Bookshelf Travelling – August 30th

Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times was originally hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness.

Classic Books

Jack took the above photo last week for his Bookshelf Travelling contribution, a wee bit of a cheat as it’s really a shelf full of my books! Anyway, I haven’t read them all but I have read and enjoyed the What Katy Did books by Susan Coolidge. This shelf houses What Katy Did Next and it was a Sunday School prize to Ina Scott in 1921. I don’t think I have a copy of What Katy Did nowadays, but I remember as I child that it left a deep impression on me and I swore that if I ever had any children I would always explain things to them – rather than just saying ‘No you can’t do that’.

I also really enjoyed reading The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett, much more recently. You can read what I thought of it here. Actually I see that it wasn’t all that recently it was 2013 when I read it – how time flies.

The other two books that I want to highlight are books that I’ve never got around to reading. Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley belonged to Jack’s Granny Margery Besford and she inscribed it in October 1909 when I think she was about 15. I have not a clue what this book is about. Westward Ho! is a town in England which is famous for being the only town in the UK which has an exclamation mark! It’s a lovely copy of the book and I really should put it on my Classics Club list.

The last one I want to talk about is The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade. Again it belonged to Margery Besford but she got this one as a Sunday School Prize in 1909 from St. Gabriel’s Church, Govan – which is an area of Glasgow. At one point, in the heady days when there were quite a lot of secondhand bookshops around they all seemed to have at least one copy of this book on their shelves so it was wildly popular in its day. It’s 533 pages of very small print – I might get around to reading it it one day.

I see that there are quite a lot of books by Rudyard Kipling too. I have read all of these ones I believe, he is wildly unfashionable now, I suppose because he is wrapped up with ‘British Empire’ days, but last year I was in the St Andrews secondhand bookshop and there was an Americam tourist (not that old either) who was absolutely thrilled to discover a whole set of old Kipling volumes, he was buying them no matter what the flight weight restrictions were, so somebody is still reading them.

Have you read any of these books? Click on the photo to see it enlarged.

Other Bookshelf Travellers are:

A Son of the Rock

Bitter Tea and Mystery

Books Please

Read – warbler

She Reads Novels

Stainless Steel Droppings

Staircase Wit

7 thoughts on “Bookshelf Travelling – August 30th

  1. I love the “Katy” stories and re-read them from time to time, they’re profound and sweet.

    I have a few Kipling volumes on my shelves: Kim, Puck of Pook’s Hill, The Just So Stories, Plain Tales from the Hills. I love his serious insights, gifted use of words, and humour. “The Arrest of Lieutenant Golightly” (from “Plain Tales”) had me writhing with laughter when I first read it!

  2. What lovely books. All of them are new to me except for the books by Rudyard Kipling, but I have not read those either.

    And thanks for listing the blogposts.

  3. I’ve never understood why the Katy books are so much more popular in the UK than in the US. I had only come across the first one as a child and I don’t think I read it more than once. They just weren’t readily available here but that’s a chicken and the egg question. As an adult, I learned there were five books in all and managed to collect them but I am not sure I have read the ones about Clover. If I can figure out where they are, that would be fun to do.

    • Constance,
      It’s a real mystery to me as to why they’re more popular in the UK, maybe the setting seems more exotic to us. I didn’t realise there were five of them.

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