It’s the first Weekend Miscellany of 2012, and I hope you’ve got a pen and paper to hand, because there’s all sorts going on…
1.) Firstly – I do love a surprise book through the post! Christmas was surprisingly low on bookish gifts (my parents and brother tried, bless ’em, but ended up giving me the same book… oops!) so it was a total and unexpected delight to get What There Is To Say We Have Said: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and William Maxwell. It came from lovely Heather, who knew that I adored the letters of Maxwell and Sylvia Townsend Warner (well, it’s no secret) and thought I’d love these too. I always forget that I’ve read a novel by Welty (The Ponder Heart) because I don’t remember anything about it, but it’s definitely time I revisited her – and I’m thrilled to have this collection! I tend to read books of letters very gradually, so it could be an age before this appears again on SiaB, but it certainly will do at some point.
2.) You won’t have missed my enthused posts about Stop What You’re Doing And Read This – well, the day is drawing ever closer when you can go and get your hands on a copy. Even better than that, you can attend a launch party! Mark Haddon (who wrote the best essay in the book) and Michael Rosen, along with people from the wonderful Reading Agency, will be discussing reading on Monday 23rd January, 7pm, at Canada Water Library. It’s free, but you have to book – which you can do here. The book also has its own blog, now: here.
3.) Increasingly, I get emails from publishers or authors saying “I don’t know if you have an e-reader, but…” Well, as you probably know, I don’t. But I’m happy to be an enabler, and so wanted to mention that Macmillan created Bello, their imprint of e-book reprints. I’m all for access to neglected gems, even if only electronically, and so I’ll point you in the direction of their website. They’ve wisely started off with a select few authors – Gerald Durrell, Eva Ibbotson, Frances Durbridge etc. – and, most excitingly to my mind, Vita Sackville-West. The Heir, one of the titles they’re doing, is one of the loveliest novellas I’ve read, and I heartily recommend that that’s where you start.
4.) If you’ve somehow missed Kim’s Australian Literature Month, you’re already a week behind guys! See what Kim has to say about it, and have fun. I’ve hunted through my tbr shelves for an Australian author without luck, so… not sure if I’ll be joining in, but I’ll certainly be cheering from the sidelines.
5.) Don’t forget – Stu’s Henry Green Reading Week is coming up super soon. You’ve got about a fortnight to get prepared…
6.) There have been so many wonderful reviews around the blogosphere since I last drew your attention to some. Of course there have, there always are! But I will send you off to read what Claire had to say about Rose Macaulay’s Crewe Train, what Tanya had to say about E.H. Young’s Miss Mole and E.F. Benson’s Secret Lives, and what Jane had to say about G.E. Stern’s Ten Days of Christmas. I’ll even point you in the direction of Darlene’s thoughts on my much-beloved The Slaves of Solitude, even though I don’t agree with her. That’s new year benificence for you.