Hooray for me! I finished a book!
Actually, I’ve been finding more time lately to read the 15 or 20 books that live next to my bed. But narrowing it down enough to finish one is an event worthy of trumpets and a parade. And I’ve finished several in recent months!
Thanks to Sherry’s great and timely idea, I’ll be posting a book review once each week from now until…well, until my time or attention span run out. That might not take long, so let’s enjoy it while it lasts, OK?
In spite of the fact that I was an extremely avid reader in my younger (read: childless) years, this was my first G. K. Chesterton book. I have run into many of his quotes and all were worth quoting, so I finally decided to make the plunge. I visited the local Half Price Bookstore hoping to find something worthwhile by the man – hopefully a Father Brown collection – and found just one book by Chesterton. Ah, but it was the very book I had hoped for: The Best of Father Brown!
Father Brown is a mousy little Roman Catholic priest, an accidental detective who solves baffling mysteries like a small and humble Sherlock Holmes: by observing and stating details that seem obvious to him and shockingly insightful to onlookers. A large part of the charm of this collection is in the main character’s observations upon human nature. Chesterton is, indeed, eminently quotable.
In reading this book, I remembered why I enjoy short stories so much: they are perfect for a busy mother, with just small reading allowances in a day’s time. I can take in all the characters and plot in one or two sittings. There is little danger of setting the book down and having to start over again the next time.
Furthermore, short stories are an art far less forgiving of the author. In a well written short story, there is no “filler,” no superfluous details, no meaningless banter and stilted dialogue. A well crafted short story must be well crafted indeed.
I think Chesterton accomplished those ends in the selections presented in this book. It was a thoroughly enjoyable introduction to his work.
Hubby later found the following titles for me to add to our little collection:
- (The Annotated) Innocence of Father Brown – the first Father Brown collection. I have made good progress into this volume and am enjoying it quite as thoroughly as the other.
- The Club of Queer Trades – more humorous mysteries in the style of Father Brown. My edition has original illustrations by the author.