Since I last posted I’ve:
- caught up with the Thursday Next series (fingers crossed there is more coming),
- confirmed my good opinion of Alice Munro with her second and third published books (Lives of girls and women and The beggar maid: stories of Flo and Rose respectively),
- succumbed to the predictable pleasures of chicklit with Sophie Kinsella’s latest, Remember Me?
- raced through Reginald Hill’s A cure for all diseases, a Dalziel and Pascoe novel up to his usual high standard although sadly not featuring Ellie and Rosie Pascoe,
- continued with my annual Austen re-read/ love-in,
- and laughed my way through Kate Atkinson’s One good turn, a superb follow up to Case Histories which lives up to its subtitle A Jolly Murder Mystery.
Amidst all the Easter festivities, I spent one afternoon book buying (or binging!) and came home with:
Second-hand, from the top:
1. Pistache: a collection of fanciful, satirical and surprising parodies, squibs and pastiches by Sebastian Faulks- for a literary laugh.
2. Seducers in Ecuador and The Heir by Vita Sackville-West- two novellas, the first about an Englishman’s holiday in Egyt, the second an insurance salesman who inherits a Tudor house. I’ve long meant to read something by Vita Sackville-West and I find the green Viragos hard to resist.
3. Love letters chosen by Antonia Fraser- 135 letters from the famous and not-so-famous, covering beginnings and endings, ecstasies to jealousies, declarations to rejections. I hope this book will encourage me to read some other letter collections languishing on my shelves (by Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Conan Doyle and the Mitfords, to name a few).
4. Imagined London: A tour of the world’s greatest fictional city by Anna Quindlen- how could a literary Anglophile resist?
5. The essential Carmel Bird- a short story collection by one of my favourite Australian authors.
6. Difficulties with girls by Kingsley Amis- I’m looking forward to re-visiting Patrick Standish, Jenny Bunn and co in this sequel to the hilarious Girls like you.
New, from the top:
1. The bay of noon by Shirley Hazzard- a tale of four friends in war-torn Naples by another favourite Australian author.
2. The wig my father wore, and at the bottom, The Portable Virgin, both by Anne Enright. I avoided The Gathering, possibly unjustly, as yet another Irish misery memoir. The premise of both Anne Enright’s first novel and first book of short stories sound intriguing, so if they are any good I may read The Gathering after all.
3. Interpreter of maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri- I’d like to see what all the fuss is about, and need to read some short stories by someone other than Alice Munro!
All just part of my lovely weekend which will soon (sadly) be over.