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!