My blogging has slowed down since the New Year as I find I’m in the mood for rereading & trying to catch up with some of the many magazines & journals I subscribe to but never seem to read. I reread Gaudy Night last weekend for at least the tenth time but I’ve already blogged about it here. I’ve also reread Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time which I posted about here. I’m also planning to reread Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth as I’ve been reading lots of reviews & articles about the new movie version & I’d like to read the book again before the movie is released. I especially enjoyed this article about Brittain & two other novelists who were profoundly affected by the War – Naomi Mitchison & Rebecca West. I’m much more enthusiastic about West’s novel, The Return of the Soldier, than the author of the article although I haven’t read much more of her work. I think it’s a remarkable novel about a man suffering from shell shock & the women in his life. It was made into a movie in the 80s with Glenda Jackson, Julie Christie & Alan Bates.
I’m reading Fortunata and Jacinta by Benito Pérez Galdós for my 19th century bookgroup. I’m enjoying it very much but we’re reading 100pp instalments every week & the print in this Penguin edition is very small… Galdos was the Spanish Dickens or Balzac. If I’d grown up in Spain I would no doubt have read one of his novels instead of Great Expectations but he’s barely known in the English speaking world & only a few of his novels are in print. Dani at A Work in Progress recently reviewed another of his novels, Tristana.
I love magazines & my library subscribes to Zinio so I have access to lots of wonderful magazines. The only trouble is finding time to read them. Here’s just some of my 2014 magazines yet unread.
And here are this year’s already piling up. Well, they’re piling up in a digital way. Is there a word for that?
At least they’re invisible. Here are the physical magazines & journals weighing down the coffee table.
I’d like to do some reading around a couple of anniversaries this year. I’ve already mentioned my Year of Carol Shields but it’s also the 200th anniversary of Anthony Trollope’s birth & the 75th anniversary of John Buchan’s death. I’ve started on Trollope by reading John Caldigate & I have lots of books by both authors on the tbr shelves.
I’ve started the year well in terms of not buying books. As I’m rereading, I don’t need to buy books, do I? Well, that’s the theory & so far it’s working. I do still have a few preorders that will arrive over the next few months & there are some very tempting books published this year so I may find myself putting in an order around my birthday. How else would I celebrate? The Penguin Monarchs series is very tempting – short biographies of every British monarch from Athelstan to Elizabeth II. The first six titles have just been published. I’m especially looking forward to John Guy on Henry VIII (one of the first six), Rosemary Horrox on Richard III, Helen Castor on Elizabeth I, Clare Jackson on Charles II & Jane Ridley on Queen Victoria.
The next Crime Writers Association anthology, edited by Martin Edwards, looks fascinating as it’s true crime written by the Golden Age authors & in May, Martin’s book about the Golden Age authors will be published (I confess, I’ve already preordered this one). Also in April is John Ashdown-Hill’s book on the reputation of Richard III. Alison Weir’s next subject is Margaret Douglas, mother of Lord Darnley & at one time, heir to the throne when her uncle, Henry VIII, had disinherited his own daughters. The Brontë Cabinet by Deborah Lutz is a biography of the family through the objects they owned. Claire Harman’s biography of Charlotte Brontë is due in October, just in time for the 200th anniversary celebrations next year. Lucasta Miller (author of The Brontë Myth) is writing a biography of Victorian poet, LEL, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, & I read somewhere that it may be published this year as well. That’s probably enough to be going on with!
So, I may be blogging less than usual but I’ll still be reading just as much.