Oops, over the past week I seem to have acquired 14 books - how embarrassing. First I went to the Shelter shop on Forest Road during my Edinburgh trip. Because it's beside the University, you get a good class of second-hand book in there, and they have what they call their "vintage" shelf: not very large, but I've picked up some good things there over the years. This week I found:
The shop assistant, when I handed it over, said "Oh, I love this book!" - isn't it lovely when that happens? So much of the pleasure of reading is in sharing books. And then my mother said that she used to share a flat with one of the Frankaus (sister, I think) so she wants to read it after me - as the title suggests, the theatre figures largely.
E. Arnot Robertson wrote Ordinary Families
, which is a lovely coming-of-age novel, although rather more "knowing" than some. I think this sounds more melodramatic, about a young woman who falls obsessively in love with a bad lot (never trust an author...).
I recently reviewed The Constant Nymph
, and I've read another excellent book by Kennedy, The Ladies of Lyndon
, so I picked this up without even stopping to see what it's about. It seems to be a sort of Jekyll-and-Hyde novel about a Regency MP: intriguing!
LibraryThing very helpfully recommend this to me; pretty sure I read it as a child, the title seems very familiar. The four Gareth children are sent to Ireland for a holiday with their eccentric great-aunt. Can't go wrong really, and Streatfeild is such a sympathetic observer of children.
William Marshall wrote 16 Yellowthread Street mysteries. I reviewed The Hatchet Man recently. I've read maybe 7 or 8, and I have to have them all.
I went to hear the author, Jane Urquhart, talk about her new book, Sanctuary Line
, with its beautiful cover, and of course I immediately wanted to read it.
I love Charles Williams - Narnia for grown-ups! And very much an acquired taste. It, and the remaining books, came from the Oxfam Bookshop in Bloomsbury - not quite the range of choice I'd hoped for (I wanted more old hardbacks, whereas its strength lies more in recent paperbacks, but I didn't have time to go further afield).
Whereas Dornford Yates is a giggle, Buchan without the seriousness, if you can imagine such a thing - which gives you some idea, perhaps, just what a bit of froth this is. There are lots of cars, and chases round an English countryside populated by yokels who touch their caps and answer respectfully when spoken to.
Anyone who's read A Dog So Small
or Tom's Midnight Garden
will know that Philippa Pearce writes magically for children. I expect this to be enchanting.
Robert Westall is a different kind of children's writer, and one who can be very frightening indeed - The Wind Eye
was utterly chilling. I'd never heard of this, and have high hopes.
I don't know how many times I've read A Candle for St Jude
, but I've never owned a copy.
This and the next are books I know nothing about - just that they are by authors I like.
Finally, I read this while I was still in London and, along with lots of other bloggers I know, loved it. What a glorious little book! I'll write about it during the week.
Several of this haul are immediately destined for the Century of Books, and I'm already finding myself checking the publication date to see if it's a year I need, and agonising if not. At which point I decided that, if I want to talk about more than one book in any year, I shall just go ahead and do so! The only requirement will be that every year must eventually be covered. I'm afraid the Century has become the latest obsession (I've read ten and a half books for it already), closely followed by Hurlyburlybuss
, for which I can see a new list developing, of cross-over books like The Brontes Went to Woolworths
, which I would have adored when I was 14 or so.