Tea or Books? #31: lists, yes or no? and The Fortnight in September vs Greengates

Happy new year! Rachel and I are back from a bit of a podcast break, and raring to go for the New Year.

Tea or Books logoIn this episode, we look at two novels by R.C. Sherriff, both published by Persephone, and we also look back over 2016 and debate whether or not we make and read Best Books of the Year lists. Look, it’s just a way for us to shoe-horn in an overview of our favourite reads from 2016.

As always, we’d love to know what you’d choose from each category, and any ideas you have for future episodes. We’re always so grateful for those – though sometimes we haven’t yet read the authors people mention. We’ll work on it!

Listen to us above, via iTunes, or your podcast app of choice. I’ve been asking people to leave a review at the iTunes site, but it turns out you can only do that through the iTunes app or programme, maybe?

Anyway, we’ll loving being back – apologies for a bit of poor sound quality at times – and here are the books and authors we mention in this episode:

Witness for the Prosecution by R.C. Sherriff
4.50 From Paddington by Agatha Christie
Magnificent Obsession by Helen Rappaport
Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
Third Girl by Agatha Christie
Curiosity by Alberto Manguel
Over the Footlights and Other Fancies by Stephen Leacock
The Lark by E. Nesbit
Patricia Brent, Spinster by Herbert Jenkins
The Lost Europeans by Emanuel Litvinoff
Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
The Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Complete Works by William Shakespeare
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Mapp and Lucia by E.F. Benson
Messalina of the Suburbs by E.M. Delafield
A Pin to See The Peepshow by F. Tennyson Jesse
To The Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey
Margaret Atwood
Possession by A.S. Byatt
Terms and Conditions by Ysenda Maxtone Graham
Daisy’s Aunt by E.F. Benson
Compton Mackenzie
A Far Cry From Kensington by Muriel Spark
Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner
The Museum of Cheats by Sylvia Townsend Warner
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Fortnight in September by R.C. Sherriff
Greengates by R.C. Sherriff
The Hopkins Manuscript by R.C. Sherriff
Bricks and Mortar by Helen Ashton
Journey’s End by R.C. Sherriff
(The Cataclysm turns out to be The Hopkins Manuscript under the same name!)

9 thoughts on “Tea or Books? #31: lists, yes or no? and The Fortnight in September vs Greengates

    • January 8, 2017 at 11:58 pm

      We’re nothing if not eclectic!

  • January 3, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Lists – sometimes! I can never do a straightforward list because I hate to pick favourites, so I end up adding in genres! The only Hopkins I’ve read so far is The Hopkins Manuscript, which I absolutely loved, though I have the other two lurking on the shelves – still not sure which I should pick up first after listening to your interesting discussions!

    • January 9, 2017 at 12:01 am

      I don’t think you can wrong with either of the books, Karen – you’ll love them, I’m sure.

  • January 4, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Don’t be put off The Hopkins Manuscript because it’s sci Fi – it is essentially domestic in scope and it’s ‘hero’ is another of Sherriff’s ordinary (initially rather pompous and slightly ridiculous) men who undergoes a quiet and gradual transformation, in a similar fashion to the hero of Greengates. It is a wonderful book which is strangely appropriate for our time, and which will stay with you.
    Another of Sherriff’s books is available on Kindle – The Wells of St Mary’s. At the moment it is £3.75. It’s certainly worth reading – but not quite as good as the ones which have been reprinted by Persephone.

    • January 9, 2017 at 12:04 am

      Oh, I’m not put off, Gill – or, rather, I would have been if it hadn’t been a Persephone book by an author I now know that I like. I’ll take a bit of a break, rather than rush them all at once, but I’ll read this one before 2017 is out, I’m sure.

  • January 6, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    I also really liked The Hopkins Manuscript — it’s not so much Science Fiction in regards to people going out in space, but what happens to an average person after a cataclysmic event. It reminds me a bit of a D.E. Stevenson novel I read this year called The Empty World about people who are the only survivors left on Earth. It’s actually rather dark in parts but also interesting because Stevenson wrote it in 1936 but set it in the future (I think about the 1970s). Her vision of the future is not how things really turned out so that’s kind of quirky. It’s very hard to find but I was able to get an ILL copy through my library.

    I’ve also read both Greengates and The Fortnight in September, and I agree that Tom in Greengages was quite a snob, and I think that put me off the book because it was what I really remember most about the novel.

    I also agree with Thomas about the Mapp and Lucia series — you HAVE to read them in order and I did include them in a group on my Top Ten list this year!

    • January 9, 2017 at 12:05 am

      I had no idea D E Stevenson had written anything like that! How interesting – I’ll add it to my look-out-for list.

      And glad you feel the same about Mapp and Lucia :) (but, whispers, I’m Simon, rather than Thomas)


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