Saturday 5 February 2011

Stuck-in-a-Book's Weekend Miscellany

Happy weekend, everyone. Hope you've got something fun planned - I'm off to London later on Saturday to see Sheridan's The Rivals, with Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles. Something of a To The Manor Born reunion... pl
us, I've never seen a Sheridan play, and this one was fun to read. But, in my absence, enjoy this little miscellany of links and posts.

1.) Three Percent, a resource for international literature at the University of Rochester, have announced the 25 books on the longlist for 2011 Best Translated Book Award. Here's the list. Do go and check it out - it's something a little different from the usual literary awards. I've only read one of them - being honest, I've only heard of one of them - but it is The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson (oddly, for it was translated in 2009). If the others are up to that novel's incredible standard, then this is a list worth watching.

2.) Speaking of which, do go and read Danielle's lovely review of The Summer Book, also by Tove Jansson.

3.) More neat segues (that's segues, Colin... heehee) - Danielle and Darlene have both agreed to take part in two mini-readalongs this month (that's one each). Both sprung from Virago Reading Week and surrounding discussions, which is lovely.

Darlene and I will be reading William by E.H. Young - I've been meaning to read more Young for a while, and have had William for five years or so.

Danielle and I will be reading Gay Life by E.M. Delafield. You'll note that my copy is signed! This novel is rather more difficult to get hold of, so participants would have to search hard. Try your library catalogues? And Danielle's little introductory post will definitely entice you...

Do join in with either or both, if you can. One day I'll head up a readalong of a book that's actually in print! Anyway, we're reading about the middle of February, so over the next couple of weeks.

4.) I give up on being seamless... I found this link to the books which Harold Bloom considered fitted into his study The Western Canon. It covers more or less all time... and is enormous. I have no idea how he managed to read all these books, let alone all the ones which (presumably) didn't make the cut. Once you've got a subsection for modern Catalonian literature, you know you mean business. BUT, it definitely makes for interesting reading.

5.) And, finally, Wikio have released their latest literary blog rankings. Off I slip, down the charts... but I'm clinging on! As usual, silly but fun. - February Literature Ranking

1Bad Conscience
2Crooked Timber
3Charlie's Diary
4Making it up
5Book Chick City
6Savidge Reads
7Other Stories
8A Don's Life - Times Online WBLG
9My Favourite Books
11Stuck In A Book
12Reading Matters
13An Awfully Big Blog Adventure
15The Book Smugglers
18Pepys' Diary

Ranking made by


  1. I'm going to definitely look for some books by E.H. Young--out of all the Viragos I own I don't have any of her books. I'll be looking forward to hearing all about William. Thanks for sharing a photo of your signed book--lucky you! Don't you wish you knew the circumstances of that signature? Did she give it to a friend or was it at a book signing? I've seen Bloom's list and I don't know how he does it either. He must not read any contemporary fiction at all. And I bet he's read some of those books multiple times, too. I, however, very much enjoy contemporary fiction and will hopefully be reading more of Tove Jansson's books. Hope you enjoy the Sheridan play.

  2. I've read William and absolutely loved it. Hope you do too. I've been corresponding with Cornflower about the Wikio list because if you click on the first four links (and others) you will see that they are not literature blogs at all -- just people who occasionally might review a book on their subject. She has been talking to Wikio about it and they have agreed to tighten up their criteria. If you took all the non-literature blogs off this list, you'd probably move right up to the first five!

  3. Bloom's Canon (a concept I don't subscribe to much these days) - well he picked the wrong two by Colette in my inexpert opinion, though I have read quite a few of the other ones in the French> category (in translation sadly).

  4. You will have a much nicer day than me today as I'm off to work later, sigh.

    So far no luck with Gay Life (lucky you with your signed copy!) but I'm really looking forward to William! I'll post something as well and hopefully we can entice some others to join in. Enjoy the play!

  5. I'm looking forward to reading the Summer Book--and its on my schedule to take on a June vacation. I also appreciate your link to the Bloom list.

    Congrats on your ranking! Being new to book blogging, I've only heard of a couple of these blogs. (Are all of you named Simon, or just the ones I know of?)

  6. I love all Tove Jansson's adult books. Wish she had written more, but I think I read somewhere that she started writing for adults quite late in her life.
    Sorry to say I don't like the Moomins at all!

  7. Danielle - good luck finding William! Might not be too hard... it was one of the first ten Penguin books to be published too. And the history of the signature would be interesting! Because it's an angle, I sort of assumed that it was one of many done at some sort of book signing, very quickly, but you never know. I just love the idea that EMD held the book...

    Harriet - I'll finally be reading more EH Young after all your persuasive posts about her! And that's interesting about non-book blogs there... it does mean that I know most of the real book bloggers, and we should have more real ones in the list!

    DP - I don't really agree with the idea of a canon either, but it does show me how much I haven't read that I'd probably value - and that's just from British books.

    Darlene - poor you! As for the signed EMD - this one was more big price tag than luck! I have serendipitously found books signed by Rose Macaulay and Dorothy Whipple, though.

    LifetimeReader - Summer Book in summer sounds like a brilliant idea! Haha, about all the Simons... as far as I know, there are only two of us... I was amused that Simon and Thomas were the only male bloggers i knew for some time, since my name is Simon Thomas.

    chinecats - I keep hoping they'll translate more... I've not read any of the Moomin books though - why don't you like them?

  8. Three Percent looks really good! I love the way you write and your blog.


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