As promised, the Must-Read-Very-Soon pile in its entirety - brace yourself, there are quite a few (hence yes, Mel, I did mean 2009!) but they're all books which elevate themselves out of the 'to be read' pile into a state of reading urgency. Having said that, most of them have been there for four months already... I'll read this post in December 2009 and let you know how many have been read.
Let's look at the big shelf in closer detail, left to right... if anything sparks your interest or - even better - if you've read them, do comment.
The Paris Review Interviews vol.1 and vol.2
- these have been mentioned on Stuck-in-a-Book before, and I've read bits and pieces. Interviews with the Great and the Good of literature - in depth, insightful, invaluable. And the third volume is out...
Beyond Sing The Woods by Trygve Gulbranssen
- in my sporadic, but heartfelt, interest in Scandinavian literature, I bought this novel after seeing it mentioned in the comments on Danielle's blog.
Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner and When We Were Very Young by AA Milne
- I haven't read these for six or seven years, and that must be rectified soon. Plus, the rather beautiful copy of WWWVY was given to me by my dear friend Mel.
London 1945: Life in the Debris of War by Maureen Waller
- I've not read much about *just* postwar, either fact or fiction, and this came recommended by several Persephone Books lovers - so can't go far wrong.
The Haunted Bookshop and Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley
- These came from Danielle in exchange for Miss Hargreaves... and they're still not read by me. BUT they're on the priority shelf, so watch this space...
A House of Air by Penelope Fitzgerald
As championed by Lynne 'dovegreyreader' Hatwell, a collection of Fitzgerald's reviews and introductions and essays etc. etc. Started a while ago, but it's been sidelined to this shelf until I'm in a Fitzgerald mood.
The Feminine Middlebrow Novel by Nicola Humble
- This invaluable guide to everything middlebrow I have read, but think I should re-read before I start my dissertation. More on it here.
They Came Like Swallows by William Maxwell
- Cornflower Book Group choice ages ago, sounded brilliant, Karen very sweetly sent me a copy... I will read it soon! Pop over to the Cornflower Book Group and see what was said about it then.
A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft
- I started this after reading Janet Todd's rather wonderful biography of Mary's daughter Fanny, and the whole Wollstonecraft/Shelley clan... found Vindication a little dry, but intend to persevere.
The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
- The aforementioned Mel lent this to me in September...
A Man Like Any Other by Mary Cavanagh
- I reviewed Mary's debut novel The Crowded Bed, and she subsequently became a friend whom I've seen quite a few times, as she's an Oxfordshire writer. This one is definitely a must read, and is probably no.1 priority on the Must Read shelf.
Oxford by Jan Morris
- Our Vicar gave me this when I went to university... I will read it soon, I will! Now that I'm not an undergraduate, I'm starting to get tourists'-curiosity...
Can Any Mother Help Me? by Jenna Bailey
-In 1935 a lonely young mother wrote to Nursery World asking for advice on how to occupy her literate and lively mind without costing money. She struck a chord; a group started a private magazine. This non-fiction book is all about that - utterly irresistible.
Slave of Christ by Murray J. Harris
-Always a theological book or twelve waiting in the offing, and the idea of being a slave of Christ is one I want to explore and investigate.
The next one is my dovegreybooks postal book, so don't look too closely if you're in that group.... in fact, I won't even mention it. Squint, and move onto the next one.
The Provincial Lady by E. M. Delafield
-Yes, of course I've read these four books - it's in the 50 Books... - but they're always due a re-read.
The Haunted Woman by David Lindsay
I Follow But Myself by Frank Baker
-the autobiography of the man behind Miss Hargreaves - more precisely, a book of character sketches of important people in his life. Includes Edward Garnett - Virginia Woolf's sister's daughter's husband's father!
Mhudi by Sol T. Plaatje
-Just read this South African novel, actually, for my Empire & Nation class; I'll be posting it back to Nichola soon, who kindly lent it to me.
Mrs. Woolf and the Servants by Alison Light
-My friend Clare gave me this as a leaving present from the Bodleian, and it's absolutely perfect for me, of course. Soon, soon...
Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels
-I'd never heard of this, but my book group friend Louie was absolutely certain that I'd love the novel, and it all looks very promising!
Gosh. See the challenge I have ahead of me? Certainly not put off my books - just writing this has made me want to read every single one of them. But I must write my extended essay... I must. Oh dear, I'm slipping already...