Three Exemplary Fathers in Fiction

Good fathers are too dull for novels. At least that’s the impression the scarcity of exemplary fathers in bestselling fiction gives. I turned up just three interesting men in the bestselling pre-1970 fiction who have a demonstrable, positive impact on their own children. Atticus Finch Of the three, lawyer Atticus Finch in To Kill a […]

1903’s Best Novels None Too Good

Although the bestsellers of 1903 include some good stories and some intriguing detail, none of the novels is literature. Most are not even novels you’d seek out for a second reading. With the exception of Owen Wister’s The Virginian, each seems to be very much a novel of its era. It’s hard to imagine any […]

Letters of a Self-Made Merchant to His Son: A Businessman’s Home Companion

If Garrison Keillor had been CEO of a pork-packing business in the 1890s, he might have written Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son. Since he was not, George Horace Lorimer undertook the task, producing a bestselling novel brimming with funny stories, shrewd advice, and love. Each of the 17 chapters of the novel […]