Saturday 24 July 2010

Stuck-in-a-Book's Weekend Miscellany

All those book reviews I promised you... well, we've had one or two, still more to come next week - during which I'll be off to Northern Ireland, and at the end of which I'll be moving house. But I'll try and prepare some posts to appear during the week... But, without further ado, let's have a book, a blog post, and a link.

No, wait, we will have further ado. I thought you'd like to know that Jane Austen Poll seems to be working now, and has accrued 125 votes so far (wow!) with Pride and Prejudice an unsurprising winner. Next up is Persuasion, then Emma, then 'Don't make me choose! It isn't fair!' My own favourite, Sense and Sensibility, is limping in at fifth...

AND - I promised you a winner for the Tove Jansson book! It's a bit buried in this colourful Miscellany, I'll put the winner in capitals... Using a randomiserthingummy (because it's too hot for Patch to do anything but lie down and flop his ears) the winner of Travelling Light by Tove Jansson is....


So Tove will be travelling off to Sri Lanka. Email me your address, Mystica, and I'll get it in the post to you.

1.) The blog post - I don't think I've ever had such an easy choice for blog post as this week. True, I did link to a few days ago, but whoever said you could have too much of a good thing? (Oh. Oh, right.) Here's a link to Rachel aka Book Snob's lovely musings on she and Jane Austen - basically it says everything you've been thinking about JA if you're a Janeite - and, for good measure, here's a rather funny post about falling off the book-abstinence wagon. Snarf.

2.) The book - I'm cheating on all counts this weekend. Not only was my blog post really blog posts, my book is going to be books. Many books. Because for some reason I've only just discovered (or at least only just remembered, if I'd forgotten) that Dodo Press have reprinted oodles of A.A. Milne's books. Mostly the early whimsical sketches and things - including, pictured, Once A Week which I've just re-read - but also some plays. I don't own any Dodo books, can anyone else comment on their quality? They also, quite bizarrely, don't have a website - here is a link to their Milne reprints on Book Depository. That includes a James Milne, by the way...

3.) The link - I thought I'd draw your attention to a new link I've added to my Places of B
eauty section, down in the left-hand column. It's Photo Books from a company called Bags of Love. Usually I turn down advertising offers, but this one really appealed to me - and I included it on its own merits. Yes, they have sent me a lovely photo canvas to say thank you, but this is the first company's offer I've accepted - I think their photo books and other photo-ideas would make lovely gifts... and my birthday's in November. Just saying ;-)


  1. Congrats to Mystica! I do hope someone will comment on their experience with Dodo Press. I was on Book Depository yesterday ordering some things and noticed that they also have done Benson's Queen Lucia, but I couldn't tell if they were one of those publishers with the odd margins (what do you call those kinds of publishers that look like they've just photocopied the pages?). Anyway, I'll be anxious to know since I skipped over a few titles due to the inability to "look inside."
    Happy Weekend to you, Simon, and thanks as always for interesting reading.

  2. I've read a couple of books from Dodo Press and wasn't overly impressed - the paper and the binding weren't great quality, and there were far more typos than I would have expected.

    If there's a book you really, really want to read, and you're not too bothered about the look of the book, and if typos don't pull you out of the story - then Dodo Press is a great resource. Otherwise, I'd say hang on until you can find an old edition or get to a copyright library.


  3. I think you have made an excellent choice of recommended blog post this week, and judging by all the lovely comments Rachel's paean to Austen is getting on her site there are many who agree. She (and in this instance I mean Rachel rather than Jane) writes brilliantly and, better still, from the heart. With people publishing content of this quality for free on the web it is hardly surprising that a certain media mogul is struggling to get subscribers to his now paid-for national newspaper website!

    You've now got me wondering whether I should have voted for Sense and Sensibility in your poll. Deciding on favourites is never easy, especially when choosing between classics.

    With regard to your comment about Persuasion on Rachel's blog, I do hope you don't have to suffer too badly before you are able to appreciate that particular work more.

    Are you moving far?

  4. Thank you for the links! And thank you very much for the win!!!! Am delighted with this book.

  5. Thanks for the links and the very kind comments Simon! I've never read any Dodo Press books but if they're like other print on demand publishers, I'd steer clear. I have found the quality of such books to be very lacking and they just look ugly on your shelves!

    Oh and just saw David's comment - I'm blushing! Thank you!

  6. Susan - as you see, Anna isn't very impressed... they do put more work into their covers than a lot of POD companies, but apparently don't keep up the quality inside. At least they have nice covers, I've always wondered why so many companies don't bother. It can't cost less to have an ugly cover...

    Anna - thanks so much for your feedback! I'd always rather have the original edition, if possible.

    David - your compliments towards Rachel are indeed all well-deserved :) And just moved across Oxford, thank goodness!

    Mystica - hope you like it :) I'm halfway through now.

    Rachel - blush away! ;-) And yes about PODs, especially when Milne's work (at least the ones they've done) is quite easy to find in early editions.


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