I’ve had so, so many books coming into my hands of late, that it seems awfully remiss of me not to mention them. There are probably too many for one post, but I’ll get a start and see where we end up… and, as usual, you can tell me which ones you’ve read, or would like to read, etc. etc… Today let’s cover the ones I bought in London and Oxford ages ago, the three that I bought today, and ones which have arrived from various lovely bloggers. Unbelievably, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s start off with books from friends:
A Meaningful Life by L.J. Davis
Lovely Frances from Nonsuch Book offered NYRB Classics to British fans, and this wended its way from the US to my door.
Expiation by Elizabeth von Arnim
I’ve sadly still only read one E von A novel (though I hope some of you will be able to join me in reading The Caravaners at the end of the month) – Daphne very kindly gave me this one recently, so I have even more choice.
I feel like I’ve forgotten somebody who has sent me a book… so sorry if I have, but perhaps I’m just thinking about the two which are heading to me shortly… thanks in advance!
Today I was heading to the public library, which turned out not to have the book I wanted (I had to go and check because the online catalogue wasn’t working) – on my way to use this wonderful public service, I used a wonderful private service, in the form of Arcadia – and came out clutching two old Penguins, each at £1.
Illyrian Spring by Ann Bridge
This was given a hugely enthusiastic write-up by Rachel (Book Snob) during Virago Reading Week, and ever since I’ve felt oddly certain that I’d stumble across it at some point. As indeed I have…
The du Mauriers by Daphne du Maurier
Oh, well, why not?
And in the post, incredibly quickly, came Sylvia & David: the Townsend Warner/Garnett Letters. Two authors I love, corresponding – how could I resist? The Henrietta Garnett talk reminded me that I’d had my eye on this book during Project 24 last year, but now I could just go on and buy it.
Now for the London books, mostly from Notting Hill Book & Comic Exchange. I don’t even remember when I bought these, but the photo is pretty old… A couple of these came from Oxford, actually, so not sure how they all ended up in the same photograph. Let’s roll with it.
Home by Marilynne Robinson
It’s no secret that I loved Gilead, and I’d handed over my monies at Blackwell’s for this before I’d even finished Gilead.
Reality and Dreams by Muriel Spark
I do keep stocking my shelves with Sparks, don’t I? This one sounds utterly delectable.
The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell
I should be ashamed of myself… “You’ve spent more than £10, Sir,” said the lady at the counter, “so you can get this at a discount.” And I did… Thomas’ review ages ago is what sped me on, so blame him, ladies and gents. And what was it I spent that ‘more than £10’ on? …..
The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh
I spent a birthday book token on this because, thinking about it, it was really rather silly that this wasn’t already on my shelves, wasn’t it?
Mr. Fortune’s Maggot by Sylvia Townsend Warner
I read this a while ago – not as good as Lolly Willowes, but definitely interesting. And a cheap secondhand copy became mine.
The Dragon in Shallow Waters by Vita Sackville-West
Never heard of this… but I’ve been wanting to read more VSW.
Kindness in a Corner by T.F. Powys
Another one by an author I’ve liked (Mr. Weston’s Good Wine) which I’m hoping to explore more. Book buying can expand exponentially like this, can’t it?
The Street by Dorothy Baker
When I’m looking for Frank Baker in book shops, I’ve fairly often come across Dorothy (no relation). This was in a each-book-£1 basement, and it seemed as good a time as any to give Dorothy a whirl.
Dew on the Grass – Eiluned Lewis
I enjoyed the first few pages of this – seems like a sort of nostalgic view of childhood, with cosy adventuring a-plenty – and I thought I’d discovered a gem. Turns out a few other people in the blogosphere had discovered it first…