13 September 2015

Hoarding, History, and Horror...or, Bookish This & That

My wonderful friends at work have once again yielded to my pleas of banding together for another read-along.  It's also a slight distraction from the fact that our days of wearing sandals are numbered.  I'm not quite sure if they allow me to choose the title because they trust my taste in reading material or want a simple life but I've chosen Sarah Waters' Fingersmith from the book club kits and everyone seems quite keen.  A cosy nook in a pub has been booked for our wrap-up discussion.  Live music starts at nine o'clock so we'll try our best to stay on track before losing members to Top 40.

In other bookish news, there's a new bookshop in town.  Froogal sells remainders so my husband and I grabbed the opportunity to stock the bookcase with a few contemporary titles.  Their 'Buy Two, Get One Free' deal as an opening special made supporting the new shop very easy.

Raise your hand if you've obsessed about a book that you already know will be tucked on a shelf and read...oh, in a year, or three...but bought anyway.

A London Year is that book.  The tiny *cough*  bit of book hoarder in me is very happy now that it's mine.  There are so many ways to enjoy this book, such as dipping in and out, but my preference is to binge on it as a whole.  The kettle is on...I could easily be swayed to dig in right now!

A cover that screams R.I.P. X, don't you think?  It wouldn't be October without a spooky Gothic read and judging by the number of people pondering their own choices for this read-along, many readers feel the same way.  The Asylum is by John Harwood.

Books like this simply don't cross your path that often.  Keep Smiling Through covers aspects of the Home Front through photographs, advertisements, comics, posters, and art.  It's also full of anecdotal tidbits and names I'm familiar with...

"...and it was not until 26 March 1945 that the last V2 fell (as apocalyptically as any) on the Whitfield Tabernacle in Tottenham Court Road.  'No bombs, ain't it lovely?'  Vere Hodgson wrote in her diary a few days later."

Vere Hodgson's wartime diary Few Eggs and No Oranges is a favourite and highly recommended if you're interested in that era.

So a mixed-bag of offerings but that's what's new on the shelf.  Have you chosen your R.I.P. X title yet?


  1. That thing we're supposed to raise our hands about? In the words of Gilbert & Sullivan, 'What never? Hardly ever.' (Um, often.) What Really Matters...was one of my favorite books the year I read it.... sounds like a lovely new bookstore.

    1. I remember Rachel (Book Snob) really enjoying it as well! I had a copy in my hand one night when a group of us were in Toronto for BuskerFest. Thinking better of carrying it all night, I put it back on the shelf. It was time to rectify the remorse!
      John Mullan is always fascinating to listen to so I'm thrilled when he pops up on one of my books podcasts. Glad you enjoyed the book, Audrey!

  2. I loved the John Mullan 'What Matters in Austen'. I know there is a new Austen critical work out every week it seems, but this is one of the best. It's fun to read, too. I hope you post a review (in two or three years!)

    1. I love non-fiction, but you're so right - it has to be fun. A friend of mine's son has just arrived at UCL for post-grad English. I can't wait to find out if J will ever cross paths with Mr Mullan. Lucky young man...

  3. Replies
    1. I broke the news to a friend at work who was away on holiday and missed the opening. She drove straight over after work and has been back a couple of times already. I can hear the bookshelves groaning, Claire.
      I just love it - to everyone who thought ereaders would finish the print trade...pppfffttt.