Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times – 28th December

Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times was originally hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness, then I took over for a while, but this will be my last such post as I’ve just about run out of bookshelves that I think people might be interested in seeing. This has been an enjoyable meme though and I’ve loved seeing books from other people’s collections.

Books

On the left hand side there are a couple of books by the World War 1 VAD nurse Vera Brittain – Account Rendered and Testament of Experience, I gave Testament of Youth to my history teacher daughter-in-law. They’re interesting books, but Vera Brittain was a bit of a dichotomy as she was all for women’s rights, as long as the women weren’t her own servants – according to her daughter Shirley Williams.

I love Patrick Leigh Fermor’s travel writing, he began his adventures as an 18 year old, I believe after he was expelled from school. Those adventures and his knowledge of Greek were of great help during World War 2 when he joined the army and went undercover to what was then German occupied Greece. Not that he was very low profile as he ended up taking a German general prisoner!

The Little Prince by Antoine Saint Exupery is a lovely wee book. It’s beautifully illustrated by the author too.

The French dictionary is from my school days but it still comes in handy sometimes. At school I ‘did’ French, German and Latin and much more recently I’ve been trying to learn Dutch, but I don’t think I could ever get to grips well with any language unless I lived in the country for a while, well that’s my excuse anyway! Are you bookshelf travelling this week?

Staircase Wit

Bookshelf Travelling – 20th December

It’s Bookshelf Travelling time again, a meme which was originally hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness. I’ve been gathering the posts recently but I think it’s now time to hand it on to someone else, if anyone wants to continue with it.

More Books

The bookshelf above is in the sun room and it’s a mixture of old travel books, cookery books and gardening/nature books.

I believe that The Glasgow Cookery book was used in the ‘Dough School’ which was the Domestic Science College in Glasgow. It was first published in 1962 and it’s a mixture of what must have seemed to be quite posh recipes at the time such as Salmi of Pheasant, and peasant fare such as Pease Pudding. It actually contains a recipe for Dressed Sheep’s Head. The recipe reads like something from a horror film!

The Companion Garden – How Nature can help your plants by Bob Flowerdew is a book about which plants should be grown together. The herb Hyssop apparently wards off cabbage white butterflies when grown near your vegetable plot. If you grow tomatoes beside your asparagus they will keep the asparagus beetle away. I’ve never had enough ground to grow asparagus so I’ve never tried that. In any case there’s practically no chance of being able to grow tomatoes outside a greenhouse in Scotland, but this is a nice wee book with lovely illustrations by Sally Maltby.

Ode to the Countryside is a book of poems to celebrate the British landscape. I must admit that I bought it for the illustrations by such artists as Frank Newbould and Walter E. Spreadberry. Unfortunately the illustrations aren’t signed and there’s no name check for the artists, but quite a lot of the images are like the 1930s travel poster art which is a style I really like.

There’s a Delia Smith cookery book there. I still use a lot of her recipes, you’re never in any danger of having a failure when you use them.

The travel books are about various areas of Scotland, pretty old but not really out of date because things don’t change that much in the more far-flung parts of Scotland.

So that’s that! I hope you enjoyed having a wee keek at many of my bookshelves over these pandemic months. As I write this blogpost the news is that we in the UK are going into another strict lockdown and Christmas as we knew it is cancelled. Worse than that though is the news that it looks as though mainland Europe has shut us off. I wonder how much food the supermarkets have in storage and how long it will take for it to be depleted as no deliveries will be coming from Europe? Just when we thought we could see the light at the end of the tunnel too.

Anyway – other Bookshelf Travellers this week are:

A Son of the Rock

Staircase Wit

Bookshelf Travelling – 30th November

It’s Bookshelf Travelling time again, this meme was originally hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness but for the moment I’m gathering any related blogposts.

Scottish Books

This week I’m visiting another shelf which is home to Scottish authors, so it’s a mixture of historical, humorous, thriller and romance.

Rosamunde Pilcher was wildly popular in the 1980s and 90s, especially so in Germany for some reason. Her books are mainly set in Scotland or Cornwall, it’s a good long time since I read any but I did enjoy them. She was a local author, living in Fife for most of her life so I often knew the locations which is always a plus for me. Several of her books have been made into films. She also wrote under the name of Jane Fraser, but I haven’t read any of those ones, have you?

Wax Fruit by Guy McCrone is actually a trilogy – Antimacassar City, The Philistines and The Puritans. The setting is Glasgow. I’ve had this book for over a decade, it’s the heftiness of it that has put me off from reading it, there are 613 pages but I see that the print is fairly large so I might get to this one soon. The trilogy sold over a million copies, the books were first published between 1940 and 1947.

Compton Mackenzie was actually born in England and had an English accent but he researched his family tree and was heavily influenced by his Scottish links and regarded the Highlands as his spiritual home. I’ve not read all of the Mackenzie books on this shelf but I loved Whisky Galore, Rockets Galore and Keep the Home Guard Turning. I’ve yet to read Monarch of the Glen and didn’t even see much of the television series which was so popular some years ago. You know, I’ve got a horrible feeling that I’ve already featured part of this shelf before, but some different books!

Here are some other Bookshelf Travellers:
A Son of the Rock
Staircase Wit

Bookshelf Travelling, November 22nd

It’s Bookshelf Travelling time again, this meme was originally hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness, but I’m doing it at the moment.

This week my photo is of a shelf in my book/crafting/ironing room which is home to books by Scottish authors beginning with ‘S’ and they’re almost all Stewarts.

'S' Bookshelf, Katrina's books

J.I.M. Stewart is probably better known as Michael Innes the crime fiction writer. The books he writes as Stewart have an Oxford College setting, something which he was familiar with. He wrote a quintet in the 1970s which goes under the name of A Staircase in Surrey but the individual titles are The Gaudy, Young Patullo, Memorial Service, The Madonna of the Astrolabe and Full Term. I really enjoyed these books when they were first published.

Mary Stewart was very popular when her books were first published. I really like her romantic thrillers which are full of suspense. Her books have been reprinted more recently and she has quite a lot of fans nowadays. I loved her Arthurian/Merlin books which were also published in the 1970s – The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment. The Wicked Day was published in 1983 and that one is about Mordred.

The very last book on the right hand side of the shelf is an ancient one by Annie S. Swan. She sold masses of books. Apparently by 1898 she had published over 30 books, a lot of them were serialised in magazines originally. There are a few of her books free on Project Gutenberg here but not all of the books are by the Scottish Annie Swan, they’ve been mixed up with a Finnish author with a similar name.

Other Bookshelf Travellers this week are –

A Son of the Rock

Staircase Wit

Bookshelf Travelling – November, 15th

Bookshelf

This week’s Bookshelf Travelling (originally hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness) features the shelf above last week’s. Click on the photo to see it enlarged. I must admit that most of the books on this shelf aren’t mine, but I have read a few of the Primo Levi books and intend to read the rest of them. Another book that I have been meaning to read for years is Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown. It’s on my Classics Club list. This copy is a 1975 paperback and I remember that Jack bought it new, not long before we got married. Those 1970s paperbacks were so tightly bound that they’re a real pain to read, especialy if like me you don’t like to crack the spine of a book, that’s why it has taken me so long to get around to it.

Surprisingly and for some unknown reason I have my copy of The Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield on this shelf, it’s a really pretty Virago hardback, I loved this one when I read it some years ago.

I have no idea why the two Daphne du Maurier books are here instead of being with the other du Mauriers. Not After Midnight is a collection of five short stories and The Scapegoat was published in 1957 and this one is a first edition, sadly it doesn’t have its dustjacket.

Are you Bookshelf Travelling this week? I’ve dropped the ‘in Insane Times’ part as I’m trying to be optimistic and hoping that things won’t be quite as crazy as they have been this year – in the not too distant future.

Other travellers this week are:

A Son of the Rock

Bitter Tea and Mystery

Staircase Wit

Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times – 9th, November

Here we are at another Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times blogpost although times don’t seem to be quite as insane as they were in one part of the world anyway. This meme was originally hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness, but I’m gathering any blogposts together at the moment.

Another Bookshelf

My bookshelf this week is in the living room which we think of as the winter living room, so tonight that’s where I’m blogging from, for the first time this year. It’s a shelf full of fairly hefty books, quite a few of them being those omnibuses that were popular back in the 1970s and 80s. I think they were quite cheap to buy considering they contain four or so novels, but they are very unwieldy to read, especially in bed.

Really the books here are by several of my favourites authors. Daphne du Maurier, Hilary Mantel, Olivia Manning, John Galsworthy and a few books about the Mitford sisters, the Mary S. Lovell one is a good read.

There’s a book of Robert Burns poetry on its side, three volumes from the Our Beautiful Homeland series which is a travel series, the three that I have are on the north of England, mid Scotland and the south of England. These books are really lovely with quite a lot of illustrations which were taken from watercolours by E.W. Haslehust. You can see his works here. He seems to have got the contract for illustrating all of this series of books, it must have been quite lucrative for him, well I hope it was anyway. They date from around the 1900s and can be surprisngly cheap in secondhand bookshops, often just four or five pounds.

The books to the far right are nothing to do with me, they’re on football history and various International Exhibitions.

Other Bookshelf Travellers this week are:
I read that in a book

Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times – 1st November

I’m a wee bit later than I had hoped to be with Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times which was originally hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness, but at the moment I’m gathering any posts.

My bookshelf this week is another one in my sewing/crafting/ironing room and this bookshelf is home to a variety of children’s books, I suppose they could all be described as being classics.

Books Again

As a youngster I adored Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers series and had all of the books, but my mother gave my books away to a boy who was certainly not going to appreciate any of them and I now only have a few of the books, I intend to gather them all and have a re-read at some point. These were the very first books that I read with a Cornish setting, not long after Malory Towers came Rebecca another favourite and ever since then I’ve loved to travel to Cornwall in fiction. My one holiday there (it’s a long drive from Scotland) was a very damp one. The BBC recently dramatised Malory Towers and I really did enjoy it although I wish they hadn’t updated it to appeal to more modern viewers, it’s always a mistake to remove the period charm of any books.

I have quite a few books by Rosemary Sutcliff, she really was a very good historical writer.

I started buying Angela Brazil books whenever I saw them going cheap, some can be eye wateringly expensive online, I must admit that I haven’t read all of them and I’m not even sure if I ever read any as a child. I was more of a Chalet School (Elinor M. Brent-Dyer) girl, I think I preferred the more exotic locations.

I sometimes buy books by particular publishers, namely Blackie. They were a Scottish firm and Blackie commissioned Charles Rennie Mackintosh to design Hill House in Helensburgh, including all the furniture, lighting, fabrics and clocks. It’s just about all that’s left of the architect/designer’s work now so I have a soft spot for Blackie and their books which often had book covers designed by Mackintosh. I doubt if For the Sake of the School was designed by Mackintosh but I really like it anyway.

Brazil

I bought another Blackie book just for the dust jacket which features an aeroplane flying above a Zeppelin on fire. I haven’t read The Corsair of the Skies yet and hadn’t even heard of A.Guy Vercoe, have you?

Vercoe

Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster is one that I read for the first time recently. I like to catch up with children’s books that I missed as a child. My copy dates from 1929 and cost me all of £2.

Some of the books lying flat on top of the shelved books are American and were kindly sent to me by Jennifer, a blogpal that I met up with in Edinburgh, remember those lovely days when we could do that? Fingers crossed we can do that again at some point in the future. There’s also A Parcel of Patterns by Jill Paton Walsh. I noticed that her obituary was in the Guardian this week, you can read it here.

Other Bookshelf Travellers this week are:

A Son of the Rock

Bitter Tea and Mystery

Staircase Wit

Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times – 26th, October

I’m still Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times which was originally hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness, but I’m gathering any posts at the moment.

This week I’m still in my sewing/crafting/ironing room and featuring my small collection of Persephone books. That bookshelf is also home to some random books, travel and sort of autobiography.

Persephone Bookshelf

I haven’t got around to reading all of them yet but my favourites so far are Dorothy Whipple’s Someone at a Distance and Good Evening, Mrs Craven by Molly Panter-Downes. Of the non Persephones my favourite is The Oaken Heart by Margery Allingham. In it Allingham writes about the changes that the early stages of World War 2 effected on the small Essex village that she lived in. The village had just over 600 inhabitants and then 275 children for London were evacuated there – and she was responsible for them, a great read.

Other Bookshelf Travellers this week are:

A Son of the Rock

Bitter Tea and Mystery

Staircase Wit

Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times – 18th of October

It’s that time again, how quickly Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times comes around. This meme was created by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness but I’m hosting it at the moment. Click on it to enlarge the photo.

More Books

This week the bookshelf is in a bookcase (Ikea Billy, so many of us seem to have at least one) which is in my reading/sewing/hobby/ironing room which is located in the smallest spare bedroom in our house. It’s very fair to say that it’s generally in a bit of a mess as I just have too much yarn, fabric and stuff in general.

It’s a shelf of vintage crime, it’s just a coincidence that the beginning of the shelf houses Elizabeth Ferrars books and the end of the shelf is home to Josephine Tey books, both Scottish writers who wrote murder mysteries. In between them is the very English Dorothy L. Sayers and the very American Rex Stout, I find his books are very thin on the ground in secondhand bookshops in Scotland, but I’ve really enjoyed the ones I’ve managed to get a hold of. Of those four authors Josephine Tey is my least favourite. Dorothy Sayers I love and I’ve really enjoyed the Elizabeth Ferrars books that I’ve read.

Are you Bookshelf Travelling this week? I’ll add any links below.

A Bluestocking Knits

A Son of the Rock

Staircase Wit

Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times – October the 11th

I’m still Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times, do join in if you feel the urge! Last week I was actually travelling – and buying books, so I didn’t get around to doing this. This meme was hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness but I’m gathering the blogposts at the moment.

Books Again

This week the bookshelf is in the main guest bedroom again. It’s inhabited mainly by crime fiction, Ngaio Marsh (not a favourite,) Gladys Mitchell who is okayish in parts but I can’t understand why she made her detective Mrs Bradley so ghastly, Patricia Wentworth’s Miss Silver is much more likeable in fact I think I prefer her to Miss Marple – is that blasphemy?

The Alfred Hitchcock book Murder Racquet is a collection of short stories and amazingly I haven’t heard of any of the authors which might be why I haven’t got around to reading it.

I love Louise Penny’s Three Pines books but I usually borrow them from the library, I can’t remember why I felt the need to buy Still Life.

Landed Gently by Alan Hunter is unread, I don’t think I’ve read any of his books but this one is apparently a whodunit in the classic tradition and even has a floor plan at the front, published in 1957 it sounds right up my street.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote, not vintage crime but I love the film and enjoyed the book too although it is a wee bit different.

Are you bookshelf travelling this week?

A Bluestocking Knits

A Son of the Rock

Bitter Tea and Mystery