Literary links, anniversaries & new books to anticipate

As though we don’t all have more than enough to read, here are some more temptations to put on our wishlists or recommend to our local library.

Head of Zeus 2016 – The new publisher of Diney Costeloe whose books I’ve reviewed here in the past. Diney’s backlist is being reprinted with gorgeous covers & sometimes a change of title. I reviewed The Ashgrove (now called The Lost Soldier), Death’s Dark Vale (now called The Sisters of St Croix) & Evil on the Wind (now called The Runaway Family).

They also have a new imprint, Apollo, reprinting past classics that have been forgotten. I’m especially interested in My Son, My Son by Howard Spring, an author I’ve never read but who was incredibly popular in the early 20th century. Other authors include Eudora Welty & Christina Stead.

Pan Macmillan 2016 – Reprints of Lillian Beckwith, Winston Graham (his non-Poldark historical novel, The Grove of Eagles) & Robert Barnard with retro covers in the style of the immensely popular British Library Crime Classics. 

Vintage 2016 –  Adrian Tinniswood’s new book, The Long Weekend : Life in the English Country House 1918-1939; Juliet Nicolson’s memoir A House Full of Daughters, & new Vintage Classics editions of The Edwardians, Pepita & All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West.

Bloomsbury 2016 – Lovely non-fiction books that caught my eye include Bitter Taste of Victory by Lara Feigel, Jacobites by Jacqueline Riding, Guilty Thing (a biography of Thomas De Quincey) by Frances Wilson, Landskipping by Anna Pavord & Highlands : Scotland’s wild heart ( the book of a TV series narrated by Ewan McGregor) by Stephen Moss.

British Library – including the details of the next batch of British Library Crime Classics & Mike Ashley’s Adventures in the Strand : Arthur Conan Doyle and The Strand Magazine.

A few more literary links & interesting articles. An article in The Spectator about the recently rediscovered novels of Stella Gibbons & a recent review from Desperate Reader.
Issue no 8 of Shiny New Books has just gone live with reviews of new books, reprints & the winners of their recent poetry competition.
A terrific article by Hilary Mantel about the work of Elizabeth Jane Howard with interesting things to say about the way that women writers are still discussed in terms of their looks or their private lives rather than their work. It reminded me of the furore last year over an obituary of Colleen McCullough that emphasized her weight & her looks (or the writer’s perception of her looks) rather than her achievements or her intellect. Mantel has written the Introduction to a Vintage reprint of Elizabeth Jane Howard’s The Long View.

Lots of anniversaries this year. 200 years since the birth of Charlotte Brontë, 400 years since the deaths of Shakespeare & Cervantes (will this be the year I read Don Quixote?), 75 years since the death of Virginia Woolf, 100 years since the birth of Penelope Fitzgerald, 150 years since the birth of Beatrix Potter & the publication of a long lost story, Kitty-in-Boots. The Guardian has a list of books to look out for & even more anniversaries here.

I feel exhausted but excited just thinking about all those books to read & anniversaries to observe!

10 thoughts on “Literary links, anniversaries & new books to anticipate

  1. I need a nap! What a lot to look forward to and to challenge myself with. I've got a foot up with Don Quixote, having started it last summer and letting it idle after about 200 pages. But, onward and upward! Will this be the year I finally commemorate Shakespeare by reading all his plays? Maybe. I'm delighted to see that Lillian Beckwith is being reprinted. She's among a handful of writers who can make me laugh aloud.


  2. I have an audio book of Don Quixote so I'm hoping that will be the way to get into it. It worked for Moby-Dick! I've read a lot of Shakespeare's plays but not all of them. Maybe I should try to read the tbr ones or watch the BBC adaptations as I have the boxset of DVDs. Lots of planning to do!


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