Saturday 30 January 2010

Stuck-in-a-Book's Weekend Miscellany

Hello there, hope you're well, do take a seat and have a cup of tea. I can do normal, Earl Grey, and... er, water. More miscellany for you - and on the right day of the week as well (though I'm actually typing this on Friday - sshh, don't tell anyone).

1.) The blog post - is a myriad wonder... featuring several posts from a fairly recent blogger who seems to be reading all the books I want to read, or re-read. Here's one on Mariana by Monica Dickens; one on Can Any Mother Help Me? by Jenna Bailey; one on The Enchanted Places by Christopher Milne - go, enjoy, and welcome Claire aka Captive Reader to the blogosphere.

2.) The link - comes with a warning, this weekend. I found this hilarious... others were not, shall we say, 'exceedingly diverted'. Click here to judge for yourself.

3.) The book - I don't know if I've always made this
obvious, but 'the book' section in this weekend miscellany is for books I've heard of, or which have come through the door, but which I haven't read. Usually they're ones I don't think others will have heard about yet - but this week I've gone for one that I somehow missed, but hope you have heard of - White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi. I was very impressed by The Icarus Girl back here, and have The Opposite House on my shelves, but somehow didn't notice that White is for Witching was published back in May 2009 - and is coming out in paperback in April, I think. Reviews aren't great at Amazon, tis true, but I'd rather hear your views... the publishers say "A remarkable, shape-shifting tale... The narrative oscillates between the mundane and the supernatural, and it is this skilful blend of the fantastic and the everyday that makes it resonate so chillingly... In the end, this isn't a fantasy about ghosts and witches. It is really about memory and belonging, love and loss." Over to you...

And a little extra - I'd love contributions to this in future, if you hear any - Best Bookish Quotation of the Week. I'm not talking quotations from books, I'm talking quotations about books which you've said yourself, or have heard friends say. I hope my friend won't mind me using hers - I'll keep her anonymous until/unless she hoves over and approves...[edit: she now has, and you can find out who it is in the comments!]
"I recite my Book Depository preorders to myself at night if I'm having trouble getting to sleep!"
rivalled only, this week, by my own confession to my housemate:
"I once bought a book solely because I liked the smell..."
If you have any others - let me know!


  1. I made it into your 'Miscellany'! Thank you so much. Your blog was one of the first books blogs I started reading, so it's very exciting to know that I've been noticed.

    That cover for White is for Witching is gorgeous. I've never heard of it, but now I want to own it just so I can display it (and read it, of course).

  2. You can out me as the preorder reciter Simon. I know it's mad but it works!

  3. Eva really liked White is for Witching (I think she reviewed it this past week or so) and I can't wait to get it.

    I love the emoticons! Especially the Collins/Lizzie proposal scene. :)

  4. Ha ha!!! Loved the emoticon P&P!!!

    I don't have any book quotations as yet, but I *have* bought books because of their smell ... aminly dusty and old!

  5. I had to have a chuckle over the Book Depository pre-order reciting as I have just admitted to my own extensive pre-order list over at my blog. I am thinking my list actually might keep me awake rather than put me to slepp - just due to sheer size alone!

  6. Ooh, thanks for pointing out Claire's blog - lovely!

  7. Hahaha I was getting The Converted One to sniff some books the other day, it was so pointless a look of complete unimpressedness was written all over their face!

    I have White is for Witching which I am very keen to read, have read nothing else of hers but have heard wonderful, wonderful things about it, not on amazon of course.

  8. I love the book confessions!

    Claire's blog is lovely; thank you for sharing.

    Eva of A Striped Armchair's review of White is for Witching inspired me to request it from the library and I now have it on my TBR to read. I enjoyed The Icarus Girl and had both The Opposite House and White is for Witching on my wish-list.

    I've seen the P&P emoticons on facebook and found it very amusing.

    I'll be posting my books that define me meme shortly!

  9. Perhaps a contender for Worst not Best Bookish Quotation of the Week - I heard an acquaintance comment recently that "Books make a room look untidy"!

  10. The emoticons were brilliant and had me chuckling over my cup of tea whilst waiting for the first garden birds to notice my new bird table (so that I could participate in the Great British Bird Count from the comfort of my sofa!) I only wish I could enlarge them to spare my aging eyesight :)

  11. ...the emoticons, that is, not the garden birds!

  12. I love the smell of books. One of the first things I do upon acquiring a new one is to smell it. (Why is that?) When I first smelled Howard's End is On the Landing, it took me back 25 years to my obsessive reading of all the Agatha Christie's I could lay my hands on because it smelled exactly like I remembered my Pocket editions smelling. So, like a good book nerd, I went flying over to the shelf where they are housed, opened one and smelled it. (This provoked daughter #2 to say, "Mom, only you would do something like that!") The smell had faded somewhat after 25 years, but it was still there! Of course, I then made said daughter smell both and confirm it. :)

    The smelling of books is something that so far, only one of my children does as a matter of routine. This same daughter said to me the other day (and this is leading up to my bookish quote), "Mommy what do people DO that don't read?" Her query was prompted by some statistic on the news about the decline in reading esp. among young people. She followed it with, "I'm so glad we live in a library!"

    Who was it that said, "A house without books is like a room without windows?" Horace Mann?
    Ah, but once again, I've rambled on too long.

  13. My vote on the emoticons: Hilarious

  14. Glad to hear a good word for The Icarus Girl as I just checked it out of the library and have been eying it cautiously. I wanted White is for Witching but it was checked out - looking forward to seeing your opinion on it!

  15. Never judge a book by its SHOULD judge a book by its cover..and by the paper it's printed it. ( Very important for me...I love slightly yellowed paper)

  16. I always pick books which have country scenes on the cover. You know those winding paths with stiles and cows and horses in the distance!

  17. I mostly choose library books by the cover - starting with the spine. One shouldn't underestimate the importance of a good spine.

  18. I enjoyed White is for Witching - I thought Eva's review highlighted quite a few of the things I liked about it too. I linked to the book trailer in my review because it is astonishingly creepy!


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