50 Books: a prize draw!

50

So, after 9 and a bit years, I have come to the end of my 50 Books You Must Read But May Not Have Heard About! That feels like cause for celebration – and I’ll celebrate by offering up (almost) any one of them as a prize! All you have to do comment with how many you’ve read, and which one you’d like to win.

The list – which is in no particular order, btw – can be seen down the right-hand column, or in a table at the bottom of this post. This competition is open to anybody and any country.

(For prize, reasons of scarcity/expense mean I wouldn’t be offering The Lark or Scar Tissue, I’m afraid. Oh, and copies of any title will probably be secondhand, as many/most of them aren’t in print!)

A bit of background: when I started up Stuck-in-a-Book, I wanted it to reflect my taste in literature – which has a heavy leaning towards the neglected and unjustly forgotten. And an ongoing list of books I thought especially deserved attention seemed like a great thread to keep going. Quite a few of them came in the first year of blogging (which is why quite a few of the blog reviews they link to are a bit embarrassing to me – none of us love our earliest reviews, do we?) and I’ve been eking it out for the whole time I’ve been blogging so far. The only rules were that I’d have one book per author, and it couldn’t be too well known – though some of these probably don’t quite fall into the obscure category.

I love me some stats. Here you are…

  • 34 books by women; 15 books by men; 1 book by a man and a woman.
  • 33 fiction; 17 non-fiction (though the fiction does include a few strongly autobiographical books).
  • 3 books in translation.
  • 13 living authors; 39 dead authors (52 authors in total because two of the books are volumes of letters between two people).
  • I was going to do something about average date, but that would require rather too much digging around. Evelina is the oldest and Speaking of Love the newest, though, I’d imagine.
  • It’s not the most diverse in terms of author nationality, but does include British, American, Canadian, New Zealander, French, Hungarian, and Finnish.
  • The list includes a father and son, a husband and wife, and somebody with my aunt’s name. Also three people I’ve met in real life.

Happy choosing!

50: The Lost Europeans – Emanuel Litvinoff 25. The Enchanted Places – Christopher Milne
49. The Lark – E. Nesbit 24. Deceived With Kindness – Angelica Garnett
48. Nuts in May – Cornelia Otis Skinner 23. White Cargo – Felicity Kendal
47. The Shelf – Phyllis Rose 22. The L-Shaped Room – Lynne Reid Banks
46. Charlotte Mew and Her Friends – Penelope Fitzgerald 21. The Long Afternoon – Giles Waterfield
45. Patricia Brent, Spinster – Herbert Jenkins 20. Frost at Morning – Richmal Crompton
44. Phantoms on the Bookshelves – Jacques Bonnet 19. As It Was and World Without End – Helen Thomas
43. Skylark – Dezső Kosztolányi 18. The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow – Jerome K. Jerome
42. Stet – Diana Athill 17. The Love-Child – Edith Olivier
41. Guard Your Daughters – Diana Tutton 16. The Haunted Woman – David Lindsay
40. More Women Than Men – Ivy Compton-Burnett 15. Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead – Barbara Comyns
39. One Fine Day – Mollie Panter-Downes 14. Speaking of Love – Angela Young
38. The Element of Lavishness – William Maxwell & Sylvia Townsend Warner 13. Lady Into Fox – David Garnett
37. Christopher and Columbus – Elizabeth von Arnim 12. Portraits – Kate Chopin
36. The Slaves of Solitude – Patrick Hamilton 11. Ex Libris – Anne Fadiman
35. Love of Seven Dolls – Paul Gallico 10. Joyce & Ginnie – The Letters of Joyce Grenfell and Virginia Graham
34. William – E.H. Young 09. One Pair of Hands – Monica Dickens
33. The Good Earth – Pearl S. Buck 08. Scar Tissue – Ruth Mary Hills
32. Loitering With Intent – Muriel Spark 07. Watching the English – Kate Fox
31. Being George Devine’s Daughter – Harriet Devine 06. Evelina – Frances Burney
30. Nella Last’s War – Nella Last 05. It’s Too Late Now – A.A. Milne
29. Howards End is on the Landing – Susan Hill 04. Miss Hargreaves – Frank Baker
28. We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson 03. The Piano Shop on the Left Bank – Thad Carhart
27. Selected Stories – Katherine Mansfield 02. The Provincial Lady – E.M. Delafield
26. Literary Lapses – Stephen Leacock 01. The Summer Book – Tove Jansson

 

 

68 thoughts on “50 Books: a prize draw!

  • June 15, 2016 at 7:17 am
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    I have read 7 of the books you list. I very much enjoyed reading the list and would love to win the Paul Gallico book. I have read several of his works, but never heard of the one listed.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 7:41 am
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    Quite sadly I have read only one book- Diary of a Provincial Lady. However , I have several of these waiting to be read including Mollie’s One Fine Day, Miss Hargreaves and more. I would love to win Frost at Morning because I love the William stories and loved Family Roundabout by Crompton.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 7:54 am
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    Gosh, I’ve only read seven of these (though my to-read list has just expanded considerably) I would love to read One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes, as she is an author I’ve heard lots about and would like to explore.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 7:57 am
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    I’ve only read 7! Shocking! I would most like to win Mollie Panter-Downes’ One Fine Day – I’ve been lusting over it in the Albion Beatnik…

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  • June 15, 2016 at 8:25 am
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    Congratulations on reaching your goal! Of the books on you’re list, I’ve read three: Skylark and The Salves of Solitude (both of which I absolutely loved) and The Summer Book (a good choice for book group). I would love to love to win One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes. It’s actually on my Classics Club list, but I don’t have a copy of it yet. Thanks for the chance to enter the draw – that’s very generous of you.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 8:27 am
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    I have read 6.
    For about 5 years i have wanted Ivy Compton Burnett’s “MORE WOMAN THAN MEN”.
    I own a measly 4 books by her and have not found this one.And i always think”that is Simon’s favourite”–is it the one where the previos owner pencilled an aide memoire inside in pencil?See how that book has stuck in my mind.

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    • June 15, 2016 at 11:13 am
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      I have gone online to buy the IVY book.So thanks as there was a copy that was cheaper than before in hardback.That is only 2 books you influenced me to buy–other being TOGETHER AND APART by M.Kennedy.
      So could i be in the draw for the Richmal Crompton “FROST” as i have only read one of her adult books–THERE ARE FOUR SEASONS.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 8:31 am
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    What a chance! What a challenge! I’ve read only 5 on your list, the first being ‘The L-Shaped Room’ when I was about thirteen. It made a huge impression. It would be really wonderful to receive any of your recommendations but if I must choose (!) then it has to be ‘The Element of Lavishness’, about which I’ve read so much – I love reading correspondence between clever, sensitive people and STW features in Julia Blackburn’s unforgettable memoir ‘Threads’, published last year which, if you haven’t already read it, I’m sure you’d love. Thank you.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 9:11 am
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    Congrats! And a great list too. I have read three – The Summer book, A pair of Hands and The Good Earth. I have read a few stories of Mansfield but I dont think I can count that in. The Diary of a Provincial lady is on my reading list in the next few months. I would love to win Nuts in May or Ex Libris.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 9:20 am
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    I have only read 5 although they’ve all been hits (L-Shaped Room, Miss Hargreaves, Diary of a Provincial Lady, We Have Always Lived in the Castle and Evelina). I would love to win Frost in the Morning by Richmal Crompton – I read Family Roundabout by her earlier this year and I loved it!

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  • June 15, 2016 at 9:49 am
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    I have read 11 and there are two more in my TBR pile. What a difficult choice! I’m tempted by The Shelf and Phantoms on the Bookshelves as I love books about books – Howards End is on the Landing is one of my all-time favourites – but I’d love to know more about A. A. Milne. So The Enchanted Places or It’s Too Late Now. The latter would have to be first choice as it is in his own voice.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 10:16 am
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    Congrats, Simon!

    From your list, I’ve only read “The Good Earth” and “One Pair of Hands”. Both very enjoyable. After listening to your enthusiasm for “Diary of a Provincial Lady”, I’m dying to read it. It’s on my shelf… I have tried unsuccessfully to buy “Frost at Morning”, so that has to be my pick.

    By the way, I’d love to hear you and Rachael discuss Elizabeth Bowen on Tea and Books. I totally love “The Death of the Heart” and “The House in Paris”!

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  • June 15, 2016 at 10:27 am
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    Congrats on making it through the list! And a great list it is. Sadly I’ve read a rather paltry 5 of them, although a few more are lurking on my TBR shelf (more than likely due to recommendations I’ve picked up through SIAB!). Like Ann P above, ‘Howards End is on the Landing’ is a particular favourite of mine. If I absolutely had to choose one of the unreads, I think it would be Phyllis Rose ‘The Shelf’ because books about people reading other books that I may or may not have read are my catnip…

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  • June 15, 2016 at 10:48 am
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    What fun and congrats on finishing the list! I have read 14 which I’m quite pleased about! It’s actually hard to choose from the list if I had to select one, but it probably would be Slaves of Solitude because I want to read more Hamilton! :) Thanks for hosting the prize draw!

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  • June 15, 2016 at 11:09 am
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    Congratulations! I’ve read four (1, 2, 6 and 7 – 3 is in the TBR pile and 49 is waiting in an e-compendium) and would like to win Howards End is on the Landing.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 12:34 pm
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    Ashamed to say I’ve only read three – Howard’s End is on the Landing, The L Shaped Room and Provincial Lady. I would love the Shirley Jackson. There have been a few reviews floating around and it sounds very intriguing.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 12:35 pm
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    Congratulations! I’ve read three of the 50 – Diary of a Provincial Lady, Literary Lapses, and Patricia Brent, Spinster – and enjoyed them thoroughly. I would really like to win One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes, as it is difficult to find in my area.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 12:42 pm
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    Congratulations on finishing your list. I have read fifteen of the books on it and have a few others on my tbr shelves. It is hard to pick one I would like to read but I think I would go with Frost at Morning since I recently read Family Roundabout and loved it.

    I love seeing all the comments from people who want to read One Fine Day. That is a book I am slightly evangelical about.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 1:17 pm
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    I have only read 12 of your 50 Simon. Though I have at least 4 others on my tbr one of which I may be reading this month. think I would choose Christopher and Colombus by Elizabeth Von Arnim. It’s a fantastic, fascinating list which I now feel the need to copy and keep to inform my 2nd hand book shopping.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 1:55 pm
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    This is, as far as I’m concerned, an essential reading list! What excellent work you’ve done compiling it. I’ve read 19 of the 50, including some of my all-time favourites (Skylark, It’s Too Late Now, The Element of Lavishness). I’d love to win Frost at Morning.

    P.S. I’m reading The Lark right now and it is delightful.

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    • June 18, 2016 at 6:22 am
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      Officially at 20 now, having finished The Lark. It was so delightful but I could have done with it being about twice as long – I want more!

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  • June 15, 2016 at 1:59 pm
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    Who can resist?! Your list has inspired a few online book purchases, a few impulse buys simply because the books appeared before me and I knew you really liked them, and I’ve even noted a few titles to look for while in a second-hand shop. So thank you for creating such an excellent resource, Simon! I’ve read nine titles and have four languishing on my shelves. The title that I would choose to own next would be Guard Your Daughters because Mrs Miniver’s Daughter sent me an email only yesterday to say I would like it.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 2:02 pm
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    I’ve read 6, own 2 more yet unread, and 1 is in the post right now on the way to me. If I were to win, I would like Diary of a Provincial Lady, which I THOUGHT that I had read, but I guess I’ve just read about it. Congrats on finishing the list!

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  • June 15, 2016 at 2:06 pm
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    I was totally surprised to find that I’ve read 9! I have a couple on my shelves, but the one I’d like to read most would be the last addition to the list – The Lost Europeans. It’s a lovely list and I’d love read more of them.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 2:38 pm
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    I’ve read seven (Patricia Bent, Spinster; Guard Your Daughters; One Fine Day; Howards End is on the Landing; The Provincial Lady; The Summer Book; and Lady Into Fox; most of these, if not all, due to your glowing reviews) and have an as-yet-unread copy of Christopher and Columbus, purchased from my favorite secondhand bookshop in Boston, waiting for the right moment. Honestly, I’m not sure which one I’d like to win; it’s too hard to pick just one! Perhaps something that’s easy to find in Britain but almost impossible to find in the US, if one fits that category.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 2:43 pm
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    I’ve read 16 of the books. The one I would most like to win is Guard Your Daughters by Diana Tutton. I’ve loved using your list as a resource.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 2:46 pm
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    What a great idea! I’ve only read five on this list: One Fine Day, The Good Earth, We have always lived in a Castle, The Provincial lady, and the Slaves of Solitude. But now I want to read most all of the other titles listed. The book I’d love to win is Who was Changed and Who was Dead.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 3:26 pm
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    New commenter here, but I’ve been reading your lovely blog for quite a while and enjoyed many of the books you recommend – including eight from this list! I would like to win Frost at Morning, as I’m interested in trying Richmal Crompton’s novels but can’t find them in my area.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 3:42 pm
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    What a fantastic (and frustrating) list! Frustrating because I wonder if I’ll live long enough to read all of them. Paul Gallico is a favorite of mine; my hometown library was well-stocked with his books in the 1960’s. I remember reading everything of his that I could get my hands on, as well as all the library books by Rumer Godden. I used to fill up my bicycle basket every Saturday morning, ride three miles home, and dive into a book. Thank you for your generosity to your fans. I would be honored to win your copy of “Diary of a Provincial Lady.”

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  • June 15, 2016 at 4:05 pm
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    I’ve only read 2, and just read The Summer Book a couple of months ago and absolutely loved it to bits. Not too surprising it’s your number 1, considering you like A.A. Milne – I sensed some similarities (loved Winnie the Pooh). I have The Enchanted Places on my shelf (have not read it), but I’m curious about It’s Too Late Now – A.A. Milne on your list, and would love to win that one :).

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  • June 15, 2016 at 4:38 pm
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    I’ve read 10 off your list, and by far my favorite was The Slaves of Solitude — which I read on your recommendation! If I were lucky enough to win, I’d like Frost at Morning by Richmal Crompton, as I loved Family Roundabout and would love to read another one of your books.

    And thanks for the great reviews and the generous giveaway!

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  • June 15, 2016 at 5:04 pm
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    Hi Simon – I’ve read seven of the fifty listed – and at least four of those were because I read about them on your blog! I would love to read One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes. It’s a hard one to track down!

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  • June 15, 2016 at 5:51 pm
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    I’m surprised & embarrassed to admit I’ve only read 3.25 (the .25 is the K Mansfield Selected Stories) works on your list! I’ve read other works by authors listed and have a few more of the titles on my tbr pile, which helps to soothe my wounded pride :) The volume I would like to have on my shelves? – Guard Your Daughters by Diana Tutton.

    Thank you for your wonderful reviews, and for the contest.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 6:36 pm
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    I am really bad with lists and rarely find anything I have read.I am pretty pleased with myself that I have read 3 of them :)
    – The Good Earth – Pearl S. Buck
    – The Provincial Lady – E.M. Delafield
    – The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow – Jerome K. Jerome
    It was really hard to pick one from the list but I just finished reading Good Evening, Mrs. Craven and I loved it. So One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes would be perfect:)

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  • June 15, 2016 at 6:59 pm
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    Wow, I’ve read 11, which is a few more than I would’ve guessed. I almost feel embarrassed to be putting my name in the hat since I’ve been so pathetic about commenting lately. That said, I would love to read the A.A. Milne title. For years I’ve read you talk about his autobiographical stuff and that is really hard to find over here. If is is also hard to get over there, then The L-Shaped Room would be my second choice, as one that I’ve also been reading your thoughts on since almost the beginning of my finding your blog.
    But, of course, my burning question…will there be a second 50? You are way too young to have discovered all the “cream of the crop.” :) And, thanks for the stats!

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    • June 15, 2016 at 7:00 pm
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      Have to add, most of the 11 that I’ve read, I first heard of from you.

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    • June 16, 2016 at 1:43 am
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      Yes! A second 50 is clearly needed! Or time to drop the numbers altogether – why place limitations when there are so many excellent books out there for Simon left to introduce us to!

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  • June 15, 2016 at 7:35 pm
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    I’ve only read three: The Summer Book, Miss Hargreaves and The Long Afternoon. Of the three, the latter is the one I most enjoyed. Which of the remaining 47 do you think I would like best? I have no wish to enter the prize draw, thank you. I would far rather see Claire, Ali or Annabel win (as a reward for being good book bloggers and good people), but the winner will be chosen entirely at random I have no doubt.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 7:36 pm
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    Hi! I’ve not read a single one on this list! Fo’ shame!
    If I won I’d like the Jerome. K. Jerome book or the letters of Joyce Grendel and Virginia Graham
    Good work Simon

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  • June 15, 2016 at 8:00 pm
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    I’ve read seven, which seems a familiar refrain here, not including a handful of Katherine Mansfield stories. Lady into Fox just last month, which I loved beyond all bounds of propriety. It’ll be one of my books of the year. William Maxwell’s a favourite of mine, so I’d love to win The Element of Lavishness, or alternatively The Lost Europeans (I love Litvinoff’s London memoir Journey Through a Small Planet).

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  • June 15, 2016 at 8:16 pm
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    I’ve read 5 books on the list but have several of the titles on mu BR, thanks to your influence. :-) I’d love a copy of One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes. Thanks for the chance to win it, Simon!

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  • June 15, 2016 at 8:28 pm
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    I’ve read 14 1/2 Simon! Many I was introduced to via blogs, particularly iyours, and its good to find a blogger with similar tastes. The 1/2, by the way, was the Piano Shop on the Left Bank. Beautifully written, but not being particularly musical, I was just not interested enough in pianos. If I am lucky enough to win, I would like Ex Libris – it would be wonderfully appropriate to get a book on books from the first book blogger I followed.

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  • June 15, 2016 at 9:53 pm
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    I’ve read just three, but I would love to make Patricia Brent, Spinster number four!

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  • June 15, 2016 at 11:04 pm
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    I have read 3 Simon, but you have indeed introduced me to many new authors, so thanks.
    I want to read Phantoms on the Bookshelves.

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  • June 16, 2016 at 2:15 am
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    I’ve read many of these authors but not all the titles you’ve listed. I like books in translation, The Summer House is my pick.

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  • June 16, 2016 at 9:59 am
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    I have read 4 books on your list and am currently reading the Summer Book so almost a measly 10%. I have approximately another 6% waiting on my shelf to be read which I will obviously have to work at making 40! I’d love to read ‘The Love-Child’ by Edith Oliver…

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  • June 16, 2016 at 10:19 am
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    I have been reading your blog for a few years now and I really like your list! I’ve read only 6 books from it so far. I would love to win Christopher and Columbus by Elizabeth von Arnim. I hope your list will grow to a 100 books!

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  • June 16, 2016 at 11:18 am
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    I have read 11 and enjoyed 10 of your top 50. One Pair of Hands was a childhood favourite (on my parents bookshelves), Katherine Mansfield’s stories were introduced by an English teacher from New Zealand, The L-Shaped Room resonated in my twenties and having met Giles Waterfield in his role as gallery director I was stunned by his poignant novel The Long Afternoon. You introduced me to Shirley Jackson and I thought ‘I Have Always Lived in the Castle’ was beautifully written and disturbing in equal measure, I’m afraid I disliked Barbara Comyns though! I’m sure you will know ‘The Shooting Party’ by Isabel Colegate but I am sure think you would like ‘Deceits of Time’ which I found in a second hand bookshop in Norfolk. Ditto ‘Britannia Mews’ by Marjory Sharp. Finally, ‘The Garden of the Finzi-Continis’ by Giorgio Bassani (alongside Ali Smith’s ‘How to be Both’ prompted a visit Ferrara earlier this year. Incidentally, in case you haven’t guessed, I love your blog!

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  • June 16, 2016 at 5:04 pm
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    The list sounds very intriquiging. Unfortunately, I have only read two on the list, but I have heard of a few others. There are several Shirley Jackson’s on my bookshelves. I have not yet read We Have Always Lived in the Castle, but it sits there waiting. I have read all of Elizabeth von Arnim’s works. She is one of my most favorite authors and I searched for years before I had found all her books. April Baby’s Book of Tunes was especially difficult to track down. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson is one of my favorites as well. Chilling and surprising! Have you read any of Josephine Tey? Excellent mysteries! I would like to win Literary Lapses by Stephen Leacock.

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  • June 16, 2016 at 5:06 pm
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    Of course, I sent my reply to your blog with a spelling error….that is what happens when one get to anxious to hit the “send” button. I know it is intriguing instead of intriquiging! A literary lapse, indeed. Surely a spelling lapse!

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  • June 16, 2016 at 6:14 pm
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    I’ve read three of these: The Provincial Lady, The Good Earth, and the Katherine Mansfield. I’d most like to win The L-Shaped Room. The other two in the trilogy have lately come my way but I haven’t found that one yet. Thank you for the offer!

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  • June 16, 2016 at 7:14 pm
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    Congratulations Simon! I’ve read 15 books on your list and enjoyed them all. I have a few more waiting to be read. I’d love to win William by E. H. Young because I’m having a hard time finding a copy here in the U.S.

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  • June 16, 2016 at 7:53 pm
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    Congrats on this milestone! I’ve read only 5, I think, possibly 6?, and the one I would like is One Fine Day. I read Mollie Panter-Downes’s wartime stories and just loved her style.

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  • June 17, 2016 at 8:22 am
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    I’ve read 18 of them, which is quite pleasing (I’ve read more of the Persephone 50 Books We Wish We’d Published). I’d love to win The Love Child, of course!

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  • June 17, 2016 at 12:23 pm
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    I have only read Ivy Compton-Burnett’s More Women than Men; it happens to be the book I most recently finished reading. I appreciated it very much — it’s extraordinarily rich — and will have to make notes next time I read it so that I have a chance of following it properly.

    If I win, I’d like a copy of The Element of Lavishness, please. Having looked at a copy recently, it seems delightful (though I can only remember the phrase “porridge-coloured envelope”….)

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  • June 17, 2016 at 12:36 pm
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    I forgot to say that in the remote chance of winning the prize draw I would like to read the Emmanuel Litvinoff.

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  • June 17, 2016 at 2:54 pm
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    Dear Simon,
    thank you for THE LIST, and the chance to win a good book.
    As for my stats:
    read: 10
    favourites: Ex Libris, The Summer Book, The Provincial Lady
    least best: Sorry to say and everything… but for me it’s Guard Your Daughters. Yeah, I know. Let’s say it’s because I only had a copy in German. (Hüte deine Töchter)
    wish: One Fine Day or White Cargo – I’m not very good at choosing so I’d leave it to you.

    Keep up the good work!

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  • June 17, 2016 at 3:55 pm
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    Dear Simon, we are a sect and you are our guru !
    I’ve only read 2 books from your list so far ( More Women Than Men and Ex-libris ), but have a few more waiting to be read ( Slaves of S , Loitering…, The Haunted Woman ). I think I would love to win Evelina…

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  • June 18, 2016 at 5:12 am
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    I’ve read 10 books from the list with several more on my shelves or Kindle and 1 that I will pick up at the library tomorrow. I would love to win Frost at Morning by Richmal Crompton. Actually I’d love most of them on the list but since I have to choose, I choose Frost. So are you going to increase the list to 100 books next?

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  • June 18, 2016 at 6:17 am
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    An eclectic and enjoyable mix there. The one I want to read is Angelica Garnett’s Deceived With Kindness, partly because I am obsessed with all things Bloomsbury, but also to see if she has inherited any of her aunt’s talent in writing.

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    • June 20, 2016 at 3:11 pm
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      You MUST read it! The book is beautifully written and expressive of the shadow side of Bloomsbury.

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  • June 18, 2016 at 3:56 pm
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    Sadly I haven’t been able to find ANY of these books yet! I would really love to start with The Love-Child by Edith Olivier. The mixture of loliness and fantasy, plus the whole psychology of it all sounds amazing!

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  • June 19, 2016 at 1:46 pm
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    Welp, I have only read two of these. I am disappointed in myself. The one that I really really REALLY want to read is The L-Shaped Room!! I have read a few of Lynne Reid Banks’s lesser books, and that’s one that I haven’t gotten to yet but very much want to.

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  • June 19, 2016 at 8:37 pm
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    I’ve read 22 of these books, if I’m counting correctly (1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 33, 34, 35, 37, 42, 48), about half of which I dscovered through your blog. I was fortunate enough to spend three years working at a library with a huge biography collection, so read a good many there.

    My favourite overall is probably Ex Libris, but of the ones I discovered through you, it’s Speaking of Love. Least favourite – The Good Earth. I should really like to win a copy of Phantoms on the Bookshelves.

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  • June 19, 2016 at 10:41 pm
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    I’ve read three of ’em. And I’ll take JKJ. Take it right onto my bookshelf.

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  • June 20, 2016 at 2:58 pm
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    Hi, hope I’m not too late. I’ve read 14 (got one or two more waiting to be read.) And I would be most interested in Nuts in May. Kind regards.

    Reply
  • June 20, 2016 at 4:15 pm
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    I have read 23 of them – the Patricia Brent one because of your reco, the others independently. What great books there are out there, and how varied your selection is. I was thinking of books I like to re-read, which isn’t at all the same as best, and not quite the same as favourite. I might try to make a list of those. Would be interested to see yours, if it would be different from the list above…

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