Friday, May 18, 2007

The Ruth Fielding Series


I consider Ruth Fielding and Her Double to be the hardest to find book in the Ruth Fielding series, and it is the one that I finally acquired this week. I had waited for months for a less expensive one to come up for sale. The ones that have been available online for months are far higher in price than I care to pay. Do a search at www.abebooks.com to see what I mean about the prices for this title. I finally bought one within the price range that is acceptable to me.

I am now one volume short of having a complete set of the Ruth Fielding series in dust jacket. Ruth Fielding in Talking Pictures is the last title I need. There are several copies available online, and they are much more reasonable than the ones of Ruth Fielding and Her Double. It is just a matter of deciding which to buy or whether to continue to wait for either a better condition or less expensive one to come up for sale. I may end up buying one of the available copies, simply to end my quest of Ruth Fielding books.

In around two weeks, I am finally going to have time to read again. I plan to finish reading the Susan Sand series. After Susan Sand, I will read Ruth Fielding, assuming that I have a complete set by that time. I always wait for a complete set before I begin reading any of the books in a series. I am hoping that the Ruth Fielding series will prove to be good. It is hard to judge a series without detailed information available online. I have read comments over the years that have stated that the Ruth Fielding series is good; however, I have never read specific enough of comments to give me a compelling reason to want to read the series.

I don't like all girls' series books. The Dorothy Dixon series is one example. I read the first book and part of the second, and the books bored me, so I never finished the second book. Someday I will try again. In spite of my lukewarm reaction to the Dorothy Dixon series, I do want to read Dorothy Dixon and the Double Cousin someday. One of the Judy Bolton books, The Secret of the Musical Tree, has the same plot as Dorothy Dixon and the Double Cousin.

My point is that I could read Ruth Fielding and be bored. I hope this is not the case as it has taken me more than a year to get this close to a complete set. I feel like the series must be good; it would not have stayed in print for 30 titles if it were a weak series. The 30 title duration of the series and the good, although vague, comments from various people about the series are the reasons why I chose to build a set. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

New Grosset and Dunlap Nancy Drew Collectibles

Today I visited a few bookstores and purchased some of the new collectibles that have been published in advance of the upcoming Nancy Drew Warner Brothers movie. The best items are the ones put out by Grosset and Dunlap, and I am quite impressed with the effort that Grosset and Dunlap has put into these new items.

By far the best one is the book The Lost Files of Nancy Drew. Grosset and Dunlap has used some of its old artwork and created a scrapbook about Nancy Drew's adventures during the original 56 Nancy Drew mysteries. It is set up like it is Nancy Drew's very own scrapbook. It is the best Nancy Drew item published by Grosset and Dunlap in several decades.

The book opens with this message: Whenever Nancy Drew closed the book on a mystery, she always recorded her adventure in her journal. For many years it was believed that none of these firsthand accounts existed, but we've unearthed several from some of Nancy's most exciting mysteries. You are free to read them, but be careful - make sure no one's looking over your shoulder. The last thing Nancy would want is for any criminals or crooks to learn all her secrets!

The book is full of comments that read as though written by Nancy Drew herself. The book contains Nancy Drew's mementos from her past mysteries, and many items are featured in the book as three-dimensional items that can be pulled up from the pages, such as Josiah Crowley's will, Nancy's Sleuthing Supply List, Nancy's Ski Pass from The Mystery at Ski Jump, Nancy's passport, and other neat surprises. Grosset and Dunlap put an amazing amount of time and effort into producing this excellent scrapbook.

Grosset and Dunlap has also created an item called the Nancy Drew Pocketbook Mysteries. This neat item is like a pocketbook and contains the first two Nancy Drew Mystery Stories in the current Grosset and Dunlap flashlight editions. The pocketbook has handles and the side features the original Tandy art to the first Nancy Drew mystery, The Secret of the Old Clock. The part I love the most is the "lining" of the pocketbook. The lining is made of heavy paper stock and is the old blue multipic endpapers that Grosset and Dunlap used in its Nancy Drew books during the 1950s and 1960s. The Nancy Drew Pocketbook Mysteries is a neat collectible item!

The third item put out by Grosset and Dunlap is the new updated edition of the Nancy Drew Sleuth Book. The Nancy Drew Sleuth Book has been out of print since the last 1970s and is quite scarce. The cover of the new book is very similar to the old edition, but the silhouette has been changed back to a 1930s-style Nancy Drew rather than the 1970s-style silhouette that was on the 1970s edition. Best of all, the new book has a matte finish, unlike the rest of Grosset and Dunlap's current Nancy Drew books, the ubiquitous flashlight editions we love so much. In fact, I don't even own a set of the flashlight editions as I dislike them so much. But this new Sleuth book is a must-have!