Christmas Books 2017

It was a lovely year for bookish presents – here’s the little pile I got from various people under the tree this year…

Nemo’s Almanac – this was from my friends Paul and Kirsty and, coincidentally, I bought them the same thing! It’s a collection of quotations (mostly poetry) where you have to identify the author.

Bloomsbury by Matthew Ingleby – Matt was at Magdalen with me, and my friend Lorna (who also knows him, rather better than me) sent me a signed copy of this one. Always eager to add to my Bloomsbury shelf!

The Cat’s Cradle Book by Sylvia Townsend Warner – I usually take part in the LibraryThing Virago Modern Classics Secret Santa, and it always ends up in truly brilliant purchases. My nonplussed family watch while I squeal over things – like this beautiful edition of one of the few STW books I don’t have!

Catherine Carter by Pamela Hansford Johnson – and this equally beautiful edition – signed by PHJ no less! I should say that my Santa was unveiled as the wonderful Jane at Beyond Eden Rock.

Deeper Than Indigo by Jenny Balfour Paul – I don’t know anything about this one, but Jane thought it would be up my street.

The Professor’s House by Willa Cather – the final Secret Santa book is one I read ten years or ago, but have never owned – and it’s a nice VMC with a Vanessa Bell cover.

The Lonely City by Olivia Laing – the final three books are from my family, who wisely turned to my Amazon wishlist. This was from my parents, and you might remember this one from a Weekend Miscellany.

My Life With Bob by Pamela Paul – another one from Mum and Dad; another one I’ve previously highlighted in a Weekend Miscellany. And the first one from this pile that I’m going to start, I think!

How Not To Be a Boy by Robert Webb – from Col, and all about damaging gender stereotypes (as well as about Webb’s life). Well done him for writing it!

Can’t wait to dive in to this delightful treasure trove! I hope you all got good books under the Christmas tree.

25 Classic Penguins (or: ending the year the way I don’t intend to carry on)

I’m excited about my reading in 2017. I don’t have any plans or challenges (for reading; for buying, I’m limiting to 24 books). I’ll miss Shiny New Books, but it also means I have far fewer obligations for reading. I can just read what I want – and, if it gets overwhelming, I’ve put together a table covered in all the books people recommended from my tbr shelves recently (or, at least, the ones I could find!). Thank you so much for your recommendations, and taking the time to search for them!

tell-me-what-to-read

I’m pretty scared about 2017. I wrote quite a lot here about Trump, but I’ve decided to delete it – I don’t want to demonise people who voted him. Let’s just acknowledge that – in my eyes, and for many people around the world – Trump’s presidency is a terrifying prospect. And I can’t really start a post about 2017 without at least acknowledging that it’s happening.

For today, let’s try denial. And denial comes in the form of some massive parcels which arrived while I was home over Christmas. In advance of Project 24 – and, yes, entirely defeating the point – I was tempted when my housemate pointed out a deal for buying 25 Classic Penguins. I don’t want to throw temptation in your way, but you can do the same. World of Rare Books will bundle up 25 of them for you, for £25 (and rather less than that on the one-day offer we got).

penguin-parcel

I’ll be honest – my hopes weren’t high. I assumed it would be a case of getting lots of those blue Penguins on poultry farming, economic works, and no orange Penguins at all. How wrong I was!

We sat there and opened up our 50 Penguins. Kirsty kept all of hers; I kept 18 of mine – much more than I expected. I gave 3 to Kirsty (including the Pamela Hansford Johnson in the photo below, as I only realised belatedly that I already had it), 2 to my friend Paul, and 2 to a charity shop – the rejected books being almost all ones I already had, and only a couple cos they didn’t appeal.

penguin-parcel-contents

And here are the gems I came away with! Lots of lovely classic crimes to explore, and lots of other authors I’ve either enjoyed or wanted to read – and a handful that meant nothing, but could well be fun. But the reason I bought them, really, was because I love the surprise of a random assortment – opening them up and discovering what unexpected books have arrived. If I weren’t doing Project 24, I’d be tempted to do it again immediately…

Yellow books in Piccadilly

I was in London on Saturday, seeing various different friends for much-overdue catch-ups. The first thing I did, actually, was go to a private gallery for the first time in my life. I love Raoul Dufy so didn’t want to miss an exhibition of his work at Connaught Brown – and Karen of Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings came along with me. We had a lovely time, though decided, on the whole, not to pay £30,000 for a painting. A difficult decision to make, I’m sure you’ll agree.

But just before that, actually, I spent a birthday book token from my friend Malie – and I did it in Waterstones Piccadilly, which has an excellent section devoted to independent publishers. It’s next to the ‘Black writing’ shelves, which is why a non-independent-publisher snuck into my pile. (Also, query, Eudora Welty was under ‘Black writing’… she was white, wasn’t she?)

Here are the books I bought with my book token, clutched in what my friend Lucy refers to as my ‘serial killer gloves’:

 

yellow-books

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Yes, secondhand copies of this are ten a penny, but I am so in love with the covers to these 4th Estate reprints. Three down, one to go!

The Murderess by Alexandros Papadiamantis
I spent quite a while going through the NYRB Classics, trying to decide which I wanted, and chose this novella in the end. It sounds quite dark (about a grandmother murdering her grandchild) but also potentially really interesting. And maybe my first Greek novel?

Burning Secret by Stefan Zweig
I read Confusion in the same style reprint from Pushkin, and couldn’t resist a matching edition.

Only when I took the photo did I realise that I’d apparently been drawn to yellow books particularly… Have you read any of these?

I bought books. So many books.

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.

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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!

Books in Brighton

I’m down in Brighton for a marketing conference – yes, I know, the glamour – and I took the opportunity to sneak off to Colin Page Books. It’s really such a fab bookshop. Make sure you get there if you have a chance (and don’t mind a spiral staircase). I came away with these seven books…

Brighton books 2016

Virginia Woolf by Alexandra Harris
I had an email exchange with Alexandra ages ago, when I was writing about Virginia Woolf and she was a humble DPhil student at Oxford, but I still haven’t managed to read one of her books. This isn’t the first on my shelf, and I suspect it won’t be the last. But it would be a nice full circle to read her biography of our shared love, Virginia W.

The Listeners by Walter de la Mare
I do love these little Constable editions, and I also love ‘The Listeners’ by de la Mare – so it’s about time that I read the rest of the collection, since me liking poetry happens so seldom.

On the Art of Reading by Arthur Quiller-Couch
I haven’t yet read his book On the Art of Writing, but now at least I have the companion volume waiting in the wings.

Long Life by Nigel Nicholson
To add to my Bloomsbury shelf…

Bloomsbury by Quentin Bell
…along with this one! And both of them by members of the family, of course.

Figures in Modern Literature by J.B. Priestley
Priestley seems to think the only figures in modern literature are men, and some haven’t lasted that well (who is Maurice Hewlett? George Santayana?), but it will be fun to hear his views on Arnold Bennett, Walter de la Mare, A E Housman, etc.

William’s Crowded Hours by Richmal Crompton
I’ve been slowly accumulating these over the years, when I come across them affordably, and must start re-reading them. There’s nothing quite so joyous as a William book.

Thanks again, Brighton, for your excellent spoils! (And GBBO recap will come, eventually, though I’m off to Bristol as soon as I’m back from Brighton, so… not all that soon.)

Malvern books

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 SpiritPrivate Lives, and Hay Fever, fab though those are) – but while we were there: books.

Malvern books aug 2016On 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.

Recent arrivals (free and otherwise)

Today has been a nice, lazy day so far. Sat in the sun with a book, got my hair cut, made some rock buns. There’s a very real chance that I may be Mrs Miniver without realising. BUT I also popped into some charity shops – donating a pile of books, and buying some (though, it should be noted in the interests of floor space, not the same number that I donated). I also bought in other charity shops earlier in the week.

But this week also saw the magic happen. Free books, y’all. FREE.

In one of the nicest streets in Oxford, St. John’s Street (on my way to work), somebody had set out a bookshelf with a note saying ‘free books’ – and the lady in the house kept coming out and replenishing the stock when it was getting depleted. Maybe she was moving; maybe she was sorting out the possessions of a recently-passed relative? Whatever the case, she was a blessing to the book-loving community of Oxford.

July 2016 books

Daphne du Maurier: a daughter’s memoir by Flavia Leng
I have accidentally topped and tailed this pile with Daphne du Maurier biographies. This was a charity shop purchase – I have somehow never quite worked out how many children Daphne had, so I’d never heard of Flavia. But I love these sorts of intimate perspectives, alongside the more detached writings of professional biographers.

An Autobiography by Agatha Christie
Somehow I have never bought Christe’s autobiography before – despite having had it on my mental tbr pile for the best part of 20 years. This edition comes with a CD that apparently has Christie’s dictation of some of the autobiography on it.

My Dog Tulip by J.R. Ackerley
The first of my 3 charity purchases today. I keep buying books by Ackerley without yet having read any (though did recently read a book by his mystery half-sister, as you do). This one will also double up as a box crossed on my Book Bingo card – book with a flower in the title.

Several Perceptions by Angela Carter
I’ve still only read one novel by Carter, Wise Children, but I’ve been amassing them for years. This one looks pretty bizarre even for Carter – having looked through the blurb – so I might ease my way in via some of the others on my shelves.

What Hetty Did by J.L. Carr
Or James Carr, as this edition has curiously named him. The three books I’ve read by Carr have been extremely different, and two of them have been very good (A Month in the Country – which seems to be the only one that anybody reads now – and A Day in the Country, which is equally good in a very different way). So I wonder what this one will be like?

The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West
This one, and the rest, were from the free shelves. I enjoyed Miss Lonelyhearts when Daunt Books reprinted it. This one is apparently all about 1930s Hollywood, and has a ludicrously ugly cover. I suspect it could be fun.

This England
This is a collection of short notes from a column in some British newspaper. The Spectator, maybe? It’ll get shelved on my dip-in-for-fun-sometime shelf.

Later Days by W.H. Davies
I’ve not actually read his more famous volume of autobiography, The Autobiography of a Supertramp, but the sequel seemed more up my street – entirely based on the fact that it takes place in the interwar years.

The Witch-Cult in Western Europe by Margaret Murray
I was stoked to find this one – because I had to read it in the Bodleian when I wanted to use it in my DPhil. Sylvia Townsend Warner referred to it when she gave interviews about Lolly Willowes, and it makes for an interesting comparison with that novel. And it’s nice to be able to shelve it alongside my own thesis books.

Daphne du Maurier by Margaret Forster
From D du M to D du M – in fact, my friend and colleague Adam picked this one up for me when he brought me the good tidings of the free books. I remember when this came out, I think, and everybody was all “Oh, Daphne was NOT a nice lady.” But I’ve learned that myself, through her letters to Oriel Malet, so I’m ready for whatever Forster can throw at me in here. Come at me.

 

Back from Edinburgh

Loving the comments on the 50 Books competition post – do keep ’em coming! I think I’ll do the prize draw on Monday.

The long train journey is over, and I am back from a fun, rainy, book-filled week in Edinburgh. Said train journey was slightly spoiled by a group of people blasting out music from their speakers for a solid two hours. So loud, so rude. We were all too British to say anything, but complained to each other once they’d left.

I had a lovely time – a highlight being seeing Karen/Cornflower. And I went to eight or nine bookshops while in Edinburgh, and bought 15 books. Two of them, I realised afterwards, were books I already owned (oops) so I passed them onto a friend I was staying with – and here are the 13 I brought back with me. Incidentally, the best bookshop I went to was Armchair Books – a great selection of reasonably-priced books, though the hardbacks were all on shelves that were unreachable without stools or a stepladder. I perched precariously on a stepladder at one point. But if there are Rose Macaulay books on a shelf I can’t see properly, I’m gonna get a stepladder.

Edinburgh books 2016

The Scrapbook of Katherine Mansfield ed. J. Middleton Murray
The Life of Katherine Mansfield by Ruth Mantz
I’ve seen these a few times, but never at a tempting price – so I was pleased to stumble across them in Till’s bookshop. Both are Constable hardbacks, and were part of JMM’s rather energetic series of Mansfield-related publications just after her death.

The Rain Girl by Herbert Jenkins
We all know that I loved Patricia Brent, Spinster, so it was great to find one of Jenkins’ other books in a lovely edition – this one was on a high-up shelf in Armchair Books.

The Spectre of Alexander Wolf by Gaito Gazdanov
I could feel Kaggsy watching me when I picked this one up – a Pushkin and a Russian! It sounds so intriguing – about a man who reads a short story which describes a murder he had himself committed. What comes next…?

Orphan Island by Rose Macaulay
Armchair Books had loads of Macaulay books, though this was the only one I didn’t already own – and one that I have kept an eye out for for a long time. Hurrah! (Must read some more Macaulays. Have so many unread.)

Friends and Relations by Elizabeth Bowen
I need to read more Bowen, and I think she’ll come up on ‘Tea or Books?’ at some point – but which? Maybe this one?

Paul Kelver by Jerome K. Jerome
I keep buying JKJ books, don’t I? Hadn’t heard of this one before, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it sometime.

A Cup of Tea for Mr Thorgill by Storm Jameson
Another one of those authors I’ve been meaning to read for such a long time, and have only read some non-fic articles by her. This one, I’ll admit, I bought chiefly because I really love that cover.

Letters of Siegfried Sassoon and Max Beerbohm
Who knew these gents wrote to each other? Well, probably loads of people. But not I! (My Max Beerbohm shelf is growing at a fast rate…)

Virginia Woolf: Her Art as a Novelist by Joan Bennett
I’m not the sort of guy who’ll leave behind a book about Virginia Woolf – particularly an early one.

All The Dogs of My Life by Elizabeth von Arnim
How did I not own this before? Being a cat person more than a dog person, I’m not sure this lens will work for me – but I’ll find out. (NB must enthuse more about Sheila Kaye-Smith’s All The Books of My Life, which is wonderful.)

Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham
More Cunningham for my Cunningham shelf – yes please.

A Sea-Grape Tree by Rosamond Lehmann
I think I might own all of Lehmann’s novels now, and have still only read one (Dusty Answer) – but now I have even more choice.

Some books from Brighton

Brighton booksA few weeks ago, I spent a couple of days in Brighton for a conference – and, whilst I was there, managed to persuade my colleagues that what they really wanted was to visit a secondhand bookshop. To do them credit, they did seem to enjoy it, and even bought a book or two – though the armfuls I was carrying around rather dwarfed them.

The bookshop was called Colin Page, and it’s brilliant. Excellent stock, low prices, and a spiral staircase = bliss. Also, the name of the shop also turns out to be the name of an American painter whose work I really, really like, so that was a nice coincidence. But you want to know what I bought, don’t you?

It was quite a quirky and unusual stock, mostly older hardbacks, and I think that was reflected in the books I came away with… Do tell me which you’ve got/read/want/etc.

The Flower-Show Match by Siegfried Sassoon
I grew very fond of Sassoon while reading Anna Thomasson’s A Curious Friendship, and have bought quite a few non-fiction books by him since then – this is my first collection of his prose fiction. I think fiction?

The Author and the Public: Problems of Communication
This is an anthology of different people thinking about the unique relationship between author and public. I have the perfect shelf for this sort of book, of course…

The Writing on the Wall by Mary McCarthy
Literary essays by an author that I have yet to read anything by – but what got this off the shelf and into my hands was the fact that a couple of the essays are about Ivy Compton-Burnett. I will amass anything about Dame Ivy.

Adonis and the Alphabet by Aldous Huxley
SIMON. Read some of the Aldous Huxley books you already have. Yes, I know. BUT ALSO LOOK HOW PRETTY THIS ONE IS. (More book descriptions below the image, of course.)

Brighton books 2016

 

The Art of Growing Old by John Cowper Powys
I’ve grown more interested in the Powys brothers now that I have father-is-vicar-of-Montacute in common with them; this looks unusual and intriguing.

Muriel Spark – John Masefield
I’ve read lots and lots of Muriel Spark’s novels, but I’ve never read any of her biographies – and have to confess that I’d forgotten she’d even written one of Masefield. It will be intriguing to see if her is similar here to her unmistakably Sparkian novels.

Max Beerbohm in Perspective
I can’t see who wrote this from the image, and the book is all the way across the room… but I keep piling up books by and about Beerbohm, based on having liked one novel and one collection of essays. Here’s hoping I continue to enjoy Max!

The Reading of Books by Holbrook Jackson
Try imagining a world in which I didn’t buy a book with this title. You couldn’t do it, could you?

Mainly on the Air by Max Beerbohm
And there he is…

Also in the bigger image are two books I bought in a charity – House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier (which I had thought I owned, but apparently didn’t) and The Condemned Playground by Cyril Connolly, to follow up my read of  Enemies of Promise.

Books I’ve bought since Lent ended

I wouldn’t say I’ve gone on a spree, per se, but I have bought a few books since Lent ended and my book buying was permitted again. A few of those have been online, some were in Oxford, and some were on a trip to London yesterday. More on that trip soon, but – for today – the books…

post-Lent 2016

The Reader Over Your Shoulder by Robert Graves and Alan Hodge
I’ve been meaning to read their book The Long Weekend for a long time; this one looks quite different but also interesting. It’s a handbook for writing, but the bit I’m looking forward to is where they quote their contemporaries (from Lytton Strachey to Cicely Hamilton) and point out where they’ve written badly.

An Irrelevant Woman by Mary Hocking
Mary Hocking Reading Week starts any minute, courtesy of Heavenali, and my book arrived just in time to kick off.

The Prose Factory by D.J. Taylor
I’ve bought a few new books recently – as in new-new, rather than secondhand – which isn’t very like me. This one is an overview of literature since 1918, recommended by Deborah Lawrenson on Instagram. I think I might take it on holiday at the end of April.

Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran
Another new book, this one with birthday voucher from my friend Malie. I love Moran’s columns, and particularly her book Moranthology, so I’m excited that another one is out.

The Charleston Bulletin Supplements
I have a vague idea that I already own this… but it’s supplements to Virginia Woolf’s childhood newspaper. Classic me. There’s no such thing as too much Woolf.

Cat’s Company by Michael Joseph
A lovely looking book about cats. I can’t remember quite what angle about cats, but… cats.

All the Days and Nights by William Maxwell
I think I’ve got all of Maxwell’s novels, though I’ve not read all of them by any means – but I didn’t have Maxwell’s short stories. Reading his letters makes me think he’ll be brilliant at the short story, and Rachel assured me he was on our podcast.

The Beginning of Spring by Penelope Fitzgerald
I have so many Fitzgerald novels that I’ve yet to read, but I can’t resist another one that matches the set I have… plus, I’ve loved two of the three I’ve read, which is pretty good odds.

The Hopeful Traveller by Mary Hocking
This is the first Hocking I ordered, but then Ali told me that it was a sequel to a different novel – one that seemed impossible to find. Well, no longer, I suppose, since Bello are reprinting it!

Miss Ogilvy Finds Herself by Radclyffe Hall
This is a collection of short stories; I’ve previously read the title story of the collection, as it makes for very interesting comparison to Lolly Willowes, but none of the others.

Limbo by Aldous Huxley
This is a sweet little copy of some Huxley stories. Or perhaps novellas. They all seem pretty long.

Evergreens by Jerome K Jerome
Some short stories from JKJ. Apparently I bought quite a few collections of short stories, particularly in relation to the number I actually read… but it’s been too long since I read Jerome.

What’s For Dinner? by James Schuyler
Waterstones Piccadilly has a lovely section of independent publishers’ books, and that includes a selection of NYRB Classics. I knew I wanted to buy one of them, and chose the Schuyler – having loved Alfred and Guinevere last year. And what a curious title.

Buried For Pleasure by Edmund Crispin
And another Crispin to enjoy, after having laughed my way through The Moving Toyshop.

And there we have it! There is another book or two on their way through the post, but I wanted to get the post up today. Plus, I don’t want you to know the depths of my post-Lent spree. Ok, yes, spree is what it was.