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

Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times

For this week’s Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times meme which is hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness I’ve chosen some much older books.

The photo below is of a couple of my shelves for Scottish books. These ones are all of fairly ancient titles, but ones that I have loved reading in the past and will never get rid of.

Bookshelves

I went through a phase of reading J.M. Barrie’s books, it’s probably about 15 or 20 years ago now. Hardly anyone reads his work nowadays, beyond Peter Pan which is such a shame. In his day he was incredibly successful with his novels and his plays were wildly popular in the theatre. I particularly loved his The Little Minister, Tommy and Grizel and Sentimental Tommy.

John Buchan wrote a lot more books than The Thirty Nine Steps, I have just a few of them really. I haven’t read all of these ones yet, but Greenmantle is my favourite so far.

A.J Cronin was a local GP in Dumbarton where I grew up, although at some point he gave that up to concentrate on his very successful writing career – and moved to Switzerland, probably for tax reasons. But he still supported the local football team. Possibly his best known book is The Spanish Gardener which was made into a film starring Dirk Bogarde. It’s well worth watching too.

O. Douglas who was also known as Anna Buchan was John Buchan’s sister. Her books are real comfort reads, a step back to what seemed to be a simpler time, on the surface anyway. Like many Scottish female novelists she often writes about the making of a home and there’s usually a group of children to be loved by someone who isn’t a mother, but becomes a mother figure. One little boy is usually absolutely adored. I couldn’t help thinking that it was a real pity that Anna Buchan never married and had children, but she wrote her own families, which might have been some solace I suppose.

These authors are all well worth reading and Anna Buchan, John Buchan and J.M. Barrie’s books are available on Project Gutenberg, it’s strange that Cronin’s aren’t, but maybe they are still in copyright.

Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times

Judith at Reading in the Wilderness hosts – Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times

This week I’m looking at some of my arty books which are situated in bookshelves in the sun room. Art books are often the sort of books that people dip into now and again but rarely read from cover to cover all at once – or is that just me?

Hand, Heart and Soulcover

Hand, Heart and Soul by Elizabeth Cumming is about the Arts and Crafts movement in Scotland. Unlike many arty books this one has a lot of information in it, but it also has plenty of photos of stained glass, embroideries, furniture, paintings, interiors and more. I’ve read bits of it and probably forgotten those bits so I really should get down to it again.


A Treasury of the Great Children's Book Illustrators cover

A Treasury of the Great Children’s Book Illustrators by Susan Meyer. It features Edward Lear, John Tenniel, Walter Crane, Randolph Caldecott, Kate Greenaway, Beatrix Potter, Ernest H. Shepard, Arthur Rackham, Edmund du Lac, Kay Nielsen, Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth and W.W. Denslow. It’s pure eye candy but is also an interesting read.

Edmund Dulac's Picture Book

The last book is Edmund Dulac’s Picture Book which was published on behalf of the Croix Rouge Francais under the patronage of H.M. Queen Alexandra. I think it was published in 1915 by The Daily Telegraph and obviously the money went to the French Red Cross. It’s a collection of songs, poems and stories all beautifully illustrated. They are semi loose, sort of tipped in so that if you wish you can frame them, luckily none have been removed from my copy. This is something of a collector’s book, I think I got it as a Christmas present from Jack some years ago, but I haven’t read it – yet!