Monday, March 5, 2012

Obsession Number Three

I am a reader. I am obsessed with books. Ever since I learn to read, I have almost always had a book in my hand.  However, I am finding as I get older, I have gotten more particular about what I read.  I do not finish every book I start, for instance. In the past, finishing books was a badge of honor for me.  Now, if I start a book and I feel like I have read it before (actually, read one almost like it!), I stop.  I guess I have decided  that I do not have as much time to waste, anymore!

When I was a child, Heidi, was my very favorite book.  I, also, loved the Pippi Longstockings series.  There were so many books that I adored.  However, once I discovered Nancy Drew, I was obsessed with the books about her. I had to read all of them and help her solve those intriguing mysteries!

Of course, I introduced my daughter to Nancy Drew, when she was old enough to read the series and I think that she liked them, but I have to admit that my daughter was more interested in reading non-fiction, like books on World War II or travel books. She was reading those at a very young age.  However, my oldest granddaughter took to the Nance Drew books, like I did.

For my granddaughter’s seventh birthday, her mother and I put our heads together and decided to go all out with a “Nancy Drew, Girl Detective” birthday party. We hired a teen-aged girl to play Nancy. When the attendees arrived, our “Nancy” gave each one a “Girl Detective” workbook and taught them how to be real detectives.We held the first part of the party in our garage and took all of the presents inside. Our mystery was that the birthday party had been stolen – the cake and all of the presents had disappeared, when the girls finally made it inside. We hid clues all over the house and even video-taped the The Birthday Bandit (my son) being captured, which we showed on the television and appeared to be a real news report.

The birthday party was saved – the criminal, A.K.A “Jumping Jeff”, had just moved the cake and presents to the terrace outside our basement.  It was a fantastic day and the little girls had so much fun.  Of course, they all went home with Nancy Drew books and other fun prizes, like magnifying glasses and flashlights.

I could not write about Nancy Drew without doing a small tablescape.  The tablecloth is a piece of fabric that I had left over from the party. We gave each young girl a canvas tote bag for their detective books and prizes. I made decorative ties for each bag out of this fabric. It shows pictures of  Nancy and cute sayings from the books.

I used Mikasa “Yardley” white dinner plates, blue Elite china (no pattern name) salad plates, and yellow JC Penney “Pearl” salad plates.  The white flatware is from Walmart and the small glasses are are Spiegelau juice glasses.  The centerpiece is a blue Hall china water pitcher, which was included with the purchase of some refrigerators around 1939. The pitcher belonged to my mother and, alas, the lid was broken many years ago. The first Nancy book was published in 1930, so the pitcher is certainly age appropriate.

Reprints of the first two Nancy Drew books are on the table, as well as a wonderful book about the different authors (they all claimed the pseudonym of Carolyn Keene!) of the Nancy Drew series.  This book  was written by Melanie Rehak and is a fun read for anyone who loved Nancy Drew and her sleuthing!

Since I had to grow up, eventually, and move on from the Nancy Drew books (I am quite sure that I read them all!), I will leave you with just a few of my favorite “grown-up” books.  I have pretty eclectic taste in literature and these books might not be for everyone, but I am writing about my obsessions – lol!!

My favorite all time book – Tell No Man by Adela Rogers St. John
  A few years ago, my sweet daughter surprised me with a first edition, signed copy.    
  What a gift!

Other favorites – The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

                            A Son of the Circus by John Irving

                            Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

                            Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (I actually hugged this book, when I finished it!)
                            Sweet Everlasting by Judson Mitcham

                            Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie

                            Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

                            An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

Oh, there are so many more and on any given day, these might change!  I would love to read the names of your favorite books.  If you comment, please mention them!



  1. Oh, I was a huge Nancy Drew fan as a girl, too! One summer an older neighbor girl let me borrow her entire collection of 30 or more books in the series, and I was in heaven! What a darling party idea -- that fabric is just perfect. I need to introduce my granddaughter to Nancy, I think!

    1. I still love a good mystery story, don't you? I know your granddaughter will love Nancy, too!!

  2. What an original tablescape!! I have never seen a Nancy Drew tablecloth and the theme used for a table! So clever and fun! The kids must have really loved it! So nice to have real dishes for the kids instead of plastic and paper plates!! What a great time and post! Hope you are having a lovely Sunday! I'm your newest follower!
    Miss Bloomers

    1. The wonderful website where I purchased the fabric is no longer up. There are others, though, where Nancy Drew merchandise is available.

  3. Oh, love this post, your table is wonderful! What a great idea for a party.

    I agree with you about not finishing a book. What I always say is - so many books, not enough time. Finally I'm reading The Help, have read all if Lisa See's books~just love her, and am putting Middlesex on my list, thanks to you. I'm a new follower.

  4. I loved the "Help"! Thanks for the kind comments!

  5. I loved this idea for a birthday theme and adored Nancy Drew as a child. I have all the books in the series. My favorite book is Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman. It is an old book.

  6. Thank you gor the book suggestion. I have never read that one.

  7. Love your table scape. Have a good week.

  8. I got SO excited when I saw the name Nancy Drew! Her books kept me entertained all through my childhood. More than a few years ago, I broke my collarbone and couldn't drive. In order to get my shopping fix, I discovered ebay and I now have the entire collection of the blue books with the black silhouette.

    What a fun and creative idea for a party, and what a perfect way to get your son involved, too! I'm sure the attendees are still talking about it! Love your tablescape, too!

    My favorite book as a child was The Secret Garden. AND, I haven't finished a book in months!

  9. Count me in as a huge Nancy Drew fan! I LOVE your unique tablescape, it's cute and so original!! Thanks for sharing.

  10. LOVE Nancy Drew!! This is such a unique tablescape, thank you for sharing and I hope your weekend is mysterious! ;)


  11. What a super idea for a party! I taught 4 th and 5 th grade for 33 years, none of them ever heard of her. I did get them hooked on Gail Rock though!
    I was a Cherry Ames girl myself! Never wanted to be a nurse, but I loved those books.
    What a wonderful memory you created for your gdau!

  12. What a great idea and what a fun birthday party theme! Your table is fabulous! I can imagine how much everybody enjoyed the party...Christine

  13. I LOVE this post!!! I, too, loved Nancy Drew (I read the blue ones with the black silhouette, like Elaine). These started me on my life-long love of mysteries. Your post hits so close to home...I used to force myself to finish a book, even if I weren't interested. But now, if I am not enjoying it, I won't waste the time to finish. There are so many books-so little time! I love anything by Anne Tyler and Edith Wharton and my favorite mystery writer is Martha Grimes. I adore any english mysteries and spy novels.

    But your table is adorable and what an incredible birthday party! So very clever!!! Thank you for this post!!!!

  14. What an incredibly cute and original idea!!!!!!!!

  15. Absolutely love it. Right down to the magnifying glasses! Oh and the tablecloth. Biggest piece of Nancy Drew fabric I have seen. Lucky ducks! My son wants a mystery themed party for Halloween this year! I may have to give in and say, "YES!"

  16. Diane, I love this tablescape! We must have liked the same type books growing up because I loved Pippi Longstocking and Heidi, too. Someone may have asked this in the comments but where did you find the Nancy Drew fabric? Such a fun tablescape! Makes me want to create one sometime. I know your granddaughter will never forget this birthday!

  17. Oh, I think I just some ND!