Firstly, I’m so pleased by your enthusiasm for my A Century of Books project! It really is the anti-challenge challenge – in that I shan’t be making a list beforehand, I shan’t make many rules, I shan’t really even pick books for it, it’ll just quietly fill up as the year goes by… I hope! I’ll certainly be including re-reads and multiple books by the same authors, etc. etc., but I think it should be really fun. I’m really excited about those of you who want to join in, and feel free to do so over the course of one, two, however many years – or maybe just keep a closer eye on the publication years of the books you read?
Jo asks whether I could give some suggestions for books to read from the first half of the 20th century – oh, Jo, I am going to have the MOST fun doing that! I’ll try and compile something, and post it soon – but for some ideas, there are really, really wonderful lists by Lizzy and Every Book and Cranny (sorry, can’t find your name!)
So I’ll try and work out a list of ones I already have read, but not a list for what I will read. And then I’ll be probably keep quiet on the topic until the end of the year…
And now for something completely different. Have I mentioned how much I love Bloomsbury publishers? Well, I really do. Not only have they printed the wonderful Bloomsbury Group series, thus bringing Miss Hargreaves back into print (there you go, Dad, a mention of it!) and the upcoming Bloomsbury Reader e-reprints (more on those uber-soon, promise) but they happen to be the most friendly publishing company in the world. I’ve met lots of lovely publishing folk, and (besides being universally impossibly glamorous) they’ve all been very nice – but Bloomsbury go the extra mile. Alice, my ‘contact’ there, sends me the catalogue with her own inscriptions and suggestions – as well as exchanging emails about cats and baking disasters etc.
Well, today (yesterday by now, I suppose) I went to Bloomsbury’s 25th Birthday Party! I had arranged to meet up with Elaine (Random Jottings) and Karen (Cornflower) both of whom I’ve met a fair few times before, and both of whom it is always an utter delight to see. There they are above; apologies for the blurry photo. And how glad I was to be with them when we arrived at a huge party in Bedford Square – actually in the square, or rather the garden in the middle. Big marquee, lots and lots of people – and us, staring at name-tags to try and find our Bloomsbury friends. In the meantime, we celeb-spotted, and all got in a bit of a tizzy about seeing Paul Hollywood from The Great British Bake-Off. Goodness! Also spotted Grayson Perry, Raymond Blanc, Heston Blumenthal, and (I think) P.D. James.
But we were most excited about meeting Stephanie and Alice, the two people at Bloomsbury who have been so lovely to all three of us for the past four or so years. And of course both of them are totally lovely in person too – we hugged, we were introduced as the most important bloggers in the country (doubtless not true, but how nice to be introduced thus!) and I even managed to whisper how nice it would be to have a copy of the latest Magnus Mills novel.
I am much worse than many bloggers at reading review copies – I tend to squirrel myself off to the 1930s and ignore a lot of what’s going on in the 2010s – because I want my blog to reflect my reading tastes, and I think that’s why the people who do read my blog are here (yes? :)) so I’m very grateful to Bloomsbury and other publishers for still keeping me in mind, and being so friendly. I was so surprised to be invited to this shindig, and delighted to accept – it was good fun, and even worth the horribly hot, overcrowded train journey I had home….!