I've been sorting through my shelves here in Somerset, and have managed to get rid of about 25 books - aren't you proud of me? That's about 2% of them. Ten or so were duplicates, but that's still a fair few wrenched from my grasp, for various reasons... Our Vicar and Our Vicar's Wife were doing the same thing with their shelves, and discarded quite a few duplicates (does anybody need four editions of Sense and Sensibility, one asks oneself?)
Anyway. This has suddenly become less impressive when you realise that I've just had a lovely box of books from Oxford University Press to review. Kirsty (blogger at Other Stories when she's not working for OUP) sent me a catalogue and asked whether I'd like anything... so of course I sent it back, saying "No, thanks, nothing I like there..." Oh wait, no, that's the exact opposite of what I did. I sent an enormous list, telling her to stop reading it when it got ridiculous (you don't want to ask less than you can get, do you?) and she sent me most of them. Here they are...
I'll be writing about them individually, bit by bit, but I thought I should bring them all to your attention now. I didn't much like the old Oxford World's Classics before, but since they've revamped the way they publish, I am absolutely in love with them. I bought most of the Virginia Woolf editions back here, and now I have all these beautiful books to read through as well:
New Grub Street - George Gissing
Casting The Runes - M.R. James
The Mayor of Casterbridge - Thomas Hardy
The Mark on the Wall and other stories - Virginia Woolf
Much Ado About Nothing - William Shakespeare
Married Love - Marie Stopes
Selected Stories - Katherine Mansfield
The Yellow Wallpaper and other stories - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The Years - Virginia Woolf
Cecilia - Fanny Burney
Camilla - Fanny Burney
Not pictured, because I put them in a different pile, are a new edition of the Alice books by Lewis Carroll, and A Very Short Introduction to Biography by Hermione Lee.
Obviously I have read some of these before, but I'd be keen to hear any recommendations you have, or which you'd like to hear about yourselves? I'm quite tempted to sink my teeth into a novel by Burney, since I loved Evelina and haven't followed up on it yet.... more anon.