The books I bought in Norfolk…

I had a lovely week away in this beautiful cottage (it’s the far right in a terrace of three, with lovely views of the church):

I did lots of reading, and a fair bit of visiting bookshops (although it would have been more if Colin hadn’t intervened…) and bought quite a few books. Many of them came from a wonderful little bookshop in Watton. It wasn’t huge, but it was super-filled with books – double-stacked, hidden under bookcases, piled in corners. In no particular order, and certainly not in the order in the photo, here is what I bought…

Time, Gentlemen, Time by Norah Hoult
I loved There Were No Windows, so I picked up this Hoult – and was excited to see that it was signed and a limited edition for her friends and family. What fun!


A Saturday Life by Radclyffe Hall
I’ve only read one short story by Hall, but I can’t resist a lovely VMC.

No Place Like Home by Beverley Nichols
I must hold the record for the person with the most books by Nichols who hasn’t actually read any.

On the Side of the Angels by Betty Miller
Oops, I think I already have this one.

Heritage by Vita Sackville-West
Oooo, and this one too… I just remember Thomas/My Porch snatching it out of my hands in a Virginia bookshop, and had forgotten that, since then, I’d been given a lovely Bello edition.

Caravan by Lady Eleanor Smith
Does anybody know anything about this book or this author? I picked it up in a charity shop, because I can’t resist a cheap old hardback of a certain age.

Studies of Contemporary Poets by Mary C. Sturgeon
I didn’t notice the ‘poet’ bit of the title until after I’d bought it, but I mostly picked it up for the chapter on Rose Macaulay.

Mrs Bindle by Herbert Jenkins
The Bindles on the Rocks by Herbert Jenkins
I haven’t read Mr Bindle yet, but I loved Patricia Brent, Spinster so much that I’m keen to gather up more.

The Sleeper Awakes by H.G. Wells
This was mentioned in some book I was reading, and it sounded intriguing – it’s about a man who wakes up to find everyone else is dead (I think…)

Three Lives by Lettice Cooper
A Persephone author in an old hardback is not something I am likely to leave behind, is it?

An Interrupted Life: the Diaries and Letters of Etty Hillesum 1941-43
And the same goes for an actual Persephone that I don’t already own!

Lucy Carmichael by Margaret Kennedy
I thought I already had this, but it appears not – and it might come in handy for Margaret Kennedy Reading Week.

Better Bed Manners by Horton and Balliol
One of the more niche bookish interests I have is in fake etiquette guides. There aren’t all that many around, that I know of (Virginia Graham wrote two gems) – this one will hopefully be as fun as the others!

The Genius and the Goddess by Aldous Huxley
And over to the less-niche books… after Crome Yellow, and discovering Huxley wasn’t all dystopian futures, I thought I’d see what else wasout there.

The Understudy by David Nicholls
Another charity shop purchase – I’ve been meaning to read more Nicholls since enjoying One Day, like everyone else in the country.

Apple of My Eye by Helen Hanff
I thought I had all Hanff’s books, but I hadn’t heard of this one – which is about New York.

Stella Benson by Joy Grant
I’m currently reading my third Benson novel, and – having heard a great talk about her at a conference earlier in the year – I’m keen to read more about her life.

Another World Than This – ed. by Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson
SOMEONE is going to have to get me to like poetry, and it might as well be this poetry-loving pair and their anthology.

Many Furrows by Alpha of the Plough
More essays and thoughts by this writer, whose book I enjoyed last year.

William The Bad – Richmal Crompton
William The Outlaw – Richmal Crompton
William in Trouble – Richmal Crompton
I continue to pick these up when I find them cheaply, as you can’t go wrong.

Right! As usual – which have you read, or would you like to read? Tell me all!

41 thoughts on “The books I bought in Norfolk…

  • September 21, 2014 at 10:48 pm
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    I am fainting with envy. Funnily enough I was given a green edition of A Saturday Life on Saturday afternoon by LTer Genny.

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    • September 23, 2014 at 5:34 pm
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      Envy at the cottage or the books? Or both :)
      I think A Saturday Life could be my first full-length Hall – it appeals more than the others I've got.

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  • September 22, 2014 at 1:04 am
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    In The Sleeper Awakes, a man who has been in a sort of coma wakes up after years asleep. The world has changed, but not for the better and he has to figure out what is his place in it. A sort of Rip Van Winkle story.

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  • September 22, 2014 at 1:31 am
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    I've read the Hanff, and am trying not to be envious of the Beverley Nichols that you've stockpiled, since he's hard to find over here. ;) I've loved every book of his I've read thus far.

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    • September 23, 2014 at 5:35 pm
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      I do feel a bit bad about using my UK prerogative… or abusing it, really.

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  • September 22, 2014 at 4:04 am
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    Pea green about the William books. My mother threw all mine out in one of their moves and I have never been able to find any since. The Nicholls are great comfort reads. And a vivid shade of puce about the Bindle books. Good haul, Simon!

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    • September 23, 2014 at 5:37 pm
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      They crop up surprisingly often! We borrowed almost all of ours from the library as children, so I now need to fill up the shelves.
      Green and puce! Oh dear…

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  • September 22, 2014 at 6:47 am
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    Well done, you! The Bindle books sound great. Must read those.

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    • September 23, 2014 at 5:41 pm
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      If Patricia Brent, Spinster is anything to go by, they'll be wonderful – I'll report back!

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  • September 22, 2014 at 7:52 am
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    Of this collection have read only two of the three Crompton's and that was about 50 years ago. I have lots of faults but book envy isn't one of them :-)

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    • September 23, 2014 at 5:42 pm
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      I would have had you down as a William fan – as all the best people are!

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  • September 22, 2014 at 8:27 am
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    I found that bookshop while on holiday in Suffolk last year. A real little gem. Enjoy the reads.

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    • September 23, 2014 at 5:43 pm
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      Isn't it wonderful? I did my best to keep him in business for a while. And it took me an age to find the fiction room, so I was there for a lonnnng time.

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  • September 22, 2014 at 8:39 am
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    The Hoult book had a bad review in 1930!

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    • September 23, 2014 at 5:43 pm
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      Ha! Ok! I suspect every book has at least one bad review, so I'll cope with that.

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  • September 22, 2014 at 9:35 am
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    Amazing! I've only read Lucy Carmichael, and it is my favourite Kennedy to date. Many of the others I would have picked up too, and I also have a fine selection of unread books by Beverley Nichols.

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    • September 23, 2014 at 5:45 pm
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      I'm glad I'm not the other one to stockpile BNs – without wanting to enrage my US readers, they do turn up a lot. And thanks for the vote of confidence for Lucy Carmichael – others seem to agree too, hurray!

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    • September 23, 2014 at 5:45 pm
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      Hurray for Lucy Carmichael! I've seen lots of recommendations, so I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

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  • September 22, 2014 at 1:25 pm
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    Amazing haul, Simon. And I have read NONE of them. Zero.

    Have a wonderful time with them.

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    • September 23, 2014 at 5:46 pm
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      Thanks Susan! I do try to pick obscure things off bookshelves :)

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  • September 22, 2014 at 1:26 pm
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    And doesn't that sound like a music hall song… "The Books I Bought in Norfolk"

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    • September 23, 2014 at 5:47 pm
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      It sounds wonderful! And makes me thing 'How will you keep them down on the farm', for some reason…

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  • September 22, 2014 at 1:59 pm
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    I want to read Caravan now, just because of the title; and also the book etiquette book! That better be as great/awful as its description promises.

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    • September 23, 2014 at 5:48 pm
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      That was what made me buy it!
      I loves me a fake etiquette book. I hope it's funny enough…

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  • September 22, 2014 at 4:40 pm
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    I believe I have a copy if better bed manners, invaluable advice regarding yachts if it's the same one. Pretty sure I have the Radcliffe Hall fir exactly the same reason you do, and the Vita, I've actually read the Betty Smith (excellent) . Might have read the Beverly Nichols, he gets a but same after a while, but is funny when he's on form, and I would love to see the inside of the poetry collection. Nice haul.

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    • September 23, 2014 at 5:49 pm
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      I'll keep an eye out on yacht info! I also now have Bed Manners (worse?) which has just been reprinted by Shire Books.

      I'm glad we have the same ethos about book buying!

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  • September 22, 2014 at 5:56 pm
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    Oh my! What wonderful books Simon. And a Beverley I've not read or got (well actually – I just went and clickety-clicked it so I shall have it soon….) Read a Beverley – this one or any one!!!!! :)

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    • September 23, 2014 at 5:49 pm
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      Ha! You bought it already, excellent work :)
      I will, oh I will… maybe to fill an ACOB gap later in the year.

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  • September 23, 2014 at 9:08 am
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    I've read the Williams (have a collection that belonged to my father) and the Lucy Carmichael is wonderful, and I've just confused Heritage with The Heir, so I haven't read that… ;-) What a great haul.

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    • September 23, 2014 at 5:50 pm
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      Oh, I love The Heir so much! I hope Heritage is anywhere near as good.

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  • September 23, 2014 at 10:23 am
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    wonderful selection simon ,not read any but had read a couple of William books as a kid .

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  • September 23, 2014 at 8:20 pm
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    Lucy Carmichael! I loved it – had a copy years ago.

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  • September 24, 2014 at 9:53 am
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    Have you never read The Well of Loneliness? Definitely in your period and wonderful. Do!

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  • September 25, 2014 at 2:48 pm
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    I don't think you ever grow out of William. I've found the lot quite easily over the years. Funny as they are, the Jennings books make me laugh more.
    If you read just one Beverley Nichols book, do make it Down the Garden Path, my favourite.

    I'm neither green nor puce but you do seem to find some good SHBS!

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  • September 25, 2014 at 9:05 pm
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    Just William! Wow, that takes me back. When I was little the children's section in our town library was really outdated, which meant they had lots of Just William and lots of the Oz books. They seemed to think that was a bad thing and had a huge revamp when I was about 11 and I was gutted that they'd got rid of all those amazing old books.

    I haven't read any of the others, though I can tell you that one of my favourite children's books was by Beverley Nichols. Never read his adult books though.

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  • September 30, 2014 at 6:12 pm
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    Jane archivist
    I think you should read Beverly Nichols- then tell us if we should read OUR unread books by him! Recently I've been glutting on accounts of the Edwardian era, starting with 'Mrs Ronnie' by Sian Evans- the biography of the society hostess who owned Polesden lacey and gave all her diamonds to the Queen Mother, which was unputdownable.
    All the bibliographies in my Edwardian books cite Nichols, but like you I have not read any.

    I hope this comment appears on your blog- I've been reading you for ages, but have not managed to find a way to comment, so I signed up to follow you and hope I now have entry to your World!

    Reply

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