Wednesday, 31 March 2010

March Reading

It's been another busy month in terms of reading; my stomach problems really flared up and I spent three weeks incapable of doing much else outside of work apart from reading. The total of 95 books would in fact be even higher had I not succombed to a sick-virus last week where I went for 36 hours without opening a book! (This is unheard of for me - I can't remember when I last went so long without reading, definitely an indicator of being really poorly!).

As you can see I carried on reading my way through my shelf of Virago Modern Classics (do see my other blog for some reviews). I reread some more favourite children's books, including three of Jean Estoril's Drina books, and I also read three of her other ballet books which were new to me and which I very much enjoyed.

Highlights included two titles from the Orange longlist - This is how and Hearts and Minds, Legend of a suicide (which I finally got from the library), and A month in the country (recommended by a former colleague), and The cleaner (for which I nearly, but didn't quite break my lenten book buying ban). In terms of Virago Modern Classics, I especially enjoyed Elizabeth and her German Garden and The solitary summer, both by Elizabeth Von Arnim, to be reviewed soon.

Plans for April? I have caught up with the backlog of Virago Modern Classics for my Virago Venture, so it will depend on what new ones I acquire and find in the library as to how many I read during April. I will certainly be reading the two remaining Angela Carter VMCs that I have yet to read as part of Paperback Reader's Angela Carter month.

I've got a huge pile of library books that is split fairly evenly between chicklit and titles that were previously listed for the Orange prize. I'm intending to read from the back list of Orange titles over the next few months to continue my Orange Wednesday feature, so you can look out for more of those posts! I've also got a library copy of My driver, which is Maggie Gee's follow up to My cleaner.

I have a parcel of books from my parents for my birthday, and another book from a friend to open on Saturday; I gave them a wishlist of books to choose from so I have no idea what I will be getting, but they might end up being read in April. And of course, I'm off on holiday on Friday with a stack of lovely books, so I am looking forward to indulging myself in lots of books that I have been saving for sometime, and there is some new children's fiction from favourite authros in which to indulge.

Here is the full list:

The wrong Chalet School EBD C RR
The way things are Delafield, EM VMC
The man who disappeared Morall, Clare
Two serious ladies Bowles, Jane VMC
Caught in Cornwall Bolitho, Janie
It's hard to be hip over thirty Viorst, Judith P
Somewhere more simple Molteno, Maria
The difference a day makes Matthews, Carole
Chatterton square Young, E.H. VMC
Providence Brookner, Anita
Sing me who you are Berridge, Elizabeth
A model childhood Wolf, Christa VMC
A gate at the stairs Moore, Lori
House on Clewe Street Lavin, Mary VMC
Swimming pool season Tremain, Rose
Act of love Dale, Celia
Facing the music Torvill and Dean AB
The ice cream girls Koomson, Dorothy
The ballet family Estoril, Jean C
Manja Gmeyner, Anna P
The sweetest thing Shaw, Fiona
101 teatime treats BBC Good Food NF
Strike for a kingdom Gallie, Menna
Beside the sea Oemi, Veronique
The ballet family again Estoril, Jean
The witch of Exmoor Drabble, Margaret
Size 12 is not fat Cabot, Meg
How to break your own heart Alderson, Maggie
Cotter's England Stead, Christina VMC
Legend of a suicide Vann, David
Brief lives Brookner, Anita
Precious bane Webb, Mary VMC
Love in a headscarf Zahra, Shelina
My world Andrews, Julie AB
Ballet twins Estoril, Jean C
Tortoise by candlelight Bawden, Nina VMC
Dear Austen Bawden, Nina AB
A tea rose Donnelly, Jennifer
O Pioneers Cather, Willa VMC
Life at the palace Birch, Carol
Drina dances in Italy Estoril, Jean C RR
Life before man Atwood, Margaret VMC
Gluten-free cookbook for kids Rabovich, Adrina NF
Perfect meringues Graham, Laurie
Trouble at Ponyways Beresford, Judith C
Ruffian on the chair Bawden, Nina
Temples of delight Trapido, Barbara
Drina dances in Madeira Estoril, Jean C
The rising tide Keane, Molly VMC
The wife's tale Lansens, Lori
How to be married Williams, Polly
Kinflicks Alther, Lisa VMC
Maddy Alone Brown, Pamela C
Work Toynbee, Polly NF RR
The little company Dark, Eleanor
Grumpy old men: secret diary Prebble, Stuart
Month in the country Carr, JL
Boy trouble at Trebizon Digby, Anne C RR
Never more than human Laverty, Maura VMC
According to Lubka Graham, Laurie
Tennis term at Trebizon Digby, Anne C RR
Familiar passions Bawden, Nina
The cleaner Gee, Maggie
The lacquer lady Tennyson Jesse, F VMC
Solitude of prime numbers Giardino
The heir Sackville-West, Vita VMC
Leaving earth Humphreys, Helen
This is how Hyland, MJ O
The match-maker Conlon-McKenna, Marita
Elizabeth and her German garden Arnim, Elizabeth von VMC
Hearts and Minds Craig, Amanda O
Blue skies and gunfire Peyton, KM C
Cherry Ames: visiting nurse Wells, Helen
The ice house Bawden, Nina VMC
Where are the snows? Gee, Maggie
The secret son Lalami, Laila
Cherry Ames: boarding school nurse Wells, Helen
Tell me a riddle Olsen, Tillie VMC
Truth about melody browne Jewell, Lisa
Princess diaries: to the nines Cabot, Meg C
Fine of two hundred francs Triolet, Elsa VMC
A week in December Faulks, Sebastien
Julie Andrews: an intimate biog Stirling, Richard
Married with baggage Chidley, Elise
Love Morrison, Toni
Company of swans Ibbotsen, Eva C
Solitary summer Arnim, Elizabeth von VMC
Savage lands Clark, Clare
The river Wastvedt, Tricia
Kife after lunch Harrison, Saraha
Mealtimes and milestones Barker, Constance AB
Unlit lamp Hall, Radclyffe VMC
Keeping up with Magda Dewar, Islar
Afternoon of a good woman Bawden, Nina VMC
Fasting and feasting Desair, Anita
Trespass Tremain, Rose


  1. I'm pleased to hear that you finally got a copy of Legends of a Suicide and enjoyed it. I hope you enjoy your Angela Carters and the rest of the books you read in April.

  2. I can only say Wow! Now I see how you write so quickly about all those Viragos!! I loved Elizabeth and Her German Garden, but my favorite is Enchanted April. I'm reading Savage Lands now--did you enjoy it?

  3. Jackie - yes, the library came up trumps and I didn't even have to reserve it.

    Danielle - I liked Savage Lands but not as much as the other Orange books I've read.

  4. I hope that you enjoy your remaining Angela Carter VMCs this month and thank you for both participating in and mentioning it.

    I'm looking forward to your Orange longlist and backlist reading and I am sure that you will be adding to my TBR exponentially as your Orange Wednesdays continue!


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