Thursday, 4 August 2011

Buying books in Somerset

I've got surprisingly little reading done down in Somerset so far - still on my first book, Red Pottage by Mary Cholmondeley, which seemed to get the most enthusiasm when I mentioned it the other day. And, indeed, I am really enjoying it. Here it is, in situ, on the beach at Lyme Regis.

More on that another time. Today I'm going to tell you about the various books I've bought down here in Somerset so far - I've been to two secondhand bookshop in Crewkerne, two in Bridport, and two in Lyme Regis. Alongside a few books I bought for other people, not pictured, I have bought eight for myself...

The Pursuit of Laughter - Diana Mosley
The Making of a Muckraker - Jessica Mitford

Two non-fic books to fuel my love of all things Mitford.

This Real Night - Rebecca West
The Gipsy's Baby - Rosamond Lehmann
The Victorian Chaise-Longue - Marghanita Laski

And my love of Virago and Persephone! I have read the last, but didn't have a Persephone copy.

The Foolish Immortals - Paul Gallico
The House That Wouldn't Go Away - Paul Gallico

Bridport and Lyme Regis seem full of Gallico books! These seem like they'd be up my street - one about a conman who claims to sell immortality, 'but [to quote the blurb] is he being conned by someone else?' - cue Simon whipping it off the shelf and into his hot little hands. The second is about a previous house haunting the house built in its place. I love books about houses with bizarre powers (yes, what an odd taste to have, but... I do!)

The Book of Indoor Games - Hubert Phillips & B.C. Westall
I'd have bought this for the cover alone, but inside seems fun too. Lots on cards, chess etc. but - more to my liking - lots on parlour games! Interesting to see the precedents of games like Scrabble, Boggle, Scattergories etc. all included there. Will probably write more about this later...

A couple of photographs to finish with. This is one of the bookshops I went to in Bridport (the other, called Bridport Old Books, was being run by a woman reading A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor, so we had a nice little chat about that)

and here is the little lady who has brought me to Somerset, looking her adorable self:


  1. Did you go to The Sanctuary bookshop in Lyme Regis? It has a B&B upstairs where I have stayed a couple of times and there are books in all the rooms, up the stairs, and in the dining room. Amazing!

  2. The one and only time I've been to Somerset was to play cricket at Taunton. So I shall clearly have to make a return because of the Gallico books you've found - I read Flowers for Mrs Harris partly on your recommendation, and *loved it*. So I will have to read more of his.
    Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

  3. I'm in Somerset quite often and hadn't realised it had such a treasure trove of books. Maybe that's because I go to Yeovil...

    That little cat could make be go anywhere, she's lovely.

  4. Awww, cute kitty!

    Bet you pack for getaways with room in mind for book finds. We have The Gipsy's Baby in common, I bought that one last weekend!

  5. Lovely! Glad the sun came out for you too. I haven't been to Somerset in years - I shall have to take a little book hunting trip on my return!

  6. oooh, i really want to read the Laski. Happy hols. XxX lge.

  7. By Paul Gallico look out for:
    Jennie - about a boy who wakes up to find that he is a cat
    Scruffy - about an ape on the rock of Gibraltar

  8. Love the idea of The House That Wouldn't Go Away! Can't wait to hear you review it. Hope it finds its way to my desk one day. (So many good books do that I sometimes have a hard time going out to pursue.)

  9. Lyme Regis! I've never been to any part of England but I think Jane Austen vacationed there...?

    I'm looking forward to hearing more about The Book of Indoor Games. Sounds like a lot of retro homey fun.


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