Hello – I hope all of you who celebrate had a lovely Christmas.
It would seem that I got all the books.
Huge thanks to all the people who knowing me so well got me books I would love. The books are not arranged in any order in the picture – just randomly spread on the floor while I wondered where on my two shelves I allow for my tbr they were to be put. (I have culled about ten books – it had to be done).
One book not pictured because I have already read it and it is sitting snuggly in my Persephone bookcase is Because of the Lockwoods by Dorothy Whipple, which I received from Catherine, a member of the Birmingham bookcrossing group – though she doesn’t actually live in Birmingham – as part of a wonderful (not so) secret Santa gift. Along with that wonderful book I received from Catherine, was the Persephone diary for 2015 and two more books Love’s Civil War edited by Victoria Gelndinning the letters of Elizabeth Bowen and Charles Ritchie, and To the North by Elizabeth Bowen.
A secret Santa gift from work (we provide lists of ideas) was Orlando by Virginia Woolf which my book group will be reading in February, a very attractive Penguin edition, I’m very happy with.
My friends and relatives know that I am just as happy with second hand books as new. They provide brilliant stocking fillers – and seeing so many of things I like to read are out of print – they are essential to my reading. From Liz I received three books – A new Persephone A London Child of the 1870’s by Molly Hughes which looks excellent it’s been on my Persephone wishlist forever. I now have about 73 Persephone books – and never loose my enthusiasm for these beautiful books. Liz also got me an original Virago edition of One Way of Love by Gamel Woolsey – which looks very interesting and an old penguin crime novel The Wife of Ronald Sheldon by Patrick Quentin, I do like a bit of vintage crime (the modern stuff leaves me cold). My friend Gill got me a nice new copy of Holiday by Stanley Middleton, which I have been meaning to read for years, and of which I have heard very good things. My mum also got me a few second hand stocking fillers (she has some good charity bookshops near her, I should visit more often, or maybe not) The Innocence of Father Brown by G K Chesterton, I read a few of these before but not all of them, Death at the President’s lodging by Michael Innes and Who was changed and who was Dead by Barbara Comyns – an original Virago green too.
Which brings me to the Librarything Virago group secret Santa (and for those of us in the group who take part – probably the package we get most excited about). I was thoroughly overwhelmed, Karen totally spoiled me. I was thrilled with the carefully chosen books – each of them perfect for me. Karen got me: The Small Widow by Janet McNeill a brand new book I was excited to receive and will probably get read quite soon. I also received two Nina Bawden books; In my Own Time (an autobiography) and Circles of Deceit. Knowing my love of Mary Hocking Karen got me Family Circle –which I think looks excellent, these books are only available second hand as no one has thought to re-issue her books. Wait there’s more – I also got an original green edition of Crossriggs by Jane and Mary Findlater, a brand new edition of The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr ( a Sherlock Holmes mystery – I adore Holmes) and finally a small book of essays by Mark Forsyth called The Unknown Unknown, there was also a very pretty little notebook and bookmark.
Thoroughly spoiled by Karen, I felt very blessed indeed on Christmas day to have so many people in my life, who understand my book obsession. From my friend Sorcha I received a book token, and my sister got me a Persephone voucher for 2 books.
All of which brings me to this…
My current to be reads – I am determined to not have a tbr of more than two shelves – which means I have about four shelves squished onto two, books in front of books behind, others piled on top – means I can’t actually see most of the books and start to forget what I have. I have just moved a few around – bringing a few books I have had ages to the front, but it feels to exhausting to rearrange all of them there are too many – I remind myself it’s a nice problem to have.
So what bookish delights did Santa bring you? Did you get even more than me?