Sunday, 3 February 2008

January's books and catching up....

I'm not going to make any jokes about penguins, but I do enjoy the sight of all this orange; my favourites are the old-fashioned ones. Last week I was re-reading Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love, and the descriptions of "new" (in 1949) books in the back sent me off on a trawl through Abebooks to see what I could find. The results? Two books by Angela Thirkell, The Brandons and August Folly, one by Anne Bridge, Illyrian Spring, two more Mitford re-reads, Love in a Cold Climate and Don't Tell Alfred (either of which may yet turn up in the book depository that is our upstairs room) and an extra, E.Nesbit's The House of Arden, which Harriet Devine was writing about recently. (Oh dear, I just nipped over to check the URL to link from here, and I see she's mentioned another Nesbit, one I'm pretty sure I haven't read!) None of which are the books I meant to buy in early 2008, namely those Barbara Pym I haven't got and some more of Michael Gilbert's delightful crime novels.

January's books are listed here. There is a lot of catching up on reviews to do, with those for challenges being the most urgent - they are flagged here. My itinerant lifestyle ought to be conducive to writing reviews, except that I would then have to carry even more books about with me than I already do.
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (review pending)
  • Journey into Spring by Winston Clewes
  • To Let by John Galsworthy (review pending)
  • The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
  • Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai
  • Hamlet, Revenge! by Michael Innes
  • The Man Who Knew Too Much by G.K. Chesterton
  • Blade of the Immortal by Hiroaki Samura (review pending)
  • The Children of Shallowford by Henry Williamson - re-read
  • The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill
  • The Last Guardian of Everness by John C. Wright
  • The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers (review pending)
  • The Traitor's Sword by Amanda Hemingway
  • Dream Angus by Alexander McCall Smith
  • Dark Companion by Andre Norton (review pending)
  • Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons by Diana Henry
Canadian Book Challenge (ends 1 July 2008): 4 of 13 completed (1 review -still - pending)
Outmoded Authors Challenge (ends 29 February 2008): 7 of 9 completed
Young Adult Challenge (runs 1 January-31 December 2008): 1 completed (review pending)
From the Stacks Reading Challenge: 4 out of 5 completed (3 reviews pending)
I'm also participating in the Short Story Reading Challenge, extending my six months' of story reading to a year.

Last year's books are here.

Links are mainly to reviews on this site; the occasional book on country topics (including novels and cookery books) is reviewed on Cat Musings.


  1. I can't wait to hear what you thought of 'Traitor's Sword'. You've reminded me that I ought to go over to Hemingway's web-site and see if there's anything else on the way. I hope so.

  2. Sounds like a great list to me. I too yet to catch up with a few of my reviews.

    BTW, I have tagged you for a meme!! You will like it!

  3. That's an impressive list of books, no wonder you haven't written about them all yet. I'm behind with mine too.

  4. TT, I think I will leave The Traitor's Sword until I've read the last book, and talk about the whole trilogy. I've been saving up the pleasure of the last, I'm afraid.

    Gautami, I shall be straight over to have a look.

    Booksplease, I enjoy writing about books but it does take time! And then there's reading what everyone else is saying, too.

  5. Wow, what a list!

    I'm spending way too much time blog-hopping - how is it possible that my reading list is practically endless and yet I still encounter millions of books that I've never even heard of?? Maybe i should leave the computer and go read, eh? ;-)

    I saw Cloud Atlas on one of your lists, I'm curious to see what you make of it!

  6. Joanna, welcome. I love the way I keep discovering new books on other people's blogs. Cloud Atlas - hmm, I got stuck on it once before, though I liked his other books. I'm not in a desperate hurry to start again.

  7. Did you get stuck on the first part? It's worth getting through, I promise! It's such an original book, really worth getting through the more difficult bits. It's one of my favorites.

  8. Hi Joanna - I got about 2/3 through the book and got stick there. I will try again and let you know how I get on.

  9. Adored The Pursuit of Love, and have the two sequels waiting for me on the shelf... I have two copies of The Brandons on my shelf, but have yet to read either of them. Loved the Angela Thirkell's I *have* read (Wild Strawberries, Growing Up, Northbridge Rectory) but somehow never get around to reading more.

  10. SiaB, I think I liked August Folly so much I can foresee a long pursuit through Abebooks in search of others. While I was reading it I thought, I'm sure Simon would like this...