Malvern is one of my favourite places, and Saturday was spent very happily on a day trip there. The reason for the trip was seeing Noel Coward’s Present Laughter at the theatre (which was excellent; very funny, good lines, beautiful set, and a winning turn from Sam West – makes me wish that more Coward plays were put on, as there is much more to him that Blithe Spirit, Private Lives, and Hay Fever, fab though those are) – but while we were there: books.
On my last trip, I was sad to discover that the Malvern Bookshop would be closing down if they weren’t able to find a buyer. Well, praise be, they found one! It would be such a shame to lose a gem like that. So half of these came from that bookshops (where I also picked up some cheap piano music), and half from the excellent Amnesty Bookshop. The friend I went with spent happy time with a box of old theatre programmes in the Malvern Bookshop, and came away with some beauties. Anyway – here are the books!
Young Adolf by Beryl Bainbridge
I have a few unread Beryls on my shelf, but don’t remember coming across this one in the wild before – so wanted to nab it. Who other than Beryl would attempt this novel? I can only assume she brings all her trademark quirks to the table.
The Clocks by Agatha Christie
I need to work out precisely which Christies I have and haven’t read, because it feels like they’re dwindling – but this is definitely one of them.
Misreadings by Umberto Eco
Apparently a book of parodies? I have ‘parody’ on my Book Bingo card, so this may well come in handy.
Kitty Foyle by Christopher Morley
Human Being by Christopher Morley
Two novels by Christopher Morley, author of Parnassus on Wheels – I keep buying books by him, and have only read three, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave these behind.
The Lighting of the Lamps by Susan Hill
I though I’d had quite a coup here, but it is actually available from 10p on Amazon – I just hadn’t heard of this book before. It’s a collection of Hill’s writing about literature – prefaces from books, and articles, I think. Something fun to dip into.
The Faces of Justice by Sybille Bedford
Another book I hadn’t heard of by a writer I like! This one sounds fascinating – Bedford travels around various countries looking at their justice systems, and how the same crime will be treated differently in many different places. I’m a little worried that it might be xenophobic, but her wine-soaked travel writing Pleasures and Landscapes wasn’t (as far as I can recall) so fingers crossed.
Opening Night by Ngaio Marsh
I’ve yet to read any of her detective fiction, but I can’t resist a murder mystery set in a theatre.