Saturday 2 May 2020

Bookshelf Travelling for Insane Times, week 7

It's time for another round of Bookshelf Travelling for Insane Times which is being hosted by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness.

The idea is to share your bookshelves with other bloggers. Any aspect you like:

1. Home.
2. Books in the home.
3. Touring books in the home.
4. Books organized or not organized on shelves, in bookcases, in stacks, or heaped in a helter-skelter fashion on any surface, including the floor, the top of the piano, etc.
5. Talking about books and reading experiences from the past, present, or future.

Whatever you fancy as long as you have fun.

I've chosen another random pile of books for today. I don't know about anybody else but I really like collecting together a few random books, usually with some kind of connection - sometimes it's a bit tenuous - that I would like to read soon and usually that doesn't happen so I must just be addicted to creating interesting piles of books, that's all I can put it down to really.

Anyway, the two books at the bottom are Back Door to Byzantium and Watersteps Through France by Bill and Laurel Cooper. This is a couple who decided to take a barge across the North Sea and down through France and then Germany via the Danube to The Black Sea. I love reading about people having these kind of advdntures even though I'm not brave enough to do it myself.

Next, Notes from the CĂ©vennes by Adam Thorpe. I gather the author has lived in France for 25 years and this is just one of his books. I must look into the others. I bought this a couple of years ago in a lovely indie bookshop in Arundel. (Click for a bigger view of this lovely town.)

It's one of those little shops on the right, at the top, before the castle wall starts. The town also had the most wonderful secondhand bookshop.

Next, Daughters of the House by Michele Roberts is a fiction book about two sisters growing up in Normandy after the war. I think it's a family secrets kind of book. I read about this one on Yvonne's blog 'Fiction Books'... here.

Next a couple of random books about France and the French, I'll Never Be French by Mark Greenside, this one's about a New Yorker trying to make a life in Brittany, and For Better, For Worse by Damien and Siobhan Horner which is about barging on the French canals.

Lastly, The Skeptical Romancer by Somerset Maugham and What Am I Doing Here by Bruce Chatwin. Both of the these are a mix of travel writing and essays and are just the sort of thing I like to dip in and out of.

All of these are tbrs and they sum up my non-fiction and fiction reading tastes in a nutshell and give me a lot of pleasure even though I haven't read them yet. It's like keeping something in reserve as a treat because you just know they're going to be excellent.



Lark said...

I love reading about other people's travel adventures, too! Especially when they go to exotic locales that I'll probably never get to myself. :D

Judith said...

Oh, Cath! A number of these fascinate me. I'm going to record the titles and authors. I'm especially drawn to I'll Never Be French about the New Yorker in Brittany (obvious choice for me, n'est-ce pas?) And the books about the family taking a barge down the North Sea all the way to Byzantium? That sounds incredibly interesting. Last but not least, I've already tried to see if I can borrow the novel you mentioned first--the one that was short-listed for the Booker Prize way back. Have put it on my list. Wow--enjoyed this post!!

CLM said...

I picked up Daughters of the House about 20 years and three homes ago and I can never find it when I am in the mood to read it! I hope you enjoy it.

Cath said...

Lark: Yes, same here. Lot of places I will never get to so reading about other people doing sometimes crazy things is ideal. Kind of travelling vicariously. And they can take the risks... LOL

Judith: I'm a little bit addicted to books where Brits or Americans try to settle in France and have read quite a few. Having seen my late sister-in-law and her husband actually do it I can usually relate very well!

Daughters of the House sounds interesting doesn't it? I had never heard of it until I saw it on Yvonne's blog, but as I tend to investigate anything set in France I knew it was a 'must buy' immediately.

Will get back to our discussion about languages on your blog soon. A bit bogged down with stuff at the moment but it should be quieter next week.

CLM: It seems a lot of people already knew about this book. It never fails to surprise me when I come across something completely new and I thought I knew a little bit about books and authors! Apparently not...

TracyK said...

After reading about your travel books (here and in earlier posts) I have been looking at my husband's travel books to see which might be good for me to read. Either for the European Challenge or just for fun.

Cath said...

Tracy: Did you find anything interesting? I find travel books perfect for the European challenge and have a stack of them ready to read.

TracyK said...

It looks like he has mostly kept the books about train journeys, which I think would be great but most are not set in Europe. He has three Paul Theroux books (one is The Kingdom by the Sea, which I could use for UK, next year).

He has two train travel book by Terry Pindell. Also a book written especially for the Great Railway Journeys TV series. He also has The Big Red Train Ride by Eric Newby which I could read for Russia, if not this year then next.

He said his favorite of all his travel books is Chasing the Monsoon by Alexander Frater (India).

Cath said...

Tracy: Sounds like he has some good travel books. I have Kingdon by the Sea but have not read it yet, have read a couple of his others - the Oceanania one and the Siberian railway one. Very good. I don't know Terry Pindell so will look him up. I've read quite a few books by Eric Newby but not that, don't think I have even heard of it so will look that up too. And Chasing the Monsoon is new to me. Thanks for answering and for the recs!