Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Even More Recent Acquisitions...


Over the last week a few packages have arrived from various publishers and one newspaper (and a little one from ebay).

Verity's posts about the Chalet School series of children's books have been tempting me to reread them for a number of months; when I came across an inexpensive Armada copy of the first book, The School at the Chalet, with this beautiful cover the same as the Girls Gone By edition, I could no longer resist. I imagine myself curling up with this and a mug of hot chocolate on cold afternoon soon.

The Telegraph kindly sent me a copy of Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith. The follow-up novel, The Dog Who Came in from the Cold, is currently available online in installments. I am hopelessly behind, having not read the first one (and waiting for the hopeless Royal Mail to deliver it), but home to catch up soon.

I also received beautiful copies of The Bell by Iris Murdoch and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (look at the beautiful cover) from the very generous Vintage Books. The Bell will be my first Murdoch novel (although I also have a copy of The Sea, The Sea); I am very much looking forward to my first encounter with Murdoch as it is long overdue. Every Christmas I re-read A Christmas Carol and you can look forward to sharing that with me this year.

From the lovely Sophie at Virago Press I received a copy of Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Marriages in Literary London 1910-1939 by Katie Roiphe. The seven relationships given insight into are between H.G. & Jane Wells; Katherine Mansfield & John Middleton Murry; Elizabeth von Arnim & John Francis Russell; Vanessa & Clive Bell; Ottoline & Philip Morrell; Radclyffe Hall & Una Troubridge; Vera Brittain & George Gordon Catlin. This novel excites and intrigues me; I had forgotten about it until I came across it again in Foyles bookshop with Simon of Stuck-in-a-Book a few weeks ago.

Lastly, I generously received copies of the latest Bloomsbury Group titles, Mrs Tim of the Regiment and A Kid for Two Farthings (released early November), which gives me a complete collection of the imprint (although I own a Virago copy of The Bront√ęs Went to Woolworths in a Virago edition).

I look forward to reading and reviewing all of these. What about you - what books did you acquire this week? Which of mine are you most curious about?









34 comments:

Dot said...

These all sound like lovely books to receive! I am too waiting for my copy of Corduroy Mansions to come in the post so that I can catch up but I am really enjoying reading The Dog who Came in from the Cold.

Mrs. B. said...

I keep reading about the Chalet school series though I've never read it. I'll have to add it to my wishlist. Murdoch is brilliant though I feel her books tend to be quite similar so my fave one is the first one I read which is the Black Prince. I haven't read the Bell though.

I just got Manservant and Maidservant just in time to join the group read!

Paperback Reader said...

Dot, I was wary of beginning The Dog who Came in from the Cold without having read Corduroy Mansions first but glad to hear you are enjoying it.

Mrs. B, I'll obviously write more when I reread the first one but the Chalet school series is delightful.
I've heard that Murdoch can be quite repetitive but have been recommended The Bell (by Bloomsbury Bell).

I have my copy of Manservant and Maidservant from the library but need to start reading it!

verity said...

Lovely books there - aren't you lucky?

I am curious to hear about Uncommon Arrangements.

Also the Bloomsbury titles. I will be getting them in due course; I think Mrs Tim should be good as I enjoyed the DE Stevenson that I read earlier this year.

I think Autumn is definitely the season for re-reading; I have been rereading Miss Read (some of which were my final acquisitions before the ban) and Christopher Milne. I might do some Chalet school rereading too soon.

Paperback Reader said...

Verity, I am lucky and love this pile.

Uncommon Arrangements is the one I am most looking forward to but I may take it a marriage at a time. It's curious that the nonfiction title is the one that most excites me.

I'm not sure when I'll reach these Bloomsbury titles when I have the last two still to read! I am committed to reading Miss Hargreaves first - Simon enthuses about it so!

I do have a strong urge to curl up with beloved books and reread them whilst it is cold and miserable outside but for the next few weeks I have library books commitments.

farmlanebooks said...

That is an impressive selection of books! I couldn't wait for my copy of Corduroy Mansions (still haven't received it) so I went to get my own copy. I'm pleased that I did as it is nice to be able to read along with everyone else. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on both books. I think they are designed to read slowly, so I struggled with appreciating Corduroy Mansions when I read it over a few days. I advise you to try to read it over a longer period of time.

Paperback Reader said...

Jackie, I think that I am resigned to reading it behind everyone else as I have a backlog of books just now deserving of attention not least of all Corduroy Mansion. I have been following your progress with the new one and look forward to sharing my thoughts.

Darlene said...

Uncommon Arrangements would be the book from your pile that I would gravitate to first. Like you, I read A Christmas Carol in December but just started doing that two years ago, absolutely lovely.

Last week I received Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England and this week was Hill's latest. I'm expecting another non-fiction any day now, my first review copy! More about that another day.

Merenia said...

Uncommone Arrangements sounds fabulous. Look forward to hearing about that one... Might have to get hold of it myself.

Sophie said...

Oh, I look forward to hearing what you think of The Bell. I studied it for A Level and absolutely loved it (it was apparently an unusual choice and I've been told -- not sure if this is true -- that it has since been removed from the syllabus as not enough teachers were keen to teach it...). I ought to go back and re-read it at some point, actually, just to see what I think of it now (and also what I think of my annotations, haha).

I listened to Corduroy Mansions on audio book while I was on holiday at the start of September, and really liked it; I'm now v much enjoying The Dog Who Came In From The Cold, although how could one not enjoy a book with that title?!

Uncommon Arrangements does sound fascinating. I look forward to hearing more about it, but it sounds like just the sort of thing I might like.

Paperback Reader said...

Darlene, last Christmas was so hectic (I managed home only for a couple of days) that I didn't fit Dickens in but will make up for it this year.

Intrigued about your first review copy! Looking forward to the post.

Merenia, it does, doesn't it? Some writers that I would love to learn more about.

Sophie, I am very curious about how I will find The Bell; I'm looking forward to it.

The Dog who came in from the Cold is a wonderful title!

I am itching to start reading Uncommon Arrangements now.

Bloomsbury Bell said...

Well - you already know that Iris Murdoch is one of my all time favourite authors and I am on a mission to get her more widely read.

I adore the Bell - which is where the second part of my name is taken from. Hurrah for Sophie studying it at A Level but I am shocked that not enough teachers want to teach Murdoch - travesty!

Happy reading!

Paperback Reader said...

Naomi, you are already making progress in your mission as you persuaded me to bump Iris Murdoch up the to-be-read pile instead of relegating her to the "keep meaning to" list.

Bloomsbury Bell said...

I really hope you enjoy it but either way I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Steph said...

I haven't read any Iris Murdoch either, but I also have a copy of The Sea, The Sea that is waiting to be read. For some reason I'm a bit intimidate by Murdoch, so I've been putting it off...

Very interested in hearing about the Bloomsbury titles! I checked them out online the other day and was definitely struck with book lust.

Paperback Reader said...

Steph, I can understand intimidation and putting off writers to another day.

The Bloomsbury Group titles definitely incite book lust! They're lovely.

Eva said...

I've been waiting for Corduroy Mansions to arrive so I can begin reading the second one as well! *sigh* Looking forward to review of the first Chalet book-they sound like something I'd enjoy too! The Bell was my first Murdoch novel-I read it in January & while it was nothing like I expected, i really liked it!

Paperback Reader said...

Eva, glad that I'm not the only one! It seems a wintry thing to read anyway so maybe it's a blessing.
I love school stories and it has been such a long time since I read any of the Chalet School ones.
As for The Bell, I'm expecting a convent setting but that's all I know - I am going in blind!

Nymeth said...

The Vintage cover of A Christmas Carol really is gorgeous! And that Virago book sounds like it could be fantastic (and, it being a Virago, it almost certainly is). I can't wait to read your thoughts on all of those!

Paperback Reader said...

Ana, I can't wait to read them and share my thoughts! The Vintage cover makes me want it to be Christmas right. this. minute.

savidgereads said...

I haven't had any publisher ones this week but then the post is so rubbish in a certain part of south west London they are probably in some delivery office somewhere (this has famously happened before with over £100 worth of books that got returned to sender two months later... when we werent having strikes) I am most envious of The Bloomsbury Group ones as its a series I adore. I think I am holding of the review copies for a while I don't like getting too behind with them as the guilt of them sending me the book and not reading it instantly suddenly gets me, even if I say I might take a while. I did get a lovely random parcel in the post today which will be blogging about tomorrow.

I do love these posts of seeing what everyone has got lately, even if I do have moments where I turn green hahaha.

Paperback Reader said...

Simon, I think there will be less acquisitions over the coming months as I attempt to catch up on what I already have in hand (and that way I don't become inconvenienced by the postal strikes).

claire said...

I didn't acquire any books this week but will be getting I am a Cat next week probably. :)

I'd love to read The Bell from your stack.

makedoandread said...

That's a fabulous stack of books! I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of the Chalet book. I've only recently discovered them.

Kailana said...

Looks like a great haul of books! I hope you enjoy them!

anothercookiecrumbles said...

I haven't read the Chalet School series at all, if you can believe it.

That copy of A Christmas Carol looks gorgeous, and it's a book I was planning on re-reading during Xmas time as well...

Paperback Reader said...

Claire, excited to hear that I Am a Cat is on its way!

The Bell is top of the list and I should have time to read it during November.

makedo, I'm interested how I'll find the Chalet School book too as it has been such a long time since I read any.

Kailana, thanks - I hope so to!

anothercookie, I can believe it; they weren't my favourite children's series although I'm not sure why.

The Christmas cover of A Christmas Carol is worth obtaining!

Doigy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doigy said...

Funnily enough we've got both those Iris Murdoch books but I shall never read them. I'm quite firm on that as I don't think I will like her. I recently bought a book in a shop - my first in years. I was drawn in by the new editions of Robert Harris' books and so bought 'Fatherland'. I only did this because he was on BBC news slagging off the Booker Prize and saying that no one ever read them!

Paperback Reader said...

Doigy, to each their own and if you're certain that she's not for you then there's no point wasting precious reading time trying her only to discover your instinct was right. I admire your lack of bookshop buying although I haven't indulged myself of late. We can assure Robert Harris that people do read the Booker winners!

Doigy said...

A friend is reading 'Wolf Hall' and enjoying it. As for me, I prefer Booker losers!

Paperback Reader said...

Well, I preferred most of the losers this year although still to read the winner! I finally have a copy from the library.

Samantha said...

I hope you can get to Mrs Tim of the Regiment soon as I would love to hear what you think of it.

Paperback Reader said...

Samantha, I'll try but I still have the last two Bloomsbury Group titles to read (Miss Hargreaves and Love's Shadow)!