Literary Ramblings

phoebeshelf

Here are just a few bits & pieces that I want to share – a quick review, some publishing news (more Furrowed Middlebrow – hooray!), a blog post that had me reaching for the tissues with tears of laughter & some new bookcases with obligatory cat picture. Phoebe is not defying gravity here, she’s decided that my new bookshelf is her new favourite spot for sleeping & just generally looking out over her world. I don’t know why photos I take on my phone refuse to be rotated even when they look fine in my editing software. Anyway, you’ll just have to look sideways at this one.

shelfThe new shelves were a gift from some friends who are downsizing. I’ve used them to shelve my unread Slightly Foxed & Folio Society editions. Apart from looking lovely, this has also freed up some room on the tbr shelves in the study. Not that I’m buying books. I’ve bought only a few books since October & have no desire to buy at the moment. This is what happens. I stop buying & then, gradually, the desire to buy just fades away… I only have two preordered books  – Isabella of Castile by Giles Tremlett (due in a couple of weeks)  & Richard III by Chris Skidmore (which I ordered in August 2014 & is now due in September although I’m not holding my breath).

dvds

I also now have all my DVDs in one place & in alphabetical order. I haven’t separated the watched & unwatched, they’re just one sequence. These shelves were the exact size I was looking for, as you can see. They fit perfectly in the space beside the window.

forsythoutsider

I’ve just finished listening to a wonderful audio book, The Outsider, Frederick Forsyth’s memoir. I haven’t read any of his novels (although I’m now keen to read or listen to The Day of the Jackal & The Odessa File)but I was intrigued to listen to this after John le Carré’s The Pigeon Tunnel. It sounds a silly thing to say about an author who has sold millions of copies of his books over the last 45 years but he’s such a great storyteller. I loved hearing about his wartime evacuation as a baby to a Norland training school where the nannies practiced on him, learning French & German on holidays where he immersed himself in the languages by staying with local families, his experiences as the youngest pilot in the RAF, the years in East Berlin & Africa as a journalist & the experience of writing his early novels & seeing Jackal made into a film. Beautifully read by Robert Powell, one of my favourite narrators.

garwoodlong

Darlene at Cosy Books has reviewed one of the latest Persephones, Long Live Great Bardfield by Tirzah Garwood. If this review doesn’t make you long to get hold of this book, I don’t know what will. It’s very close to the top of my tbr pile.

panterdownesooty

Speaking of Persephone, another book has leapt from the tbr shelves to the reading table after reading the latest Persephone Letter. As well as short stories & wartime letters from London, Mollie Panter-Downes also wrote this account of Ooty, one of the Indian hill stations where the English of the Raj spent the summer months. I picked this up second hand years ago in a previous fit of Panter-Downes enthusiasm. I wonder if Persephone are planning a reprint?

The most exciting publishing news I’ve heard in a while has been Scott’s announcement of the next titles in his Furrowed Middlebrow imprint (in conjunction with Dean Street Press). I’m especially excited by the Elizabeth Fair titles which sound perfect for fans of D E Stevenson, Angela Thirkell or E M Delafield. Also The Lark by E Nesbit which was enthusiastically reviewed by Simon here. They’re being published in March so I can feel a fit of preordering coming on when the books are listed at the Book Depository.

richardsonclarissa

Finally, I’ve also started another long book. A group of readers (see the post here at I’ve Been Reading Lately) are going to read Clarissa by Samuel Richardson on the dates that the letters in the book were written (it’s an epistolary novel). It’s not too late to join in. The book begins on January 10th & there’s a flurry of letters until January 20th then nothing until February 20th.

12 thoughts on “Literary Ramblings

  1. Clarissa, eh? That’s a big read and I like the idea of reading each letter on the date it was written. I read Pamela in the first term of my first year at uni. Hated it to start with and then loved it. Hope you a.l enjoy your Marathon read.

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  2. it’s quite uplifting to see books so well organized.. of course then i have to turn and look at our shelves and immediately become down dropped… i’m intrigued by Clarissa and may yet try to catch up… tx…

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  3. I’m also looking forward to The Lark by E. Nesbit, I keep checking Amazon and The Book Depository to see if they’ve listed them for pre-order. Also planning to buy the Tirzah Garwood next time I order from Persephone!

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  4. I love your new shelves. Phoebe has great taste! I’ve been dithering about ordering the Garwood book and you may have taken me off the fence. Of course, you’ve mentioned other books that I now want to check out. Just when I was doing so well reading my own books! I have Clarissa and Pamela, and one called Shamela, a parody of Pamela attributed to Henry Fielding. I haven’t read any of them yet.

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    • I’m looking forward to read Tirzah Garwood, I just have a couple of other books to finish first. It will be my Persephone for February. I think I’ll enjoy Clarissa, especially reading it in instalments. Much easier to tackle that way.

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  5. And you made me laugh, Lyn…so glad you enjoyed my post! I think about Tirzah every day since finishing her autobiography. A lovely woman contacted me recently to say I’ve tempted her book club to give it a go so I’m very pleased to be spreading the word.

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