Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday Thingers--Where I Speak of an Uncommon Author

Today's Question from Marie at The Boston Bibliophile: Favorite Authors. Who do you have named in your LT account as favorite authors? Why did you choose them? How many people share your choices? Can you share a picture of one of them?

I have 52 authors named as favorites, and I don't have the energy to list them all. (I also figure you don't want to read them. If I'm mistaken, you can always take a look here.) I chose them because I greatly enjoyed more than one of their books. My favorites range from childhood ones to the present day. Not only that, but it's one of those things that I started and have yet to go back and finish. (Are they any closer to making that 30-hour day?)

re is one person who shares fourteen of my favorites--that's the highest one. If there'd been anyone who shared over thirty, I wouldn't know whether to be delighted or worried!

Instead of talking about how much I have in common with others when it comes to my favorite authors, I'd rather talk a bit about a favorite author of mine whom no one else shares--probably because no one's ever heard of her. I've been spending a lot of time trying to find a photo of her, with no success. Who is it? Dora Aydelotte. (I can hear all the "huh"s now!) She wrote historical fiction in the 1930s and 1940s, won some awards, and was most often compared to Willa Cather. What's so special about Dora Aydelotte? She spent much of her childhood in my little whistle-stop of a farm town in central Illinois, and two of the books she wrote were set there and in the surrounding farmland. I walked past the house where she lived whenever I went to visit my grandparents. When my mother was librarian there in town, she made sure that Miss Aydelotte's books were always on the shelves. She tracked down copies of the two set in Moweaqua and bought them for her own library. In the 1980s they finally moved the library to a new building. (It was about time: the old library building's floor had been held up by huge jacks in the basement for decades.) Mom and I had long since moved to Phoenix. One of our friends in town attended the library moving sale and sent us a gift: four more of Aydelotte's books. Yes, she was a local author. Yes, she wrote about the only place in the world named Moweaqua--but they sold her books. I have six of Dora Aydelotte's books now, and they will never be sold, although you find them occasionally online for over $100 a piece. It looks like no one else who belongs to LibraryThing owns her books. I don't mind. As long as I'm around, she won't be forgotten.


  1. That's so cool. It's nice to keep someone's legacy alive!

  2. Hey Cathy, I love your post! It's great to think that in this modern cyber-age there's someone in the corner of at least one slightly forgotten author. It's nice to think that she's much-loved. I doubt I'll ever come across her writing but now, as I poke around in charity stores where all sorts of things pop up, I'll be keeping one little eye out for any of these that have travelled far from home.

  3. Nice post. And you have quite a library! Never heard of Dora Aydelotte, I must admit. But now she'll probably have quite a few of us Thingers tracking her down!

  4. That is a lovely story, and even though I'd never heard of her, it ticks me off a bit that the local library would sell her books.

  5. What a nice tribute to Dora Aydelotte! How could the local library sell her books out of their collection, she's part of the town's history. Good that your friend was looking out for you (and preserving the author's work) and sent them along to Phoenix!


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