We were in Edinburgh earlier in the week, avoiding Princes Street we made straight for Stockbridge, my favourite haunt for second-hand bookshops, but strangely I wasn’t that lucky there. I bought a small copy of
1. The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr. For some reason this one eluded me through my childhood and that of my own boys. Mind you as it was first published in 1968 I would have been deemed to be too old for it back then. It’s a charming story though and I love the illustrations. After reading Judith Kerr’s wartime reminiscences in Bombs Fell on Aunt Dainty and When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, I had to get this one.
2. Tortoise by Candlelight by Nina Bawden is a Virago but was first published in 1963. According to The Observer it’s – ‘An exceptional picture of disorganised family life … imaginative, tender, with a welcome undercurrent of toughness’.
Driving across the city to Morninsgide I was amazed to see four Persephone books in the Oxfam bookshop, they almost never appear second-hand. Unfortunately I already had two of them, but I quickly snapped up-
3. Greenery Street by Denis Mackail. I’ve been meaning to read this one for years so it’ll probably jump quite high up the TBR queue.
4. The Runaway by Elizabeth Anna Hart -which I must admit I’ve never even heard of.
I also bought a copy of Shirley Jackson’s We have Always Lived in the Castle, thinking that I had never read this one, but it turned out I had. Oh well, last time I borrowed it from the library so it’s nice to have my own copy. Jack might want to read it at some point in the future.
Have you read any of these ones?
Last week we visited a booksale that occurs just one weekend in the year and the books in the photo above are about half of my haul.
1. Pigeon Pie by Nancy Mitford
2. Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck
3. Requiem for a Wren by Nevil Shute
4. The Foolish Gentlewoman by Margery Sharp
5. The Homicidal Colonel by Robert Player
6. Katherine Wentworth by D.E. Stevenson
7. Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer
8. The Case is Closed by Patricia Wentworth
9. The Lowlands of Scotland by George Scott-Moncrieff
As often happens- when I got home I realised that I already had a couple of the books, but not to worry I can pass them on to someone. The Lowlands of Scotland is one of them and my original copy doesn’t have a dust-jacket, I relly like the cover so I’m pleased I got it anyway.
The Patricia Wentworth book is a modern paperback but it looks like they have used an original cover from around 1937 when it was first published.
I’m particularly looking forward to reading the Steinbeck and Shute books. Have any of you read any of these books?
I recently gave in and bought a Kindle, I wasn’t at all sure I would like the experience of reading a whole book from a small screen. The thought of being able to get some books free was what swayed me really, especially out of print ones which can be difficult or expensive to get a hold of. I also wanted to cut down on my actual book purchases because they take up so much room and books are murder when you move house, loads of smallish boxes are the only way you can pack them really. I’ve made the mistake in the past of filling a medium sized box with books and then not been able to budge it because of the weight of them.
Anyway on our recent road trip I ended up bringing 18 books home with me, I just can’t go past a bookshop, especially a second-hand one, I have to go in, just in case there are some treasures within. The Alcester charity shop books were particularly good.
So this is what I bought.
Taken By The Hand – by O. Douglas
A Time of Gifts – by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Enough to Kill a Horse – by Elizabeth Ferrars
Tender is the Night – by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Anderby Wold – by Winifred Holtby
Kilvert’s Diary – by Francis Kilvert
We Were the Mulvaneys – by Joyce Carol Oates
The Last Chronicle of Fairacre – by Miss Read (3 books)
The Whiteoak Brothers – by Mazo de la Roche
He Knew He Was Right – by Anthony Trollope
The Duke’s Children by Anthony Trollope
Life at Blandings – by P.G. Wodehouse (3 books)
The Waves – by Virginia Woolf
and last but not least Marguerite Patten’s Every Day Cook Book – which is a replacement for the one which Jack bought me 37 years or so ago. My original copy has parted company with its cover, I must try to get it fixed though if only for sentimental reasons. A top tip is: If your chap buys you a cookery book it means he’s seriously struck on you and is planning on you looking after his stomach in the future. If you aren’t so enamoured of him – it’s time to skeedaddle!
During our trip to England Jack only bought –
Emperor – by Stephen Baxter
The View from Another Shore – (European Science Fiction) edited by Franz Rottensteiner
The Mammoth Book of Best New SF 23
Immortality – by Milan Kundera
Gentlemen of the Road – by Michael Chabon
The last two aren’t in the photo. Jack had put them in a separate place from the S.F.
I’ll probably read those two but I don’t think I’ll be reading any of his other ones although I do sometimes read S.F.
I could probably have got most of the books from my library too, except the Ferrars, Douglas and de la Roche. I even had the cheek to feel hard done by because I didn’t find any Angela Thirkell books on my travels, and bought one online when we got home. So my Kindle isn’t working in the way that I had hoped, I can’t get out of the book buying habit, whilst there are still bookshops around anyway!