16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Friday, January 12, 1912: At least our examinations are over. Took two today and made about ninety in each. We spelt on sides this afternoon. The side I was on was beat. I was the last one to be spelt down. The word was ‘nihilism’. I guess that’s the way you spell it. If Jake would have pronounced it the way it’s spelt, I would have perhaps staid up longer.
Was invited to the book club up at Oakes’ this evening, but didn’t go as I didn’t think I would enjoy it. I would be urged to play cards and that I scarcely know how.
Had my first sleigh ride today.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
What were they reading at book club? Goodreads lists two hundred books published in 1912 that are still in widely read. They probably were not the most popular books at the time, but rather they are the books that have endured –and whose message apparently continues to resonate a hundred years later.
Ten books on the list that I recognized the title or author are listed below:
1. Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
2. The Reef by Edith Wharton
3. The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell
4. The Financier by Theodore Dreiser
5. The Yosemite by John Muir
6. The Theory of Money and Credit by Ludwig von Mises
7. The Judgment by Franz Kafka
8. Sinking of the Titanic: Eyewitness Accounts by Jay Henry Mowbray
9. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
10. Son of the Sun: The Adventures of Captain David Grief by Jack London