What to read next? So many lovely books have come into the house in recent weeks that I’m having a hard time deciding what to read first. I spent last weekend reading Millions Like Us by Virginia Nicholson, one of the books I didn’t get to last year & wanted to read before the end of this year. I loved it & I’ll be reviewing it soon. Another of the books on that list was Georgette Heyer by Jennifer Kloester but after reading Captive Reader’s review, I’m not sure I’m in the mood when there are so many other books clamouring for my attention. My copies of the beautiful Virago reprints of High Rising & Wild Strawberries have arrived.
Then, there’s this pile of new books from the library. The Pinecone by Jenny Uglow, about Sarah Losh, a remarkable woman who was an antiquarian & architect in a period when a woman wasn’t supposed to be either. These Wonderful Rumours! by May Smith, the diary of a schoolteacher during WWII. Serving Victoria by Kate Hubbard, life with Queen Victoria by members of her household including doctors & ladies-in-waiting. Thomas Wyatt : the Heart’s Forest by Susan Brigden. Wyatt is one of my favourite poets & I’m interested in Brigden’s interpretation of his melancholy life. A Question of Identity by Susan Hill is the new Simon Serrailler mystery. I always look forward to this series & I can’t wait to see how Simon deals with his new love affair. The Sea Garden by Marcia Willett. One of my most anticipated comfort reads each year is a new novel by Marcia Willett. Set in Devon or Cornwall, her books are always full of atmosphere & family drama. The Fishing Fleet by Anne De Courcy, about the young women who went out toi India in search of husbands in the days of the Raj. Lifting the Lid by Claire Macdonald is the story of the author’s life at Kinloch Lodge on Skye. Macdonald may be better known in the UK but I hadn’t heard of her. The book is the story of how she & her husband created the Kinloch Lodge Hotel, brought up their family & became a well-known cookery writer.
I’ve known about Girls Gone By, the publisher specializing in reprinting classic girls school stories, for ages but hadn’t bought anything until recently. I didn’t read school stories (except Enid Blyton’s Naughtiest Girl series) or books about pony-mad little girls when I was a child so I’m not interested in reading them now. However, I discovered these books on their list about young women & couldn’t resist buying them. Margaret Finds a Future by Mabel Esther Allan, The Bartle Bequest by Dorita Fairlie Bruce & The Scholarship Girl at Cambridge by Josephine Elder.
The new edition of Brontë Studies will be arriving any day now &, having seen the Table of Contents & noticing that many of the articles are about Anne’s Agnes Grey & Charlotte’s The Professor, I feel that I should reread both before I read the articles to refresh my memory. It’s been years since I read either of them.
I’ve also been tempted by Dani’s plan to read Fanny Burney’s Camilla & I’ve decided to read along. I’ve downloaded the free copy from Girlebooks but I’ve also borrowed the OUP edition from work so I can read the notes.
My next book should probably be one of the library books as I know I can’t renew some of them. It’s a difficult decision & I think a cup of tea & some soothing music (I’m listening to lots of Christmas carols & choirs at the moment) will be needed to help me get there.