It’s a bit late this weekend, mostly because I spent so much time thinking about the review of The Other Elizabeth Taylor (thanks for kind comments on it!) that I didn’t want to get it swept away in the Friday lull. My stats counter tells me that things drop off on Friday, and quite significantly at the weekend, which suggests that quite a lot of you are reading blogs at work. Tsk! As if *I* would dream of doing such a thing. The very thought.
Ahem. So – a link, a blog post, a book.
1.) Verity’s recent review of Barbara Comyns’ wonderful Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead reminded me that it has one of my very favourite opening lines: ‘The ducks swam through the drawing-room window.’ If you don’t immediately want to read on, then check to see if you have a pulse. It didn’t make this week’s link, though – the 100 Best Opening Lines of Novels. This was decided by the editors of American Book Review, and thus has rather a leaning towards American titles. Don’t you find that these lists often choose opening lines from the best novels, rather than the best opening lines? A subtle but significant difference. I’m sure some of the best opening lines come from novels which are otherwise pretty poor. Anyway, pop over there to see who comes top (though any list which includes James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake at no.7 isn’t going to be in total agreement with me: ‘riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.’)
Fun for a browse – let me know what you think, and which you’d place at number one.
2.) The book. It’s Miss Hargreaves again, I’m afraid, since none others sprung to mind… I like to choose ones which I’ve had emails about, or received through the post, but might not review for a little while – and most of the ones I’ve had this week I’m *desperate* to read as quickly as possible. So instead I’m going to show you the part of Bloomsbury’s reprint of Miss Hargreaves which excites me the post:
3.) For my blog post of the week, I’m linking to Lisa at A Bloomsbury Life. I know I keep going back to the same blogs for this, and I will try to expand, but darn it – if Lisa must make her blog so appealing and wonderful, what am I supposed to do? Specifically, I’m linking to her post on Beverley Nichols, which quotes a hilarious section of his book Laughter on the Stairs, all about decorating his house and hearing that Woman’s Own want to look at it. How to get the house looking presentable when he has so little furniture… Rarely have I read a blog post which made me so desperate to read the author – Beverley Nichols is one of those writers I’ve seen a heckuva lot in secondhand bookshops, but never read. The Thatched Roof is the only one I have on my shelves. So, yes, wonderful excerpt – but the post is made even lovelier by Lisa’s characteristic style and great choice of accompanying photographs. Which doesn’t include the one I’ve picked for this post – so you’ll just have to go and read her post for more!