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 – 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