The CPR Book Group

I’ve decided to set up a ‘Book Group’ for books and authors which should be more widely read and for some reason they just aren’t, so they’re in need of a wee bit of a boost, or maybe they’re out of print. CPR obviously stands for Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation.

The sidebar widget has a girlie, pinkish purple foxglove (digitalis)on it, the significance is of course that digitalis is used to make some heart medications.

If you have a favourite book or author which you think is a bit neglected you can nominate them via the comments and I will add them to the list. If there are any reviews which I can link to, so much the better. If you don’t have a blog of your own which you can post reviews on you can either e-mail me your review or just add it to the comments and I’ll link it to the relevant author or book.

Joan Kyler recommended the author Angela Thirkell as one that I might like to try and after reading one of her books I’m now chewing at the bit to get my hands on some more of them. That was what gave me the idea because Thirkell’s writing doesn’t seem to be terribly well known and this is just a way of trying to spread the word about her and others.

I have a few authors which I could add to the list. A.J. Cronin and Lewis Grassic Gibbon are a couple which spring to mind. In fact most of the ones which I can think of are Scottish. How very parochial of me! Maybe other people have their own ‘local heroes’ in need of some tender loving care.

The CPR Book Group List – so far.

Arnold Bennett – specifically The Grand Babylon Hotel
Marjorie Bowen
A J Cronin
Robertson Davies
Edna Ferber
Lewis Grassic Gibbon
Audrey Erskine Lindop
Mary de Morgan
Miss Read
Mazo de la Roche
D E Stevenson
Angela Thirkell
Mildred Walker
Oswald Wynn

19 thoughts on “The CPR Book Group

  1. Arnold Bennett is another author that is sadly unappreciated. I read The Old Wives Tale because it was listed on the Modern Library Top 100 Novels and I loved it. I was so surprised that no one seems to read him any more. Please add him to the list!

    • Karen,
      You’re right, I haven’t seen anyone reading him for years. I read the Clayhanger trilogy and Anna of the Five Towns when I was a teenager but nothing since then and that was a very long time ago. So he will definitely be on the list. If you have a review of The Old Wives Tale I can link to it. Thanks!

      • It’s not exactly a review but I did write about The Old Wives’ Tale last year in a post about forgotten treasures during BBAW. Here’s the link:

        I’m racking my brain for other neglected authors — what about Miss Read, do you think she’s too popular? She doesn’t get much attention here in the U.S. Also, an excellent author I’d never heard of is Mildred Walker. She wrote several books about life in the American West in the early 20th century. I read Winter Wheat and thought it was a wonderful coming-of-age story, a bit like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Her books are rather hard to find though.

        • Karen, Thanks for that I will link to your review. I’ll add Mildred Walker too, my library has one only but some are quite cheap on Amazon and Abebooks. Miss Read, I’ll probably add her too. It’s difficult to know what to add really because sometimes people just haven’t heard of books which I assume are fairly well known. I thought that Cronin was unknown now, but Niranjana has read loads of his books. Hopefully people can get books from their local library and some obscure authors will get an airing as well as the library numbers going up.

  2. This is a great idea! I’ve not read her yet, but I propose Edna Ferber. While perusing the best seller lists for the 1920’s and 1930’s I noticed that she is on the lists a ton. I wonder why we don’t hear about her?

    • Anbolyn,
      Thanks for that suggestion. I vaguely remember the name Ferber but having looked her up it seems amazing that she isn’t widely read now. So she will be on the list and I’m hoping to get a hold of one of her books soon.

    • Susanne,

      Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll definitely add The Grand Babylon Hotel by Arnold Bennett to the list. I don’t know that one at all but it sounds good and I should be able to get a copy of it fairly easily.


  3. Hi Katrina,
    I was wondering whether you might like to make an informal blog challenge out of this? Once a list of a dozen authors or so is up, those of us who are interested could try and get hold of these books, post reviews and so on? I guess we would read these books anyway, but it might be fun to make it a group affair. And of course, in the process, we’d be resuscitating these books as well 🙂
    I’ve just begun the Thirkell and am enjoying it immensely–hence the enthusiasm!

    • Niranjana,
      I’m glad that you’re enjoying the Thirkell book. It’s a good idea to make it a very informal challenge, no pressure, just a bit of fun. I swore I wouldn’t do any more challenges but this is a good way of kicking off reviews. More later!

  4. Thought of another great book — The Ginger Tree by Oswald Wynn. I had this book on my TBR shelf for years when I finally read it I was so angry at myself for waiting so long! I just loved it and I don’t think anyone reads it any more. It was adapted into a BBC miniseries (later on PBS in the US) but I don’t think it’s on DVD unfortunately. I loved it and I’d love to watch it sometime.

    • Karen K,

      I’ll certainly add The Ginger Tree. I read it years ago but I had forgotten about it, must be my age! I think someone in a newspaper recommended it, then it was on TV but you’re right it doesn’t seem to be available on dvd, which is strange. I remember really enjoying it though and it was different from anything else. Jack says it had Samantha Bond in it who now plays M in the James Bond films and is also in Outnumbered.

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  6. Just to say that I found this site by researching Audrey Erskine Lindop, some of whose books I too enjoyed when young. I read ‘The Singer not the Song’, and also ‘The Way to the Lantern’, her French Revolution novel; both are very good, and both have an ambiguous, even Manichean view of good and evil. As her books were also filmed, it seems strange that she has vanished so completely.

    • Sash Lewis,
      Thanks for dropping by and commenting. It does seem strange that she has just about disappeared. I have her The Way to the Lantern, but haven’t got around to reading it yet.

  7. The Singer not the Song was available as a Book Club edition – I remember reading the book when it came out (my mother was a book club member) and then all of us went to see the movie – I think it was the second movie that I’d ever seen. The movie and the book are sort of intertwined in my mind – I still have the original book and found the movie as a DVD recently. The acting is not that great and I remember my parents being disappointed afterwards but the message of the movie – like its title – the contrast between good and evil – is unforgettable and timeless. In its way the movie does add to the book for all its faults.

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