The 1951 Club is coming!


Simon at Stuck in a Book & Karen at Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings are hosting the 1951 Club next month, April 10th-16th to be precise. I love this idea, it’s practically the only challenge I ever take part in. Mostly because they choose such interesting years but also because I invariably have several books on the tbr shelves to choose from so I’m participating in a challenge & reducing the tbr at the same time.


There are links on both blogs to lists of titles published in 1951 & all the information you need to join in. I’ve pulled these books from the shelves – two Greyladies titles by Josephine Elder, The Encircled Heart and Lady of Letters, Lucy Carmichael by Margaret Kennedy & Come In Spinner by Dymphna Cusack and Florence James.


However, just as I had virtuously planned to read one of these books that I already own, I read this post by Moira at Clothes in Books. Once you are thinking about 1951, books seem to pop up everywhere that were published in that year. I do like Michael Gilbert’s books & this one, about a murder trial with links to the French Resistance during WWII, sounds terrific. So, I bought the eBook.


I also plan to listen to The Quiet Gentleman by Georgette Heyer, read by Cornelius Garrett.

Looking at the lists on Goodreads, I’ve also discovered that I’ve read a lot of books published in 1951 so I’ll be posting links to my reviews of those titles in 1951 Club week as well. It’s going to be wonderful, I can’t wait!

Heading towards the New Year

cropped-booksmay14.jpgChristmas is over (the hottest Christmas Day in Melbourne since 1988) & fortunately the outlook for New Year’s Day is a lot milder. I’ve been finding it difficult to concentrate on reading over the last couple of weeks. I’ve been reading lots of short stories but can’t make a decision to start anything else.Which is probably why I’ve reread 11 books over the last couple of months (four Dorothy L Sayers, three Christine Poulsons, two Charles Dickens, Rumpole of the Bailey & Agatha Christie’s Autobiography) when I have over 1200 unread books on the tbr shelves.


I am past the halfway mark in The Mysteries of Paris by Eugène Sue, which I’m reading in instalments with my 19th century bookgroup. It divides up very conveniently into ten Books of about 150pp each. The story is full of characters with multiple aliases; noblemen masquerading as workmen, prostitutes with pure hearts, plucky seamstresses living on the edge of poverty, cruel thugs who would kill you as soon as look at you. I’m enjoying it very much but, with cliffhangers galore it would be almost impossible to review without giving something away.

persephone3I’m also pondering a few reading plans for 2017. Not Simon’s Project 24! I’ve bought hardly any books for 3 months but I know that as soon as I made a pledge like that, I’d be on a very slippery slope. Reading Persephones (I think I only read one this year) & Slightly Foxed editions (read two but they’re piling up as I have a subscription) will definitely be there. Maybe one of each per month?


I have a tottering pile of books on my desk (as you can see here with a guest appearance by Lucky) that I’ve pulled off the tbr when I’ve seen them mentioned on a blog or podcast or in my online reading group so it’s probably time I put them all back on the tbr & started again. Or, start from the bottom of the pile & read my way up?

I also idly scrolled to the bottom of my Kindle app the other day & was amazed at what’s there & how many books I’d forgotten I’d even bought. A Fine Brother : the life of Captain Flora Sandes by Louise Miller, Weeds by Jerome K Jerome, The Longest Dance by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, Escape to Mulberry Cottage by Victoria Connelly, Anna by Norman Collins & Enid Bagnold by Anne Sebba – can anyone push me in the direction of one of those?

As always, when I look back at the year’s reading, I wish I’d read more Georgette Heyer, Nevil Shute,  R L Stevenson, D E Stevenson, Trollope, reread some Jane Austen for the anniversaries of the publication of her novels, started Angela Thirkell (!). I’m also pondering my Top 10 of the year. I’ll be back when the list is finalised.

I’d love to know your reading plans for 2017 if you have any. Do you like to have a plan or do you let serendipity be your guide?