Saturday 30 October 2010

Stuck-in-a-Book's Weekend Miscellany

Hello there, hope all's well with you and yours. This weekend we'll be having murder-afoot at our house, as it's my birthday murder party. My actual birthday isn't til the 7th November, but the Saturday nearest to that is always Bonfire Night at South Parks in Oxford. Lots of fun stuff in the weekend miscellany...

1.) Starting with the winner of The Love Child by Edith Olivier. Thanks for all your fantastic suggestions of 'E' titles and authors - I especially loved how often Enid Blyton, Emma, and E.M. Delafield came up - all ones I'd have chosen. But, without further ado, the copy of this brilliant novella is going to... (one random number generator later) SPOTS OF TIME. I don't remember seeing your name before (have I?), so welcome, welcome, and well done! Send me your address to simondavidthomas[at], and I'll get the book off to you...

2.) Speaking of books (aren't we always?) the wonderful Persephone Secret Santa is happening again this year. Head over to Paperback Reader/Claire's post for more details... it's good fun, very festive, and guilt-free book buying. She's said we can use her fab image, so thanks Claire!

3.) Here in Britain we have some wonderful publishers - Persephone being just one of the companies which make me pleased to live in this scepter'd isle. The one time I get jealous is when the New York Review of Books Classics are mentioned. I own a few, but they're difficult and pricey to get here - they are such beautiful books, in terms of design, touch, the way they open... and, of course, they have printed some brilliant titles, including Tove Jansson's novels, one by Barbara Comyns, Sylvia Townsend Warner, etc. etc.

Anyway, Mrs. B and Coffeespoons are organising a NYRB Reading Week - see here. Also see Thomas' post on this - he gave me permission to reproduce his stunning and jealousy-inducing photo of his NYRB Classics collection (below). I think it's my favourite photograph I've ever seen on a blog - I could stare at it for hours, hoping somehow to master self-teleportation. I thought I'd read all my NYRB books, but I've just remembered I have Summer Will Show by Sylvia Townsend Warner waiting in the wings, so perhaps I will join in...


  1. You guys over the pond have a number of wonderful small presses, so I am usually jealous of you, but I agree those NYRB Classics are lovely. I have a small pile myself and try and nab them when I find used copies at library sales! Have a great Birthday and enjoy your birthday murder party--it sounds like great fun!

  2. Thank you for the link, Simon!

    I too was envious of the NYRB collection Thomas has amassed and agree that it is a beautiful photograph. I have been coveting Wish Her Safe at Home since your mention of it.

    Have a fabulous murder party! One of my favourite type of get-togethers.

  3. I loved Thomas' picture, too. I've never seen a NYRB Classic in the flesh, though, so must look for them.

  4. I love both of these pics! I'm a little gun-shy on reading NYRB Classics -- the first two that I've read didn't really do anything for me -- Troubles and the Go-Between. Both were with Cornflower, and I usually enjoy her selections, so maybe it was bad timing? Tove Jansson's ought to be safe, though. :)
    Happy weekend to you - the murder party sounds like such fun!

  5. I want to be adopted by Thomas and live in that amazing looking house with all those fantastic books. Ah well.

  6. The best book photo I have seen in a long time! I tweeted it immediately when I saw it. I just left a comment for Thomas that said I should do a NYRB basket giveaway for just UK residents during that week. And the more I think about it, the more I think I will. These are must haves, and you guys share so many book lovelies with us so we should do our part.

    Happy, happy birthday!

  7. Can't wait for the Persephone SS. Thanks for the shout-out. I am flattered you liked the picture so much. I kind of got lucky that it turned out that good. I'm not saying I didn't try, but I was surprised at the result.

  8. Good news for all you NYRB fans -- quite a few of their list is distributed here by Frances Lincoln Publishers,, for further information or your local bookshop should be able to help. Enjoy! Summer will Show is a wonderful book by the way.

  9. I love how you arranged the books by color in the photo! Clever. I didn't realize it was tough to find the NYRB classics across the pond -- it's the same trouble I have with most of the Persephones. It wouldn't bother me so much if I could get more from the library.


I've now moved to, and all my old posts are over there too - do come and say hello :)

I probably won't see your comment here, I'm afraid, but all my archive posts can also be found at