Friday, 13 November 2009

New Arrivals

I promised to tell you the books which arrived over the past fortnight or so... and so I will! It's quite a big pile, and that has something to do with a rather incredible bookshop I've mentioned before. It's the Book & Comic Exchange in Notting Hill Gate, and has three huge basement rooms filled with books for 50p each. The books upstairs are mostly a pound or two as well. If you head there now, Londoners, there's a Virago copy of The Tortoise and the Hare in the small Virago section in the basement... Not all of these are from there, but the total (except one pricier gift to myself) was about £20.

From the bottom up:

Dear Fatty - Dawn French
DF's autobiography, looks like it could be fun.

Granite and Rainbow - Mitchell Leaska

A mammoth biography of Virginia Woolf, and for only 50p!

A Long Long Way - Sebastian Barry

Thinking ahead, because it's a book group choice for next year

The Ante-Room - Kate O'Brien

I've eyed this up a few times, but it's just made the grade at 50p

Our Spoons Came From Woolworths - Barbara Comyns

Yes, I already have this (Colin, hush) but not in this nice Virago edition.

Unexplained Laughter - Alice Thomas Ellis
The Birds of the Air - Alice Thomas Ellis
My friend Barbara-from-Ludlow suggested a trilogy of her books, and I couldn't remember the titles of them... so took a guess and bought these ones... they turned out to be the wrong ones, but should be fun nonetheless.

Iris - John Bayley

I love the film, but have somehow never read the book.

The Adventures of Sally - PG Wodehouse
Can never have enough!

Celia - EH Young

Looking forward to reading EH Young - I have three or four, but somehow haven't opened them yet.

The Winslow Boy - Terence Rattigan

Read this in Spring, but didn't have my own copy.

Singled Out - Virginia Nicholson

Yes, I already have this too... but it was only 50p...

Stevenson Under the Palm Trees - Alberto Manguel

Looks interesting, and is in a beautiful edition.

The Crowded Street - Winifred Holtby

A nice Virago edition to complement my Persephone edition.

Fine Feathers and Other Stories - EF Benson

Love Mapp & Lucia, amassing others to read...

Jane Austen: A Family Record - Austen-Leigh & Deirdre le Faye

Thank you Epsie for my birthday present!

Pink Sugar - O. Douglas

And a birthday present from Clare, published by Greyladies

Time Will Darken It - William Maxwell
Barbara-from-Ludlow heard about my recent Maxwell interest... when I happened to mention it to her! Wasn't fishing, promise, but it's a lovely gift.

The Innermost Room - Richmal Crompton
My birthday present to myself...

The Unbearable Bassington - Saki
More Saki needs to be in my diet!

That was fun - let's see how many I've read by this time next year...


  1. What a great pile of books! I envy you the Richmal Crompton one. I loved Family Roundabout and am now looking for her other adult books.

  2. Holy Moly I want to go to that bookshop. Even with exchange rate that 50p basement would be quite the deal. The Dawn French sounds like a hoot.

  3. What a great selection - and lucky you to have such a fab bookstore nearby. The Alice Thomas Ellis your friend was thinking of is The Summerhouse Trilogy, and it's brilliant. Well worth a read.

  4. Well that was a successful trip!

  5. Brillinat pile of books. If I do give up buying books for a year in 2010 I can live vicariously through other people's purchasing. I do think December is going to have to see me have a binge or five in this Notting Hill Place it sounds too good to be true.

  6. Now I see how your 24 is going to work in 2010. Your going to buy another hundred books before the end of this year!

    I think that's a little devious!

    Presumably you'll get throught this lot in a couple of weeks - enjoy.

  7. What a fabulous loot! I must avoid Notting Hill for a while and I did not read about the Virago copy of The Tortoise and the Hare... Jealous of your green Comyns and Holtby even though I have both but, oh wait, so do you! I like your "companion copy" approach. Looking forward to your thoughts on The Ante-Room.

  8. We'd love to see some of these profiled at, where you can add information, images, video, music and links to illustrate and explore the books.

  9. Not quite sure how this squares with 2 books a month?

  10. Both the Alice Thomas Ellis books are great, think you will enjoy them, already looking forward to your opinion. I agree the summerhouse trilogy is excellent, but think the 2 you have are a better starting point.

  11. Gosh - what a fab haul! Probably just as well that I did not read this post yesterday as I was in London and only around the corner from this shop so it would have made for an awfully challenging return journey if I'd popped in. As well as given me a cross husband who'd probably have had to help me carry my purchases home... :)

  12. Wow that is an enviable haul!

    Iris is honest and moving without being either harsh or sentimental, so am glad to see you bought a copy. As is often the case, it's better than the movie, which was obviously quite good.

  13. I am almost as green with envy as those gorgeous Virago covers! I can't think of anywhere in my neck of the woods that sells books for 50p - mind you that's probably a good thing or there would be even more tottering stacks threatening to squash unwary cats (the shelves and bookcases are all fully occupied!)

  14. I will definitely go to the Book & Comic Exchange in Notting Hill Gate. Guess I'll see you there mate.


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