Saturday 13 October 2007

Book-buying Begins At Home

Every Saturday morning Our Vicar's Wife runs The Honeypot from our garage. Not many people can say that sentence, can they now? The Honeypot is about a year old now, and is a church-linked initiative but open to all, where people can drink coffee, buy goods, get involved with crafty activities, generally natter, and... buy books. Donate them too, of course. Now we have shelves of secondhand books adorning the garage wall, which I raid every time I pop home. Sorry to see that my duplicate copies of Woolf and the Brontes remain in place, alongside a stray Iris Murdoch and an AA Milne - but then not everyone can enjoy my esoteric tastes, and who says Virginia Woolf is necessarily better than Virginia Andrews... euch, I need to wash out my mouth with soap.

Anyway. Today was no different to other Saturdays, and whilst saying hello to the visiting villagers, I managed
to scoop up a handful of books. Set my back £2 for the lot...

- John Banville, The Sea
This counts for having a finger on the pulse, so far as Stuck-in-a-Book is concerned. Won the Booker in 2005, didn't it? And has a pretty cover. Bonus.

-E.F. Benson, The Osbornes
Haven't read any non-Mapp & Lucia books by EFB, so this nice old hardback can slip into the tbr pil

-Doris Lessing, The Sweetest Dream
Now this really is up-to-the-minute stuff. Well, published in 2001, but as you probably all know, Ms. Lessing was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature this week. I read a transcript of her reception of this news, and she sounded ungrateful, but watching it on youtube, she just sounded witty and grounded. Strangely Chick Lit cover for this book, which isn't quite how I remember Memoirs of a Survivor

- Simone de Beauvoir, Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter
I feel I should own a copy of this... will I want to read it? Any thoughts?

Mary Lawson, Crow Lake
Just as I was going to buy a copy online... great review by Margaret over at Books Please here, which made the novel seem irresistible.

And I thought I'd have nothing to read on the train home...


  1. Simon, in my opinion nobody SHOULD own any particular book. I rate Ms de Beauvoir highly but so what? I also rate all sorts of thing highly that I would never suggest any else ought to read/look at /listen to etc. Some of things I like are almost certainly anathema to you (ask Cornflower).

    Dark Puss

  2. EFBenson/Osbornes: for a review from the time publ.: - a little slow to load (pdf), scroll down 2 clicks.

    My favorites of EFB are the humorous stories (he also wrote biographies and ghost or horror stories). Since you like Mapp & Lucia, you might also like _Secret Lives_ (very Tillingesque), _Paying Guests_, & _Mrs. Ames_ (all in the humorous vein). Have OVW keep an eye out for those for you.

  3. Ah, Peter, I'm still a believer in a canon of sorts - and like to have certain established books at hand, for reference or in case the urge takes me. Very different from asking anyone else to read particular books (though I'm not backwards in coming forwards about that either, of course, as 50 Books You MUST Read... suggests)... Irrational, but makes sense to me.

  4. Canons, hmm, when I was your age (a long time ago) I held exactly the same views (but about different books, though with some overlap). I'm not anything like as certain now! I think these days I am more passionate about music, where of course there are "real" canons to recommend! HOwever even here I have very few examples of "the classics" even although I would strongly encourage people to listen to them at least once (or possibly only once in the case of Mahler for example)



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