Sunday 19 July 2020

Bookshelf Travelling for Insane Times

It's time for another Bookshelf Travelling for Insane Times post 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.

This is another set of books I sorted out recently as a 'to be read soonish' selection. I do this on a regular basis, sometimes it works and I read the books, sometimes it doesn't, more often a few get read and the rest put back where I found them! My thinking with these books revolved around picking out a few that are something other than murder mysteries. I love a good whodunnit but just lately I've been craving something a bit different to add to the mix.

I'm concentrating on the nine books between The Historian and Arabella.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova is a book I read way back in 2007. I loved it but felt at the time that it was a keeper and would definitely bear rereading. I think that time might have come.

Lady's Maid by Margaret Forster. I've had this secondhand book on my shelves for yonks. It tells the story of Robert and Elizabeth Browning's elopement from the point of view of Elizabeth's maid, 'Wilson'.

Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers. Well, I had to put one murder book in didn't I? But I always think of Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey books as a lot more than just ordinary murder mysteries. This one involves murder at an advertising agency and is one of the few Wimsey books I haven't read.

Sea Music by Sara MacDonald. A family saga story set in Cornwall. Another secondhand book I've had for years.

Mariana by Susanna Kearsley. One of those historical time-travel novels, the time travelled to being the 17th. century.

A Bird in the Tree by Elizabeth Goudge. Part one of another family saga type story. I've only read one book by Elizabeth Goudge and that was Green Dolphin Country *many* years ago. I'll be interested to see what I think of her writing now I'm much older.

The New House by Lettice Cooper. Written in 1936 this is the story of one family moving from a large house to a smaller one and covers just one day. Of course, it's much more than that involving family relationships and so forth.

The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason. A piano tuner is asked to travel from London to Burma to tune a piano, the book charts his journey. I've had this for a long time and I see it was published in 2003, I also seem to recall it was one of those books everyone was talking about back then so it'll be interesting to see what all the fuss was about.

Arabella by Georgette Heyer. I've read this two, if not three, times over the years but it's been a while and having read Northern Reader's post about it I went to see if I still had it. No I didn't, so I ordered a copy and am looking forward to another wallow in this lovely book.

I'm actually quite hopeful of getting some of these read. Our library is still not open so I've pretty much been reading from my own bookshelves during lockdown and have been amazed at how many excellent books I've been squirreling away on my shelves!



DesLily said...

I remember reading the Historian too!.. I am here 13 yrs now and I read that when I was in NJ ! Are they the lineup for reading?

Mary said...

The saving grace for me has been our online library system (in US) where I can download everything from e-books to audio-books to magazines on my tablet. There are a couple of different websites attached to our main library system which expands the offerings further. Allowed up to eight downloads at a time from each site and one can simultaneously place holds on eight additional items. Needless to say, I've given it a workout. Our library has recently opened for curbside pickup only (order via website--books/items are wiped down and isolated for three days after they are returned and before redistribution), but haven't availed myself of that option yet. Miss just strolling through the stacks to discover a book.

As for Heyer, she is definitely my go-to author when I simply want an uncomplicated read with witty dialogue. Definitely a boon when one has trouble concentrating during these crazy times. Have all her books (except mysteries) and lost count of the number of times I've reread them over at least five decades--though the bindings on some of them do tell the story :). The same can be said of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series--mostly the audio versions. I used to commute/drive 100 miles a day to work and audio-books made it (almost) bearable. Happily retired now.

Lark said...

Another fun shelf of books! :D I loved The Historian. Such a great read. And I love Heyer's fun regency romances, too. Arabella is a favorite.

Cath said...

Pat: Yeah, I had no idea The Historian had been around that long! Yes, this is a 'to read' line up... maybe soon, maybe not. LOL Definitely want to read The Historian again soon though. I loved her book about Bulgaria... can't remember the title now.

Mary: That's excellent that you can get books for your tablet like that. Last time I looked our library did ebooks but no link up with Kindle and I have a Kindle ereader and a Kindle Fire, both of which I use a lot. It's fine though as I pick up offers for Kindle and have put about 20 - 25 books on there since lockdown. Think I'm a bit addicted to it!

So pleased to hear that Heyer is one of your go-to authors as well. I have certain favourites, Frederica, The Black Sheep, Sylvester, Arabella and so on, so I really must branch out a bit and reread some that I've only read once or twice. I don't own them all but tend to keep an eye out in charity shops and pick up ones I see. My eldest daughter does own them all so I can borrow from her (when we're not in lockdown) when the fancy takes me.

I've read one Patrick O'Brian book but never did get around to more. I must because they seem popular with others who have the same reading tastes as me.

I can't imagine having to commute 100 miles a day! Goodness me, I bet you're pleased to be retired! Which part of the USA are you in?

Lark: I felt with The Historian that it had so much depth it would bear rereading again some day, and I loved all the Eastern European travelling in it. :-)

TracyK said...

I read that Dorothy Sayer's book a couple of years ago. I think I have that same edition. It was a reread. This was one of my favorite books when I read them the first time. I enjoyed reading it again although I had forgotten a lot of the plot. Some of Sayer's books did not work well for me on a second read.

Arabella is one of the Georgette Heyer's that I plan to read someday. I am new to her Regency romances; I have only read some of her mysteries. I hope to read The Grand Sophie this summer.

Sam said...

If anything good comes from this lockdown mess, it's the fact that so many of us are finding out that all the money we spent on books in the past is finally starting to payoff. It took library shutdowns to get me there, but I'm loving browsing my own shelves for something new. The only thing slowing me down on that is that I got a new Kindle at the end of June, and it's so much quicker that I find myself reading more e-books than ever before.

Mary said...

Re: I've found that Patrick O'Brian books are most enjoyable as audiobooks. Otherwise, the technical nautical terms can bog one down in reading (unless you are a sailor). Good to do in order, too, as there are 21 books-though 21 is incomplete as O'Brian died before finishing it. The friendship of the two main characters (and many of the secondary characters over the period) is what drew me to the books--plus the historical details.

I live near the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

Cath said...

Tracy: Yes, Murder Must Advertise is liked by a lot of Sayers fans I think so I'm looking forward to reading it. I don't know if you've read her Wimsey short stories but they are *so* good.

The Grand Sophy is excellent too, another of my favourite Heyers though I've not read it in a while.

Sam: Yes! LOL... you are so right. Ditto me with Kindle books. I'm getting all kinds of books off my real shelves but filling the Kindle up with all their offers and sometimes 'not' offers.

Mary: I'll bear in mind what you say about the O'Brian audio books because I seem to recall it was the technical nautical terms that I struggled with before.

Oh goodness, you live in a stunning area! We travelled down that part of Maryland in 2005 heading for the Chesapeake Bay bridge and into Virginia and thence on to The Blue Ridge Mountains. We had a wonderful touring holiday, my husband and I both love the USA.

Susan said...

I love me a murder mystery, too, but sometimes you have to change things up! I'm all about family sagas as well, so I might have to check out the one you mentioned. Good luck with your reading goals!

Cath said...

Susan: Perhaps it's because I'm getting older but the family sagas are appealing to me more and more. Especially the overseas ones, reading about places I can't go to at the moment is probably the reason for that!