Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Books from Felixstowe

As promised, here are the books I bought in Felixstowe... I intended to take a photo of them on the beach, but I forgot, so... here they all are at Felixstowe train station...



Almost all of these came from Treasure Chest Books (which was even more wonderful than I'd remembered - it looks like quite a small shop, but just keeps going on and on, room after room) but I'll start with the one that wasn't. I can't remember the name of the shop it came from, actually... a secondhand bookshop nearer the sea, anyway.  Having been to Guy's wonderful talk, I couldn't leave behind a copy of E.F. Benson's first book (and, during his life, his most successful) - Dodo.

Let's start at the top of the pile, shall we?

Patricia Brent, Spinster - Herbert Jenkins
Although the word 'spinster' in a book title is almost certain to make me want a copy on my shelves, this one comes with an even greater recommendation - or series of them, because several people from my online book list have been reading this one lately.

Virginia Woolf - E.M. Forster
You can barely see it in the picture, but there's a little pamphlet in the pile.  I love it when authors write about other authors, so E.M. Forster on Virginia Woolf sounds great - indeed, I have actually read it in the Bodleian, and now I get to have my own copy.

The Windfall - Christopher Milne
I do already own this, but I couldn't leave it behind when it was only £1... so I'll find someone to give this to at some point...

Magda - Meike Zeirvogel
Meike is better known to many of us as the doyenne of Peirene Press - I think I was actually offered a review copy of this, but knew I wouldn't be likely to have a chance to read it for a while, and this way I get to try it without the self-imposed time pressure!

Moving House - Katharine Moore
I love the idea of someone publishing their first novel in their 80s, and have previously enjoyed Moore's letters with Joyce Grenfell, and her novel Summer at the Haven.

Nothing Sacred - Angela Carter
I keep stocking up my Carter shelves, and I've still only read one book by her... but now I have another one!


Mr. Bridge - Evan Connell
There has been quite a lot of talk about this, and Mrs. Bridge, in the blogosphere lately - and Simon S's recent review of the latter made me want to give Connell a try.

My Father and Myself - J.R. Ackerley
There might be people in the world who can see a beautiful NYRB Classics edition of an author they've been intending to read - but I am not one of these people.  This comes as no surprise, does it?

Dodo - E.F. Benson
As mentioned above!

On The Side of the Angels - Betty Miller
See my comment about NYRB Classics, and transpose to Virago Modern Classics...

This is Sylvia - Sandy Wilson
A £1 sale means I give things like this a go... the memoirs of a cat! It could be very funny or it could be utterly mawkish. We'll see...

Autobiography - Enid Bagnold
This book wasn't in the £1 sale, but I couldn't resist buying it... once I saw that it was signed by Enid Bagnold, with a lovely inscription from her. One to treasure!


As always, do let me know if you've read any of these, or if any are tickling your reading fancies.
Over to you!

35 comments:

  1. I feel just the same about green Viragos, and now that I'm spotting more NYRBs, I'm finding them equally irresistable. I can't wait to see how This is Sylvia compares to Dewey's story!

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    1. They just FEEL so nice! They're not quite so consistently my taste as other publishers, because they do so many, but if I can get one of their editions over someone else's, I definitely will.

      And, gosh, Dewey didn't cross my mind - you're right, forewarned SHOULD have been forearmed!

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  2. Did anybody at the station want to know what you were doing???!!!!

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    1. Don't worry, Elaine, the platform was empty!

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  3. Patricia Brent, Spinster, was pretty good fun, but I wish she'd caved in to her baser instincts re continued spinsterhood about 100 pages earlier. The moral problems perhaps do not translate so well nowadays. However, her house-mates were an absolute delight - total slapstick.

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    1. Intriguing! I shall bear that in mind while reading... and I do love a slapsticky background character or two, so I'm looking forward to it.

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  4. Lovely books Simon, and oddly enough I had a lovely green copy of "On the Side of the Angels" arrive in the post yesterday! Time for another readalong?!

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    1. Ooo maybe yes! And the Renault. We'll get through quite a few VMCs together, won't we? We need to sort out a date for the Renault...

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  5. That messenger bag of yours has been full of treasure how many times? Enid Bagnold's inscription - what a hoot!

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    1. Ha! It's now my Vintage Books canvas bag that usually gets filled - it can hold surprising numbers of books.

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  6. My first thought too, Elaine. I pictured the following:

    Mummy, why is the man putting all those books on the ground and taking pictures of them?
    Quiet dear. It's not polite to stare.

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    1. :D I probably still would have taken the photo, even had the platform been abandoned...

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  7. great haul there Simon I have a couple on my wishlist you got Magda and Mr bridge are two books I like to try so will look forward to your reviews ,all the best stu

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  8. Simon,

    Evan S Connell's Mrs Bridge and Mr Bridge are, for me, massively underrated masterpieces of style, structure and substance. I often wondered before today whether they were on your radar. I think Felixstowe has offered you a gift here. Connell died earlier this year, and I sorta expected some posthumous hurrahs but I see few signs so far. This is a shame, as easily accessible editions of these companion books would make perfect sense to me, if I were a publisher. But I am not! I am simply a reader - and, as a reader, I'd say these have enriched my senses. They take you somewhere sad and vulnerable, somewhere very human, somewhere trivial, somewhere profound. Highly recommended.

    Jane

    PS I can see you arranging your stash on the platform, not a care in the world!

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    1. What a lovely recommendation, Jane - they seem to be books which are being whispered (or shouted) about around the blogosphere, and gaining a momentum here. I love it when that happens to out-of-the-way authors!

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  9. Mr Bridge was wonderful, but if you can read Mrs Bridge first (it was written first) - there are new Penguin modern classics editions which came out last/earlier this year. Magda was utterly gripping and sad, but brilliantly written. I haven't read any of the others.

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    1. Noted! Thanks Annabel - I had wondered whether that might be the case with the Bridges. But now, of course, I want matching editions...

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  10. Those books look great! I particularly enjoy finding books with inscriptions. Once as a child I was dismayed that my parents hadn't written a dedication in a book they gave me. Therefore, I wrote one myself. I'm sure the book will always mean a lot to me!

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    1. What a great story, Lucy! :D I do love inscriptions, whether they're from the author or not.

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  11. Just finished Magda and it was haunting, still thinking about it and likely to go back and reread passages. Novellas often inspire a second read, so much is hidden in the layers.

    Great visit to the festival and the local bookshop!

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    1. I will have to get to Magda when I'm feeling a bit brave! I do love novellas - I might do another weekend devoted to them, once my DPhil is handed in.

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  12. Simon,

    I agree with Annabel about reading Mrs Bridge first - it was written many years before Mr Bridge, which is intriguing in itself. Thanks for the info about the Penguin Modern Classics too, Annabel. I am in N. America where the pub. history is different. It looks as though they got a new edn of Mr Bridge out soon after Connell's death in January this year. Happy reading, Simon!

    Jane

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  13. Can't believe you've gone for the memoirs of a cat again after the Dewey debacle!!

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    1. What was I *thinking*?! This one seems to be fictional, so hopefully won't fall into the same (hilarious) delusional pitfalls...

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  14. My goodness, you have done well. I have never seen an NYRB edition in a charity shop or a second hand bookshop, but on the other hand I've pounced on so many VMCs over the years that I say 'got it' regularly and 'oooh' rarely.

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    1. True, I often disregard entire shelves of VMCs, cos I have them already - but finding an affordable secondhand NYRB is certainly a rare sight.

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  15. Oh isn't buying books wonderful! I read JR Ackerley's 'We Think the World of You' earlier this year and loved it - absolutely heart-wrenching story of a man trying to get 'custody' of a most uncared-for dog.
    Sally Tarbox

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    1. Amen to that, Sally! Nothing better than buying books :) I might even prefer it to reading them...

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  16. I've just bought another little book stack, thanks to a pressie from my wonderful Mum - but I went online, so no photos in the street for me!

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    1. Haha! You can still take them outside to take photos ;)

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  17. What a swoon-worthy list, Simon!!! I must have Patricia Brent. Hope it's not terribly rare.

    I have the Forster bio of Woolf and Mrs. Bridge but not Mr.

    I NEED TO FIND A BOOK SALE!

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    1. You do, Lisa, right now!

      The Brent is cheap/free on Kindle, I believe, and I think you have one of them?

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