Saturday, 27 August 2011

Stuck-in-a-Book's Weekend Miscellany

I've been off on trips this week - two to Swindon (yesterday I was there reading letters, rather than diaries - which meant reading lots of different people's handwriting, rather than just Edith Olivier's. Anne Sedgwick, whoever you may be, one day I will track you down and MAKE YOU WRITE YOUR Es PROPERLY. Ahem) And my housemate Debs and I also went to Compton Verney to see the Stanley Spencer exhibition, and enjoy the beautiful grounds. More on that next week, for today we need a book, a link, and a blog post.

1.) The blog post - I don't think I've ever had an easier choice to make than this one: Sakura's review of SiaB favourite Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead by Barbara Comyns. I sent her a copy, because I can be a bit pushy when it comes to my favourite authors - and she has rewarded me with a positive and perceptive review that makes me want to read it all over again. (Take note, Rachel, take note.)

2.) The link - is of a similar ilk, but not from a blog. Here is an essay about Tove Jansson by Matthew Battles in the Barnes and Noble Review, w
hich some kind soul emailed to me... but I can't right now remember who. Susan? Ruth? Nancy? Thanks, whoever it was!

3.) The book - comes from lovely Folio Society. I am thrilled to be on their review list now, let me tell you, as my first encounter with Folio books was more or less the first time I realised that a book's beauty could make me gasp. That book - or, indeed, those books - being the Mapp & Lucia series, which I eventually managed to secure for myself. But the one I'm mentioning today is Camus' The Outsider (English translation, obv.) introduced by Damon Galgut and illustrated by Matthew Richardson. They gave me a choice of three, and this is one I've been intending to read for ages. I feel a bit as though everyone else has read it first, so I daresay you can tell me about it, no?

Happy weekend everyone - although, while I've been writing this, it has started raining here. I had intended to go to the park with a book... hmm.


  1. That essay about Tove Jansson was very interesting. The only one of her books for adults I've read is The Summer Book, which I loved. It's prompted me to look for more of her books. Thanks

  2. You are playing a dangerous game Mr Thomas!!!

  3. shall we bring l'etranger (can't find the accent)by Camus when we see you on Monday? (you'll be able to test the accuracy of the translation!).

  4. I finally picked up a copy of The Summer Book this past week. Can you believe I still have gift cards from Christmas in my purse? I've been so focused on not allowing my TBR shelf to grow this year, that I forgot that I had "gifts" in my purse that wouldn't count as me shopping for myself. ;) I've got a few on the nightstand to finish before I start it, but I'm looking forward to a cooler "summer" location. Happy weekend, all!

  5. the Camus is lovey ,all the best stu

  6. Pushy is good! The Outsider is my dad's favourite book and I grew up with the refrain 'Aujourd'hui, maman est morte...' every time he talked about Camus. And Folio books are SO beautiful!

  7. Joanne - do keep looking for more! They all have the same sort of atmosphere to them, even though in tone they're very different.

    Rachel - you love me really!

    Dad - oops, too late. Not sure my comparison of English and French would be very worthwhile...

    Susan - that is extraordinary restraint! I rarely keep tokens more than a week. Can't wait to hear what you think about Summer Book.

    Stu - thanks for the tip!

    Sakura - you have rewarded me well :) Aren't Folio books to die for?


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