It’s been a very slow reading week for me frustratingly – so no book review for another day or two – still I have some lovely new things to share with you.
I do like to think I have my family well trained – and this was proved to be the case when my sister telephoned me from a second hand bookshop the other weekend. They had, she declared excitedly several green spine viragos – she proceeded to read out the titles – there were three I didn’t have – and so she bought them for me and I took delighted possession the other day. Such gorgeous covers they make me drool. I got:
Susan Spray by Sheila Kaye-Smith
Familiar Passions by Nina Bawden
The Quest for Christa T. by Christa Wolf – a book I remember Kaggsy reviewed enthusiastically.
Their arrival has served to remind me just how many lovely green viragos I own which I have yet to read – piles of them frankly. Maybe I should try to read one or two each month? – but no! no more reading challenges – that way lies madness!
I seem quite good at winning books on Twitter – and another one offered by Serpent’s Tail arrived at my house on my birthday. It looks fabulous; All Day Long by Joanna Biggs – a portrait of Britain at work – I will be dipping into it over the next couple of weeks alongside my fiction read. As the author explains at the end of the first chapter;
“… what follows is a portrait – fragmentary, personal, fleeting – of the UK at the beginning of the twenty-first century. We may love our work, hate our work, find meaning in our work, or none, but it’s what we do all day long, and it shapes us.”
As I mentioned it was my birthday on Wednesday – not a special one or anything – just another year older and all that. My family bought me a lovely combination of theatre tickets, two shows the week after next (The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and The Curious Incident of the dog in the night-time), and Mary Hocking books. The Mary Hocking books I received are:
Daniel Come to Judgement (1974) a first edition, and The Sparrow – a 1975 printing of Mary Hocking’s 1964 novel of conflict. The inscription inside this novel offers a tantalising possibility – which the realist in me acknowledges is highly unlikely to be my Mary (as I have come to call her) as I think authors generally sign both their names even when they know the person they are signing a book to. This brings the total number of Mary Hocking novels I have waiting to be read to six – I shall be spoiled for choice during Mary Hocking reading week when I hope to read two.
Now time for a little plea – on the behalf of someone else I hasten to add. You may remember that Kat and I both reviewed an excellent literary biography recently by Wendy Pollard; Pamela Hansford Johnson, her life, work and times. I have been contacted by Wendy again who tells me that her book has been nominated for the People’s book prize in the non-fiction category. You don’t need to have bought or read the book to vote for it, so if you are a fan of literary biographies, or have been interested enough to add the book to your wish lists then I know Wendy would appreciate a vote. As she says
“…this would help enormously in our joint aim to want Pamela Hansford Johnson’s achievements to be fully acknowledged. I also want to emphasize a vote for my book is a vote for literary biography – two words very unpopular with publishers at present, but still, as your blogs prove, in favour with the reading public.”
You can vote for Pamela Hansford Johnson her life, work and times here (you do have to register etc. to vote).