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Against the Current by Robert Silverberg
Alice, the Cat Who Was Hounded by Jules Rosenthal
And Then What Happened Paul Revere? by Jean Fritz
Arizona by Clarence Budingham Kelland
Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton
Barren Lives by Gracilliano Ramos
Better Not Get Wet, Jesse Bear by Nancy White Carlstrom
Bleach Volume 2 by Tite Kubo
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Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg
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Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
The Ebb-Tide by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Eight by Katherine Neville Gag by Lovechild
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The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
How to Deal with Difficult People by Andrew Costello
I Went to the Animal Fair by William Cole and Colette Rosselli The Key by Joe Vitale
The Long Valley by John Steinbeck
Memoirs of an Invisible Man by H. F. Saint
Motherhood, the Second Oldest Profession by Erma Bombeck
Mousekin's Family by Edna Miller
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House by Eric Hodgins
Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein
My Summer with George by Marilyn French
Sail Away by Donald Crews
Sailaway Home by Bruce Degen
The Secret River by Kate Grenville
Shooting Polaris by John Hales
Small Pig by Arnold Lobel
The Storm by Sarah Zimmerman
Strange Mr. Satie by M. T. Anderson and Petra Mathers
Turtle's Flying Lesson by Diane Redfield Massie
The Unfinished Revolution by Michael Dertouzos
The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs
Who Goes There? by Dorothy P. Lathrop

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Arizona: 10/20/07


Arizona is another of a large number of Clarence Budington Kelland novels I rescued from being tossed out in 2003. I have been slowly reading and releasing them, although this one I plan to to keep for a number of reasons. I finally got around to reading it for the "Books to Movies" challenge.

Arizona was published in 1939 and then adapted to film in 1940. In the film version, Phoebe Titus gradually embraces her femininity when she falls in love for Peter Muncie, a man who can't decide whether he should set down his roots in Arizona or California. As I hate with a passion stories where a woman changes drastically to win her man's love, I was dreading a bit this book. I was afraid I would finally have found a book by Kelland that I didn't like.

I was wrong and foolish. The film may have fallen into Hays code era cliches, but Kelland's Phoebe Titus stays true to her name (Phoebe was the moon titan in Greek mythology). This Phoebe is a titan in the early days of Tucson. Although she does slowly fall in love with Peter Muncie (there is always an element of romance in Kelland's books), she does not turn into a girlie-girl just to win his affections. In fact, he respects and loves her for her strength and stubbornness.

There's a scene right about the middle of the novel where bandits break into Phoebe's ranch, tie her up, threaten her life and rob her life's savings of $15,000. I cringed, expecting this to be the chance for Peter Muncie to return and rescue his now damsel in distress girl friend. But he doesn't! He arrives late. She has to survive on her own wits and strength. Does this robbery change her mind from being a rancher in lawless Tucson? No. She changes her tactics slightly but she continues pressing on to make a living in a city she loves. Phoebe manages to stay true to herself and still find love and start a family (because she wants to, not because she feels she has to.)

Once again Kelland has delighted me with a novel full of realistic and interesting characters. The copy I read needs to be rebound before it will be strong enough to be released in the wild. For that reason and because I do want to keep a couple Kelland books for my own collection, I will be holding onto Arizona for the time being.

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Comment #1: Sunday, October, 21, 2007 at 13:53:53


I've added this to the Book to Movie listing."