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.
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…