Shortly before Christmas, I appeared in the Bookseller's weekly column that features librarians and booksellers highlighting a pair of books from a similar genre called I'm loving/I'm not loving. As I don't see The bookseller, I had to wait for a copy to be posted to me, which took forever due to the snow, but I finally saw myself in print last week. I chose to feature reprinted books and chose to love Miss Buncle's book, recently republished by Persephone Books, and decided that I didn't love Miss Hargreaves, recently republished by Bloomsbury.
Here's what I wrote: Miss Buncle’s Book (D.E. Stevenson)
Persephone books specialise in reprinting neglected classics by 20th century authors, and my favourite of their recent reissues is this story of a spinster who tries to augment her income by writing a novel about the village where she lives. The villagers are incensed by the caricature made of their lives and try to work out who is responsible. Miss Buncle is a charming heroine and this book is a wonderful light read, perfect for the holidays.
Miss Hargreaves (Frank Baker)
Bloomsbury are also reprinting “lost novels”, and although this particular title was recommended to me by several friends, I was ultimately disappointed. Miss Hargreaves, an imaginary character created in a game played by two young men, mysteriously comes to life and causes havoc by her appearance. The unsettling premise of the story felt implausible, and I did not warm to the character of the querulous and somewhat interfering Miss Hargreaves at all.
I love books, baking and my boyfriend, and love to write about the first two. I particular love "forgotten" books, books brought out of obscurity by republication and those still languishing in obscurity. I'm currently reading my way through all of the Virago Modern Classics, but taking in other books along the way.