Thursday 11 November 2010

Birthday Books

Hello there - sorry I've been absent for so long; the cold I had on my birthday got worse, and then a bit better, and then worse, and then rather better - so now I'm just coughing a lot and waking myself up. Ho-hum. Worse things happen at sea, as Our Vicar's Wife is apt to say. There are quite a few things I've been meaning to blog about, including some reviews etc., but I'm going to be returning at a steady pace - hope that's ok. And there's an exciting meeting this Saturday, which I daresay you'll hear about in time...

But, of course, I have to share my birthday bounty with you. This year, for the first time, I used an Amazon wishlist. It helped with Project 24 - instead of impulse buys, I put things on my wishlist, and removed them later if they no longer appealed. So it had built up to quite an extent when I emailed it to those wondering what I wanted for my birthday... Which actually made a really nice compromise between surprise and gratification. I didn't just tell people what to get me, so I had lovely surprises as I opened the presents - but at the same time I knew that I'd really want everything I received. Some gems here, which I'm really excited about. One missing, which was from my housemate Debs, and which you'll see in more detail later...

  • The Mystery of Mrs. Blencarrow - Mrs. Oliphant
  • The City & The City - China Mieville
  • Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks - John Curran
  • The Winds of Heaven - Monica Dickens
  • Highland Fling - Nancy Mitford
  • The Joke - Milan Kundera
  • At Large and At Small - Anne Fadiman
  • The Restraint of Beasts - Magnus Mills
  • Books, Baguettes & Bedbugs - Jeremy Mercer (about Shakespeare & Co. bookshop)
  • A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Writers on Why We Read Jane Austen (from Susan in TX, thanks Susan!)
  • A Reader on Reading - Alberto Manguel
  • And Furthermore - Dame Judi Dench
  • Talking of Jane Austen - G.B. Stern and Sheila Kaye-Smith


  1. That's exciting - although I could have passed on Books and Bedbugs to you as well!! You are very lucky to have been able to convince so many people to buy you books :)

    You've been quiet on the project 24 front but I realise that is because you only have 3 books left. Maybe you'll end the year with less than 24 bought?!

  2. That is an amazing birthday present haul! So many fine books! Hope you are feeling better:)

  3. What a great birthday! So exciting to get books that you want instead of just random ones. Happy reading, and I hope you feel better.

  4. Oh I really want to read Books, baguettes and bedbugs! Looking forward to hearing what you think of it. Next time I am going to Paris, Shakespeare and Co. will be first on my list of things to see, do and visit. It must be one of the most amazing places.

  5. Lovely bounty! I have both of the new Persephones and greatly enjoyed the one I've read.

    I also have the Books, Baguettes and Bedbugs on my wishlist and the Mitford.

    I read The Joke a number of years ago but only remember it vaguely...

    I'm looking forward to the exciting meeting this Saturday (and the other thing we seem to have in the offing). Could you email me your up-to-date Persephone list please, unless you are planning on buying anything at the weekend?

  6. Wow, you really cleaned up!! So jealous of the new Persephones. . . I'm so hoping they'll be under my Christmas tree this year. And I had not heard of that particular Mitford, must add it to my to-read list. Which is sooo long, le sigh.

  7. Lovely haul, indeed! I've been reading reviews on the Dench book and wonder if I should read her other books first? I love Dame Judi (who doesn't?). The Persephone's caught my eye as well. I've informed my dh that HE has to be my "Persephone Secret Santa" this year (getting things from overseas really messes with his procrastination habit, though ;) ).
    Hope your cough goes away sooner than later!

  8. You have such a nice selection there. I did not even know about the Agatha Christie Secret Notebook so that is something to pursue and so many others equally intriguing!

  9. I want Highland Fling so bad!! It's not in print in the Colonies (and not at a single library)...shame-making!

    Congrats on the bounty!

  10. So glad to have you back. Do hope the cough goes away soon. Enjoy the lovely birthday haul.

  11. Lots of good books there, especially the two new Persephones! That's a great way of getting something you'll love and it's nice you've got people actually willing to buy you books instead of something they consider more 'practical.'

  12. Fewer, Verity, fewer!
    Seriously - a birthday haul of 11 books + all the books you've been given by soft-hearted friends and family... this Project 24 is beginning to look compromised!

  13. I bought agatha christie's secret notebook a few months back. Got detracted. Just purchased " henrietta sees it through". The LAST copy in the bookstore. I whooped with joy when the salesperson gave it to me.

  14. Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks happens to be on my Wish List too,

  15. That looks like a great stack of birthday books! Hope you had a brilliant time despite the cough. Lovely to see you today too!


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