Which PERSEPHONE are you reading, PART II
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In the wee early hours of this chilly March morn, I began The Making of a Marchioness and am thoroughly charmed and delighted. Thank you Heaven-Ali!!
I am jealous, bleuroses! It has been reprinting for some time now and I have been unable to buy it. I enjoyed The Shuttle lots.
bunnyb! I have a 2nd copy of The Making of a Marchioness though it isn't a Persephone. Would you like it anyway?
bleuroses, what a wonderfully tempting offer! I'm all in a dither ... I really want to read it but I also want to have a Persephone edition but ... yes please! I can read and enjoy it, it will stop upsetting me that I can't buy it and it means I can treat myself to another Persephone the next time I am buying. Thank you!
bunnyb, it's yours! Think of it like this, you'll get to read it and when you do acquire the Persephone edition, you can send the non-Persephone to someone else! Leave a private post on my profile and I'll mail it on Monday.
An Interrupted Life by Etty Hillesum.
I found this book containing the diary and letters of a young Jewish woman in Holland during the holocaust very moving, especially her letters to her friends.
Oh englishrose, that one is my favorite persephone~such a treasure.
hjelliot - I agree. I was disappointed when the diary entries ended, but the letters to her friends made up for that loss. She was an outstanding person.
Paola - whatever edition you read it is well worth it.
I'm reading the Far Cry by Emma Smith right now and enjoying it very much. Has anybody else read it?
11 - I've read it and there should be a review knocking around if you look here: The Far Cry . I did enjoy it, but not quite as much as I thought I would.
I've just finished A House in the Country which is not quite as it seems but all the better for it- a very interesting, thoughtful book about war, written in 1944 so there's an immediacy and poignancy to the musings and situations. Must go and write my review now...
I have read A Far Cry tuppy_glossop and enjoyed it - although it hasn't been among my favourite Persephone books. I think I have put a review on my copy too.
I also like A House in the country - it is a very thought provoking novel.
Your review of House in the Country on here is a bit odd, Ali - I'm sure you wrote a longer one on your LJ?
I finished Someone at a Distance last night, reading all the way through till 1 am. Thoroughly enjoyed it and have put a review on the book's site.
Question for anyone who owns the Classic edition. Was the woman on the front cover supposed to be Ellen or Louise? I presumed that this stunning, calm, peaceful creature was the wife. But as I read on it dawned on me that it was actually the mistress and that the calm, peaceful expression was really more sneaky and contemptuous.
For anyone interested, I found an BBC audio interview with the Far Cry writer, Emma Smith. Interesting to hear the author speak in her own words about her life and the novel.
I loved Far Cry and you might be interested to know that Bloomsbury are republishing her first novel Maidens' Trip in June:
I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on a copy!
I started Someone at a Distance today and find myself immediately entranced!
I started reading The Making of a Marchioness yesterday and am trying not to race through it as I'm enjoying it so much. I've reached the end of the first half and really enjoyed the precise way in which every woman is described in relation to her prospects for marriage - all done with a really light touch.
I added a review for They Were Sisters that I wrote last week on my blog.
The Making of a Marchioness was thoroughly charming.
Thank you so much to bleuroses for sending it to me!
A blog post will follow shortly.
And I'm starting Miss Buncle tomorrow after a longer-than-expected shopping trip today delayed me starting it...
>24, 25 Hope you enjoy Miss B; I did. I watched the film version of 84 Charing Cross Road yesterday there was something about it that made me think of Miss B.
I'm sorry I can't make it up to London to meet you both next week. Enjoy yourselves and don't forget to let us know what goodies you succumb to!
Ali's finished it and I'm starting it in approx 15 mins after yesterday's doings took longer than expected.
Sorry we can't meet you too! Next time...!
I'm sorry I can meet with you either but I really can't leave my guests - have fun!
Finished Miss Buncle's Book on Monday evening and thoroughly enjoyed it - have put my review up!
I am reading Brook Evans by Susan Glaspell, but not a Persephone edition. Mine is a sad, tattered old hardcover, but I am so glad to be reading it, I don't care what it looks like!
marise - I recently read another "sad tattered old hardcover" edition of a Susan Glaspell's -novel published in 1909 The Glory of the Conquered - If you are enjoying Susan Glaspell's writing, Glory is a must if you can find a copy - we have to be grateful to Persephone for republishing at least two of her works.
I've just started Ms. Whipple's They Were Sisters and enjoying it so much! It's also my first Whipple.
tubby_glossop, I enjoyed They Were Sisters although I found it harrowing.
I also enjoyed Cheerful Weather for the Wedding despite its slightness. I reviewed it on my book blog (link to which is on my profile so please feel free to read it). I can't figure out how to add a review to it here; do I have to add the book to my library (it was a library book)?
I have not been able to afford real Persephones for a while so have been making do with beat up, older copies of the books. I recently read Swamp Angel by Persephone author Ethel Wilson, which I can recommend unreservedly.
I am currently reading an equally battered copy of The Expendable Man and 50 pages in got a huge jolt. I had to go back to the beginning to see if I had missed a huge clue. I hadn't. It is an ENORMOUSLY clever twist to the plot and I won't spoil it for others by saying more. Suffice it to say that I was reading in the lunch room and actually stood up and said Oh my God!
WOW Barbara! Your comments make it worth to go look for those books!
I'm glad someone besides myself looks around for Persephone titles in cheaper, older editions -- I love Persephone but my reading habit won't allow me to spend more than a couple of pounds on a book and then I splurge occasionally so I still get the Quarterly. I've just returned Few Eggs and No Oranges (original edition) to the library and have been lucky enough to find Tea with Mr Rochester and Cheerful Weather for the Wedding in older editions. I once spent a happy afternoon in the Leamington Spa library reading The Far Cry -- not my favorite but I AM looking forwar to getting my hands on her memoir Maidens Trip.
#40- the mention of the Leamington Spa library gave me bit of a start- it's been my hometown during term time for the past two years and I'll be very sorry to leave it in a few weeks. They've got a very good selection of Persephones- I discovered my favourite, Saplings, there, and my first Dorothy Whipple, They Knew Mr Knight.
Anyway, I spent today reading Marjory Fleming- what a little treasure. I liked the way that Marjory was so flawed. The endpapers are also the prettiest I've ever seen.
What a lovely way to spend an early summer day, julia-flyte!
I found Marjory Fleming over 30 years ago in a little book called Revelations - Diaries of Women edited by Mary Jane Moffat. It changed my world completely and began, what has now been, decades of journal writing. Marjorie, so far beyond her years in her writing, inspires me still.
I placed my first mail order with persephone and thought I'd catch up on the ones I had in my pile left to read. Have been enjoying immensely. Since my last post I've read Round about a Pound a Week, Daddy's Gone A-Hunting, The Closed Door and other stories, Katherine Mansfield's Journal, and The Victorian Chaise-Longue. I was surprised by the Dorothy Whipple short stories as I was a bit luke warm on They Were Sisters and these I found tremendous. Thought the slim Laski novel was brilliant and enjoyed all the rest. Can't wait to start my newest acquisitions.
I read Cheerful Weather for the Wedding, yesterday afternoon. Really enjoyed it, beautifully observed, and very memorable.
I'm reading A Very Great Profession at the moment. Honestly, it rose to the top of the TBR and it's just fortuitous that I'm stuck at home with the Plague and needing something nice to read!
I'm really enjoying it so far. Really helps that I've read a fair few of the books discussed - a nice warm feeling of recognition when I come across one!
Almost makes up for OH Matthew forgetting to buy me chocolate today - I'm down to my last little scrap of it I got in Edinburgh and had hidden in a bag!!!!
I've finished A Very Great Profession now and reviewed it. Good stuff!
I've just finished reading Good Evening Mrs Craven by Mollie Panter-Downes and I enjoyed it very much. She is a very good writer, not necessarily with a very great range, but there are touches of humour and pathos within the stories. It's also noticeable with the chronological arrangements of the stories that the tone gets darker as the collection progresses. I shall now keep a look out for her peacetime story collection.
I just finished Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple. Loved it as I loved every book I've read by her. I have been on a Whipple streak since May. I've already read 5 of her books since then. So glad to hear that Persephone is going to publish another Whipple book soon.
Tonight I'm starting Saplings which many here have spoken highly of.
I'm about half way through Mariana which I am enjoying. I always love sassy and observant adolescent girls.
Just about to start Every Eye by Isobel English .. have been looking forward to this one
I finished The Shuttle last night which was so bad it was good. 512 pages. I read a review on Amazon that said Persephone abridged their edition and cut out an important character (FFolliott). Given that my copy is a 100 years old I got everything she wrote. There were certainly pages of description I could have done without but this gentleman was sort of essential to the plot, so what gives?
Barbara, even if it is definitely full of stereotypes and lengthy descriptions, I had great fun reading it and, yes, I have a 100 year old copy too.
I've just started reading Saplings which has been so warmly spoken of here. Am liking it very much so far - it does evoke feelings from childhood which are universal whatever the family background.
I'm reading The Blank Wall which the lovely Heaven-Ali found in a charity shop on holiday and ALREADY HAD! Hooray for Ali and for lucky me! It's fascinating so far!
Finished and reviewed The Blank Wall - quite literally could NOT put it down!
Lyzzy - I own a non-Persephone copy of this and have not opened it. It's just moved a little higher up the TBR list.
I just finished Fidelity by Susan Glaspell. What a beautiful and very intelligent novel! I can't understand why Glaspell isn't more well known.
Yes, I read that she's more famous for her plays. I'm looking forward to reading more of her. Any suggestions?
Astrid - I would recommend The Glory of the Conquered - it is another of SUsan Glaspell's works that was written in 1909. I was able to find a copy through an interlibrary loan. Although it is one of her earlier works, it is a moving and sensitive book which left me stunned with the beauty of the story and this writer's talent. She was an outstanding author. She is described by one reviewer as a genius and I would agree with that.
Fugitive's Return is another of Glaspell's works I would recommend.
I would also recommend one of her plays Alison's House if you can find a copy.
There is a volume of short stories, Lifted Mask you might enjoy.
Persephone has also published another of her works called Brook Evans.
Patricia, Thanks for the recommendations. I'll really try to hunt for these books. It may be difficult though. I agree with you. Just from this one novel that I've read, she seems to be a genius. It's a novel of ideas with an interesting plot as well.
I started to read The Blank Wall last night and it's like a 1940s black and white film full of intrigue and melodrama!
I've just finished it - you're right bunnyb - there's quite a period feel to it and a real undercurrent of unease throughout - I enjoyed it!
vestafan, I enjoyed it too! It was a lot of fun with a great juxtaposition between the domestic mundane and the melodramatic extraordinary.
Reading The Making of a Marchioness now. Delightful little Cinderella-esque tale.
I've just started the Victorian Chaise-Lounge by Marghanita Laski. I suppose I'm in for a frightful Sunday afternoon :)
I'm on page 85 of Miss Buncle's Book and loving it. I can see why it's so popular :)
Here here for Glaspell!
I just read Cheerful Weather for the Wedding what a funny and yet devestating little book.
Not a Persephone but one of their authors. I have just finished my second Ethel Wilson - this time The Innocent Traveller. The story of great aunt Topaz who is 'talkative, trivial and tiresome... one of those unmarried women who stay 'girls' all their lives.' It was excellent, as was Swamp Angel. Makes me think Hetty Dorval must be truly wonderful if Persephone chose it over these two. I am deeply surprised this one didn't become a Virago either. Perhaps it was not available, because it fits all the criteria.
Read Cheerful Weather for the Wedding last night. Loved the cover, did not love the book which read like a stage play to me.
>82 I have put off buying that one since it gets mixed reviews... It does have a lovely cover though :)
I've just started reading How to Run Your Home Without Help by Kay Smallshaw. So far it's a fascinating social history with the added bonus of some of the attitudes expressed being ones I remember from my childhood in the 1950s.
Just started Mariana by Monica Dickens. It's my first Persephone book which I found at the local Barnes and Noble. Great read! I love lost fiction. So many great works get lost in the publishing hustle. Persephone is providing a wonderful service for male readers as well, myself included.
I am currently reading Daddy's Gone A-Hunting - Penelope Mortimer
Just posted my review of Edith Henrietta Fowler's The Young Pretenders, a Christmas present that I allowed myself to skip forward to over my birthday. Really enjoyed it!
Someone at a Distance is my current read. My, she's a fantastic writer, isn't she?
I finished reading Saplings by Noel Streatfeild this morning, my first Persephone read. I think I might pick up Mariana by Monica Dickens next - one of my other 5 purchases from the shop in January.
I'm currently reading The Village by Marghanita Laski. I'm enjoying it and also the fact that all her books are so different from each other.
I finished reading Mariana yesterday. Am still deciding which of my other 4 Persephones to pick up next.
I just finished reading Good Evening, Mrs. Craven by Mollie Panter-Downes, a collection of short stories about life in England during wartime. I bought another collection of her stories yesterday, Minnie's Room, though I'll probably choose a novel as my April Persephone read, and perhaps one of my 3 non-fiction Persephones for May.
The novel choices:
Miss Buncle's Book
Alas, Poor Lady
William: An Englishman
Hostages to Fortune
To Bed With Grand Music
Few Eggs and No Oranges
A Woman's Place, 1910-1975
On the Other Side: Letters to My Children
Any views on which are the best?
>102 Miss Buncle's Book is wonderful! (although I confess I haven't read any others on your list, and I'm biased towards DE Stevenson in general :)
I finished Saplings last night. Some thoughts... Hated the beginning, felt I was reading an Enid Blyton. Sickly sweet family at the seaside with Nanny etc. My heart sank. However very early you realize that all is not what it seems. Mum is vain and feckless and war is looming. It turned into a very good read and I looked forward to getting back to it. However, I never engaged on a personal level with any of the characters so ultimately this was not a 'great' book for me.
I'm just about to start Making Conversation. I can't wait for bedtime!
102> Hostages to Fortune is one of the best books I have ever read. Her insights into people and their relationships were amazing. I just finished reading A House in the Country by Jocelyn Playfair, which affected me similarly. Both these books made me realize why the writers have been "forgotten" for so long--because they make the reader think about things that are sometimes uncomfortable, such as what kind of a person one is and what kind of a person one ought to be. I feel the same way about Elizabeth Goudge--I love her books painfully because she reaches in and tugs at me so that I can't return to my former complacency.
Finished and reviewed Mariana - really enjoyed it. Have some more in the TBR but will space them out and read something else in between.
>109 I loved Mariana...it was one of my favourite Persephones from last year
>108 The twist in The Expendable Man is so surprising...I never expected it. Let me know what you think of it.
I was a bit disappointed in Making Conversation. Like in a lot of Persephones, nothing much happened. But, while I usually enjoy that, this time it sort of fell flat and I didn't get a real feel for the main character. It seemed more a vehicle for a series of witticisms than it did a proper novel.
112: I read The Far Cry last month and loved it! Such an evocative picture of India. Enjoy.
113 & 114: Your messages have encouraged me to ignore all the jobs I have to do and start the book today - will be interesting as I have a lot of family history in India. Can't wait!
I just read and reviewed Dorothy Whipple's High Wages - given to me at Christmas by Heaven-Ali! Really enjoyed it and gulped it all down through the course of one Sunday!
Just read Still missing - one of the new ones - couldn't resist reading it any longer!
I got a little too excited for Persephone Reading Week and started They Were Sisters this morning.
I am going to start Miss Buncle's Book shortly. I am finishing Mrs. Tim of the Regiment by the same authors (I REALLY liked it), and begin immediately.
I'm reading High Wages for the PRW (even though I don't have my own blog :).
London child is one of my very very favourites, and I loved Still Missing! Glad so many of you are enjoying PRW :)
That's an interesting coincidence, I've also almost finished To Bed With Grand Music.
Loving Persephone Reading Week. Finished, High Wages, To Bed With Grand Music, Hetty Dorval, and now am starting Lettice Delmer. My cat also seems to be enjoying PRW. You can view a snap of her here:
Hetty Dorval and I didn't get on quite as I wanted to, but let us know how you find it bleuroses.
I'm afraid I've set Dorval aside. It just wasn't grabbing me and I didn't feel like waiting. I'm in need of an immediate escape!
I'm about half way through Round About A Pound A Week - might not be everyone's cup of tea but I love sociology / social history / longitudinal studies and this is excellent.
I love books like that too, must read my copy of this which is a previous edition some time.
Just finished listening to the audiobook of Cheerful Weather for the Wedding. Miriam Margolyes is a wonderful narrator but I found the story itself a little depressing and almost too sardonic for my liking.
I've started reading The Carlyles at Home, an Oxford edition with illustrations, loaned from a Library I'm currently working at. Can anyone tell me whether the Persephone version has illustrations?
>139 - digifish - Persephone's edition of The Carlyles at Home has beautifully illustrated endpapers of a sitting room scene. There are illustrations at the beginning of each chapter which seem to be relevant to the chapter content.
I just finished Minnie's Room, peacetime stories of Mollie Panter-Downes, very good but very short, so might pick up another Persephone before the end of this month.
So I've finished and reviewed Round About A Pound A Week - an excellent and absorbing read though can't say it was "enjoyable"!
I have an older modern reprint of Round About a Pound a Week - a Virago.
I'm part way through Housebound and really enjoying it. Grrr - link works without the apostrophe, not with it!
I finished Miss Buncle's Book (it came highly recommended here) which I loved. It has a great deal of humor and charm but also the sophistication of commenting on a book about writing a book. Some compared it to Miss Pettigrew Lives for A Day I actually preferred it.
I have peeped into both The Hopkins Manuscript and Few Eggs and No Oranges and I look forward to reading both but have to finish some research for a theater project the next few weeks.
I have been reading Few Eggs and No Oranges just a bit each day. It is an amazing record or life in London during WWII.
I am about fifty pages into Still Missing -read in one very sleepy sitting- and loving it so far.
I started listening to Miss Buncle's Book on audio this afternoon. It's hilarious! I haven't laughed so much while reading or listening to a book in ages. The reader is quite wonderful.
That just arrived from Book Depository for me too Kasthu but I am putting it away as a Christmas present to myself.
I read Hetty Dorval last month. It was okay, not great. Fairly well written.
I just finished Miss Buncle's Book on audio, wonderfully read by Patricia Gallimore. Loved it--and I'm not one who usually cares for humorous novels.
Cariola, where did you get an audio version of MBB from? Thought they'd only released Miss P...
Cariola, where did you get an audio version of MBB from? Thought they'd only released Miss P...
Just finished High Wages, love it!
>162 I just saw a commercial for Audible this week, and was wondering if it was any good. I'll have to check it out.
High Wages just arrived this morning. I might make that my first Dorothy Whipple.
I'm reading Miss Buncle Married in a large print edition from the library. Quite a few of D E S's books seem to have been published most recently in that form, for those of you who use the library and want to read more of her work.
163> I've been a member for about five years now, and I've been very happy with them. You get two credits/month, and I think it runs about $22. Sounds expensive (and of course, you can buy used paperbacks a lot more cheaply). But it's not a bad deal when you figure that audiobooks on disk cost $25+. Almost all of their books are 1 credit, and they have frequent sales and specials (like the current "get three books for two credits"). They carry a wide variety. Lately I've even noticed a lot of books in Dutch, Swedish, Spanish, and other languages.
165> So are they thinking that Stevenson appeals to the older set who are losing their eyesight? I noticed these large print copies on some of the swap sites, too.
I assume they do see DES as appealing to the Large Print audience whoever they might be. I've read a few crime novels in LP before.
I've nearly finished Dimanche and other stories by Irene Nemirovsky, one of the spring 2010 Persephones. Some of the stories go up to the war years and the invasion of France/occupation, and must have been written not long before the author was deported to Auschwitz.
I am tearing through The Making of a Marchioness which is a lot of fun but also surprisingly astute in the social comedy. All the descriptions made it sound like Cinderella which it is but it is better than that and I am enjoying it immensely.
Guess what Persephone are publishing next Spring, according to the Biannually - Miss Buncle Married. Maybe they'll bring out the 3rd/4th books at some point.
Reading A Few Eggs and No Oranges and am about 1/4 of the way through.
I've started to read The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow and thoroughly enjoying it.
171> Does anyone know when/if they plan to reprint Miss Buncle's Book?
I reread They were sisters yesterday - I devoured it, and thus on a Persephone roll I'm going for Family Roundabout today.
#177 Cariola, I heard last week whilst in shop that the current reprints will be back in before Christmas.
#178 Verity, I love that you are rereading some Persephones! The first and titular novella in The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow was very good and I'll read the second today.
I started High Wages this morning, on the train. So far, I like it very much.
179> Thanks for the tip--I'll be looking for it and will certainly put it on my Christmas list.
I am reading my first Dorothy Whipple: The Priory. I am quite liking it but not as much as I expected.
>183 Nooooo, don't tell me that....! I just ordered The Priory ;)
I'm reading High Wages now and think it's one of my favourite Persephone reads so far. It starts in 1912 and goes into the years of WWI and is about a young woman who starts as a shop assistant and goes on to set up her own business.
I did like the Priory. I found it an enjoyable read but had some reservations. Lots of people whose tastes I usually share really loved it and I think that made my expectations too high. That along with it being a Persephone and I had so far loved every Persephone I had read. And with Dorothy Whipple being the epitome of "Persephoneness", I expected this to be really special. Definitely a case of heightened expectations!
I do plan on reading more Whipple novels though. I think I would get on better with one with less characters. I really felt for Anthea and Christine- they seemed real and believable to me but some of the other characters struck me as a bit two-dimensional.
Thank you, elkiedee. I think I might try High Wages as my next Whipple. I also thought I might read her short story collection as I loved the story of her's that the Persephone magazine featured a couple of editions back.
I just finished How to Run Your Home Without Help - one of Persephone's 'oddities' that I picked up second hand for a few dollars on line.
It was, I thought, both very entertaining and very sad. I was raised by a mother who might've owned an original copy of this book, who washed every Monday, ironed every Tuesday, polished the front step, cleaned the grates, darned and mended in front of the television at night, and who even kept up with her paintwork, routinely wiping off fingerprints and dusting skirting boards. Unfortunately I inherited her work ethic. As a younger woman I also struggled with the wringer washing machines, ironed everything I wore, polished my shoes, and in my first Swinging London flat, carried coal and cleaned a fire grate every day.
I also worked and somewhere in the late 60s decided, along with Erica Jong, that 'because my mother's minutes were sucked into the roar of the vacuum cleaner' I would be content to 'live in a dusty house'. I gave up housework. 'Clean house, boring woman' I said until I bought my own home and overnight reverted to being houseproud.
So while I wouldn't encourage anyone to spend 12 quid on this book, if you see it second hand, don't hesitate. This is the life women lived until comparatively recently. This is the life we sacrificed careers, talents, and political equality for. Worse, this is the life that swallowed my own mother alive.
Great review romain. You should post it to the review page. I'd give it a thumb up.
Romain - I have a funny story about this one. I've ended up doing most of the housework in our house (until recently when in a fit of "Room of One's Own" I capitulated to having a cleaner so I can work on my business up in my garret!). My OH, Matthew, asked our friend Catherine to pick up a Persephone for him to buy for me, and bring it up when she visited. Out of a long list I provided, she chose this one, and he had to wrap it and give it to me on Christmas Day! (or was it my birthday!)
I did enjoy it as an artifact and it did give me some hints for cleaning which I took note of for... about a week...
I also finished it feeling like I should get stuck into my own house and feng shui it once and for all. But then life intervened and I didn't. But this book reminded me of how absolutely intolerable our lives were before mod cons. There was no way a woman could work outside of the home and do all this cleaning and cooking! I am old enough to remember polishing the silver and shelling the peas and don't even get me started on pastry. Mine was and still is an absolute disaster - thank god for store bought. I also laughed out loud when she said something like - You can't do that on Fridays because of course Fridays is your baking day. We baked on Sundays and I can still remember the absolute thrill of discovering pre-prepared cake mixes in the mid sixties.
Thank you Violet. I have transferred the text to the review section.
Goodness, I must be a throw back to the domestic days of old. While I don't especially enjoy cleaning my house, I am better and speedier, and I cannot live in an unclean house. Drives me absolutely batty and I can't concentrate on anything unless things are neat and tidy. But then again, I may just be OCD. I can also see how a set routine on set days would make it easier than say, tackling it all at once and have even kitted out a little cleaning/tool bag where all my supplies are kept. I do not feel swallowed by a cleaning routine, but then again my house is small and only takes 30 minutes top to bottom. And shock horror, I bake from scratch and like the results! I must be a dinosaur.
romain - Congratulations on the hot review. You made the home page.
Heather - there was a show on Oprah years ago that really frightened me. Some psychologist who said he or she could tell all they needed to know about a person after 20 minutes in their house. The downstairs of mine is calm, attractive and pleasant. The upstairs is where all hell breaks loose. This I suppose means that the public parts of me are calm, attractive and pleasant but the private parts aren't. Yikes.
Violet - what is the home page?
The home page is usually the first page that opens when you come to LT. It's the tab on the upper left of your screen. Hot Reviews are on the right hand side of the page if you have them turned on in your preferences.
I started Miss Buncle's Book today.
It's very good and I am pleasantly surprised. For some reason I didn't think I would like it.
...and now A Woman's Place, by Ruth Adam. Very agenda-ish (it was originally published in the '70s), but very readable, and she has some interesting things to say about us "superfluous women!"
I'm reading Denis Mackail, Greenery Street, a 1925 novel about newly weds and settling into adult life. I found it a bit irritating to start off with but it's growing on me.
I just reread The Village and am going to reread Daddy's gone a hunting next.
Finished Still Missing which I read in two gulps, finishing lying on the couch about an hour ago. This was a compulsive and very enjoyable read. Woman loses her six year old son, her innocence, her trust in people, and all the joy she once had in an almost perfect life. It had much to say about all sorts of things relevant to motherhood, marriage, society, sexual politics etc and yet at its core was a cracking good read that kept me on the edge of my seat to the very end.
It was not, however, a Persephone. Nor should it ever have been a Persephone. It did not fit the criteria in any way, shape or form and I cannot imagine how the decision was made to publish it as such. It was still a wonderful book and one I would highly recommend to anyone who likes intelligent, well written women's fiction. It just does not - in my view - belong between the grey covers.
I reread Daddy goes a hunting yesterday - must seek out some more Penelope Mortimer.
I reread Miss Ranskill comes home yesterday - lovely book although unsettling at times.
It's Sunday, so I'm again rereading a Persephone and today it's Consequences by EM Delafield.
Hour commute home by bus yesterday and I was able to make a real start on The Priory by Dorothy Whipple. She is quite amazing really. She has a way of drawing you in to the story. I am already in the minds of the characters and hoping for this or that outcome.
Finished William: An Englishman last night and because I am off school for the mid-winter break, managed a short review on the book's site.
I just started Tell It to a Stranger by Elizabeth Berridge, a collection of short stories, I think from the 1940s. Does anyone else like short story collections? The first one was very disturbing, but very good.
So I've just finished They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple - not a happy book, but really enjoyed it and all the complex relationships. I've never read any other Whipple - oddly this one made me think of Wives and Daughters. I'll probably read some more - one of my friends is recommending Someone at a Distance
Next on the list: Dimanche and other stories by Irene Nemirovsky and Consequences by E.M. Delafield. I read Diary of a Provincial Lady in the lovely Virago Modern Classics edition.
In anticipation of Persephone Reading Weekend, I'm reading A Very Great Profession.
I finished Princes in the Land which I liked a lot but it is also very much about the disappointments in life and losing oneself to others. I have started They Were Sisters and I am enjoying the characters but I also suspect this is not a happy book either- not that they have to be happy, but I need a balance.
Ha ha ha ha!!!! Elaine, your description of Greenery Street is priceless. Thanks for the (much needed) chuckle. :-))
I must be in the minority because I absolutely adored Greenery Street!
I can't remember much about Greenery Street but I intend to reread it on my honeymoon this summer.
I was amused by Greenery Street but I did find the heroine more than a little silly, and it's certainly not one of my favourites.
I started Mariana this morning in bed and now at 9.00 pm nearly finished. Have ignored the children, the dishes and the washing. They will still be there tomorrow and I have been on the internet looking at the website and the local library catalogue to see what I can read next. Few Eggs No Oranges or Greenery Street I think. Also I want Miss Buncle's Book if I can get it from the library, otherwise it will be an expensive mail order. My poor husband - oh well he knew what he was getting when he married me!
Ooooh! I'd never heard of Tales from Greenery Street! How exciting!
It's quite hard to get hold of - I had a saved search on abe books and then my partner bought it for me for Christmas one year; it was about £30. And I'm afraid I can't lend it out, as I just don't trust the postal system!
I wouldn't lend that out either, or borrow it - I'd hate for anything valuable to go astray on the way to me. I'm paranoid about review books going missing as it is.
No, of course not! I never expected you to lend it to me! I'd be the exact same way about a treasure like that! But ... I will be putting it on my wish list in the hope that my partner is as thoughtful as yours!
ETA: Hmmm ... there's a signed copy on Amazon for £19.95. Should I or shouldn't I??
WOW! Go for it go for it go for it!!!!
I would normally lend out anything I have in my collection, I didn't think anyone was expecting me to, btw.
You will have them soon enough! It's so hard to work out what to keep liberated though, I know - you leave out stuff you think you'll want to read, then you just don't!
I retrieved The blank wall and The fortnight in September to reread yesterday...
Ooh, both excellent ones! I have more Persephone reads coming up (the birthday acquisitions) and am going to have to tweak my bookshelves to hold them all ...
As my books are all in a jumble, I need to decide whether I want to put them back in strict alphabet order or whether I want the VMCs and Persephones separate...decisions decisions...
I just finished Manja by Anna Gmeyner and wrote a review. This is an amazing, powerful book about five children growing up in Germany in the 1930's. If you are a Persephone reader, please add this to your list. I had to make due with the 1939 edition I got from the library. I want to add this to my personal library with a Persephone copy so I can read the introduction by author's daughter.
This is another novel that, like Virago's Not So Quiet, should never have been out of print. Cheers to Persephone Books for bringing it back.
I resorted to borrowing a Persephone from the library at lunchtime, but to be fair it is one of the two that I don't own ( Farewell to Leicester Square )
#247 - I've just bought that one last week - my first Persephone ever, but surely not my last...
I've just started They Knew Mr Knight and managed to stop myself at the end of Ch. 7. I did say to Other Half, Matthew, this morning, "I've started a Whipple ..." and he said "... and you won't be able to stop until you've finished it". Hmm ... It is excellent so far, though. Thanks Heaven-Ali for giving it to me for my birthday (in January!)
Not your last until you have read them all! That may be my ambition rather than yours speaking.
I've finally reviewed They Knew Mr Knight - a little while after I read it!
I'm reading Reuben Sachs - by Amy Levy for a Sept. TIOLI challenge (75 Book Challenge) for Rosh Hashanah.
Now reading The Closed Door and Other Stories; Dorothy Whipple is one of my favorites!
Just started reading The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow by Mrs Oliphant that Lyzzybee bought me for Christmas - can't believe I have had it so long - but I like to spread my Persephone pleasures out through the year. I already knowI am going to love it - and I have hardly started : )
I've just finished The Winds of Heaven which I very much enjoyed, but haven't got round to reviewing yet. I must make up my wish list as I'm going to The Shop on Tuesday!
I've managed to review The Closed Door too - only 2 reviews are up for that one so far ...
oh Christina_reads I do hope you like it - I have come to love Dorothy Whipple.
Finished it yesterday and liked it a lot, Heaven-Ali! I'll definitely seek out more by Whipple.
Today I started Bricks and Mortar. Because we're meant to see things from the POV of Martin Lovell, there are tons of architectural descriptions--lovely!
Just started (and nearly finished) a re-read of Cheerful Weather for the Wedding. It's the January choice for one of my book groups and I'm relishing revisiting it - something I probably wouldn't have done otherwise.
Ali - I might promote my birthday copy so I can read along with you - would that be terribly naughty of me?
No not naughty - marvelous! - do it! On page 73 and it's so lovely : )
I've just reviewed It's Hard to be Hip Over Thirty which not many of us seem to have read and reviewed ...
How strange - I got this out of the library yesterday as I liked the sound of it and although I'm a little younger than the author I can remember the sixties - so I hope the cultural references won't be lost on me. The verses I've read so far have struck a lot of chords.
How funny - it's almost never mentioned! There were just a few references I had to check, but I know a bit about 20th century America - but so many of the poems really do strike a chord!
Hooray - I've got to my little Christmas Persephone stash (well, you will see on my State of the TBR http://librofulltime.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/state-of-the-tbr-may-2012/ that I have a big book of diary entries that is to be my Downstairs Book when Denis Healey is finally done, yet another Georgette Heyer and I've had a lot of her recently, and the 2 Virago Secret Santa books are read or in progress) and I'm almost all the way through To Bed With Grand Music - goodness, it's superb. So psychologically acute - of course she is great on village life and family life; who could forget The Village - and I was at the point last night where I HAD to know what happened, but also HAD to go to bed at a decent time. Gosh, it's good, though!
I've just started Nicola Beauman's The Other Elizabeth Taylor, which my lovely local library has. I figured it was fairly essential to go along with the Centenary celebrations on the Virago group and I'm not disappointed so far. Beauman seems to have done an excellent job and I can't wait to read more!
Having finished the Elizabeth Taylor biog (which I thought was excellent and very sensitively written), I have just started Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day - a couple of chapters in and I'm hooked! It's wonderfully funny and I love the little illustrations too.
Finished Miss Pettigrew - *loved* it - read it through with a huge grin of delight on my face. Perfect, joyous, uplifting read - what a book!!
I'm glad you liked it, kaggsy! It was the very first Persephone I ever read and, from that moment on, I was completely hooked.
I adored it - I haven't enjoyed a book so much in ages - it was just pure fun!
Just finished The Victorian Chaise-longue which I borrowed from our local library and was - well, disappointed really. I was expecting great things from the reviews, but I didn't find it particularly scary and it just didn't gel really. My problem maybe as I've read a *lot* of books and perhaps you need to be younger/living in the time it was written/more easily spooked!
That's one of the few Persephones I couldn't really get to grips with either.
Yesterday I finished The World that was Ours which is fascinating - I didn't find the stuff about the Rivonia trial as exciting as I thought it would be -however the first and final thirds of the book were great. I'm not the greatest non-fiction reader - and I have to be in the right mood for NF - so maybe the section about the trial suffered for being read when I was too tired to appreciate it. All in all an excellent read though - it made me think a lot about the freedoms we take for granted.
Kaggsy - No, not you and the reviews made it seem so good, which adds to the disappointment. However, don't be put off the author as Little Boy Lost and The Village are two of my favorite Persephones. Indeed Little Boy Lost was one of my favorite books as a teen and has an absolutely fabulous ending. I thought perhaps the ending was so good because I was a naive teen but on re-reading it two years ago I loved it just as much.
I just started To Bed with Grand Music. I suspect that I will not like the protagonist very much but I am enjoying the book.
And I was right. I found it very hard to feel anything but dislike and dismay for Deborah until the very end. And then I felt sorry for her. I got the impression that she would end up as one of those women in Jean Rhys's later novels - no job skills, no future, drifting downward from man to man, each less affluent than his predecessor, as she grows older and her finery grows tattier. Deborah, like Louise Brooks, is "not equipped to plunder millionaires in a practical, far-sighted way." And that will be her undoing. But it was an excellent book, compulsively readable.
Just finished The Blank Wall and loved it! Review here:
Thanks for the review, kaggsy. You may be interested in the movie version, The Reckless Moment (1949), starring Joan Bennett and James Mason.
I'm reading The Children Who Lived in a Barn in a rare moment of relaxation (Matthew's using my PC for something for work) and, as I like a book that tells you Exactly How They Did Things, I'm liking it tremendously. It's a bit like Swallows and Amazons, and I'm hoping there'll be a happy ending, but I am not that far through it yet. Thanks Ali for a lovely birthday present though!
I have an old Puffin edition of that one - I think the author was Kaye Webb's predecessor as editor at Puffin Books.
Yes, I'm getting a vague memory as I read it so I think I may have read it in Puffin in my youth!
I'm re-reading The Far Cry which I adore. However, for some reason, I'm just not in a reading mood lately! I usually read in bed, but lately I'm falling asleep without even opening my book. I suppose I should be glad about sleeping well, but I want to read!
313: I have The New House in Virago - will be interested to read your review!
313: I read the VMC edition of The New House a couple of years ago and loved it.
I finished An Interrupted Life about a week ago and I'm still struggling to write a review, it was so amazing.
I'm reading The Winds of Heaven by Monica Dickens - it's enjoyable, and fairly frothy.
I loved The Winds of Heaven it is a bit frothy - but sometimes we need a bit of decent froth : )
I'm reading No 1 William: an Englishman on *shock horror* kindle - as I couldn't justify buying the book. Wish I had though as the text in my copy is poorly edited - lots of errors - but the book itself is wonderful!! Rather dark - but I want to read and read and not finish - that's a good sign - about 40% in so hope I keep feeling like that. I will have to buy the Persephone book at some point - because I just love it.
I am finding it so as well Ali. I truly thank you for all of your recommendations.
After reading and loving Someone at a Distance, (review here: http://www.librarything.com/work/75990), I absolutely loved Little Boy Lost and am already looking forward to my next Persephone which I will probably read in February as I pretty much keep to Orange listed books in January.
My L.B.L. review is here for those interested: http://www.librarything.com/work/75967
I've just finished Few Eggs and No Oranges by Vere Hodgson, a diary of life in London during WWII. It really communicated what it was like to experience nightly bombing raids. The matter of fact account made you imagine how you would have coped in such circumstances, and you felt you heard about every item of fresh fruit and vegetable the author consumed during the 5 years! Anyone interested in war diaries and the home front would find this an enjoyable and informative read.
I'm reading Patience. Gah! She is the most irritating women to exist on paper since ... well, I can't think of anyone worse at the moment.
Andrew, her Someone at a Distance is wonderful. In fact it is beyond wonderful, a perfect read. I hope you enjoy reading her.
Just reviewed Fidelity on my blog - why did it take me so long to get round to acquiring that one??? http://librofulltime.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/book-reviews-75/
I just discovered these books on-line and haven't actually even seen one. If I was to ask for one for Christmas what would you recommend?
Ah Cathy - I would advise you not to get started :) I have about 70 now and contrary to what someone else said on the VMC site, they are available second hand and sometimes quite cheap. At least they were quite cheap a year or two ago. Now the second hand dealers have wised up and they are almost as expensive used as new. But I still find them for a few dollars every now and again.
Recommendations: Everyone likes/loves the Dorothy Whipples and the D E Stevensons. I have loved the following
Someone at a Distance
Little Boy Lost
A House in the Country
The Expendable Man
But others will have completely different lists.
The only one I've read at all so far is A Very Great Profession but I think that may almost be a must-read just as a source for other books to read.
I just finished R.C. Sherriff's The Hopkins Manuscript and it's definitely one of my books of the year - review here:
It's a great book, but you don't usually go wrong with a Persephone - the only one I really found a bit disappointing was The Victorian Chaise Longue but a lot of people disagree with me on that, I think!
I'm reading An Interrupted life: The Diaries and letters of Etty Hillesum 1941-43 less than a 100 pages left of it now - it is wonderful!! well wonderful, awful inspiring and unforgettable all at once.
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