Barbara Pym Reading Week

I’ve been preparing for Barbara Pym Reading Week all year so I’m very pleased that it’s finally arrived. The week is being hosted by Thomas at My Porch (you can read about all the exciting things planned here) & Amanda at Fig & Thistle.

I’ve been a fan of Barbara Pym’s funny, gentle, quirky, mad novels for years. Excellent Women, A Glass of Blessings & Some Tame Gazelle are three of my favourite books & I’ve read them & listened to them on audio many times. I’ve reread all three earlier this year as part of my own tribute to Barbara Pym. I’ve read all her novels now. I’d been holding on to Quartet in Autumn because I couldn’t bear the thought that once I’d read it, there would be no more unread Pym to look forward to. However, this was the year to read it & my review will be up later in the week. I’ve also reread An Unsuitable Attachment & my post on it will be up on Tuesday.

So, just to get things started, here are links to my earlier reviews of Excellent Women, Jane & Prudence & Less Than Angels. I’m looking forward to settling down with a pot of tea & reading the reviews & posts around the Pymosphere this week.

14 thoughts on “Barbara Pym Reading Week

  1. I recently bought the Jane & Prudence, but have not read it yet. This is the only one I have in my library, but reading about the other books of hers, I'm thinking to increase their number.


  2. I'm finding myself a little jealous of your audio versions! The Pyms (I'm starting with Some Tame Gazelle, and it's hard to believe it won't be one my favorites too) are all re-reads for me, but it's been a long time. I'm so glad we have this chance to read them together.


  3. If only I had copies of those audio books! A different publisher now seems to have the rights & I've seen new versions coming in at work but I haven't the heart to listen to them. They can't possibly be as good as Juliet, Julia & Susan. It's lovely to have a reason (or excuse) to reread a favourite.


  4. EW is my favourite Pym, I have three copies of it & I've read it at least a dozen times. I'm sorry that the original audio books are no longer available but I still have hopes that they'll be reissued.


  5. I'm loving all this Pym love. I feel like I've entered a special universe populated with tea, clergymen and excellent women.
    How have I missed this for the past 45 years of my life???


  6. I'm a big fan of audiobooks but, for some reason, have never considered listening to Barbara Pym. Off to for some investigation…
    Thanks for the suggestion!


  7. Pym's world is very special. It's wonderful that her books are back in print again & hopefully this Reading Week will spread the word & gain more converts (a very churchy analogy).


  8. It would be wonderful of you could get hold of the older recordings, JoAnn. Chivers (now AudioGo) used to have the rights but Magna Story Sound have recently started releasing Pym on audio read by Patience Tomlinson so the older ones may not be available any more.


  9. Thank goodness for all Barbara Pym readers out there! Pym captures people of certain time, place, and class so perfectly, I feel so nostalgic even though I come from a totally different background.


  10. Yes, I agree. I think I feel nostalgic because I enjoy reading books of that era because i certainly didn't live through those times & I've never lived in the UK. I feel it's my spiritual home though sometimes.


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