Wednesday 4 April 2012

Dali and Alliteration

I'm away for most of next week, so I should be spending my time writing up posts to appear in that time.  Instead, I've been playing Scrabble (won by one point - woo!), reading my first ever graphic novel, watching Neighbours, and coming up with chapter outlines for my thesis.  It's fun trying to summarise the argument for a chapter I wrote two years ago...

So no proper post today, but (for no real reason) a Salvador Dali painting by way of a reminder about my old post about Alice's Adventures in Wonderland illustrators...

...and one of those little questions which is a great way to add to my ever-growing list of books to read, and to get your brains working a bit.

I'd like to know a recommendation (so it has to be good!) for a book where the title (not including A/The etc.) and the author's surname begin with the same letter.  Because... well, why not?  It's trickier than it sounds.  I'm going to suggest a few to get you started...

The Diary of a Provincial Lady - E.M. Delafield
Literary Lapses - Stephen Leacock
Howards End is on the Landing - Susan Hill

Have fun!


  1. Oh, Simon, you mad one, another glorious challenge! How about Carol Shields' The Stone Diaries. Confess I haven't reread it in years, and my first read was long before we all had access to wonderful recommendations from like-minded readers via blogs such as yours, but it resonated then... What's more, Carol Shields and her friend Blanche Howard exchanged letters (and a joint writing project) for many years. The letters document the inevitable drift towards old age but they also celebrate two women's bookish lives and the unalloyed pleasure they found in exchanging good reads and the like. The letters are in book form. I found the book by chance and lapped it up. I know how you love collections of letters - and, by the way, The Element of Lavishness is supreme.

    Must away to help younger daughter in complex and much overdue science fair project. Help me.....


  2. The Huncback of Notre Dame - Victor Hugo
    Cat Among The Pigeons - Agatha Christie
    Mince Pie - Christopher Morley

  3. Clochemerle - Gabriel Chevallier

  4. Back again, after riotous science fair experiment.

    Does poetry count? If so, then surely these do:

    Ted Hughes: Hawk in the Rain
    Seamus Heaney: The Haw Lantern
    Seamus Heaney: Human Chain

    These poets walk through words like gods....


  5. Colette: Claudine at School (and all the other Claudines. Tho' I think having only one name might be cheating!)

  6. Bibliolathas beat me to it! However let me add for Colette "Cheri" and "The Cat" (works in original French too). How about Julie Birchill and "The Boy Looked at Johnny". You said "book rather than "novel" so I'll also offer Anaïs Nin's "The Novel of the Future" for your collection.

  7. Dombey and Son: Charles Dickens
    Hazard, A Husband for Fanny, Helen - all by Georgette Heyer (OK some of them are short stories... cheat!)
    The Hand of Ethelberta; Thomas Hardy

    Oh, nothing will get done today!

  8. Like OVW I've been distracted on this for the last hour (while watching the cricket with one eye!). My suggestions
    Alias Grace: Margaret Atwood
    Border Crossing: Pat Barker
    Blind to the Bones: Stephen Booth
    Daddy: Loup Durand
    Buddha Da: Anne Donovan
    Matterhorn: Karl Marlantes
    and the most alliterative recommendation I can come up with Blacklands by Belinda Bauer!!! ( Though if I'm honest the alliteration in the author and title is better than the book itself which I didn't think was very good, so maybe not a recommendation after all!!!)

  9. Here are four old Penguin titles you might like -

    Anti Death League by Kingsley Amis
    Aphrodite Means Death- John Appleby
    Provincial Letters - Blaise Pascal
    Southern Gates of Arabia - Freya Stark


  10. Simon,

    Just found one hidden in plain view right before my eyes here on your page: Marghanita Laski - Little Boy Lost. Just pretend you haven't read it and enjoy it all over again!


  11. Queued up for the next Cornflower discussion: The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles :)

  12. And then there's Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins...a little buzz around her books at the moment. ;) Must stop this now before it consumes the afternoon!

  13. All from my "Books Read" list:
    Somone already beat me to Alias Grace by Atwood.
    Tepper Isn't Going Out by Trillin
    The Three Clerks by Trollope
    The Small Room by Sarton
    Can we count 'omage to Catalonia by Orwell?
    Morningside Heights by Cheryl Mendelson
    The Ladies Man by Elinor Lipman
    The Life and Death of Classical Music by Lebrecht
    The Lost Lanuage of Cranes by Leavitt
    Jack Gance by Ward Just
    A High Wind in Jamaica by Hughes
    Hunger by Knut Hamsun
    Flashman by Fraser
    Deliverance by James Dickey
    The Bay of Angels by Brookner
    Brief Lives by Brookner

  14. Three from the Virago bookshelves:

    Symposium by Muriel Spark
    The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
    The Camomile by Catherine Carswell

  15. Ooh, this has really got me thinking! A few to begin with:

    The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
    The Mysteries by Robert McGill
    The Tin Can Tree by Anne Tyler
    Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk
    Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

  16. The Biographer's Tale - A.S. Byatt*
    Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? - Jeanette Winterson**
    The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin
    The Waves - Virginia Woolf (although you've probably read this one?)
    The Castle of Crossed Destinies - Italo Calvino

    That's all I've got for now...
    *I was going to recommend Babel Tower by Byatt (say that five times fast), but I don't think you'd like it. It gets a little graphic...
    **OK, I haven't read this one, but I refuse to believe that it's not good. I'm a faithful fan. :D


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