Library Books

You might know that I’ve been doing an awful lot of library borrowing in recent months. Sixteen local libraries (Fife) are under threat of closure and I and lots of other people have been doing a bit of campaigning to try to get at least some of the libraries a reprieve. I’m concentrating on Glenwood, Markinch and Falkland as those are the ones nearest me. I’ve been to all three of them this week and my library haul is:

1. The Lady in the Tower by Alison Weir
2. Smut by Alan Bennett
3. The Catherine Wheel by Patricia Wentworth
4. A Particular Eye for Villainy by Ann Granger
5. Snare of the Hunter by Helen MacInnes
6. Peter Wimsey Investigates the Late Scholar by Jill Paton Walsh
7. Bertie’s Guide to Life and Mothers by Alexander McCall Smith
8. Scotland’s Hidden History by Ian Armit

Jack has also borrowed books:-
First World War Poems chosen by Andrew Motion,
The Fires of Autumn by Irene Nemirovsky
21st Century Science Fiction edited by David G Hartwell and Patrick Nielsen Hayden
and The Untouchables by John Banville (which he actually has a copy of but not read yet and only borrowed to boost the numbers.)

I haven’t read anything by Ann Granger before but the librarian likes her writing, nor have I read anything by Alan Bennett, but I’ve enjoyed his work on TV. Scotland’s Hidden History by Ian Armit is the only non-fiction book and it’s about the many Neolithic tombs, stone circles, brochs, hillforts, standing stones, Viking graves and such which are scattered all over Scotland.

I intend to read them all, it seems like cheating to take books out of the libraries and not read them – just to put the reader statistics up – but at this rate I’ll definitely have to stop buying books as my own unread books just keep piling up!

Have you read any of these book and if so what did you think of them?

PS. If you want to see photographs of the Falls of Dochart which we visited with Peggy and Evee in May then hop over to Jack’s blog.

Library Sale Haul


Last Saturday my local library had another booksale. The last couple of sales I was really lucky to get some good history books but no such luck this time, in fact the selection of non-fiction was poor so I didn’t buy any.

I did end up buying plenty more fiction though, and honestly I need more books like a hole in the head but we can’t pass up a library booksale as we would be wondering what gems we had missed out on.

So my haul was:

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D.James. I know that a lot of people have been disappointed with this book but I like P.D. James and I thought that at a cost of 50p I’d give it a go anyway.

Frederica by Georgette Heyer. I really prefer Heyer’s murder mysteries but I’m reading her regency romances too, although I already have about half a dozen unread ones in my pile.

Problem at Pollensa Bay by Agatha Christie. This is a collection of her short stories which I think will be interesting.

Sweet Danger by Margery Allingham. This is an Albert Campion book from 1933, my favourite crime fiction era.

Death of a Valentine by M.C.Beaton. I’ve just realised that this is a Hamish Macbeth murder mystery and I’ve only tried one of those and I gave up on it fairly early on, oh well, I might give it a go anyway.

Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death by M.C.Beaton. Sometimes Agatha is exactly what I want to read, daft but somehow comforting.

The Kellys of Kelvingrove by Margaret Thomson Davis. I don’t think I’ve read anything by this author before, if I ever did it was way back in the mists of time. My mother was a fan of her books though, it was the title which caught my eye as the Kelvingrove/Glasgow Uni area of Glasgow is our old stamping ground and it’s also set in the 1970s which is exactly when we were there.

The Complete Borrowers by Mary Norton.
I bought this to give to a young friend of ours. I have a hardback copy but I loce children’s classics and I don’t want to part with my own copy, hope she likes this one too.

So those should keep me busy over the coming winter along with my ever growing pile, and I bought more today in Edinburgh, but I’ll tell you about them another time.

As ever, Jack bought far fewer books. He came away with: Black Swan Green by David Mitchell. and

The Infinities by John Banville. Looking at the blurb I might give these ones a go sometime too.

A Book Buying Weekend

I know I’m supposed to be on a book buying ban until I make a big dent in my TBR pile, but when I went into that bookshop in Callander on Saturday I came across an old copy of an E.M. Delafield so of course the ban went straight out of the window. I didn’t even know that there was a sequel to The Diary of a Provincial Lady, but there is and I have it – The Provincial Lady Goes Further. It was first published in 1932 but mine is a 1942 reprint and it has nice clear print. The chap in the bookshop (see photo on previous post) thought that he had THREE books by Angela Thirkell, then he discovered that they had been sold. What a disappointment!

On Sunday I went to a branch of The Works. I was looking for Mary Stewart’s The Ivy Tree but they didn’t have it. They had The Gabriel Hounds but I read that one years ago so I didn’t bother buying it. I’m feeling quite virtuous about that.

Green Darkness cover
The Secrets of the Chess Machine cover

However, not very virtuous because they did have a copy of Green Darkness by Anya Seton and I bought that. I’m fairly sure that I haven’t read that one. I did read and enjoy Katherine – way back in the year dot, and I know I can borrow that one from my local library if I want to read it again. Green Darkness was first published in 1972 so I don’t know how I missed it.

I also bought The Secrets of the Chess Machine by Robert Lohr, a German author, and it’s based on the true story of a legendary invention. It’s set in Vienna in 1770. I like silhouettes so I was attracted by the cover of this book, also the fact that it had a 49p sticker on it! Well if it turns out to be a duffer I haven’t wasted much money.

My husband bought The Infinities by John Banville and Songs of the Dying Earth which is edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. It’s a book of short stories by various science fiction writers in honour of Jack Vance.

And a book which we’ll both read is Maritime Scotland by Brian Lavery. This isn’t the cover of the one which we bought, ours has lovely sailing ships and a very grand looking building on it, unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any mention of the painting which was used for the cover either.

Maritime Scotland  cover

That is how the TBR pile grows faster than I can read them! Has anyone read any of these books?