Here's another book I recommend every chance I get: The 101 Dalmatians. I didn't read it as a kid. I didn't realize until sometime in the '90s that it even existed. I was watching the Disney movie with my kids for the 25th time, scouring the credits for familiar names, and I saw the sentence: "Based on the novel by Dodie Smith." Who knew it hadn't sprung full-blown from the Disney machine?
Written in 1956, it is, of course, better than any of the movie versions. The dogs are smarter and have more personality, and Cruella deVil has a husband and a cat and a house. And Mr. Dearly ("Roger" in the movie) wasn't a songwriter, but an accountant, which is much more sensible.
It is a novel for children, but I've enjoyed it every time I've read it. It's one of those books that I wish would go on forever.
I looked for other books by Dodie Smith, and all I was able to come up with was I Capture the Castle, which I promptly bought and then couldn't finish. They made a movie of it recently, which wasn't much better...
Now, looking for a picture to go with this post, I've found other books by her, so I guess I'll have to try them, including a sequel to Dalmatians called The Starlight Barking.
P.S. We've broken 40 visits to the blog! And we have our first comment, on the Madame Bovary post!