Books: The Editors Like


THE RAMAYANAas told by Aubrey Menen. (Scribner, $3.50.) Retelling the classic Indian tale of adventure and philosophy, Mr. Menen bowls along at his own fast clip, happily kicking the props from under every sacred cow in his path.
THE JOURNAL OF EDWIN CARPby Richard Haydn. (Simon & Schuster, $3.50.) Mr. Carp is a mild little Englishman whose troubles with his fierce mama, leaking roofs, musical instruments, and an accidental toupee are reported with absolute seriousness and make an enormously funny book.
THE TOLL GATEby Georgette Heyer. (Putnam, $3.50.) Another of Miss Heyer’s Regency comedies, light, deft, and full of astonishing thieves’ slang, thanks to the presence of a corruptible Bow Street runner and a feckless highwayman.

The Ladies

THE WILDER SHORES OF LOVEby Lesley Blanch. (Simon & Schuster, $5.00.) A witty, mischievous, elegantly written account of four nineteenthcentury European ladies who, for various eccentric reasons, went East and native.
JOAN OF ARCby Lucien Fabre. (McGraw-Hill, $5.00.) Clearly a labor of love and piety, this biography describes St. Joan in terms of her own time, with a great deal of interesting, not generally current, detail.
A BLESSED GIRLby Lady Emily Lutyens. (Lippincott, $4.00.) The letters of a Victorian damsel to an elderly clergyman, most of them about the girl’s struggle against the improper advances of a third-rate poet. Nobody ever had more fun playing with smoke than Emily, and it’s a pleasure to watch her at it.

Lives and Letters

PORTRAITSby Desmond MacCarthy. (Oxford University Press, $3.50.) These essays concern all sorts of people, from Voltaire to Patrick Campbell; all of them are gracious, easy, and lit with unpretentious wisdom.
THE ANNOTATORby Alan Keen and Roger Lubbock. (Macmillan, $4.00.) Mr. Keen thinks he may have hold of a copy of Hall’s Chronicle with marginal notes by the young Shakespeare. He doesn’t claim to have proved his case, but in trying to do so he has turned up some very provocative information about Shakespeare’s contemporaries and possible connections.
TURGENEVby David Magarshack. (Grove, $6.00.) As Russian authors go, Turgenev led a quiet life, but his ideas and temperament are so interesting in themselves that this thorough, straightforward biography is absorbing reading.
EDWARD WORTLEY MONTAGUby Jonathan Curling. (British Book Centre, $4.50.) The son of Lady Mary (of the letters and the row with Pope) was a giddy rogue who wrote books, played politics, and swindled his way around England, Europe, and the Near East. He was a picaresque novel all by himself and died at last triumphant, unrepentant, and a Moslem.