Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Persephone Reading Week


Last week I was Virago-green with envy of Cardigan Girl Verity at The B Files who had the opportunity to indulge in a week of reading Persephone books. Verity announced yesterday that she intends another week of Persephone during the last week of August and, this time, I intend to do the same. Considering that I already have two Persephones on my summer reading list then adding a handful more, that are waiting unread on the shelf, seems to be a surmountable task. Needless to say that this mini challenge will be rather fun and not at all a chore. As I am not as unbelievably quick a reader as Verity, it is unlikely that I will manage to read an entire Persephone each and every day but I should achieve it cumulatively (earlier this year I did successfully set out and complete a seven-books-in-seven-days challenge that I set myself). Moreover, some of the Persephones I have waiting for me are relatively short and manageable. The four Persephone titles that I definitely will be reading are the following:

Journal, Katherine Mansfield
Saplings, Noel Streatfeild
Flush, Virginia Woolf
A London Child of the 1870s, Molly Hughes

For the fifth book (the "week" being a working week from Monday to Friday), I have these to choose from:

Little Boy Lost, Marghanita Laski
Princes in the Land, Joanna Cannan
The Young Pretenders, Edith Henrietta Fowler

and the more lengthy:

Mariana, Monica Dickens
Hostages to Fortune, Elizabeth Cambridge

I am full of anticipation and looking forward to Persephone week. Will you be joining myself and Verity? Are there any of these titles that you particularly hope I will read and review? or those that you would recommend?

24 comments:

verity said...

:) When are you going to do this? Starting on 24th August with me? (I won't be able to blog properly about it for a while as we're away from 29th for 10 days) I am so glad you will be reading The London Child. The first four are a really good mix of titles, so I think you should enjoy it, I hope so anyway. I haven't got/read either the Mansfield or the Woolf but I've got/read the rest with the exception of Mariana and Little Boy Lost which are on the TBR side of my new Persephone book-shelf.

Paperback Reader said...

Yes, on the 24th :). I am really looking forward to reading The London Child after you have enthused about it! The Mansfield and the Woolf are the ones I am really excited about as I have been wanting to read them for so long and I am glad I am creating the opportunity to finally do so. Sapling excites me too... hah, put a Persephone cover on it and I'm bound to be excited!

verity said...

That's obviously what you need to do with Ulysses :)

verity said...

Hmm...maybe I should write a proper post about it, rather than tagging it onto the end of another one, and see if we can get other people to join in too :)

Paperback Reader said...

Yes, we should host a mini Persephone challenge!

Hah, if only I could pretend Ulysses was a Persephone ... I am making good progress though for only reading bite-size chunks a day. Update next week. It's the more pressing TBR pile with its semi-tomes that I am concerned about!

verity said...

This is cheering me up a little bit. Apart from the fact that I shouldn't read any more Persephones until then to maximise my random choosing... It's a shame they won't have published the next three by then :(

Paperback Reader said...

Oh, I am glad! Even if it's just a little bit ;).
Think of it this way: in October we can do it all again! I am really excited about the forthcoming titles and I still desperately want to pick up a copy of Miss Buncle's Book and Making Conversation... Hopefully I'll be able to celebrate finding a job soon with a Persephone splurge.

farmlanebooks said...

I have never read a Peresphone book before, but have a few here. I plan to read one soon though. I think starting a Pereshone challenge is a great idea - I'd sign up, as long as I didn't have to commit to too many books!

verity said...

I think the challenge will be based on reading two or more Persephone books consecutively in the week beginning 24th August? Am in process of working it out! It would be lovely if you joined in.

FleurFisher said...

A week of Persephones sounds lovely. I have a number waiting because I tend to try to save then for quiet times - which never quite arrive.

I do have a couple of duplicate Persephones (used but like new - unwanted gifts I suspect) that I was planning to give away on my blog, and I could save to coincide ... ?

verity said...

I have a duplicate Persephone too - I forgot that I had one and bought another in the recent 3 for 2! *embarrassed* (That made me realise that I had too many TBR books). It's the Carlyles at Home and I'd love to swap it with someone for a Persephone that I don't have. Or I'm happy to give it away actually, as it is just taking up space.

Paperback Reader said...

Oh, Fleur, that would be lovely! Duplicates would make great prizes. I *may* be able to stretch at the time to buying a Persephone of choice for a winner (of Persephone quizzes?) or a Persephone book-token.

Jackie, I think -as Verity says- that as many Persephones as you can manage in a week would work just fine.

Verity, there are a few more Persephone lovers whose blogs we read that should be interested in this so I think we could have a lovely little niche challenge amongst ourselves. All hail Persephone!
Also, do you subscribe to Google Alerts for Persephone? both our blog posts today made it on to today's alerts :).

Paperback Reader said...

P.S. Jackie, out of curiosity and obsession with all things Persephone, which ones do you have there to read?

Stormfilled said...

Oooh, lovely lovely books! Looking forward to hearing about the Katherine Mansfield Journal, I love her short stories.

Paperback Reader said...

Hi Stormfilled! Thanks for commenting. They are beautiful books. I love Katherine Mansfield's short stories and really look forward to reading her journal.

Darlene said...

You ladies are making me laugh, you can feel the excitement building with each post, I love it! I will definitely join in during your Persephone week but with Deacon the BBC (boistrous border collie) around I will surely only manage one grey-covered lovely.

Karen said...

I have not read a Persephone book before either but I think I will be very tempted to visit their store when I am in London in a couple of months time. So, I won't be in time for the challenge but I will follow along so that I can know which are the best reads to pick up when I get there.

Darlene said...

Claire, thanks for mentioning Google Alerts, I had no idea! I've signed on therefore, further fueling the obsession.

Sarah said...

I'd highly recommend Mansfield's Journal, Flush and Saplings.

I've heard only good things about Little Boy Lost and Mariana, but haven't read either (yet!).

Paperback Reader said...

Darlene, we're like little kids in a sweetshop, aren't we?! One Persephone or ten, I don't think it matters as long as we celebrate these wonderful books for the week.
You're very welcome for the Google Alerts info - it's a great resource to find fellow Persephone fans amongst the blogs and interesting articles.

Karen, we'll be happy to share our thoughts with you so that you can enjoy buying great titles. The main shop in Bloomsbury is lovely and well worth a visit when in London.

Sarah, I am so glad that you recommend those particular titles! Those are my top three TBR at the moment (I go through phases of books to read).
I have also only heard good things about those two; I think there's a very good reason why they are now Persephone Classics. Perhaps we could convince you to read them in the last week of August?

verity said...

I've not come across Google alerts - shocking for someone working in the information profession!

Wonder if we should tell the Persephone shop about our plans.

I like the idea of a quiz and I've already got one idea - I'll email you :)

Paperback Reader said...

I was thinking the same, Verity, about the Persephone shop. I remember for their birthday week Simon @Stuck in a Book created a really good quiz (which I hadn't read enough Persephones to know the answers to!)

Samantha said...

Am I too late to sign up? I will be off to check out Verity's blog soon to see if there are any updates with your plans.

Now, to pick which ones to read...

Paperback Reader said...

Samantha, not at all! It's very informal and we're still at the planning stage. We have some time until August. Good luck choosing which ones to read.