Friday 11 September 2009

Stuck-in-a-Book's Weekend Miscellany

Happy weekend, all. Next week I will, honest, promise, definitely be putting up my review of Miss Hargreaves, and a giveaway to go along with it - so watch this space. I'm trying to re-read it first... not much time at the moment.

1) The link - is a rather fun, bookish competition from The Big Green Bookshop. I saw about this at Chasing Bawa's blog - basically tell this bookshop (in email, post, 'phone or person) your five favourite books (in no order). You have until November 22nd to do so - after that somebody clever with a spreadsheet will compile a Top 50. And one lucky person, randomly selected, will win 20 books of their choice from that 50. What's not to like? Click here for all their info, or here for their blog, or just email
My top five? Well the first three are always there, in some order or other, but after that I improvise based on my feelings for that day.

1. Miss Hargreaves - Frank Baker
2. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
3. Diary of a Provincial Lady - EM Delafield
4. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
5. Family Roundabout - Richmal Crompton

And whilst I'm at it, I found this name-the-book-from-the-photo competition in their archives... it's hilarious, and groan-inducing. Go and have a try, you'll love it. I got none of 'em.

2) The book is in fact books. At the Kisses on a Postcard launch the other day, Alexandra Pringle was saying how jealous she felt of those who hadn't read Barbara Trapido before, because of all the bookish pleasures ahead of them... at which point I raised my hand and confessed my sins of omission. And so the lovely people of Bloomsbury have sent me their new editions of her novels... any Barbara Trapido fans out there, and if so, where should I start? So far I'm hearing 'start at the beginning' with Brother of the More Famous Jack, a fantastic title.

3) And for the blog post this week, I really enjoyed Rachel's (aka Book Snob) tales of recent buying. The first line will make you realise what an affinity Rachel is:
I went out on my lunch break today to Brompton Road, ostensibly to buy a dress for a wedding I am going to on Saturday, but somehow I returned back to my office with no dress and a bag full of books.
Now it's true that I've never set out to buy a dress, but most of my errands turn into impromptu
book buying trips. You can read more about it here, and find out what she bought. (Rachel, if you'd like me to post you the sketch as a souvenir of sorts, just email me your address!)


  1. Barbara Trapido is wonderful - any of her boks are good but I think I started with the horn player one (just cos of the title!).

    I thought of you in Cambridge as I saw an orange Penguin edition of Miss Hargreaves. Didn't buy it as have Bloomsbury copy,

  2. Hello Simon,
    I have read all of Barbara Trapido, and think that you will enjoy them. "Brother of the more famous Jack" is where I started, and there is a natural order going on from there as several of her books are linked.

  3. Rachel is definitely a kindred spirit!

    Have never heard of Barbara Trapido but now I am intrigued.

  4. P.S. My five are:
    Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
    I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
    Night at the Circus by Angela Carter
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

  5. Haha! Thanks for the mention Simon! I am flattered indeed! I'd love the sketch; what a kind offer. I'll send you an email.Is it also telling that I have to leave for the wedding in half an hour but I just felt I should do a blog post first?!

    I have never heard of Barbara Trapido and I am now feeling like I should have done...will be toddling off to amazon in a minute.

    As for my top five, they would, currently, have to be:

    1. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
    2. Persuasion by Jane Austen
    3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    4. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
    5. The Hours by Michael Cunningham

  6. I haven't read any Trapido but have a feeling that I would like her work, you are a lucky thing.

    Love Rachel's post, I have to say somehow this week I have been shopping thrice (not for dresses) and have somehow bought home over 25 books... how does this happen?

  7. Brother of the More Famous Jack is my favourite - but Frankie and Stankie (which is loosely based on her childhood) is really good too).

  8. Love the sketch! That is my life in a nutshell. (Of course I never buy milk because it creeps me out.)

  9. Thanks for the laugh Simon! I would rather browse the shops for books than dresses as well. Now, off to have a closer look at those Trapido books...

  10. Oh, I love Barbara Trapido, just hearing her name makes me want to go pick up one of my unread books by her! I agree--start with Brother of the More Famous Jack--it was my first, too! :)

  11. I would definitely read them in order. They are not sequels, but the many of the same characters dip in and out of: Brother of the More Famous Jack; Temples of Delight; Juggling; The Travelling Hornplayer. Noah's Ark and Frankie and Stankie are not in the sequence. And Joy of Joys: there is a new Trapido next May. It is to be called Sex and Stravinsky.


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