I’m back! Thank you for your lovely comments on my previous post – and for those of you who emailed/Facebooked/tweeted because of Blogger being so hopeless with comments. Any sort of communication is always a delight :)
I had such a wonderful time in Washington DC (and bits of Virginia and Maryland too). I’ll be writing more about the trip soon, including meeting up with a whole heap of bloggers, but I’ll start with what you really want to know: the books I bought.
Well, dear readers, I bought a heck of a lot. 34, I think. And, since I’d brought 7 books with me, that meant carrying more than 40 to the airport – and a substantial percentage were crammed in my hand luggage. It was quite the feat. And… here they are, with a little bit about why I bought them. As always, do comment (or email/tweet etc.!) if you have read any, want to know more about any, etc. etc.
The World in Falseface – George Jean Nathan
I was partly drawn to the prettiness and neat size of this book, but (less shallowly), it’s about the theatre, and I always love that.
The Small Room – May Sarton
Big-time May Sarton fan Thomas (from My Porch) wasn’t even with me when I picked this up – but it seemed like it could be a fun one.
Last Leaves – Stephen Leacock
A Leacock I didn’t own, to join the piles of Leacock books I’ve yet to read… In fact, I don’t think I’ve read any for about ten years, so must get onto that.
Nabokov’s Butterfly – Rick Gekoski
A book about books – specifically book dealing with 20th-century classics. Called Tolkien’s Gown in the UK, I think.
The Pilgrim Hawk – Glenway Wescott
Someone recommended this… Anyway, an NYRB Classic and an intro by Michael Cunningham sold me on it.
Alien Hearts – Guy de Maupassant
And another beautiful NYRB by an author I’ve been intending to read.
Portrait of an English Nobleman – E.F. Benson
Janet – E.F. Benson
Two in a series EFB wrote about different periods in London, with beautiful dustjackets.
The Shelf – Phyllis Rose
Non-fiction, about an experiment where Phyllis Rose decided to read everything on the LEQ-LES shelf of the New York library. I read this one while in DC, and it’s BRILLIANT. More soon.
Soap Behind the Ears
Nuts in May
The Ape in Me
Dithers and Jitters
Family Circle – Cornelia Otis Skinner
I really loved Popcorn by Cornelia Otis Skinner (and I’m going to write about it soon) but she’s quite tricky to track down in the UK. So I had a parcel of Skinner books delivered to my friend’s address, to take away with me…
Barrel Fever – David Sedaris
Naked – David Sedaris
Sedaris is another one who is readily available in the US, and a little less so here.
Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House – Eric Hodgins
This one went on my Amazon wishlist ages ago, and I can’t remember why. But this edition is a beauty, and the two things combined made it irresistible.
Classics for Pleasure – Michael Dirda
Book about books = sold.
Why I Read – Wendy Lesser
Benefits Forgot – G.E. Stern
A really beautiful copy of one of Stern’s memoirs – which are piling up on my shelves now.
Bookends – Leona Rostenberg and Madeleine Stern
I enjoyed their book about friendship and book dealing, and, well – this one seems to be about the same thing.
The Ironing Board – Christopher Morley
Morley is everywhere in the US, and I nabbed this fun-looking collection.
By Nightfall – Michael Cunningham
On the plane, I read the Cunningham novel I bought last time I was in the US (A Home at the End of the World) so I thought I should replace it with another!
Mr Whittle and the Morning Star – Robert Nathan
The Enchanted Voyage – Robert Nathan
And last time I bought, read, and really enjoyed Robert Nathan’s Portrait of Jennie – so, this trip, I took the opportunity to buy a couple more.
Absence of Mind – Marilynne Robinson
I’ve never really tried any of Robinson’s non-fiction works (and am rather daunted by them). This one is on theology and science, and maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to give it a go.
Family Man – Calvin Trillin
Remembering Denny – Calvin Trillin
Trillin is another author to be found everywhere in the US, and these two caught my attention – particularly the intriguing Remembering Denny, about a high school star who came to nothing.
Literary Feuds – Anthony Arthur
I can’t lie, I love a literary feud…
Letters from the Editor – Harold Ross
I also love a collection of letters, and this one from the man who set up the New Yorker promises to be the best of the literary 1920s.
The Year of Reading Proust – Phyllis Rose
Another book by Rose that I bought and read while in America. It’s even made me think about give old Marcel a try…
The Faithful Servants – Margery Sharp
Despite intending to only buy books that were hard to find in the UK, I couldn’t leave this lovely Sharp behind.
Two-Part Invention – Madeleine L’Engle
This is another one that was on my Amazon wishlist for ages and I don’t remember how it got there – but now it’s all mine!
More on the bookshops, people, and activities soon – but, for now, let me know your thoughts on my purchases!