Saturday, 9 April 2011

Stuck-in-a-Book's Weekend Miscellany

We've not had a Weekend Miscellany for a while, have we? The sun is shining here, and today I'm heading off to an Oxfam book fair - doubtless I'll report back with some purchases before too long. And I've been buying a few other books of late, too... my local gifty shop for wrapping paper etc. also sells lots of old Penguin books fairly cheaply, and they seem to sneak into my hands every time I go there...

1.) The book - I've long been waiting for the fourth novel from Linda Gillard, whose previous books have included the brilliant A Lifetime Burning - but sadly I don't think I'll be able to read House of Silence because it's getting electronic release only. It still comes with the beautiful cover below, and those of you with Kindles and the like, do please go over here (or, I daresay, elsewhere - I'm not up on these things), get yourself a copy, and tell me all about it! It's only £1.90, for goodness' sake, and Gillard is a really engaging writer. Linda has offered to send me a print-out to read, and I'm debating whether or not I'd be able to read and enjoy it in that format... thinking on't. (Linda has posted a comment with a link to an article she's done about House of Silence - here.)

Linda describes House of Silence as Cold Comfort Farm meets Atonement (intriguing, no?) and here is the blurb:
"My friends describe me as frighteningly sensible, not at all the sort of woman who would fall for an actor. And his home. And his family."

Orphaned by drink, drugs and rock n’ roll, Gwen Rowland is invited to spend Christmas at her boyfriend Alfie's family home, Creake Hall - a ramshackle Tudor manor in Norfolk. She's excited about the prospect of a proper holiday with a proper family, but soon after she arrives, Gwen senses something isn't quite right. Alfie acts strangely toward his family and is reluctant to talk about the past. His mother, a celebrated children's author, keeps to her room, living in a twilight world, unable to distinguish between past and present, fact and fiction. And then there's the enigma of an old family photograph...

When Gwen discovers fragments of forgotten family letters sewn into an old patchwork quilt, she starts to piece together the jigsaw of the past and realises there's more to the family history than she's been told. It seems there are things people don’t want her to know.

And one of those people is Alfie...

The link - is one I've seen on a few blogs, but Polly's first of all. Jane Mount paints people's 'ideal bookshelf' - that is, you tell her which books to include, and she paints 'em.

I am so in love with this idea that it's become something of a disorder - but I still don't think I can afford to splash out on one. If you possibly can, visit her here - or, much cheaper, you can buy one of her prints, if they suit your literary tastes. Or if you want to send me an impromptu early (by seven months) birthday present...?

3.) The blog post - for E.H. Young fans, pop over to Harriet's blog for a review of one of Emily Hilda's earlier novels Moor Fires - I'm definitely intrigued. And since it was my copy Harriet borrowed, my curiosity can be satisfied!

Oh, and if you're thinking of going to Cornwall this year... Ruth has a secret to share...


  1. I would LOVE to own a painting of my bookshelf. It's such a lovely idea, isn't it?

  2. I think you should read the print out - it sounds like one that you would really enjoy. As for those painted bookshelves, even my kids were drooling over those! Love them! Happy weekend to you.

  3. Thanks for mentioning HOUSE OF SILENCE. I'm looking into POD copies because so many people have bemoaned the lack of paper book.

    You might be interested to read an article I wrote for for The Bookbag about my decision to e-publish. Editors said HOUSE OF SILENCE was unmarketable because of its mixed genre, but it's sold very well in its first week.

  4. The bookshelf is lovely. I have looked on there, when I win the lottery I think.

    I am going to look at House of Silence, it has good reviews on Amazon.

    I am also blaming you for my recent mass purchase from The Book People, after seeing your haul of Maugham I happened to wander over there....

  5. Nice idea, but those prices are absurd! Unless the dollar has crashed heavily against the pound since I last checked.

  6. Simon, Linda sent me a Word doc of HOS & I didn't have any trouble reading it that way at all. My review will be on my blog in a couple of days. I loved it, unputdownable & all that!

  7. Sakura - I know, I'm really having to resist not to get one for myself right now...

    Susan - I'm sure I would love it, I just don't know if I could read it in that format - these things somehow matter, don't they?

    Linda - I loved the article, thanks for the link! And I would definitely buy a POD edition, especially if it came with that beautiful cover too. I'm so pleased you didn't skimp there - it's the best cover you've had.

    Jo - haha, I'd say I was sorry for persuading you to buy from the Book People, but why lie??

    Colin - it's not a bad price for original artwork, if you take into account the amount of time she must spend on it...

    Lyn - can't wait for your review!

  8. Did you know you could get free Kindle for PC?


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