Yes, Project 24 has begun (as I intend to call it) – I’ll keep you updated throughout the year with the twenty-four books which find their way into my home, that’ll be something to look forward to, won’t it – but on the 29th December Our Vicar’s Wife and I took a trip to the wondrous Bookbarn. It’s the biggest secondhand bookshop (nay, barn) in the country, and happens to be a mere thirty-one miles from our house in Chiselborough. So, I went out on a high, buying a pile of books so tall and so unstable that it prompted comment from more than one bystander.
As with my recent Hay-on-Wye haul, I bought lots of Ivy Compton-Burnett novels:
– More Women Than Men
– The Last and the First
– Elders and Betters
– Men & Wives
I’ve stocked up on so many ICBs now that I doubt I’ll have finished them in a decade’s time… but still three or four more to look out for!
Most of the rest of these are novels which I’ve heard talked about in books like A Very Great Profession, or from people who like Persephone books, or Virago Modern Classics… the Yahoo Group dovegreybooks would simply describe them as ‘doveish’, but if you liked any of my Top Books of 2009, then you’ll probably be interested…
– A Wreath of Roses – Elizabeth Taylor (I came away from Nicola Beauman’s biography of ET very keen to read this one)
– An Autumn Sowing – EF Benson (a recommendation from Elaine at Random Jottings)
-The Match Maker – Stella Gibbons (of Cold Comfort Farm fame)
– A Child in the Theatre – Rachel Ferguson (of Brontes Went To Woolworths fame)
– Anne Severn and the Fieldings – May Sinclair
– Mary Olivier: A Life – May Sinclair (since I loved Life and Death of Harriett Frean, I’m intrigued to read more)
– Staying with Relations – Rose Macaulay
– Grand Hotel – Vicki Baum
– High Table – Joanna Cannan
– Guard Your Daughters – Diana Tutton (where have I heard of this? Hands up if you’re guilty!)
– Red Pottage – Mary Cholmondeley (I’ve heard this called one of the best Virago Modern Classics, if memory serves…)
– The Stone Angel – Margaret Laurence (read this in 2007, really enjoyed it, and finally stumbled across a cheap copy. I also bought the film a couple of months ago, and still haven’t watched it.)
– The Silent Traveller in Oxford – Chiang Yee (one of the men working in the Bookbarn somehow found out that I am at Oxford, and so recommended this – it’s a travel diary with beautiful Chinese illustrations. Usually I don’t like travel literature, because I don’t have a visual mind, but I know all the places he’s going already!)
That’s it! (Well, I also bought a book as a gift, which will be flying across the blogosphere soon) Phew. 17 books which, as Mum pointed out, is the equivalent of eight and half months-worth of my book-buying in 2010. That’s quite a sobering thought.
But let’s ignore that, eh, and I’ll just revel in that lovely pile of books. Comments, of course, both welcome and solicited. Green-eyed venom optional.