Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Day 1

Just under a year after I started blogging in April 2007, I discovered My Friend Amy and her Book Blogger Appreciation Week. I know I contributed that year; I can’t remember which other years (if any) I gave it a go, but I know there has been a lull for a while. Well, now four bloggers are co-hosting a revival! You can find out all you need to at The Estella Society. Do join in if you can be tempted!

Day 1: Introduce yourself by telling us about five books that represent you as a person or your interests/lifestyle.

I think this is a bit different from ‘five favourite books’ – long-term readers of my blog will know all of them anyway – so I’ll try to diversify a bit.


The Feminine Middlebrow Novel, 1920s to 1950s by Nicola Humble

This wonderful overview of novels of the period was the bedrock of my DPhil thesis, and could serve as an introduction to so many books that I love and cherish (not least Guard Your Daughters). It’s scholarly but definitely accessible, and I eulogised about it at length over at Vulpes Libris.

The Bible

I tend to take this one as read, so this time I’ll actually mention. If Humble’s book was the bedrock of my thesis, this is the bedrock of my life.

Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman

This was the first new book I ever bought spontaneously, knowing nothing about it before I picked it up. I was about 17, and it rang so true to me: it is essentially a series of essays about the life of every obsessive reader and book-lover.

The Lark by E. Nesbit

I only read and wrote about this novel recently, but I think it sums up a lot about what I love to be as a reader: funny, dive-inable, early 20th-century novels about everything and nothing, that are a little off the beaten track. And I love novels about flower shops, sure.

More Women Than Men by Ivy Compton-Burnett

This one can stand for the slightly more lyrical, quirky, style-front-and-centre type of novel that I also love – as well as flying the flag for the ineffably wonderful Ivy C-B. I’m unlikely ever to work in a girl’s school (though this novel couldn’t be less like your average school story); this one is definitely about me as a reader than about my interests!

Over to you all…


22 thoughts on “Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Day 1

  • February 16, 2016 at 12:20 am

    The Bible made it on two lists (that I’m aware of) — does that make it trending. :)

    • February 16, 2016 at 12:21 am

      Arghhhh, I hit post before filling in my name.

      • February 16, 2016 at 12:43 am

        I think it must be! ;)

    • February 16, 2016 at 11:11 pm

      It was all the rage in the blogosphere about 8 years ago – it needs a revival!

  • February 16, 2016 at 1:34 am

    I thought about Ex Libris for my list because her way of being bookish is similar to my own. The essay about carnal vs courtly love is books is one of my favorites. Thought about including the Bible, too, but it’s in a whole separate category in my brain, so I went with Marilynne Robinson instead.

    • February 16, 2016 at 11:13 pm

      The carnal vs courtly love is my favourite essay in there too – it’s definitely stayed with me. And Robinson is such an excellent choice, of course.

  • February 16, 2016 at 1:58 am

    Fantastic choices that definitely seem representative of the you that we all know and love! I’m happy that you joined in this year, Simon. :)

    • February 16, 2016 at 11:15 pm

      Aw, thanks Kristen, that’s very sweet of you! It’s nice to be back in the BBAW fold :)

  • February 16, 2016 at 4:23 am

    Just going through the blogs participating. Such interesting selections of books revealed!

    • February 16, 2016 at 11:16 pm

      Maybe someone should compile them into a master list of wonderful books!

  • February 16, 2016 at 4:32 am

    Ex Libris is the only one I’ve read on your list, except for sections of the Bible, but I’m intrigued by the others!

    • February 16, 2016 at 11:17 pm

      I do hope you enjoy any of the ones you track down :) And yay for Ex Libris!

  • February 16, 2016 at 4:40 am

    You are lovely, Simon, thanks for participating! :D I don’t think I knew that you were fond of Anne Fadiman — isn’t she an interesting writer? I love the clarity of her sentences, and she’s wonderfully insightful.

    • February 16, 2016 at 11:18 pm

      Aw, thanks for hosting, Jenny! I have read At Large and At Small by Anne F too, but nothing else – and nothing by her father – but yes, her writing is beautiful. ‘Clarity’ is exactly the right word.

  • February 16, 2016 at 4:46 am

    Great, insightful choices. And you reminded me…I really need to re-read Ex Libris.

    • February 16, 2016 at 11:25 pm

      Thanks Andi! I haven’t read Ex Libris myself for many years – must take it off the shelf. My collection of books about reading has grown delightfully since then.

  • February 16, 2016 at 9:31 am

    I’ve seen a lot of people list the bible – I’ve found that I’ve discovered more about people from these intro posts than I thought I would which is wonderful. I’ve not read any other books on your list, but I’m intrigued by Ex Libris.

    • February 16, 2016 at 11:26 pm

      That’s the one that certainly seems to be enticing people – unsurprisingly! I think every reader would get something from it.

  • February 16, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Second list that I’ve seen the Bible on. I thought about putting it on mine, but I was highlighting mysteries. Could the Bible be considered a mystery? Actually, I suspect yes.

    • February 16, 2016 at 11:26 pm

      Quite the quandary! It certainly has some twists and turns, but it gives away the ending very early ;)

  • February 17, 2016 at 1:54 am

    I’m not sure why I haven’t read Ex Libris yet! The Bible is the only one on your list that I’ve read so there are a few here I need to explore.

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