It’s been a couple of years since I went to Hay on Wye, and on Saturday I went back. No matter how many times I go, I can never quite get over the joy of so many bookshops in one place – though there are fewer each time I visit, which is slightly sad. Still, I came away with quite a few gems, including some quirky titles I wouldn’t have heard about except through browsing.
And Even Now by Max Beerbohm
Yet Again by Max Beerbohm
Every time I do a book haul, I seem to have bought more books by Beerbohm. To date, I have only read two. But… well, those two were great.
Zuleika in Cambridge by S.C. Roberts
I read about this riposte in the introduction to Zuleika Dobson (tying in to the Beerbohm titles above), and it was fun to stumble across it in Addyman Books.
Our Heritage of Liberty by Stephen Leacock
READ MORE LEACOCK SIMON. I have so many unread. But I’ve never heard of this. And I’m intrigued to hear about what Canada’s heritage of liberty is.
Julian Grenfell by Nicholas Mosley
I thought I already owned this Persephone book, but LibraryThing tells me I don’t. I haven’t yet checked my Persephone shelf to make sure…
Essays in Satire by Ronald Knox
After a quick flick through, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of satire in this collection – but it looks like an entertaining read, and a really pretty book too.
The Scheme for Full Employment by Magnus Mills
I haven’t read a Mills book for ages, and I keep stocking up on them – are you sensing a theme in this haul post? (Sidenote: it’s relatively seldom that I buy a novel by an author I know nothing at all about.)
No Signposts in the Sea by Vita Sackville-West
This was the first VSW novel I read, back in around 2002, and didn’t much like it. But since then I’ve come to really love her, so… maybe now I’d like it? If not, a pretty Virago with a nice cover (painting by Kees van Dongen) ain’t a bad thing.
Corduroy by Adrian Bell
Yes, OK, I did already have a copy of this – but this is a Slightly Foxed Edition. Yum.
Memoirs of Emma Courtney by Mary Hays
I read a few of these Pandora titles back in the day (18th-century novels by women), and have long intended to read more. Mary Brunton was a great discovery back then.
The Pit Prop Syndicate by Freeman Wills Crofts
This green Penguin is beyond tatty, but I’m up for reading more FWC after finding him through the British Library reprints.
Guy and Pauline by Compton Mackenzie
After reading Poor Relations while I was in Edinburgh, I wanted to read some more by Mackenzie. Only £1 for this one, though I know nothing at all about it.
Tomorrow Will Be Better by Betty Smith
I haven’t read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn yet, despite meaning to for years, but this one leapt off the shelf into my hands.
The Hearing Trumpet by Leonora Carrington
This has been on my wishlist for many years, though I can’t actually remember why. Somebody presumably reviewed or recommended it? Anybody?
Simple People by Archibald Marshall
Seems to be witty essays about people’s professions, maybe? I love a witty essay. And the name rings a bell for some reason.
Friendship and Happiness by Arnold Bennett
A little volume about Christmas, I think, and how its meaning has changed. Bennett seems to have put pen to paper with every thought that crossed his mind, publishing them as little hardbacks, and I am not mad at it.
Fiction as She is Wrote by ‘Evoe’
Evoe is, I believe, E.V. Knox – and this collection of spoofs looks at different types of popular fiction in the 1920s. I just love this sort of thing. And I love the reference to archetypal English as She is Spoke.
Intimate Things by Karel Capek
I need to read more of the Capek books I’ve been piling up, and this collection of essays is probably where I’ll start. I think it’s quite similar, in conception, to Delight by J.B. Priestley.
The Novel and Our Time by Alex Comfort
This little book looks at different trends in fiction of its time – the time being 1948 – though a post-buy flick through suggests it might be more connected with Russian literature than I recollected.
Lives for Sale ed. by Mark Bostridge
A collection of biographers writing about their biographical experiences, which sounds fantastic. Names include Lyndall Gordon, Claire Harman, Hermione Lee, Frances Spaling, Hilary Spurling, Claire Tomalin, Jenny Uglow – basically everybody you could hope for. And will (fingers crossed) answer all the questions that come to mind when I read a biography.
Bestseller by Claud Cockburn
I read bits of this in the Bodleian during my DPhil – looking at the bestselling books of the first half of the 20th century – so it’s nice to get an affordable copy for my shelves.
First Editions of To-day and How to Tell Them by H.S. Boutell
I’m not that interested in finding first editions (or first impressions, as the note assures me is meant) – this 1920-something book is just an intriguing curiosity. Every publishing house of the day is listed, with descriptions of how you can be sure you’re getting a first impression – so it’s mostly interesting for an overview of the publishing industry at my favourite time for books.
Tea with Walter de la Mare by Russell Brain
I love personal, anecdotey memoirs of famous authors.
Turtle Diary by Russell Hoban
The Unpossessed by Tess Slesinger
Chaos and Night by Henry de Montherlant
A whole bunch of NYRB Classics – which I can almost never resist.
Right! There we are. So many books!