Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday's Forgotten Books

Just about seven years ago, we began Friday's Forgotten Books and have never missed a week. I am two weeks early here because I will be moving houses that week. These were the first books reviewed. Most of these people have stopped blogging but Bill Crider has gone on, never missing a week. I will collect today's links later in the day but I wanted to remind you of where we began.I never expected the series to last more than an month or two. Or that reviewers would want to do it week after week. Life is full of such surprises.  Thanks to the regulars you will see here at 11:00 am.

 Thursday, April 24, 2008


FRIDAYS: The Book You Have to Read

This is the first of what I optimistically hope will become Friday recommendations of books we love but might have forgotten over the years. I have asked several people to help me by also remembering a favorite book. Their blog sites are listed below. I also asked each of them to tag someone to recommend a book for next Friday. I'm worried great books of the recent past are sliding out of print and out of our consciousness. Not the first-tier classics we all can name, but the books that come next. Here's my choice.


Desperate Characters by Paula Fox (Patti Abbott)

It's difficult to remember, thirty years on, New York in the seventies, The City was facing bankruptcy, the streets were dangerous, frequent strikes left unattended garbage for the rodents, buildings crumbled. Paula Fox's novel Desperate Characters perfectly captures that time along with the similarly disintegrating marriage of Sophie and Otto Bentwood. The story begins with an unexpected cat bite. "Because it's savage," Otto answers Sophie's puzzled, "why?" It was a cat she was trying to feed that bit her. This well-intentioned act, this McGuffin, sends the couple off on a weekend odyssey, where ominous events continue to haunt the childless couple. They find little solace in each other and there is no easy resolution at the end. The quiet desperation that suffuses their story is heart-breaking. The writing is haunting, lucid, and succinct.
Fox has also written two books about her life (Borrowed Finery and The Coldest Winter), a few other novels (The Widow's Children) and many children's books. But nothing is finer than this one for me.
http://crimespace.ning.com/profile/BrianL

19 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

How nice to see where this great feature all started. Thanks, Patti.

George said...

Bill Crider is Mr. Reliable! You can always count on him! Seven years of great reviews! Thanks to you, Patti, and all the substitute FFB hosts.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I was going to say what George said. Bill is definitely someone who never misses a week.

Jeff M.

RT said...

A super retrospective! And thanks to you for being such an energetic and enthusiastic host-editor for the weekly feature.

Postscript: Here is my offering for this week --
http://beyondeastrod.blogspot.com/2015/04/forgotten-book-friday-something.html

Deb said...

Fun fact: Paula Fox was Courtney Love's grandmother.

Congratulations on keeping this great feature going for seven years. I've discovered so many wonderful books and writers and blogs through FFB.

pattinase (abbott) said...

And I have discovered so many wonderful people, including you, Deb. Incidentally, thanks for the article yesterday. Was so much fun.

Charles Gramlich said...

Amazing!

Bill Crider said...

A great tradition. I'm glad nobody used the word "compulsive" when mentioning me. Yet.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

She still is her grandmother, Deb. Fox is still alive at 91.

Jeff M.

TracyK said...

Seven years is amazing. I knew this had been going on for years but did not know it was that long.

Joe Barone said...

I've found many good books because of Forgotten Fridays.

Gerard said...

Bill Crider? Never heard of him.

Todd Mason said...

C'mon, Gerard, you know...the guy with that blog, BOOKS ARE FOR CRIDERS...

Todd Mason said...

Patti, thank you for maintaining all through some trying imes (and seeing to it getting done when vacations and other travel demanded)...and thank you, George, for the benison and your own hosting, and everyone for all the tips and reviews so far!

Mine will be done shortly...

Yvette said...

Congrats, Patti. I know it's not easy. I admire your dedication and hard work. As you might know, I've taken a step back from blogging. (I still blog just not on a very regular basis.) I do so wish I had your stamina and enthusisam, m'dear.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Wow, Patti, this is amazing. Many congratulations! I'm happy to be a part of FFB even if I miss it every now and then.

Richard said...

Seven years of quality posts reviews, meeting new people. Wonderful! Tahnk you, thank you.

Todd Mason said...

I'm pretty sure we met through Crimespace...which I haven't visited for years...

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

Amazing - well done Patti - and thank you.