Well, Midsummer’s Day has been and gone, though the weather has been so dreadful if feels as if summer has never even arrived. June is over, and July is here. And even if the weather doesn’t improve, I can curl up on the sofa and tackle the TBR pile, which should last me well into the Autumn, and I am determined that there shall be No More Books until the pile has been whittled down. Yes, I know I’ve said that before, but there is nothing wrong with saying it again...
Actually, it’s not an untidy stack of books any longer, or won’t be when I’ve finished reorganising. Nor will TBRs be wedged into gaps on the book shelves, or stuffed on the top of other books. No, in future they will have a home of their own. Elder Daughter having moved in with her boyfriend, The Man Of The House and I are turning her room into a kind of study for my needlework/embroidery, his music (there are 11 stringed instruments and a melodeon in our dining room) – and books! And there are three small shelves where she once stored cosmetic lotions and potions, which are just perfect to for all those books waiting to be read.
So here’s what I plan to read over the next few weeks. First up is Tove Jansson, best known for her books about the Moomins, which I seem to have missed. But she also wrote for adults, and I came across The Winter Book while I was pricing books in the Oxfam Shop, so I bought it, read it, thoroughly enjoyed it, and started writing a review – then came across The Summer Book, which I haven’t read yet, but I will post a joint review when I have!
I am finally going to read EM Delafield’s Diary of a Provincial Lady, and I also have The War-Worker on Kindle, and a copy of Provincial Daughter, by her daughter RM Dashwood, which I have been saving until I’ve read Delafield.
Ada Leverson’s Love’s Shadow was in the library, and I couldn’t resist it, as it’s one of those ‘forgotten’ classics published by The Bloomsbury Group, with a lovely cover, and an Ex Libris page. A friend of Oscar Wilde, who called her Sphinx, she was the first person to greet him when he was released from jail, when he told her: “How marvelous of you to know exactly the right hat to wear at seven o’clock in the morning to meet a friend who has been away.” After reading that in ‘A Note On The Author’, I feel I must read this and fin out more about Leverson.
I also borrowed Mrs Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf, and I’ve got To The Lighthouse, which has been languishing on shelf for many years, since I read Woolf as a teenager, but didn’t like her, and failed to get understand her writing. Recently I’ve read some of her essays, and excerpts from her letters and diaries, and thought they were wonderful – but was still wary of the novels. Then Rachel at http://bookssnob.wordpress.com/ published a post on ‘Between the Acts’, which she found very rewarding. Since her experience of Woolf mirrored mine, and since she recommended jumping straight in, I thought maybe this is the right time to try again.
Then I’ve got a couple of old Penguins I’ve been meaning to read for quite some time. There’s Farewell Victoria, by TH White, who is famous for ‘The Once and Future King’, his take on the Arthurian legends, which I adore. I have no idea what this will be like, but it was published in 1945 and has a wonderful picture of a dancing Penguin on the front, which I feel was an excellent reason to buy it. I wish the company had kept that logo – it’s such fun, and makes me smile every time I see it. Kate O’Brien’s Without My Cloak, is a family saga, published in 1949, and it has a dust jacket – another good reason for buying a book!
It’s always good to read something new, and I notice Claire from http://thecaptivereader.wordpress.com/ and Nan, from http://lettersfromahillfarm.blogspot.co.uk/ are both taking part in a Canadian Reading Challenge, which made realise that the only Canadian authors I have ever read are Margaret Atwood, LM Montgomery, and Guy Gavriel Kay (and I only know he’s Canadian because Claire mentions him in her post). I’m not taking part in the challenge, but if anyone can recommend a good read by a Canadian writer, please let me know!
Paris in July is another interesting challenge, hosted by Karen from BookBath and Tamara from Thyme For Tea. With this one you can read a book, watch a film, listen music, eat and drink – anything you want as long as there’s a French connection. So, since it’s July, and since I love Paris, I might just join in.
Finally Florence at http://missdarcyslibrary.wordpress.com/ is hosting a Rosamond Lehmann Reading Week from July 23 to 29 and, as I am very fond of this author, I have a couple of her books ready and waiting.
Of course, I may not stick to this list at all, because I still have some books I have read but not written about, and may get sidetracked by other TBRs (there seem to be a lot of them), or by old favourites that I absolutely have to read again. Then there’s the library to be browsed, and whilst I am determined not to buy new books, I haven’t actually said I won’t.