Thursday 23 April 2009

Liverpool has no books... least it doesn't anymore. I've brought most of 'em back to Oxford with me - a quick list, with reasons for buying them, and do chime in with any thoughts! All of them are secondhand, though quite a few were from the most upmarket remainders shop I've ever seen - Blue Court Books (one in Liverpool, one in Chester)

Sylvie & Bruno - Lewis Carroll
Re-reading Alice books, and hungry for more...

A Shot in the Dark - Saki
Lovely Hesperus book of Saki stories found after The Complete Saki was collected

Prelude - Katherine Mansfield
Another wonderful Hesperus find. Nice to have it separated from the other collections.

Four Frightened People - E. Arnot Robertson
I now have three Robertson novels, none yet read... this one is much mentioned in Nicola Humble's book on middleb
row literature

The Girls - Lori Lansens
I can't resist a novel about twins... my first conjoined twins novel.

A House in the Country - Jocelyn Playfair
A London Child of the 1870s - Molly Hughes
Two Persephone books I've been umming and ahhing about for a while

After the Death of Don Juan - Sylvia Townsend Warner
Terrifying cover of what seems to be a dead woman with butterflies for mouth and eyes... but good for current STW interest

The Millstone - Margaret Drabble
When I wrote about Lynne Reid Banks' The L-Shaped Room, Vivienne mentioned this novel, so I've k
ept an eye out for it since

Blaming - Elizabeth Taylor
With Nicola Beauman's new biography of Elizabeth Taylor high up on my reading list, I'm stocking up

Sylvia Townsend Warner - Claire Harman
Biography by the author of Jane's Fame, which is also on its way to me.


  1. Good haul there Simon. The Millstone by Margaret Drabble is the first I read by this author and, like the L-Shaped Room, is very much of its time ie - 1960s. The Millstone of the title is an illegitimate baby and the attitudes of the day towards such an event are really quite staggering looking back and compared with todays easy acceptance of teen age pregnancies.

    This is one of MD's earlier books and has an ease and lack of pretentiousness which, sadly, cannot be said, in my opinion only of course, of her current output. This is when she wrote without polishing and honing each sentence for posterity. I shall be very interested to hear your take on it.

  2. I hope your shoulder has recovered from the strain of lugging your haul back to Oxford! Did you need an extra ticket on the train?
    They'll need to 'rest' in the tbr pile while you meet your deadlines ... what a test of self-control!

  3. Second-hand Persephones! how lovely. I have never come across any in second-hand bookshops, only online.
    I finished reading Lolly Willowes last night and it was amusing, to say the least.

    I looked up the cover of After the Death of Don Juan and it is somewhat disturbing!

  4. blue COAT books maybe!?


  5. Had to read this worried me a bit..."Liverpool has no books!"

  6. Post Lent book purchases, what fun!

  7. What amazing finds you have there! I really did like The Girls...will be curious to know what you think of it.

  8. I really enjoyed the slender Hesperus collection of previously unpublished Saki stories, it helped with withdrawal symptoms once I 'd read the Collected works. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  9. I can say now, which I couldn't before, that I think 'The L-Shaped Room' is better on the physical side of early pregnancy - lucky Rosamund barely notices she's expecting, whereas Jane loses her breakfast every day.

    But that is from the particularly biased standpoint of someone who would quite have liked to hang onto her own breakfast today.

  10. You had me worried with your title...but I am glad you enjoyed your visit and came away with some treasures!

  11. Wow thats quite an impressive collection, I so wish I could find second hand Persephone Classics anywhere... for some reason I simply just cant... and in London of all places. I look forward to your thoughts on re-reading Alice and other Carroll books!

  12. I will be interested in your thoughts about The Millstone, I loved it when it came out, I was producing babies around the same time. I re-read it a couple of years ago, it had dated in some ways, but I still found the atmosphere she created wonderfully evocative.
    Lucky you, how do you find the space. I need to have a serious clear out, can't find anything.

  13. Lovely piles of books! I just got the Elizabeth Taylor bio and am looking forward to reading it--hopefully in conjunction with another of her books.

  14. It's Bluecoat Books...



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