves to become a best seller. (See page 192.)
MRS. WILLIAM HORTON SPEAKING Fannie Kilbourne - Dodd, Mead. The first year of married life in the smart young married set of Montrose in the good old middle west, vivaciously described by one of its members.
THE ENCHANTED HILL - Peter B. Kyne Cosmopolitan. Romantic and dangerous deeds with an attractive aviator hero, a New Mexico setting, and a dog to add to the sentiment value.
WITH THIS RING - Fanny Heaslip Lea - Dodd, Mead. One of Miss Lea's well known and well liked meringues.
* ARROWSMITH - Sinclair Lewis - Harcourt, Brace. The best character work yet given us by this realist in a story of a physician's ambition, discouragements, and loves. (See page 183.)
RUGGED WATER Joseph C. Lincoln Appleton. Humor and adventure among the Cape Cod life savers. An excellent example of this story teller's work.
THE PRINCE OF WASHINGTON SQUARE Harry F. Liscomb - Stokes. Another Daisy Ashford, only older. A combination of Diamond Dick and Ethel M. Dell. (See page 221.)
SHAKEN DOWN Alice MacGowan and Perry Newberry Stokes. San Francisco's graft ring and the earthquake are the background for a cleverly intricate plot.
THE EDITOR RECOMMENDS —
BOOKS THAT MAY HAVE
1. "Last Poems" by A. E. Housman (Holt). Some of the most beautiful lyrics written in this century.
2. "The Men Who Make Our Novels" by Charles C. Baldwin (Dodd, Mead). Informative and useful sketches, if somewhat prejudiced.
3. "The Wind and the Rain" by Thomas Burke (Doran). An exquisite piece of autobiographical writing with fictional quality.
4. "Tom Jones" by Henry Fielding (Knopf). Scarcely needs this notice, except that there is a fine new edition with an introduction by Wilbur Cross.
5. "This Singing World" by Louis Untermeyer (Harcourt, Brace). Collection of children's poetry by this master anthologist.
Strong and Deep
OUNDINGS" by A. Hamilton Gibbs (Little, Brown) is a story of unusual emotional appeal. It has discernment, beauty, passion, and a variety of incident. It is a sort of masculine variety of "The Little French Girl", although certainly the heroine of Miss Sedgwick's novel has little. resemblance to Mr. Gibbs's Nancy. This brother of Sir Philip and of Cosmo Hamilton has drawn French, English, and American characters with much understanding and fine skill. His novel presents a picture of love and friendship in their subtlest meaning. With no hint of actual Freudianism, it yet has great psychological significance. It draws the distinction between physical and ideal love, and shows a modern forthright girl faced with the problem
of deciding between the two. The war enters only as an incident to the development of a rich love story. At times Mr. Gibbs reminds me of Swinnerton, although his strokes are broader. He understands women as few men novelists do, and he knows the English and the American temperaments thoroughly and is able to picture them without prejudice. His sex motivation is straight from the shoulder, but the blows are not dealt with such brutality that good sportsmanship and taste are lacking. I like this story better than any other I have read this spring. In fineness of writing it seems to me to rank with Maugham's “The Painted Veil", Floyd Dell's "This Mad Ideal", and Lewis's "Arrowsmith". I cannot imagine anyone's picking it up and laying it down again unfinished, so moving are the simple yet beautiful and effective incidents. The same author's "Gunfodder" was fine, but in some ways this is a better book; and from the point of view of popularity it should put him on a par with his already popular brothers.
termed by the New York "Times" blasphemous, seems to me on the con
Superb and Absurd Mr. Boswell
trary to be sweet and reverent. The A CHARMING new book is “Earl
satire is of life, not of Jehovah, and the import of the whole book is one of deep religious significance - to me, at least. At any rate, "Jonah" is an advance over "The Puppet Master", and marks Mr. Nathan again as a writer of thoughtful, beautiful prose. If Jonah's philosophizings are simple, they are at least well expressed.
Jonah replied gravely, "We are sad because life is not simple, the way it used to be. We imitate other nations and so we are not certain about ourselves any more. We are not even sure of God; we begin to wonder if He is not a bull, or a dove, and if He is not also the God of Aram and Babylon. That is why we are unhappy. When the things we believe in are questioned, it makes us restless and sad. Patriots are the only happy people, for they believe in themselves; and if other people disagree with them, they do not forgive them for it."
Floyd Dell's novel is certainly his best since "Moon-Calf", and I am inclined to think it a little more ap
Percy Dines Abroad" (Houghton Mifflin), in which Harold Murdock reconstructs, in Boswellian fashion, the dialogue which he imagines might have been heard at a dinner actually given in London in 1778 by General Paoli in honor of Earl Percy. the dialogue is not spirited, it is at least pleasant, and the volume is of excellent workmanship in all particulars of printing, binding, and illustration. It appears in a limited edition.
Professor Chauncey Brewster Tinker's two volume "Letters of James Boswell" (Oxford) gives us a book which, for flavor and charm and nonsense, almost equals the "Life of Johnson". Here is this pompous, weak, foolish yet brilliant man, in all his enchantment and he was, you know, a curiously appealing figure. You have only to read Mr. Tinker's "Young Boswell" to discern that fact, if you have not discovered it for yourself. I take the
pealing than that unusually appealing liberty of quoting a few sentences from
story. It is the quiet story of Judith Valentine; or rather, part of the story of Judith Valentine, for it ends in a fashion which leaves much to be wondered about this fascinating girl, this girl who would write poetry. We have had plenty of young poet heroes in our modern novels, but here it is a girl who drives blindly ahead with her ideals in rhyme and metre. Again we have presented the struggle between domesticity and artistic ambition, only here it is a double struggle Judith has her poetry and Roy his art. Does Mr. Dell believe that marriage is impossible under these conditions? He offers, I think, no answer to his question; but he asks it poignantly and he tells a story that is interesting and lit by flares of passion and truth.
a lengthy epistle to Zelide (Isabella de Zuylen). Boswell writes:
Let not religion make you unhappy. Think of God as he realy is, and all will appear chearfull. I hope, you shall be a Christian. But, my dear Zelide! worship the sun rather than be a Calvinist. You know what I mean. I had sealed this letter, I must break it up and write a little more. This is somewhat like you. I charge you once for all, Be strictly honest with me. If you love me own it. I can give you the best advice. If you change tell me. If you love another tell me. I don't understand a word of your mystery about a certain gentleman whom you think of three times a day. What do you mean by it? Berlin is a most delightful city. I am quite happy. I love you more than ever.
And so on and so on. Nor is he less emotional when writing to one of the same sex, the Reverend William Temple, concerning his resignation of the recordership: