Loving the comments on the 50 Books competition post – do keep ’em coming! I think I’ll do the prize draw on Monday.
The long train journey is over, and I am back from a fun, rainy, book-filled week in Edinburgh. Said train journey was slightly spoiled by a group of people blasting out music from their speakers for a solid two hours. So loud, so rude. We were all too British to say anything, but complained to each other once they’d left.
I had a lovely time – a highlight being seeing Karen/Cornflower. And I went to eight or nine bookshops while in Edinburgh, and bought 15 books. Two of them, I realised afterwards, were books I already owned (oops) so I passed them onto a friend I was staying with – and here are the 13 I brought back with me. Incidentally, the best bookshop I went to was Armchair Books – a great selection of reasonably-priced books, though the hardbacks were all on shelves that were unreachable without stools or a stepladder. I perched precariously on a stepladder at one point. But if there are Rose Macaulay books on a shelf I can’t see properly, I’m gonna get a stepladder.
The Scrapbook of Katherine Mansfield ed. J. Middleton Murray
The Life of Katherine Mansfield by Ruth Mantz
I’ve seen these a few times, but never at a tempting price – so I was pleased to stumble across them in Till’s bookshop. Both are Constable hardbacks, and were part of JMM’s rather energetic series of Mansfield-related publications just after her death.
The Rain Girl by Herbert Jenkins
We all know that I loved Patricia Brent, Spinster, so it was great to find one of Jenkins’ other books in a lovely edition – this one was on a high-up shelf in Armchair Books.
The Spectre of Alexander Wolf by Gaito Gazdanov
I could feel Kaggsy watching me when I picked this one up – a Pushkin and a Russian! It sounds so intriguing – about a man who reads a short story which describes a murder he had himself committed. What comes next…?
Orphan Island by Rose Macaulay
Armchair Books had loads of Macaulay books, though this was the only one I didn’t already own – and one that I have kept an eye out for for a long time. Hurrah! (Must read some more Macaulays. Have so many unread.)
Friends and Relations by Elizabeth Bowen
I need to read more Bowen, and I think she’ll come up on ‘Tea or Books?’ at some point – but which? Maybe this one?
Paul Kelver by Jerome K. Jerome
I keep buying JKJ books, don’t I? Hadn’t heard of this one before, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it sometime.
A Cup of Tea for Mr Thorgill by Storm Jameson
Another one of those authors I’ve been meaning to read for such a long time, and have only read some non-fic articles by her. This one, I’ll admit, I bought chiefly because I really love that cover.
Letters of Siegfried Sassoon and Max Beerbohm
Who knew these gents wrote to each other? Well, probably loads of people. But not I! (My Max Beerbohm shelf is growing at a fast rate…)
Virginia Woolf: Her Art as a Novelist by Joan Bennett
I’m not the sort of guy who’ll leave behind a book about Virginia Woolf – particularly an early one.
All The Dogs of My Life by Elizabeth von Arnim
How did I not own this before? Being a cat person more than a dog person, I’m not sure this lens will work for me – but I’ll find out. (NB must enthuse more about Sheila Kaye-Smith’s All The Books of My Life, which is wonderful.)
Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham
More Cunningham for my Cunningham shelf – yes please.
A Sea-Grape Tree by Rosamond Lehmann
I think I might own all of Lehmann’s novels now, and have still only read one (Dusty Answer) – but now I have even more choice.