You know how it is when you see a magazine in the newsagents and it speaks to you? You don't normally buy that magazine (well, only occasionally) but somehow you just have to have it? This month's 'Book and Magazine Collector' was one such. It has a picture of Rudyard Kipling on the front, which shouldn't have been all that significant but having watched the TV drama, My Boy Jack, very recently, it was. Kipling is an author I've read bits of... Puck of Pook's Hill and its sequel, the Just So stories, various other supernatural short stories and poems (I don't know a lot about poetry but have always loved, 'The Glory of the Garden' and 'The Way Through the Woods') and I'm currently reading Kim for the What's In a Name? challenge. So, his writing is not completely unknown to me.
To digress for a second, coming to the end of 2007 I felt that, yes, it had been a very good reading year but that something was missing - and that was that I hadn't learnt an awful lot. Partly, I hadn't read enough non-fiction, but not just that, there was no one author I'd covered well, not just his or her fictional writing but their non-fiction writing as well and books *about* them - their lives, in other words. This is a new experience for me, I've never been particularly bothered by this before but suddenly I am. And when I saw that magazine something went 'click'. Kipling - I should find out about Kipling. So, I'm going to. That magazine will be a start and there's loads online that I discovered just by Googling his name. To tell the truth this may take me nowhere and I may get bored within a few weeks. On the other hand I might not and I may get to the end of 2008 and be very pleased that I took the trouble to find out about just one author and learn *something*.
So anyway, here's a 'recent acquisitions' photo, with the offending magazine in the middle. (Actually, there's a lot of interest in there this month, including an article on the Victorian children's books of L.T. Meade and one about The Northwest Passage.) A book of Kipling's short stories was a good find from one of those cheapy book shops and also from there, three from a newish range of ghost story antholgies by Wordsworth Editions. Brilliant covers on these, really atmospheric. And last but not least The Warden by Anthony Trollope has arrived at last and will be my first foray into that author's writing. You never know, perhaps I'll feel tempted to find out about him too. :-)