Books wot I have done bought

In consecutive weekends I’ve been to Cambridge and London and thought, on the whole, that I wouldn’t buy any books. Obviously that bit is a lie. I bought some books in both those places, and here they are – along with one which arrived in the post this week.


Cambridge and London

Virginia Woolf and the Raverats ed. William Pryor
I looked at this covetously when it came out, but it was super expensive – thankfully I stumbled across a heavily discounted copy. It’s such a beauty of a book, woodcuts inside and all, and I will never have enough books about Virginia Woolf.

Brief Candles by Aldous Huxley
I want to keep up my reading of non-sci-fi Huxley, and this was a lovely copy. Other than that, I know nothing about it. Oh, Wikipedia tells me that it’s short stories. What does it say about me that I probably wouldn’t have bought it if I’d known that?

Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmah
Remember what I said about Virginia Woolf back up there? Also, my book group is doing this next year. Because I suggested it.

About Time: an aspect of autobiography by Penelope Mortimer
This sounds fun – particularly as I want to know more about the background to The Pumpkin Eater.

H.G. Wells and His Family by M.M. Meyer
I have no idea who Meyer is, but apparently he/she knew H.G. Wells and his family. I’m always more interested in memoirs by people who knew the greats than I am in scholarly biographies (much though I also like those).

Confusion by Stefan Zweig
I have been meaning to read some Zweig for ages. Not this one particularly, but the Pushkin Press editions of his books that I found in the London Review of Books bookshop were so beautiful that I wanted to buy one. And I basically picked it at random from the few that were there.

A Monstrous Regiment by Richmal Crompton
This one came through the post. I get abebooks wants alerts for obscurer Richmal Cromptons, and this was the first time A Monstrous Regiment came up in over a decade. (Also: hurrah for Bello bringing lots of RCs back!)

Death Leaves A Diary by Harry Carmichael
I don’t know anything about this, but a Golden Age detective novel with a title that fab? Yes please.

By the way, which in London I also had a nice catch-up with Rachel – who now has the internet, finally, so ‘Tea or Books?’ will definitely be back soon. The hiatus has been so frustrating for us! (She didn’t buy any books, despite my tempting her. Wise woman.)


22 thoughts on “Books wot I have done bought

  • September 21, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Ooh, I didn’t know that about Bello. Hm … Good haul, anyway. I still can’t believe I was on Charing Cross Road last Wednesday and the only book I bought was a lovely hardback edition of “The Secret Garden” that’s going back to New Zealand with my friend’s daughter. Shocking!

    • September 23, 2015 at 11:29 pm

      That does show unexpected restraint, Liz! What happened?!

  • September 21, 2015 at 7:59 am

    No visit to Gosh! then? What have you got against short stories?

    • September 23, 2015 at 11:30 pm

      Oh Peter, every time I forget. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
      And I hadn’t realised quite how strong my preference for a novel was until I made this misinformed purchase. I just think I’m seldom in the frame of mind to appreciate a short story.

  • September 21, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Look forward to hearing about Vanessa and Her Sister as I’m obsessed by these people at the moment. I’m re-reading Deceived with Kindness (Angelica Garnett), have just been to Charleston for the first time etc etc. So please review it soon! Nice haul you have there.

    • September 23, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      Isn’t Charleston wonderful? And such a fascinating group of people, as I don’t need to tell you! I think you’d really like Richard Kennedy’s book about the Woolfs and the Hogarth Press (where he was an office boy, or something like that) if you haven’t read it already.

  • September 21, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Vanessa and her sister–i could not read it as it is written in snippet form like poems and plays welded together.I was looking forward to reading it.

    • September 23, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      OH, shame! I will report back in due course.

  • September 21, 2015 at 9:13 am

    “The good stuff” is always online or so i have found.

  • September 21, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    Some lovely finds Simon – and did you *really* expect to go to Cambridge and London and not get books??? :) Like you, I tend to want everything to do with Woolf, and I hadn’t heard of the Raverats one – it’s on my radar now…. I hope you enjoy Zweig – I love his work, and some of his short stories are incredibly powerful. I can’t resist the LRB bookshop – it must be time for a visit soon!

    • September 23, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      Of course I didn’t expect that, Karen ;) In fact, I thought I’d probably buy more in Cambridge than I did.

  • September 21, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Wasn’t ‘Death Leaves A Diary’ mentioned in Martin Edwards’ book? I’m sure it was, it rings a bell – my next collect-a-thon is going to be trying to find as many of them as possible.

    Also, yay for the Bellio Crompton love-in, another collect-a-thon there needed!

    • September 23, 2015 at 11:32 pm

      I checked the index and he doesn’t seem to be there, but it also rings a bell a bit – so perhaps he was mentioned in passing but didn’t get as far as the index?

  • September 22, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Oh Simon, I am trying to cull books and now I am craving Virginia Woolf and the Raverats. Your blog should have a large health for wallets warning on it…

    • September 23, 2015 at 11:32 pm

      Not sorry at all ;)

  • September 22, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I know this is very rude –but how much did the Richmal Crompton cost?
    Some of her books are £1,000 plus.

    • September 23, 2015 at 11:33 pm

      This one was £18 plus postage – so not cheap, but much less than £1,000! I guess not much different from a new hardback novel. But I haven’t seen it available affordably before – I’ve had to be patient!

      • September 24, 2015 at 9:29 am

        That is a good price.

  • September 23, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    I’ve been wanting to read Zweig’s fiction as well since I’ve loved the biographies I’ve read of his in the past.

    I hadn’t even heard of the Pryor book so very curious about this – to fuel my Woolf obsession.

    • September 23, 2015 at 11:34 pm

      Thankfully Woolf obsessions can be plentifully fed! So much out there.

  • September 28, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    I’m more than a little intrigued by your haul, and largely hoping to be educated in the form of conversation soon: so many questions, not enough internetz. Monstrous Regiment immediately made me think of Terry Pratchett, which is a weird brain mix to be having, but not as weird as my misreading of the Pryor – I now have a delightful image of VW taking tea on the riverbank with Ratty and Mole, which is making me wonder what she read as a child. Knoweth you? In final notes, Aldous is the best name ever and consequently I want to know more about HIM, and I salute you enthusiastically for your final murderful purchase – one I’ve not heard of and am excited to wait and see if you recommend or no! Enjoy the reading!!

    P.S Am finally dipping back into Mrs Miniver – turns out my short story mood is only ever created by a combo of Autumn and packing. It feels like you’re dipping into stories that take as long to read as the nearest tree takes to shed its leaf. And not long enough to feel guilt over, unless, as with biscuits, you end up having 3 or 4 in one go.

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