Thursday Bookshelf – BA-BE

Week 2 of the great bookshelf project. Yacker & Yacker 2 are books of interviews with Australian writers by Candida Baker. Published in the 1980s, she interviewed Helen Garner, Thomas Keneally, David Williamson & David Malouf as well as a previous generation of authors now gone – Ray Lawler, Sumner Locke Elliott, Marjorie Barnard & Christina Stead. Miss Hargreaves by Frank Baker is there thanks to Simon from Stuck In A Book. No book has every had a champion as passionate as Simon so I had to buy a copy.

I loved the L-shaped Room trilogy by Lynne Reid Banks, as well as her two novels about the Brontës. I remember getting the phone call from the bookshop when Juliet Barker’s monumental biography, The Brontës, was published. This was the early 1990s & pre-internet for me so I had ordered a copy from the local bookshop in the shopping centre near my library & I could hardly wait to rush over & pick up the book. Thank goodness it was a Thursday & I could whip out in my meal break (I worked the 1-9pm shift on Thursday in those days). I’m not sure how much work I did that evening, I may have been dipping in to the Introduction & looking at the plates…

Unique to Australia by Beatty (about flora & fauna) was a school prize I won for a spelling bee in Grade 5 in 1973. There’s also my original Virago copy of Nicola Beauman’s A Very Great Profession, the book that began the Persephone phenomenon. Also Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People. I read this before I went to the UK in 1999 & it sparked my interest in the Anglo-Saxons. I recently discovered a beautiful blog by A Clerk of Oxford, about the Anglo-Saxons. It’s a fascinating mix of poetry, history & stories of the Anglo-Saxons & Scandinavians illustrated with manuscripts of the period. The blog won the History Today award for digital history this year.

I picked up the ancient copy of The Search for Bridey Murphy by Morey Bernstein in a second-hand shop. I’d been fascinated by the Bridey Murphy story ever since I read about it in a Reader’s Digest collection. It’s a classic reincarnation story (made into a film starring Teresa Wright) about an American woman who regresses under hypnosis to another life in 19th century Ireland. It’s been pretty well debunked now, I think, but I love reincarnation stories.

Next week, BI-BR.

8 thoughts on “Thursday Bookshelf – BA-BE

  1. I'm very attached to my battered copy of Dark Quartet which I bought at the Bronte Parsonage Museum long ago. I really need to track down the sequel…

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  2. As a teenager, I was fascinated by all things occult. I read the Bridey Murphy book back then and we named our last Irish Wolfhound Bridey. I haven't met anyone else who read that book, although I know people who know the story.

    I'm enjoying your bookshelf cleaning. I'm finished with mine except for the travel book bookcase and the Nancy Drew / Hardy Boys bookcase. I'll share my bookshelves with you one of these days on my blog.

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  3. I always love to see other people's bookshelves, Joan, it's fun to see what we have in common. The Bridey Murphy story is fascinating, it was one of the first to grab the popular imagination. I still have the Readers Digest book with lots of these stories about reincarnation, ghosts, unexplained phenomena, historical mysteries etc. Endlessly fascinating.

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  4. Lyn I am loving this series! I think I have the same copy of the Brontes biography. The L-Shaped Room trilogy has gone on my list.

    I hope you saw Lucia and Mapp on the ABC last Sunday? It's a terrific version of the middle books, if you didn't see it check it out on iView. The second episode is on tonight at 7.30.

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  5. I didn't see M&L. I'm afraid I read the first book & couldn't get on with it. Simon from Stuck in a Book is a big fan (he also loves the L shaped room) so I really must try it again one day. I'm glad you think the series is true to the books.

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