Random reading this Sunday morning has turned up all sorts of interesting items, but this one especially appeals to me. "Nancy Drew and the Secret of the 3 Black Robes" by Mary Jo Murphy examines the possibilities as to why three Supreme Court justices (O'Connor, Ginsburg, and now Sotomayor) have publicly extolled the virtues of the girl detective. Article touches on the universal appeal of the awkward, plot-driven prose, and quotes another favorite article.
“The real allure of Nancy Drew is that, almost uniquely among classic or modern heroines, she can follow — is allowed to follow — a train of thought,” wrote Sandra Tsing Loh, reviewing Melanie Rehak’s “Girl Sleuth,” a biography of Nancy Drew’s creators, in The Atlantic. “The plot opens ever outward for her, her speeding blue convertible a metaphor for the sure-shot arrow of her intellect, the splendidly whizzing shaft of the maiden huntress Diana.”
"A tree that sheds poison daggers; a glistening red seed that stops the heart; a shrub that causes paralysis; a vine that strangles; and a leaf that triggered a war. In Wicked Plants, Stewart takes on over two hundred of Mother Nature’s most appalling creations. It’s an A to Z of plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend. You’ll learn which plants to avoid (like exploding shrubs), which plants make themselves exceedingly unwelcome (like the vine that ate the South), and which ones have been killing for centuries (like the weed that killed Abraham Lincoln's mother).
Menacing botanical illustrations and splendidly ghastly drawings create a fascinating portrait of the evildoers that may be lurking in your own backyard. Drawing on history, medicine, science, and legend, this compendium of bloodcurdling botany will entertain, alarm, and enlighten even the most intrepid gardeners and nature lovers." (from the publisher)
What is everyone else in the Sunday Salon reading this week?