Saturday 19 September 2009

Stuck-in-a-Book's Weekend Miscellany

Happy weekend everyone! I'll be busying myself over the weekend trying to write lots of posts which will appear at intervals over the next week, as I'm off to the Lake District and Edinburgh. Will try to remember to take my camera... and, of course, give you a list of the books I buy along the way. I *might* buy none, of course, but I've already pencilled three secondhand bookshops into my itinerary, and there are sure to be more... Someone said to me the other day that, what with the review books I'm sent, I must never have to buy books anymore... cue hollow laugh from me.

As always, a link, a book, a blog post.

1) The link - Abebooks' Weird Book Room. You've probably all seen those books of strange title collection
s - well, Abebooks have devoted a section of their website to it, and you can submit ideas too. I spotted the link on Liz's blog. I'm especially drawn to Nuclear War: What's in it for you? and People Who Don't Know They're Dead. And who wouldn't want to read Cheese Problems Solved? Towel Origami - just think of those wasted mornings in the bathroom where my towel has been sat, simply folded in half?

2) The blog - not long ago I started reading Claire's blog Kiss A Cloud, which is both beautiful and bookish. More or less any link would whet your appetite, but the most recent post seems a good place to start. It's following a meme from Book Bloggers Appreciation Week - talking about which books you've read because of other bloggers. Claire mentions Woolf, Persephone, and I Capture the Castle amongst her finds, so how could I not be smitten? I so admire bloggers with great camera skills - mine seem to be all taken at night, of books leaning against walls.

3) The book - I'll be writing about this soon, as I'm *really* having trouble resisting it whilst I read the books I
should be reading. It's Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill (a brave choice of title, since I imagine there will be errant apostrophes in 'Howards End' whenever the book is mentioned). Subtitled a year of reading from home, the book is a series of essays a la Anne Fadiman's Ex Libris, which documents Hill's decision to read only books from her shelves, for a year. She explores books she'd forgotten she owned, or had never read, or simply wanted to read again. I've only read four pages so far, but it has some lovely excerpts: 'A book which is left on a shelf is a dead thing but it is also a chrysalis, an inanimate object packed with the potential to burst into new life.' Hill's writing can be a little forthright for my tastes, but I'm sure that won't spoil a book so deliciously, well, bookish. It's out on the 15th October, and doesn't it have a beautiful cover?


  1. Have a lovely holiday! I look forward to your tales and your jealousy inducing photos of new books when you return.

    I have recently discovered Claire at Kiss a Cloud's blog too and I agree, it is gorgeous, and I also envy her photography skills! My photos are of books on my floor...really artistic...

    I didn't know Susan Hill had written such a book and I am now off to amazon to add it to my wishlist!

  2. Have a great vacation--I'd love to visit Edinburgh as I just read a book set partially there. Thanks for the link--I took a quick peek at Claire's blog and will return again. She is a talented photographer. My pictures are never very inspired...

  3. I found out about the Susan Hill book yesterday, but they don't have any copies left for review, so I am very envious of you!

  4. Great links, as always. Love the Weird Room, Claire's blog is one of my favourites, and I have been coveting the book.

    Enjoy your holiday, say hello to Cornflower, and perhaps pick up some Scottish-themed reading whilst in Edinburgh?

  5. The Susan Hill sounds wonderful.
    See you soon!

  6. Have a wonderful holiday Simon hope you manage to come back with lots of tales, both bookish and non bookish.

    I love Kiss a Cloud so am glad you found it.

    That Susan Hill book is just too much a) she is one of my favourite authors and b) a book about books, what more could you want. I must have a copy!

  7. I've just pre-orderd Howards End is on the Landing. Couldn't resist.


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