Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Salem Ridge Press - review

As a book hound I often see stacks or boxes of dusty ol' books at thrift stores or auctions or garage sales. By experience I have learned that occasionally a real treasure of a story might be jumbled in among the junk. Most times, though, an old book is just an old book-- outdated, irrelevant to today's culture and interest, and just plain boring. I think it would be very interesting to take the time to sift through all the old books and select the very best ones to be reprinted. And that's exactly what Daniel Mills has chosen to do as a business. He and his family review many old books, but choose only the very best to republish.

As a member of the TOS Crew I was sent one paperback book and two e-books from Salem Ridge Press. The paperback book was printed on high-quality paper and has a lovely "keeper" feel. (You know how some books are "keepers," right?) Some titles are also available in hardcover, and I expect they would be even prettier!

From Bondage to Freedom by Emma Leslie is part of the Church History Series. It is set in the 600s and follows two Christian women as they are sold as slaves who end up in Arabia and Rome. The story addresses the rise of Islam, and the beginnings of the Catholic doctrine of purgatory. It was originally published in 1877. One of the e-books I received is Gytha's Message, another book in the same series. It is "a tale of Saxon England" set in the days of William the Conqueror and is also about a slave girl. This would also fit in well with a study of Medieval times. It was originally published in 1885. For the Emma Leslie Church History Series the publishers have "also added content not found in the original books, including historical notes, timelines, word defnitions, and as needed, maps, to aid the reader’s understanding."

The other e-book I received is a story of the French Revolution, Marie's Home by Caroline Austin. "Eleven-year-old Marie Hamilton and her family travel to France at the invitation of Louis XVI, just before the start of the French Revolution. There they encounter the tremendous disparity between the proud French Nobility and the oppressed and starving French people. When an enraged mob storms the palace of Versailles, Marie and her family are rescued from grave danger by a strange twist of events, but Marie’s story of courage, self-sacrifice and true nobility is not yet over! Honor, duty, compassion and forgiveness are all portrayed in this uplifting story." It was also originally published in 1885.

I am impressed by the quality of these reproductions, and appreciate the high standards of wholesomeness, but I would expect only avid young readers would enjoy these as the writing style is quite archaic and a little hard to follow by today's standards. Reluctant readers would more than likely not be engaged, although they may very enjoy them as read-alouds. Prices range from $10.95 for e-books to $14.95 for paperbacks to $24.95 for hardbacks.

1 comment:

Dori said...

I've really enjoyed reading a couple books on my ipad. I thought I would miss turning "real" pages but I don't. What I DON"T like about digitial books is the way it limits sharing books...ever heard of finding a digi book at a thrift store? Why can't we borrow digi books too like we do real books. Any resources for cheap digi books? I have found a lot of classics for free but I"m just not in to classics.