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

Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times – 26th, September

Here we go again, how quickly the time comes around, it’s Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times, and this week it’s another guest bedroom bookshelf. This meme was of course started by Judith, Reader in the Wilderness, but I’m gathering the posts at the moment.

Jane Austen and E F BensonBooks

I had to photograph this shelf in two separate photos as the bed got in the way! The shelf contains a hardback set of Jane Austen books, they’re not the best quality and haven’t worn well over the years as the paper has yellowed, but they’re better than reading the paperbacks. The Folio books are lovely, it’s the Mapp and Lucia series by E.F. Benson which I find really entertaining.

Barbara Pym and Anthony Trollope Books

The Barbara Pym books are the second incarnation as in a house move I decided to get rid of my originals – and then of course regretted doing it. This shelf is home to books that I will happily re-read, and that’s not something that I do a lot of. In fact they’re mainly the kind of books that are ideal for dipping into at random if you can’t get to sleep. I really like Anthony Trollope’s books, but of the ones that I’ve read they’ve mostly been on my Kindle, free from Project Gutenberg. There are a few actual Trollopes on this shelf though, but they don’t come under the category of great bedtime reading although I definitely have done so in the past.

Other Bookshelf Travellers this week are:

A Son of the Rock

Bitter Tea and Mystery

Staircase Wit

Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times – 20th September

Yet More Books

It’s that time again, Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times, a meme which was started by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness, but I’m collecting the posts for the moment. Again the shelf is from a bookcase in our guest bedroom and it’s a mixture of authors that I really admire such as Sarah Dunant, Hans Fallada and Zola and some not so great. I haven’t read all of these books, I was given Donna Tartt’s The Secret History by my brother who enjoyed it, but it says the original bestseller on the front and I rarely want to read what everyone else has been reading. It’s 629 pages long and I wonder, should I read it?

I enjoyed Ethel Lina White’s Some Must Watch which was published in 1933 and made into a film titled The Spiral Staircase in 1946. It’s a bit of a puzzle as to why it’s in this bookcase and not with my vintage crime books, maybe I thought when I shelved it that putting it beside T.H. White’s Arthurian books was sensible.

For a bit of armchair travelling the Chinese author Chiang Yee’s Silent Traveller books are entertaining. The one on this shelf is The Silent Traveller in London (1946), and although it has some illustrations they are very sparse, mundane and insipid compared with the Edinburgh version. Presumably he didn’t find much of beauty in London to draw! I haven’t read this one yet.

I could not stand Joyce’s The Dubliners. I loved Laurie Lee’s books about his early life, then I read that they were mainly fiction and that to say the least he was economical with the truth – and that annoyed me.

To the far right of the shelf there are several books in Dutch and a Dutch dictionary. They represent an epic FAIL. The books are Enid Blyton’s Famous Five in Dutch. I thought they would be a good starting point in my endeavours with the language, there’s also a copy of Rumer Godden’s The Greengage Summer in Dutch, but I haven’t touched them for ages. I did think that the lockdown would be a good time to get on with things that I had been putting off for ages – such as Dutch – but I’ve done hardly any of the things that I ‘hadn’t had enough time to do before’ and the time seems to have shrunk with the end of yet another week arriving before I had really realised that it had begun.

Anyway, that’s another of my bookshelves. Have you read any of them?

Other Bookshelf Travellers this week are:
A Son of the Rock

Staircase Wit

Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times – September the 4th

How quickly Bookshelf Travelling in Insame Times comes around. This meme was originally hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness, but I’ve taken it over for the moment.

Topshelf Books

This week’s bookshelf is in a glass doored bookcase, another one from Jack’s parents and it’s situated in our living room. Click on it to enlarge the picture. It has a variety of books in it, some really old library discards from a library I used to work in, those are the natural history books, ancient but nicely illustrated so still useful. All of the books are worth reading. The World War 1 poet Siegfried Sassoon’s Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man and Memoirs of an Infantry Officer are great reads and my copies are published by Folio Books, as is Crime Stories from the Strand. This is a compilation of short stories featuring Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy L. Sayers, Edgar Wallace, Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, Carter Dickson and several more crime writers.

The small read volume to the far right of the bookshelf is a Bradshaw’s Continental Railaway Guide, illustrated and complete with several maps. It cost all of 3/6 or 17 and a half pence in ‘new money’. It dates from the early 1900s and apart from the continental railway guides it also gives lots of information on the towns and villages in Europe – including Russia – that are worth visiting, what you can see and recommendations on where to stay. It also has lots of adverts for hotels, many of which are called The Grand Hotel. There are lots of adverts for shipping lines too. It might interest you to know that if you sailed from Liverpool to Boston first class it would cost you £12. Second class was £8 and 10 shillings. I found this lovely book when I was having a rake around in an antique/junk shop which just had a few books. When I asked the owner how much the book was she said – Just give me a couple of quid (pounds). She explained to me that so many copies of the book had been published it wasn’t worth any more than that. It felt like theft but I gave her the £2 and departed with my treasure. Michael Portillo’s TV series Great Continental Railway Journeys was already very popular at the time and as he uses these guides during his travels they’re become highly desirable, but I’m holding on to mine.

If you don’t know about the TV series you might want to have a look at the You Tube video below, you also might want to wear sunglasses as Portillo is known for his bright and clashing colours.

Will you be Bookshelf Travelling this week?

Other Bookshelf Travellers this week are :

A Son of the Rock