Monday 5 November 2007

Pile o' Books

Have been feeling a little guilty of late, the number of books which have been flooding into Regent Street with my name on the package. True, quite a few of these have been review books, but most have not... In an attempt to assuage said guilt, I'm going to share the books with you all. Sort of. Yes, a picture isn't quite a substitute for the real thing, but if it makes me feel better...

There they are, in all their glory. That's not even the lot, actually, but enough for one post. Let me talk you through the books I've bought recently - then you can tell me what you think!

Starting at the bottom...

Charlotte : The True Story of Scandal and Spectacle in Georgian London by Kathryn Shevelow
Couldn't resist this in Blackwells, as it was on offer - a nice, chunky hardback all about an actress who masqueraded as a man to get into the Georgian theatre scene. Flicked through and saw the name Eliza Haywood, which sold it to me.

Family Life 1939-1945 by Katharine Moore
I really enjoyed her letters with Joyce Grenfell, 'An Invisible Friendship', and consequently bought her book about Maiden Aunts in literature. This was another one which intrigued, and might well offer an interesting perspective
on wartime. Appears to be a sort of diary format.

The Closed Door and oth
er stories by Dorothy Whipple
One of the latest Persephone Books, and short stories by a favourite Persephone author - shall be reading and reviewing this one as soon as I can.

The Juniper Tree by
Barbara Comyns
After loving the surreal talents of Ms. Comyns in 'Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead' enough to get it into my 50 Books..., got this one through ebay. Looks great - a sort of fantasy about the effects of a tree on those around it, and how good t
urns to bad... more surrealism, please!

Fanny Hill by John Cleland
Probably not suitable fare for my bookshelves, but there's a television adaptation on soon, and I thought I might end up watching it, and so should read the book first. Plus I've read far too much 21st Century literature this year; I need to dive back into the past. Perhaps at the end of the year I'll see how much I've r
ead from different periods... something for you all to look forward to.

The Lady in the Van - Alan Bennett
Tiny, but sounds amusing - and after 'The Uncommon Reader' I'm hungry for more of Bennett's inimitable musings and wit.

The Rape of the Lock - Alexander Pope
Sometimes I impress myself with my sophistication... (!) A Hesperus book, so I couldn't resist, and one I definitely *should* have read during my degree. The world is filled with books I *should* have read during my degree...

Kenilworth by Walter Scott

Look, there's another! Not read any Scott, which is shameful. Must find out what the fuss is about.

Sun City by Tove Jansson
Fast becoming one of my favourite authors! Have finished 'Fair Play' and will talk about it soon. This translation doesn't appear to be available anywhere in England, so was shipped from US (thanks OVW for your credit card...) and it's got a beautiful cover. Set in America rather than Scandanavia, which does remove one of the things I liked best about Jansson - the descriptions of her exquisite surroundings - but I daresay it'll still be wonderful! Plus, I've only read on translator's translations of Jansson, so shall have to discover whether or not her appeal is the same through the pen of another scribe.


  1. What lovely books you have in your stack! I'll look forward to your thoughts on the Whipple...I'd like to add that to my collection.

  2. Simon, when you say Sun City is not available in England, did you mean not available in the UK?

    Scottish Cat :)

  3. A very well timed post! Just putting the finishing touchs to my annual "Christmas Book Wish List" and you reminded me that I'd forgotten to add Tove Jansson - which has now been done! I look forward to your thoughts on Sun City.

  4. The Lady in the Van is wonderful. And if the show ever comes back - with Alan Bennett palying hismelf and Maggie Smith as the eponymous Lady - you have to drop everything to see it.

  5. Oh dear ... playing himself was obviously what I meant. Typing fingers tripping over themselves ... .

  6. ... but palying hismelf did make me laugh.

  7. You need some strong MALE books. I recommend Andy McNab. With this lot people will start talking.

  8. That's at least the third insulting comment you've left under the insulting 'anonymous' (I assume it's you every time) - could you please just read some other blog? This one obviously isn't for you.

  9. RE: ... playing himself was obviously what I meant. Typing fingers tripping over themselves ...

    You're right - did bring a laugh. I have read this - with the lengthy intro. explaining his involvement with the lady in the van in real life. I don't know who played him onstage opposite M.Smith (& the book isn't at hand) but, didn't he play the narrator, off at the side of the stage, maybe by a desk?

    I should dig out that book and read it again - funny (in the way AB is - oh, & weren't initials used in the text to refer either to his character or to him as narrator?) - & sad at the same time. This situation with the lady in the van went on for such a LONG time in real life!!

  10. Fanny Hill: Read that years ago - had forgotten all about it. I remember loaning it to a neighbor (we were all in our twenties - they were college friends of ours who lived in the next apt.) - & her husband returned it to me very soon after. I can't remember his exact words but he didn't think it was suitable reading material (to be nice about it). I was kind of stunned - afterall, _I_ had just read it! :-)

  11. That looks like a very interesting pile of books. It is such a lovely feeling to have a selection of new books you can dive into or just sit and devour their lovely colours and new book smell. I am afraid I am not familiar with any of them, but I look forward to hearing your views.


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