Claire (aka Paperback Reader) reminded me that I haven’t done Stuck-in-a-Book’s Weekend Miscellany since… well, for a long time anyway. That wasn’t a deliberate decision, as I enjoyed doing a little round-up (and I hope that you enjoyed reading it) but somehow I only remembered about it in the middle of the week. But better late than never, and since we still have a little bit of the weekend left, here it is, in all its multi-coloured infinite variety! (Oh, and I’ve bought my first book of the year… but it was online, so I’ll give you an update when it arrives. If it ever does, given the current state of Oxford’s postal service – I’ve not received a parcel in ten days. Hmm…)
1.) The blog post – is without doubt the first round of Woolf in Winter, this fortnight reading Mrs. Dalloway and hosted by ‘What we have here is a failure to communicate‘ aka Sarah. Click on that link to take you to her thoughts, and a list of other people who’ve read the book. This scheme has been set up for both first-time Woolf readers and those (like me) who secretly think that Ginny is one of their best friends. I’d especially like to point you in the direction of Claire at Kiss a Cloud and her wonderful thoughts about reading Woolf for the first time. She’s bowled over by the novel in the same way that I was when I first read it, and it’s like reading my own thoughts from 2003 – only rather better worded. Though I haven’t re-read Mrs. Dalloway this time (I have read it four or five times) I might get on board for the next session, To The Lighthouse. Click on the picture for more details…
2.) The link – you might have already seen this on Elaine’s blog, Random Jottings, but I’m sure she won’t mind me copying it across here, in case you missed it. It’s about Waterstone’s, the UK bookshop chain, returning to its roots… click here for more. The cynical side of me realises any move they make is going to be motivated by commercialism rather than altruism, and it’s a terrible pity that so many genuinely local bookshops have gone to the wall, but still – the move can only be a good thing, right?
3.) The book – is a review copy from Oxford University Press that I’m definitely going to read before too long, but I might read it quite gradually, and I wanted to tell you about it sooner so you wouldn’t have to wait. It’s called Nine Wartime Lives: Mass-Observation and the Making of the Modern Self, by James Hinton, and uses the Mass-Observation diaries of nine ordinary people, during the Second World War, to look at the effects of the war to the individual as well as wider social issues. These people include Nella Last – I’m currently reading Nella Last’s War, about two years after everyone else did, and am stunned by how fascinating and how brilliantly written it is. That’s a strong early contender for 2010 favourites, and Nine Wartime Lives looks as though it might be equally interesting. (Warning: a bit pricey, might have to track it down in the library). More analytical than Nella Last’s War, but hopefully not textbook-style. From the outside, and from flicking through it and reading the odd excerpt, I’m hopeful.