The advent tea-party is over, I am enjoying having the Christmas tree lit up in the corner of our sitting room every night, I have a huge selection of Christmas music on my ipod (new for this year are the Medieval Baebes - much recommended for something gentle) - Christmas is well and truly on its way. Christmas reading is always good and besides old favourites there are some new books for this year. I'm hoping that my mother in law may give me the new edition of Nancy Mitford's Christmas pudding, but I have succombed and started reading Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm.
I was intending to save it to read a little bit closer to the 25th, but my copy arrived on Monday, and then I saw Hayley's review later that night, and then being halfway through an autobiography I thought that short stories would be great to have on the go at the same time. You see - like Hayley I was never terribly convinced by Cold Comfort Farm but I loved Westwood and Starlight, both of which have been reprinted by Vintage this year. So, the fact that I've liked all of the other Gibbons books that I've read along with the Christmassy theme has enticed me to pick it up.
I'm still not a short stories fan but I quite enjoyed these. Not so much the Cold Comfort Christmas, but I did like The little christmas tree which was the sort of heartwarming short story that one especially enjoys at Christmas. Sisters was also a good tale.
I think there are still some Stella Gibbons books which aren't back in print; I hope the success of these stories, and the other Vintage reprints plus Virago's reprint of Nightingale Wood and will see them back in print. Edit - I see that they are available in print on demand from Vintage - see here. No pretty covers but worth it if the writing is good :)
Vanilla Black - Andrew Dargue
5 hours ago