Off I went to London, specifically on a book-buying mission. I’ve been buying books in a piecemeal way lately, which means I buy
one three and then read them, and last week I ended up with nothing to read. Ok, not that that is ever strictly true, there are certainly a dozen books here that I haven’t read; but none of them was what I wanted to read next. And I hate that, it gives me lack-of-book angst and makes me pace fretfully.
Proper book buying was definitely in order. I can tell you, print ain’t dead. Not in this house. Although, I may shortly have to build a bookshelf in the car, ‘cos fer the gods know where else this lot will go. Why aren’t houses built with proper storage these days? Every decent Georgian mansion had an enormous library with floor to ceiling shelves.
The Blackwell’s Order
Not strictly part of the day’s shopping, but I collected the package on my way to the train station, so they get added to the count.
- The Out of Office Girl – Nicola Doherty. This arrived mid-week, so I’ve read it.
- Ulverton – Adam Thorpe. Haven’t read this in year but remember it as being very good. I had totally forgotten I’d ordered this, so it’s lucky I didn’t buy it again from the LRB bookshop.
- Dolly – Susan Hill
- The Land of Decoration – Grace McCleen. For which I’m sure I saw a load of good reviews, I just don’t remember where.
The Persephone Haul
Stupidly, I forgot to take the list of books I already have with me. This is more complicated than you would think, because I had a bunch of Persephones that I gave away when I moved to the US, not all of which I remember. So I’m a little hazy on the current status of what I own and what I don’t and had to play safe. These will have a safe home on the beams, along with the other Persephones.
- The Persephone Book of Short Stories – I wasn’t sure about this because I know some of the stories have been in the Persephone Bi-Annual. But, the list looks good.
- Bricks and Mortar – Helen Ashton. Which I think is going to be one of those domestic novels about nothing in particular, and therefore about everything.
- The Closed Door and Other Stories – Dorothy Whipple. Can’t go wrong with Whipple.
The LRB bookshop treats
- Gold – Chris Cleave. I’ve enjoyed his other novels, was slightly put off this by some of the reviews, but now it’s been long enough that I’ve forgotten them.
- A Time of Gifts – Patrick Leigh Fermor. Classic travel writing, so I was going to get there eventually.
- The Confusion – Neil Stephenson. I’ve been feeling for a while that I ought to read more Stephenson but I find his stuff really daunting. This looks a bit easier.
- The Standing Pool – Adam Thorpe. Terrible cover (shame on you, Vintage!) but I overcame my objections.
- The Dwarves of Death – Jonathan Coe. I find Coe a bit hit and miss but I liked the title and it seemed like it was going to be a mystery story. I read a bit over lunch, and indeed, some dwarves have killed someone.
More than Slightly Foxed
And, stupidly, I forgot to take along a list of the issues of the Slightly Foxed quarterly that I’m missing. Oh noes, that may mean another trip to Gloucester Road.
- Black Narcissus – Rumer Godden. I’ve never read any of her adult stories, and they are just being beautifully reissued by Virago.
- The Ballad and the Source – Rosamund Lehmann. No real idea what this is like, but it’s an old Virago and I like Lehmann.
- Ghost Stories. The Everyman Pocket Classics are so damn pretty I could buy the set, even though I have no interest in sea stories or golf stories. This one has an awesome picture of a bat on the back and most of the stories are new to me.