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2011 Reading Challenge~~Book #23

With no interent to distract me (it hasn't been hooked up to our new house yet ~ I'm writing this hasty review from Man of the House's new office), I've finally finished Q's Legacy by Helene Hanff. I loved it! However, if you're not a fan of 84, Charing Cross Road or have never read it, you won't get a lot out of Q's Legacy. In this book, the author tells the story of 84: how she came to write it, how it grew to be a cult classic, and how it took on a life of its own and was eventually adapted into a stage play. (The movie didn't come out until 1987, six years after Q's Legacy was published, and so isn't included in the book, obviously.)

The "Q" of the title refers to Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (rhymes with "pooch"), a Cornish author who used "Q" as his pen name. He taught at both Oxford and Cambridge and is probably best known for the Oxford Book of English Verse. As a young woman who had to drop out of college for financial reasons, Hanff studied Q's books on writing, which inspired her to delve into the riches of English literature, which in turn led her to begin writing to Marks and Co. in the quest for inexpensive copies of books she couldn't find in New York City. And this in turn eventually led to 84.

Q's Legacy is a witty and engaging book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who already enjoys 84. If you don't, skip Q. If you don't know, get thee to the nearest library and read 84 (and watch the film too!).

Update: We are still busily unpacking and painting and with no internet yet, my online time is limited. I hope to return to regular blogging soon!


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