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Virago Salon - December 2011 into Winter 2012

This is a continuation of the topic Virago Salon - Autumn into Winter, 2011.

This topic was continued by Virago Salon - Late Winter Into Early Spring 2012.

Virago Modern Classics

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Edited: Dec 1, 2011, 10:10pm Top

Sorry, folks in the Southern hemisphere, but we Northern hemisphere folks need this fire going!

Dec 2, 2011, 12:36am Top

How wonderfully warm and inviting Tui. I love it. And you are certainly right about the fire. We are frosted/froze white here tonight at only 9:30. Thank you.

Dec 2, 2011, 12:49am Top

Oh so cozy, Tui, and thank you! I'm in the mood for a Winter Tea Cocktail, but first, Simon (of SavidgeReads) is having an advent giveaway beginning with The Penguin Complete Novels of Nancy Mitford! Just post a comment on his blog. Sadly, only our UK friends are eligible for this particular giveaway due to postage. However, do check on his blog for the next few weeks - there may be a book that can be sent across the pond!

Dec 2, 2011, 3:10am Top

Thank you Tui. I like a nice fire to sleep by.

Dec 2, 2011, 6:34am Top

That picture is beautifully soporific, and I've not long got up...

Dec 2, 2011, 8:27am Top

Ummmm. So are we just listening to the fire crackle while we have wonderful conversation or is there some equally warm music in the air? I am there!

Dec 2, 2011, 8:57am Top

Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we've no place to go,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Dec 2, 2011, 10:35am Top

Yes please Laura.

Snow is much more fun than the grey wet weather we have here.

Dec 2, 2011, 10:40am Top

Oh so warm and cozy!

Dec 2, 2011, 10:42am Top

It's snowing here but it isn't the lasting kind.

Dec 2, 2011, 12:50pm Top

Grey and wet just down the road from you too, Briar-the-dog. What a miserable day. I made myself feel better by baking some mince pies and whipping up some very potent brandy butter. I just had one and I can assure you it's the perfect cure for the winter blahs.

Dec 2, 2011, 10:14pm Top

Lovely Laura........

Dec 3, 2011, 12:26pm Top

Chilly up in Libro Towers today (and I'm working on smoothing out a translation from the Polish - bet they're even colder over there!). Liking the fire!

Dec 3, 2011, 4:43pm Top

I have an update on the Julia Probyn novel that was missing from the Bloomsbury Reader List. It's taken a while because, I suspect, the lovely people at Bloomsbury are as busy and as confused as me.

The question came up back here, and I am pleased to say that the missing book has now appeared on Bloomsbury's website and on Amazon UK.

It's available for download now and in print next summer.

So that's the series complete.

Dec 4, 2011, 1:50pm Top

Jane, thank you (I think) for the reminder. I just ordered a copy of the 3 Julias in one volume since I've been #1 on the list at PBS for it for two years. I'm pretty sure that it's not something that my SS got for me, and I got a deal. While I was at it, I ordered a used set of *Dance to the Music of Time* on DVD, and that takes care of my Christmas shopping for myself from DH.

Dec 4, 2011, 3:31pm Top

>15 LizzieD:: ooh, Dance on DVD! Good for you, Peggy. I will be interested to hear what you think of it.

Dec 4, 2011, 3:50pm Top

I saw A Dance to the Music of Time when it was first shown on Channel 4 and absolutely loved it.

Dec 4, 2011, 4:07pm Top

There was a very interesting article about the importance of book design, mentioning Virago and Persephone, in yesterday's Guardian.

You can find it here.

I was upset to read:

"Donna Coonan at Virago, meanwhile, explains that she is more than happy if customers buy her books simply because they look nice."

I hope she was simply expressing herself badly, but after hearing that Josephine Hart's early novels are being added to the list ...

Dec 5, 2011, 1:02am Top

mmmm ..... 'can't tell a book by the cover' as the saying goes ....

Dec 5, 2011, 11:31am Top

Well, you can a bit. If a Conan the Barbarian type is standing beside an enormous tiger, his arm decorated with a pneumatic wench with her breasticles barely covered with ripped leather and possessing impossible thigh muscles, and the background has a volcano going off in florid oranges and reds, with the title JUNGLE LOVE emblazoned across the top, I do get the sense that this won't be my kind of book.

Dec 5, 2011, 11:52am Top

Dec 5, 2011, 12:18pm Top

heheheheh !!! OK I agree ......

Edited: Dec 5, 2011, 12:45pm Top

Same book -- 3 different covers and one very different title!

1944 original edition

1953 pulp fiction edition

1990 trade pb -- Plume American Women Writers

Dec 5, 2011, 1:59pm Top

I have a copy of the third, but would LOVE the first!

Dec 5, 2011, 5:05pm Top

I'd pick #2. No question. Is it just me?

Dec 5, 2011, 5:34pm Top

I was wondering where I could buy JUNGLE LOVE.

Dec 5, 2011, 5:52pm Top

I'm not sure about Jungle love, but last time I looked at my local used bookshop there were some wonderful fifties paperbacks, including an amazingly lurid Turn of the Screw.

Dec 5, 2011, 5:52pm Top


Dec 9, 2011, 12:05pm Top

I actually collect some of those old paperbacks that make literature look like pulp fiction. They are a hoot. Usually not readable, because they were put together with bad glue and brittle paper, but the covers just tear me up.

Edited: Dec 9, 2011, 12:14pm Top

Here's today's Hot Review from Fleur! Ten Days of Christmas by G. B. Stern.

I just ordered a copy from ABEBooks!!

Dec 9, 2011, 3:34pm Top

I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to resist #2 either!

Dec 9, 2011, 3:43pm Top

Yep - that G B Stern looks right up my alley.

Dec 9, 2011, 11:11pm Top

I snatched a copy from Amazon for a penny plus shipping -- from the UK, no less.

Dec 10, 2011, 1:27am Top

I have a very sick goat. That she may die is a real possibility.

Dec 10, 2011, 2:06am Top

#34 oh no - very sorry to hear that. Sending thoughts your way.

Dec 10, 2011, 2:35am Top

Lots of goat hugs and love coming from me. xxx

Dec 10, 2011, 4:25am Top

Oh Mary - so sorry x

Dec 10, 2011, 5:38am Top

I'm sorry too.

Dec 10, 2011, 11:22am Top

Mary - I had a VERY sick cat last year and with the help of two earth goddesses - and no help from the local businessman who masquerades as a vet - we pulled her through. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you too.

Dec 10, 2011, 12:27pm Top

Oh dear Mary, all the critters in this house (including me) send your little goat love, hugs and hope.....

Dec 10, 2011, 12:32pm Top

aw Mary. Oms and white beams.

Dec 10, 2011, 1:21pm Top

I am so sorry Mary. Sending warm & strong thoughts your way and health & healing thoughts along with lil goat luvs her way. Also saying a little prayer for her.

Dec 10, 2011, 3:12pm Top

Mary -- sending healing goat wishes your way.

Dec 11, 2011, 2:01pm Top

Thanks everybody. Mia Sofia is still quite sick. I feel so sad. I don't think I can bear it if she dies. She is only a year and a half old.

Dec 11, 2011, 6:43pm Top

Praying for her as I type Mary.

Dec 11, 2011, 7:03pm Top

Oh, Mary, I'm so sorry about Sofia. My niece raises goats---I know they can be sweet and endearing creatures. I hope she is not as sick as you fear.

Dec 12, 2011, 5:44am Top

More prayers and positive goat-healing thoughts coming across the Atlantic . . . I hope she pulls through.

Dec 12, 2011, 11:48pm Top

Mia's case is not presenting in a way that remotely matches anything but a rare disease that has only shown up in Egypt. Our vet spoke with one of the nation's foremost experts on goat pathology. He is quite interested. Her blood samples have been sent to his lab for a complete work up.

Dec 13, 2011, 2:03am Top

Poor Mia; Poor Mary; thinking of you and praying for little Mia.

Dec 13, 2011, 8:27am Top

Poor little thing! I feel sorry for her, and send warm hugs to you, dear Mary.

Dec 13, 2011, 10:00am Top

Here's hoping the goat expert can turn something up.

Dec 13, 2011, 9:41pm Top

Mary, I hope your goat gets better! Pets are so precious and I hope you have more time together.

Dec 15, 2011, 12:21pm Top

It looks as if Mia is on the mend. It appears (additional bloodwork will be drawn on the 22nd to confirm) that she contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Goats can carry the ticks but practically never get the disease (unlike dogs and humans). She is still taking really strong antibiotics and will continue to receive them until the end of the year. So now I can clean my house, get ready for house guests and a Christmas party. So much for the winter garden I was planning. I will just start the early spring garden in Jan.

Dec 15, 2011, 12:28pm Top

I'm very relieved to hear that Mia is on the mend! Both my DH and my mother had variants of RMSP, so I know how devastating it is. I'm delighted that your vet caught it in time. Much better to have your Mia than a winter garden!

Dec 15, 2011, 1:02pm Top

That's wonderful news! Forget the garden. At least now you can relax a bit and enjoy Christmas with Mia! xxx

Dec 15, 2011, 1:32pm Top

Yes, winter gardens are expendable (unless the economy crashes). I'd rather have Mia.

Dec 15, 2011, 1:44pm Top

Great news Mary! It much be such a relief to have her on the mend and to have indentified the problem.

Dec 15, 2011, 2:30pm Top

Oh that's good news, Mary. Whew!

Dec 15, 2011, 2:45pm Top

Oh thank the virago heavens! Little Mia has been on my mind and I'm so pleased to know she's on the mend. More healing hugs for her from us!!!

Dec 15, 2011, 2:54pm Top

Yes Mary. So pleased for you and her.

Dec 15, 2011, 7:01pm Top

aw poor little goat, having had to cope with THAT. So glad she's on the mend, Mary.

Dec 15, 2011, 8:00pm Top

Cheers for modern diagnostics and antibiotics. So glad Mia is on the mend, Mary.

Dec 16, 2011, 11:49am Top

Oh Mary, I am so sorry that you have been through such a trauma but relieved to read that Mia is on the mend.

Dec 16, 2011, 12:16pm Top

So pleased to hear the good news. I have to say, Mr LB is a marvellous OH. "Matthew, I'm sad because someone I've never met's goat is unwell"; "Oh dear, I am sorry: hope the goat gets well soon". Bless!

Or maybe I'm just in the habit of uttering slightly unusual sentences to him ...

Dec 17, 2011, 12:42am Top

Dec 17, 2011, 9:13am Top

Hooray! So very, very happy for Mia and Mary and also smiling at Liz's exchange with her husband!

Dec 17, 2011, 1:18pm Top

ditto here with the smiling at Liz's exchange with hubby.

And I am oh, so happy that you, Mary, will be happily celebrating the holidays and Christmas whilst enjoying your little Mia on the mend. Blessings dear girl. I am so thankful on your behalf & ours too as you are much more fun on here when 'youse' happy girl!~!
luvs n hugs to ya

Dec 18, 2011, 12:03am Top

Beloved and I consider Mia's recovery our Christmas present to each other this year. I can't imagine a more lovely gift to receive and share with all my dear ones - Beloved, Mia Sofia, Linnea, Katrina, Annika, Mr. Darcy, Gabrielle, Giselle, Hannah, Liesel, Nikki, the Welsh terrorists (Wilkie and Ceilidh), and Elderberry. One of my best Christmases ever :-))

Dec 18, 2011, 12:19am Top

We had our first good snow today in Chicago, there had only be a few flurries earlier. It was a delight to wake up to snow this morning. Mary I am glad Mia is recovering.

Dec 18, 2011, 1:32am Top

Joyful news for a joyful season Mary! We have woken to a glistening blinding white hard frost today.

Dec 18, 2011, 10:46am Top

So glad Mia is getting better!

Dec 18, 2011, 6:25pm Top

Lovely to read about Mia recovery and imagining your Christmas surrounded by all those wonderful four-legged creatures (less Beloved, of course!)

Dec 19, 2011, 6:18am Top

So glad to read the good news about Mia. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Dec 19, 2011, 6:39am Top

Pertaining to my comments up-thread about going full-time with my business, I'm a week into it, it's going well so far, and I've started a blog in which to record my adventures - if anyone's interested, it's here: Libro full-time

Dec 19, 2011, 8:15am Top

LyzzyBee, hearty congratulations on a successful first week!

Dec 19, 2011, 8:48am Top

Sounds like you've been busy, Lyzzy. Keep up the good work!

Dec 19, 2011, 8:49am Top

Ms. Liz, congratulations on your first week!!! I'll read your blog with great interest!
Mary, it sounds like a Merry Christmas for sure, and May, Chibby, Elle, Tully, and Hilfy Bit join me in warm wishes for you and all your family!
I came to welcome our friend Bonnie (brenzi) to the group. She is going to be a wonderful Virago, and I'm pleased to pieces that she's here. Welcome, Bonnie! Welcome!

Dec 19, 2011, 9:04am Top

Oh hooray, Bonnie joined! Welcome, Bonnie.

Dec 19, 2011, 9:33am Top

Hi Bonnie and so glad you've joined!

Ms. Bee, I'm bookmarking your blog.

Dec 19, 2011, 9:38am Top

Welcome, Bonnie! Good to see you here.

Dec 19, 2011, 9:43am Top

Hello Bonnie. I am glad you have decided to join the bestest group on L.T. I think you will really enjoy it here. Welcome and Happy Christmas.

Dec 19, 2011, 10:38am Top

A very hearty welcome to you, Bonnie!!

Dec 19, 2011, 11:09am Top

Hello Bonnie! Yup, bestest group on all the interwebs, I say!

Dec 19, 2011, 3:46pm Top

Well thank you everyone. Peggy assured me I would fit right in here and I think she's right. I'm happy to get to know all of you (that I don't already know) and have a few Viragos already lined up. I'll have to look around the site to see what I should be starring but I'll start with this thread:)

Dec 19, 2011, 4:16pm Top

Welcome Bonnie! Yes, I'd say you are in the right place, without a doubt!

Dec 20, 2011, 9:09am Top

Adding my delight that you're here, Bonnie! Welcome, indeed!

Now off to investigate Liz's blog...

Dec 20, 2011, 11:39am Top

Welcome, Bonnie. (What took you so long?)

Great news about Mia, Belva. So how about some pictures of that four-legged crew one of these days?

Congratulations, Liz. I hope you get to take a deep breath over Christmas!

Dec 20, 2011, 2:48pm Top

This is the best group anywhere on the whole wide world wide web!

A really warm welcome to the group Bonnie - you will soon be completely at home.

Dec 20, 2011, 3:07pm Top

If any of you feel like making a trip to Northfield, Minnesota, at the beginning of May, the Carleton College Theater and Dance Department is staging a production of my new adaptation of Aeschylus's Oresteia, complete with original choreography and music by Mary Ellen Childs, on the weekend of May 11, 2011.

Party at my house for any Viragos who show up!

Dec 20, 2011, 3:18pm Top

Congratulations, Rob! It's a bit far to come from Florida -- but what a treat. All 3 plays? Or have you combined them?

Dec 20, 2011, 3:44pm Top

My adaptation combines all three plays into a single full-length play.

Dec 20, 2011, 3:58pm Top

Welcome Bonnie. Well done Rob. I'll be there in spirit!

Dec 20, 2011, 4:39pm Top

Fabulous news, Rob! Congratulations.

Dec 20, 2011, 4:56pm Top

Welcome Bonnie. Congrats Rob. Who knows, if no goat is getting ready to drop kids, I may stop by.

Dec 20, 2011, 6:09pm Top

Rob, that is really exciting! Do let us know how it goes, please?

Edited: Dec 20, 2011, 6:36pm Top

Congratulations for sure, Rob! I am wowed, but I'll have to send my spirit too. I think maybe it can sit with Barbara's.

Dec 21, 2011, 11:37am Top

A brief history of Santa:


Happy Yule, all!

Edited: Dec 30, 2011, 10:45am Top

Happy Solstice to all!

Dec 21, 2011, 2:28pm Top


Dec 21, 2011, 3:42pm Top

Happy Christmas from Liz (lyzzybee) and me. We met up this afternoon to exchange christmas gifts with each other and some other friends. Here we are giggling as our friend tried to take "a nice picture" of us

Dec 21, 2011, 3:43pm Top

I'd call that a very nice picture indeed! Thanks for sharing.

Dec 21, 2011, 4:21pm Top

Oh, I love seeing what people look like! And what a great photo of the two of you!

Dec 21, 2011, 4:33pm Top

Liz on left, Ali on right? I think it's a fabulous photo!

Dec 21, 2011, 4:58pm Top

Yes that's right : ) thanks.

Dec 21, 2011, 6:04pm Top

WOW! You're both such pretty women! Thanks for letting us look at you.

Dec 21, 2011, 6:06pm Top

Don't you two look cute (though it does seem to me that you're conspiring!!) :~)

Dec 21, 2011, 6:18pm Top

Lovely photo!

Dec 21, 2011, 6:26pm Top

Yes, I also love to put a face to a name and yes you both look fabulous!

Dec 21, 2011, 6:34pm Top

Very natural pic with lovely smiles. I'm envious. I go all stiff as a board and smile as though I have gas. Thank you for sharing!

Dec 22, 2011, 1:19am Top

Hee hee! Thanks everyone! I don't know why we did that classic thing of leaning sideways but there's actually masses of room in the photo! I like this pic too. We were laughing our heads off instructing our friend Meg to make us look, what was it, 25 was one of them, I know ... We're in the cafe where we hold our BookCrossing meetups and have spent many happy hours, and in fact the one to which we took Elaine a few months ago!

Maybe we should do a Portraits Of Virago Group Members thread, for those who wish to post ...

Dec 22, 2011, 2:01am Top

"Maybe we should do a Portraits Of Virago Group Members thread, for those who wish to post ..."

yes, yes yes, like that idea : )

Dec 22, 2011, 2:37am Top

Just poppoing in quickly to let all freinds know about this http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b018b63y/Womans_Hour_Drama_Possession_Episo...

BBC's dramatised reading of Possession written by A S Byatt. Dramatised by Timberlake Wertenbaker- one of my most favourites books! So far there are 3 out of 15episodes but all available.

Dec 22, 2011, 8:54am Top

I'd happily dig out something for a Portraits of Virago Group Members, and might well look 25... because it's only six weeks since I was!

Dec 22, 2011, 10:19am Top

If anyone wonders what it's like at Mary's house at Christmas, have a look at this:


Dec 22, 2011, 10:22am Top

# 114 I don't know whether to laugh or cry, honestly. SO adorable!!

Dec 22, 2011, 11:07am Top

That is adorable : )

Dec 22, 2011, 11:13am Top

#114 I love the goats! I must share that website with my niece. And Portraits of Virago group members....Oh YES. Good idea. Should we all dress appropriately and pose with a green-spined treasure?

Dec 22, 2011, 11:24am Top

So adorable! Animals make everything better :-)

Dec 22, 2011, 12:20pm Top

I loved the video. Goats are so cute when they dance and when they scold one. My littlest goat Hannah scolds me every time I leave her fenced in when I am outside.

Dec 22, 2011, 1:26pm Top

Tui - thanks for posting that delightful video! So cheerful and cute!! Hmmm, I wonder if it's too late to ask Santa for one, or two?

Miss Julie - thanks for the link to Byatt's Possession! One of my favourite books of all time as well!

Great idea for a picture thread, btw!!

Dec 22, 2011, 3:40pm Top

Yes, absolutely adorable. Better than puppies.

Dec 22, 2011, 10:07pm Top

Divide the sheep from the goats? I want to go with the goats for sure!!!

Dec 22, 2011, 10:48pm Top

Goats are much better than sheep. Funnier, smarter, more mischievous. And there's nothing quite so nice as a goat whiffling in one's ear :-)

Dec 23, 2011, 3:14am Top

That goat/kid video was so very funny! The way they jump, all springy and awkward at the same time! I want some ...

My dog whiffles too, but not in my ear. It's the noise he makes when asleep and dreaming of running races or chasing rabbits, his long legs twitching.

Dec 23, 2011, 5:42am Top

I too want goats now...

Dec 23, 2011, 7:05am Top

Yup! Forget piggies my dear Keith and let's go for goats :))

Dec 23, 2011, 9:16am Top

Goats are wonderful. Everyone should have a goat.

Dec 23, 2011, 3:02pm Top

Do they mow the lawn?

Dec 23, 2011, 7:16pm Top

They do. And the flower beds!

Dec 25, 2011, 1:38am Top


Over the course of a summer, goats will keep brush and grass down, but they are picky eaters. They are browsers (i.e., they eat here and there from trees, grounds) rather than grazers (like sheep who will not only mow your lawn but take out all the grass). Most people think goats will eat anything. They will not. They also prefer particular plants at certain points in the year rather than at others. They eat roses leaves, flowers and all at anytime of the year. What goes in comes out. Compost it and your gardens will be happy forever. Compost from goat manure is much safer than cow manure and generally richer and more varied than horse manure. Additionally the goats' nannyberries (poo) come out in little piles of berries. Sweep them up into a dustpan. Scatter the fresh berries over the rose beds (the berries won't smell) and voila - instant time release fertilizer. I use it on indoor plants as well. Love, milk, goat dances, ear whiffles, delicate nose kisses, entertainment, and awesome producers of compost. What more could a happy woman ask for?

Dec 26, 2011, 3:26pm Top

Mary, you make the case most convincingly. My niece would heartily agree with you. Her main reason for raising them is for the milk, because she can't tolerate cow's milk, but she says all the same things about how wonderful they are. Some of the little ones do make an awful racket, though, with the bleating.

Dec 29, 2011, 12:19pm Top

I'm doing a daft thing! I'll be flying to the UK on January 16 and staying until January 29, five days in London and the rest of the time in Stratford. I'm keeping fingers crossed that Chicago does not get hit with a blizzard on the day I'm leaving and that Heathrow isn't iced in. And more fingers crossed that I can get back to Chicago in time for a Chicago Symphony concert with Ricardo Muti conducting Carmina Burana on January 31. This will be full orchestra and three choruses!

The reason I'm going is to attend the winter school at the Shakespeare Institute, an in-depth study of the three RSC plays running in the winter season: Measure for Measure, Taming of the Shrew, and an original play about the writing of the King James version of the Bible.

I don't think I'll have that much time to visit used book stores, but I certainly will go to the Persephone store and the Oxfam store near the British Museum. Can't buy too much (ha! I said that last August!) because my underwear is all new!


Dec 29, 2011, 12:35pm Top

Elaine - that's my kind of daft! What a wonderful and exciting holiday! RSC - wow. That's a dream come true. I'll keep my fingers crossed for clear skies on both sides of the pond!

Dec 29, 2011, 1:40pm Top

crackin' me up Elaine!~! Enjoy............again, I am pea-green with envy! Come back and tell us all about it.

Dec 29, 2011, 3:14pm Top

That sounds like so much fun Elaine! I think I'll stow away.

Dec 30, 2011, 3:22am Top

Exciting! Wonder if we can manage to pop over to Stratford to say hi ...

Dec 30, 2011, 4:48am Top

I'd love to see you and Ali again! And there are the four charity shops, two devoted only to books!

Dec 30, 2011, 6:16am Top

Yay - you know I'd be up for that : ) wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! be fab to see you again Elaine we had such fun in August.

Dec 30, 2011, 5:06pm Top

Elaine, I am positively envious, both for the trip and for the Carmina Burana (one of my favourite compositions) conduced by Riccardo Muti!!!!! Lucky girl you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dec 30, 2011, 9:31pm Top

Ahem - Elaine, Liz and Ali - you three know this means new pictures, don't you!!

Dec 31, 2011, 9:09am Top

JOY all around! Just be sure to take pictures.

Edited: Dec 31, 2011, 5:23pm Top

Happy new year everyone in the lovely Virago group, joining this group has been a joy of 2011 for me. I have totted up my reads for 2011 - and *drum roll* I read 129 books. But only 14 were Virago and 5 Persephone - that seems like a good excuse to pledge to read more of these (my favourite) kind of books in 2012.

Happy virago reading in 2012 : )

Dec 31, 2011, 11:41pm Top

HAPPY NEW YEAR, dear Virago Sisters and Brothers!

Jan 1, 2012, 2:17am Top

Happy New Year!

Jan 1, 2012, 6:12am Top

Happy New Year, everyone!

Jan 1, 2012, 7:03am Top

Wishing a Very Happy New Year to everyone in this most special of Library Thing groups!

Jan 1, 2012, 11:29am Top

Happy New Year, fellow Viragoites! Hope the year brings many reading blessings your way(s).

Jan 1, 2012, 1:33pm Top

Happy New Year and welcome to our year of reading Elizabeth Taylor. In January we will read her debut novel, At Mrs Lippincote's. The thread is up, here.

Jan 7, 2012, 11:29am Top

I am very happy today. We just found out that my son Joseph (the youngest of my three children) got the leading part (Pseudolus) in his school production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
For those of you who do not know, he loves theatre and acting and, I must say, he is quite good. Two years ago he won the Helen Hayes Award (a theatre award for high school students) for the role of Bela Zangler in "Crazy for You". No, in his last year of high school, he is applying to acting schools.
I apologize for boasting, but I am very happy for him.

Jan 7, 2012, 11:39am Top

I don't blame you for being proud, Paola. It's great that he's doing well in an area he loves! Well done, Joseph!

Jan 7, 2012, 11:40am Top

Hurray for Joseph! Boast away Paola!!!

Jan 7, 2012, 11:50am Top


Jan 7, 2012, 11:52am Top

Congratulations to your son, Paola. What a fun role!

Jan 7, 2012, 12:27pm Top

How lovely to hear your news Paola :))

Jan 7, 2012, 1:07pm Top

Kudos to Joseph. And I am so happy and proud for you as well Paolina!~! I am sure you rubbed off on him.

Jan 7, 2012, 1:32pm Top

Broadway, here he comes Paola!

Jan 7, 2012, 1:39pm Top

Well done to Joseph! Boast away!

Jan 7, 2012, 3:22pm Top

Well, my dear girls, I am sure he got the artistic gene from my side of the family as, on his father's side, they all are as artistic as a turnip.
My own nephew is a bass baritone (Joseph sings well too).

Jan 7, 2012, 6:10pm Top

Congratulations to Joseph - Paola, you must be very proud.

Jan 7, 2012, 11:32pm Top

Yes, dear Paola - boast and boast! How wonderful and exciting for Joseph and how proud you must be! Pictures, please!!

Jan 7, 2012, 11:50pm Top

Well done Joseph! Another vote for pics, please.

Jan 8, 2012, 10:56am Top

#149 SO proud of Joseph's accomplishments. Gee, I wish I had asked him for an autograph when I met him! Boast all you want, Mama.

Jan 8, 2012, 11:37am Top

Exactly what I thought, Linda! Paolina, tell him that he has a few autographs to hand out when he hits the big time!

Jan 8, 2012, 12:35pm Top

Well done Joseph and Mama for raising him!

Jan 8, 2012, 1:14pm Top

Thanks again! By the way, Joe thanks you all for the support.
When I have the DVD of the performance, I shall try make a few copies to send out to who is interested in seeing it. I just promised a few friends already and, even if I am very forgetful, I will do it this time.
The play is in April, around the 20th, so you have a few months to wait.

Jan 8, 2012, 3:17pm Top

Pseudolus! What a great, great role for polishing off his high school career! Break BOTH legs, Joseph!

Jan 9, 2012, 8:59am Top

Fabulous news, what an achievement. A funny thing happened . . . is one of my favourite shows, and Pseudolus is a great role.

Jan 12, 2012, 8:01am Top

Is anyone following the BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week readings this week? Essays by authors and publishers from the collection Stop What You're Doing and Read This, about books and reading, being read by their authors. Today's essay is by Carmen Callil. Available here on iPlayer for those who can access this.

Jan 12, 2012, 12:21pm Top

Thanks Genny - I will add that to my favourites on iPlayer.

Jan 15, 2012, 12:10pm Top

Cuter than puppies????? Fiddlesticks!

Jan 16, 2012, 10:10am Top

Adorable! Is it a corgi?

Jan 19, 2012, 1:25am Top

Very cute and precious. I want one. Love the markings and look at that expression. Baby looks a little sad.

Jan 21, 2012, 1:51am Top

For those of you who have a passion for the period and the book Birdsong, by Sebastian Faulks is being dramatised on BBC 1 on Sunday evening at 9pm. The Radio Times has a couple of articles and some background to the real story behind the book.

Jan 21, 2012, 6:48am Top

I loved Birdsong! I wonder if the dramatization will air in the US? Let us know what you think of it Julie!

Jan 22, 2012, 11:18am Top

>170 sibyx: How darling. It makes me think of Tasha Tudor who loved corgis and who is one of my heroines.

Jan 22, 2012, 11:23am Top

#173, 174 There's a book that I've been meaning to read for a long time. I have it here somewhere. *drifts off muttering*

Jan 22, 2012, 12:46pm Top

I feel like I have read Birdsong because Himself kept reading bits out loud to me while we journeyed through Scotland. I actually haven't read the book...around here somewhere too...

Jan 23, 2012, 2:53pm Top

Read this today...Must Read Books for Downton Abbey Fans

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
Published to critical acclaim, this intensely romantic yet stunningly realistic novel spans three generations and the unimaginable gulf between the First World War and the present. It’s been recently adapted for BBC TV and is coming to PBS’ Masterpiece Theater April 22 and 29, 2012.

Jan 23, 2012, 3:01pm Top

Wow. Excellent. Thanks, Cate. Must make entry in my TV viewing datebook!

Jan 23, 2012, 4:00pm Top

Fantastic news. Birdsong is a great book and I can't wait to see the dramatization. Interesting list of "must read" books too!

Jan 23, 2012, 5:27pm Top

Anyone else viewed the BBC Birdsong?

Jan 24, 2012, 3:12am Top

I forgot to watch it! I was still planning on viewing it on iPlayer except I overheard two men talking about it yesterday, saying how disappointed they'd been in it.

Jan 24, 2012, 2:28pm Top

A wonderful video post on the two upcoming Virago Book Club book; Damage and Sin, and the author who sounds really special. If you've not had an opportunity to view this, please do.


Jan 24, 2012, 6:59pm Top

I watched that when it turned up in my e-mail Belva. They'll be in your library under the original publisher so you can read her for free. And then we'll talk... :)

Jan 25, 2012, 10:01am Top

I mentioned this on the Fabulous Finds thread, but it bears repeating:

Betterworld Books is having a Bargain Bin Blowout today, 30% off 4 or more used books.

Edited: Jan 26, 2012, 7:05am Top

I am copying this from a post Chrisharpe just posted at the BBC radio 4 group.

I happened to catch this on BBC R4 a couple of days ago. It's still available at the URL below. I didn't particularly enjoy Testament of Youth, but I can't help but admire the author.

Great Lives: Vera Brittain http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b019rpw0

The pacifist Vera Brittain - whose Testament of Youth conveys the toll of the First World War on her generation - is discussed by her daughter Baroness Shirley Williams and Dr Clare Gerada.

Matthew Parris chairs a fascinating and insightful exploration of what it was like to be brought up by Vera Brittain, a mother who was effectively worldwide public property, and so in many ways was simply unavailable to the young Shirley. Vera, who as a teenage feminist was desperate for an education, turned her back on her studies at Oxford in 1914, because she felt compelled to serve as a nurse, wanting to join her brother and his friends in the Trenches as far as she could.

The rest of Vera Brittain's life was shaped by the grief that followed the loss of her fiance, her own brother and two good friends. Candidly conveying all this in her best selling book, 'Testament of Youth', won her a lifelong audience.

Shirley Williams explains that as a result of these experiences her mother became a passionately committed pacifist and feminist, who in 1944 denounced Bomber Command's blanket bombing of Germany at a time when it was deeply unpopular to do so. Brittain was vindicated in the eyes of the press when it was revealed that she and her husband George Catlin were the only married couple to feature in the Gestapo's notorious Black Book, listing those who would have been executed, had the German invasion of the UK been successful.

Dr Clare Gerada, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, nominates a fascinating life in a programme that reflects on two influential women - mother and daughter - who have played key public roles across the entire twentieth century.

Producer: Mark Smalley.

Tue 24 Jan 2012
BBC Radio 4
Fri 27 Jan 2012
BBC Radio 4

Jan 26, 2012, 7:44am Top

Oh thank you Dee! I just downloaded the podcast to my iPhone so I can listen on my way home from work this evening. You're the best!

Jan 26, 2012, 12:51pm Top

Thanks for the links @185 and @187...much appreciated!

Jan 26, 2012, 6:20pm Top

Elaine / Liz1654 asked me to post a hello to the group: We had a lovely book shopping expedition and lunch in Stratford-Upon-Avon today.

Jan 26, 2012, 6:40pm Top

#190 Green is not just the color of Virago spines, but of this Virago reader as well...

Jan 27, 2012, 3:29am Top

>190 LyzzyBee:/191 - And me. Green is a very popular colour. ;)

Jan 27, 2012, 9:30am Top

>190 LyzzyBee:, 191, 192 - Add a third! (Green has always been my favorite color.) I must say, Helen, that Up the Country is comforting my envy quite a bit. Thank you, dear VSS!!

Jan 27, 2012, 9:49am Top

Green is my favourite colour too, Peggy. And you've reminded me to let Lucy know that I've read and reviewed Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford here:

Jan 27, 2012, 10:54am Top

Our bridesmaids wore green when we got married. It is a most excellent colour.

Jan 27, 2012, 11:06am Top

Green is my favourite colour too!

#195 I wanted green bridesmaids dresses for our wedding but I left it a bit late (not my fault, one of my bridesmaids wasn't in the country) and apparently green wasn't fashionable that year.

Jan 27, 2012, 11:26am Top

Oh, I'm so glad I stopped in! I am going to rush off to read your review now, Tui.

Jan 27, 2012, 11:28am Top

Another vote for green as favourite colour here! The only time I've ever been a bridesmaid I was lucky enough to wear a lovely green dress. Actually, it was Virago green, now I come to think of it!

Jan 27, 2012, 11:30am Top

Have to report that Tui's review is superb!

Jan 27, 2012, 1:23pm Top

>195 Ygraine: - Ours did too!

Edited: Jan 28, 2012, 3:40pm Top

Here's what I bought in Stratford ...


Hope that link works, had forgotten how to insert a photo... checked on the wiki, did what it said, still didn't work.

Anyway, some Greens, some other Viragos, some other others!

Jan 28, 2012, 3:28pm Top

What a haul you made! (jealous)

Jan 28, 2012, 3:45pm Top

#201 Liz - wow! that is a good haul. Wish I could have gone with you and not had to go to silly old work : /

Jan 28, 2012, 4:04pm Top

I know ... but there might be a little something from that day on its way to you ...

Jan 28, 2012, 4:29pm Top

>199 sibyx:: Thanks, Lucy! I should have mentioned how splendid the photos were.

>201 LyzzyBee:: WOW!

Jan 28, 2012, 5:05pm Top

Grrrh! Sorry... Wow :)

Jan 28, 2012, 5:08pm Top

201 -- Ohhh a Stead I have not read! Oh green envy!

Jan 28, 2012, 11:13pm Top

Excellent finds, Liz! Read Easter Island years ago and loved it. Intriguing and atmospheric story with quite an ending. A definite keeper and reread for me.

Jan 29, 2012, 3:30am Top

#204 oooooooh : )

Jan 29, 2012, 2:27pm Top

Oh I have taken my book blog over to wordpress - should anyone be interested.


maybe some of you can visit me over there.

Jan 29, 2012, 7:26pm Top


Jan 30, 2012, 8:38am Top

>201 LyzzyBee:: I used to love the Drina books, at least the first few. It got a bit ridiculous towards the end of the series where no matter where she went Drina always found a dance company who needed her to cover for an injured dancer. But I liked all the ballet details and how the author showed all the hard work behind the glamour.

Feb 3, 2012, 9:43am Top

If anyone's interested in giving away books on World Book Night (Shakespeare's birthday), the deadline to sign up is Monday, February 6: http://www.us.worldbooknight.org/

Feb 11, 2012, 8:39am Top

Trafalgar Square Publishing (part of Independent Publishers Group) will be the US distributor for the three Winifred Holtby titles re-released last year as VMCs: Anderby Wold, The Land of Green Ginger, and Poor Caroline (covers shown below):

A representative from Trafalgar Square Publishing contacted me with an opportunity to read and review these books on my blog. If you are based in the US, have a book blog, and would like to review one of these books, please leave me a PM and I'll give you details. The books will be released in the US in May, and the publisher would prefer reviews be published in early May (not before).

Feb 11, 2012, 9:44am Top

I have those 3 books in that edition - they are beautiful aren't they. Still not read The Land of Green Ginger but thoroughly enjoyed the other two.

Feb 11, 2012, 10:20am Top

#214 A timely reminder that I bought those lovely editions last year after enjoying South Riding so much and I still haven't read any of them (*ashamed*)

Feb 11, 2012, 1:10pm Top

What a great opportunity Laura, and what perfect timing with our VMCReaders page! More to post and share! Amazon has the release dates as April and May. Holtby's 114th birthday is in June!

Feb 11, 2012, 2:37pm Top

Wonderful! I loved the South Riding they sent me!

Feb 17, 2012, 7:35pm Top

First grandbaby born yesterday morning -- Caden Derek Cruff, 7 pounds, 2 ounces and lots of black hair! Pictures forthcoming soon....

Feb 17, 2012, 8:09pm Top

Yay, Jane! Congratulations!!

Feb 17, 2012, 8:12pm Top

Congratulations, Jane!!!!!!!! You must be so so so proud! :-))

Feb 17, 2012, 8:24pm Top

Congratulations Grandma!!!

Feb 17, 2012, 8:33pm Top

So wonderful and exciting, Jane, congratulations! You must be over the moon!! Yes - Pictures please!

Feb 18, 2012, 3:16am Top

Congratulations, Jane! How lovely!

Feb 18, 2012, 4:51am Top

Oh Jane - how wonderful - nothing quite like it!

Feb 18, 2012, 6:22am Top

: ) congratulations grandma : )

Feb 18, 2012, 6:38am Top

Oh how exciting! Congratulations!!

Feb 18, 2012, 6:55am Top

Whoo hoo! Congratulations!

Feb 18, 2012, 10:27am Top

Congratulations, Granny!

Feb 18, 2012, 12:39pm Top

What will you be, Jane: Grandma, Nana, Gran, Granny? Congratulations!

Feb 18, 2012, 5:32pm Top

Thanks for all the congrats! I think I'll be Grandma, but whatever Caden wants to call me is OK by me.

Feb 18, 2012, 5:33pm Top

Congratulations! What a sweetie.

Feb 18, 2012, 6:07pm Top

OOOOOHHHHH Jane, that is one beautiful baby!

Feb 18, 2012, 9:13pm Top

Oh what a precious little thing!!!! Just adorable!!!!!!!!!!! :-))

Feb 19, 2012, 2:01am Top

I love the sleepy picture - gorgeous!

Feb 19, 2012, 6:26am Top

He's so sweet, Jane. Thank you for sharing the photos!

Feb 19, 2012, 11:15am Top

Awww.....so precious, so tiny. Enjoy, Grandma. He's just perfect.

Feb 19, 2012, 4:59pm Top

What an adorable little chap.

Feb 19, 2012, 10:07pm Top

Precious, precious, precious!~! Congratulations Jane. You are in for a special world of wonderment!

Feb 20, 2012, 9:04am Top

More congratulations here! I wish you much joy as you get to know him.

Feb 20, 2012, 10:01am Top

What a total cutie pie! Congratulations!

Feb 20, 2012, 4:01pm Top

He is a darling - and so big and bright for a newborn!!
I actually came by to say that there seems to be a green copy of The Loved and the Envied at PBS right now. I neglected to take it off my wish & reminder lists when I got a copy, and it was there two minutes ago - a very pretty cover; I'm not sure what the inside is like!

Feb 20, 2012, 4:04pm Top

>242 LizzieD:: I also neglected to take it off my wish list! I received a "wish granted" message and then realized I already had it :)

Feb 20, 2012, 7:25pm Top

Thank-you for your oohs and aahs -- it's what I've been doing all day.

Feb 20, 2012, 8:37pm Top

Don't forget to check in with the VMC Readers Page on facebook! There are reviews, links and a bunch of pics to browse through!

Edited: Feb 21, 2012, 6:50pm Top

Moved this post to our Virago Remembrance thread....oops!

Feb 21, 2012, 5:34pm Top

Congratulations Jane!!!

Feb 21, 2012, 5:35pm Top

This message may cause Paola to faint ... but I am happy to say that some Virago Modern Classics are now in Baron von Kindle's library.

Feb 21, 2012, 5:37pm Top

A question ... who here has read Nina Bawden's Anna Apparent?

Feb 21, 2012, 6:10pm Top

I have but cannot remember the plot at all. I do remember liking it though.

Feb 22, 2012, 6:15am Top

i read it, too, and then gave away my copy. The only thing I really remember is something about the ending either bothered or puzzled me.

Feb 22, 2012, 8:12am Top

I recently became aware of a new LT feature: lists!
Check out Favourite Virago Modern Classics -- you can add works to the list, create your own list, and even "thumb down" books you consider less worthy.

I added a link to this list to our group wiki.

Feb 22, 2012, 2:30pm Top

thumbs up Laura

Feb 22, 2012, 5:24pm Top

Thanks Laura. One question - in the top right hand corner we are told we may drag and drop to change our preferred order. I am unable to do that - is there a problem?

Feb 22, 2012, 5:45pm Top

Is there a page somewhere explaining how to use these lists?????? I need everything spelled out v-e-r-y s-i-m-p-l-y......

Feb 22, 2012, 8:41pm Top

>254 juliette07:: Julie, you can reorder your personal list but not the "all members' list". To reorder, drag and drop within that little green box. Or click on "your list" and you'll be able to move them around. Does that make sense? Sometimes it's hard to describe what I see on screen.
>255 sibyx:: Lucy, this is a beta feature so it's less documented. Members have created tons of lists and I'm sure this was discussed or publicized somewhere, but I can't find it.

Feb 23, 2012, 2:13am Top

Thanks Laura - I realized I could not re-order the ''all members' list'' but could not make the little green box 'do what it said on the can'!! Rushes off to try again :)

Edited: Feb 23, 2012, 2:19am Top

mmmmm ..... still can't drag and drop from the green box or from ''your list''.... They won't budge at all.

Group: Virago Modern Classics

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