While I was in Somerset, having a lovely time with Our Vicar, Our Vicar’s Wife, and little Sherpa, we managed to fit in a trip to the Bookbarn. If you’ve not heard about it, it’s an enormous secondhand bookshop in north Somerset, claiming to have a million books. Many of these are online, and you have to search for those in the shop on the world’s slowest computer, but thousands of others are available for browsing – at £1 each! I never come away empty-handed, and on Tuesday I came away with twenty books. That includes four which I bought in a charity shop in Wells, which we went to afterwards. Never let it be said that I keep my purchases silent – here they are! Please do let me know if you’ve read any, got any, would like any, or have any thoughts at all!
I’ll go through them from the bottom of the left pile upwards…
Remembering Leacock: an oral history
A book about Stephen Leacock that I didn’t know about? Yes please! This one seems to be interviews with people that knew the great Canadian humorist.
I’m off to see the musical on the 30th, and I stumbled across the screenplay.
Two by Two by David Garnett
I’ve read surprisingly little by David Garnett, considering Lady Into Fox was a fundamental book for my doctoral thesis, but now I can add another title to the pile – I couldn’t resist Noah’s Ark for a theme.
Our Stage and Its Critics by E.F.S.
I can never resist an early twentieth-century book about the theatre… This one was published in 1910, so is unlikely to include anything about authors I know and love, but I’m still excited.
The Oliviers by Felix Barker
See above… but this time about Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh!
A Cornish Childhood by A.L. Rowse
Slightly Foxed Editions have made me fall in love with childhood memoirs, particularly those which take place in beautiful locations. Enough said.
Tobit Transplanted by Stella Benson
I ummed and ahhed over an expensive copy of this a while ago, so a £1 copy was a lovely find! After loving I Pose earlier in the year, it’s nice to have another Benson ready and waiting.
What Next? by Denis Mackail
Every bookshopping trip should have one best find, shouldn’t it? The one you grab and feel like the whole thing was worthwhile. And this was mine – like everyone else, I love Greenery Street, and I’m eager to read some more Mackail and see what else he has up his sleeve.
This one is a gift, which I have cunningly doctored to hide the title…
(from the bottom of the right-hand pile)
Awakenings by Oliver Sacks
I lost my copy of this at some point – either lent to someone and forgotten, or under some floorboards somewhere. So, hurrah for finding a copy in a charity shop!
Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
It’s almost odd that I haven’t bought this before, since I enjoy Bryson’s writing. Couldn’t say no to a 30p copy.
Pilgrimage I by Dorothy Richardson
To be honest, I can’t say I’m super excited about embarking on those notoriously difficult stream-of-consciousness novel (there are 12 or so more volumes after this one), but… well, it feels like the right sort of thing to have on the shelf.
Bindle by Herbert Jenkins
Some nice serendipity – it’s no secret that I adored Patricia Brent, Spinster, and a few of you said Bindle was just as great. Now it’s mine, all mine!
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
I thought The World I Live In was brilliant and revelatory, and have been meaning to read her earlier, more famous, book about living without sight or sound.
Every Good Dead by Dorothy Whipple
How could I resist a copy of a Whipple novel with a cover as gloriously awful as this?
Strange Gardens by Michael Quint
One day I will read a French book that I like. Will it be this one? Maybe…
The Setons by O. Douglas
I thought Pink Sugar was great, so… well, you’re probably sensing a theme in this post!
From A College Window by A.C. Benson
One of the Benson dynasty (E.F. and all that, though no relation to Stella, so far as I’m aware) wrote a book of essays about life, while looking out of a window at Magdalen College. Another no-brainer, so far as I’m concerned.
So, there you have it! And would you believe it… I’m off book buying tomorrow too. A long fast has been broken. Over to you – thoughts?