A Bristolian Weekend

I’ve just come back from a lovely weekend with my brother – and, very to my surprise, and the surprise of everyone who heard me moaning for the past seven years, I actually got a little into the Olympics, and was genuinely chuffed when Mo won the running thingummy.  Who’d have thought?  It’ll fade, no doubt.

More importantly, I also bought some books in Bristol… and here they are, taken (rather obviously) on my bed, I’m afraid:

(Clockwise, starting top left)

Two Worlds and Their Ways – Ivy Compton-Burnett
I do already have this; I bought it to offer as a giveaway when I read it.  So, watch out for that!

No.3 – Lady Kitty Vincent
I was rather surprised to find this, since I thought nobody else read Lady Kitty Vincent.  I rather enjoyed her books last year, and have kept an eye out ever since, but this one doesn’t seem to be available at all on Amazon or Abebooks.  Worth £2.49 of my money!

The Bottle Factory Outing – Beryl Bainbridge
Spurred on by Beryl Bainbridge Reading Week!

A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
I laughed my way through this brilliant tour de force, but didn’t have my own copy – and it’s definitely one I’ll re-read.

The West Pier – Patrick Hamilton
I’ve still only read one Hamilton novel, but it was one of the best novels I’ve ever read, so I’m happy to add to the Hamiltons on my shelf.  I don’t think I’d even heard of this one.

Herland – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
I’ve been meaning to read this Amazonian utopia (dystopia?) for years, and was glad to stumble across a copy.  And I had a nice chat with the bookshop owner (who, on a previous visit, had told me that he loved Persephone Books) – he, entertainingly, told me that he’d once painted his bedroom yellow after reading The Yellow Wallpaper.  A brilliant novella, yes, but not one which would lead me to re-decorate in yellow…

Brighton Rock – Graham Greene
My book group is doing this next month…

The Persimmon Tree and other stories – Marjorie Barnard
I don’t know anything at all about this, but the blurb sounded intriguing.  And I’m not a person who leaves VMCs untroubled on a bookshelf…

So, there we go!  It’s always great to spend time with my brother, and even better when he traipses after me around bookshops.  He even bought three books himself.  Perhaps he’ll let you know what they were in the comments…

As always – thoughts?  Have you read any, etc. etc.?  I’d love to know.

24 thoughts on “A Bristolian Weekend

  • August 13, 2012 at 2:52 am
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    Confederacy of Dunces might be my all-time favorite novel. I've read it twice and can't wait to read it again. I've always meant to read Brighton Rock but have never gotten around to it.

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  • August 13, 2012 at 7:05 am
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    I think oyu will love The Bottle Factory — I thought it was brilliant. Wish I had read The Confederacy.. — I do miss the book group!

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  • August 13, 2012 at 7:36 am
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    I loved the Bottle Factory – think you will too. Confederacy was sort of wonderful too, and I'm a huge Greene fan. A great selection there.

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    • August 21, 2012 at 11:45 am
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      What's weird is I kept seeing it in my head as 'The Bottle Factory Opening', and only when I typed that into LibraryThing and got no results did I realise my mistake!

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  • August 13, 2012 at 7:51 am
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    I've got Herland and Brighton Rock among the TBRs. I've tried Graham Greene before, and couldn't get along with him at all (apart from Travels With My Aunt, which I enjoyed immensely) but I thought I would try again.

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    • August 21, 2012 at 11:46 am
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      Oh dear, your Greene experience isn't auspicious for me, given my love of Travels With My Aunt!

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  • August 13, 2012 at 8:39 am
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    Lovely books Simon – I have the Persimmon Tree on my tbr as well. I read Herland a long time ago and loved it; likewise Brighton Rock. Like you, I've read one Patrick Hamilton and have another huge tome waiting – I think it would be best if the booklovers of the world were just paid a wage for reading constantly. After all, we do provide a service to authors by reading their works!! :)

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    • August 21, 2012 at 11:46 am
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      Absolutely ! Although most of these are dead, so perhaps they wouldn't be appreciative…

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  • August 13, 2012 at 8:52 am
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    Marjorie Barnard's stories are very good, especially the title story. I think you'll enjoy her, Simon.

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    • August 21, 2012 at 11:47 am
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      Oh good, thanks Lyn! I have to be in the right mood for short stories, but I'll keep them on hand.

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  • August 13, 2012 at 10:42 am
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    Ha ha!!! I cannot be jealous of your VMC find because I *already own it*.
    Re. yellow wallpaper, in that book her madness was being worsened by the wallpaper. *Why* would you seek to share the experience by painting your room the same hue? :0

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  • August 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm
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    A nice haul of books, although I can't speak to any of them. I'm so glad that Colin got you into the Olympics a little bit! Our viewing waned a little towards the end (who knew that water polo was such a big sport? and that it would take forever to get to the finals?), but with four kids between the ages of 11-16, there was always somebody wanting to watch something. I have to say from all that we saw that we agreed with the coordinator who said, "Britain got it right." :)

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    • August 21, 2012 at 11:48 am
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      I have to say, if I'd had it on all the time I would have gone mad. Not having internet or TV for most of it kept it fresh for me ;)

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  • August 13, 2012 at 7:44 pm
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    I'm going to Bristol in a couple of weeks time for a weekend away … Any suggestions of which Bristolian bookshops to explore, please?

    Thanks …. Richard [Nuneaton]

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    • August 21, 2012 at 11:48 am
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      Hope this isn't too late for you to see! My favourite is the Amnesty Bookshop on Gloucester Road – although I don't know Bristol very well, and there might well be even better ones.

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  • August 14, 2012 at 12:04 am
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    The three I've read – Dunces, Brighton Rock and The Bottle Factory are all great and the Gilman looks really interesting. I must get some books by Hamilton. Hope you enjoy them all.

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    • August 21, 2012 at 11:49 am
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      Thanks! And it sounds like I picked up some great books, thanks for the encouragement.

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  • August 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm
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    I bought Catch-22, Starter for 10 & The Confessions of Fitzwilliam Darcy. You're a bad influence on me.

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