The Giant Book Of Stories by Various

It seems a bit odd, tbh, to lump together the many contributors to this compendium of short stories under the one word “various” but Galley Press never named an editor, and there were enough anonymous contributors that I don’t feel all that bad doing it.

Anyway, this book was one of several I brought home with me after my last visit to Malaysia and oh, the nostalgia! I remember reading this the first time (of several) between the ages of 8 and 11, and how it inspired so much of my composition writing in grade school. It’s a compendium of Girls’ Own type stories, with brave and clever heroines getting out of all sorts of sticky situations, with beautiful pen illustrations throughout. It’s a total throwback of a book, so veddy British, and I love every page of it. It’s not any great intellectual exercise, as almost all the problems are solved within ten pages or less, but it is a lovely, almost aspirational, proto-feminist breeze of a book (plus, there’s a heroine named Doreen in one of the shorts, as well as an author of the same name, and that is something rare and to be cherished.)

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