Saturday, 10 April 2010

Return from holidays

I'm back! I've had a wonderful time, in Cornwall. There was a lot of weather, but we managed to get out and about and I was thoroughly spoiled on my birthday with sparklers and banners and candles. I was lucky enough to have a parcel of books from my parents, selected from a wishlist that I had sent them - this was a wonderful surprise as I didn't know until I opened it what I would get. It turned out to be three more Greyladies titles - Covent on Styx, Eliza in the common and A proper place, the first two of which I have already devoured. I also had a copy of Jane Gardam's Crusoe's Daughter from a colleague. My fiance treated me to three books while we were away, including a lovely book of old Cornish postcards, and two memoirs of a lady who worked for the National Trust (of which I already had the first)(he had made the mistake of pointing me in the direction of the second hand booksale while he went to look at some farm machinery, so it was only fair to expect him to buy me what I found!)

(And there were many book shaped packages waiting for my return also; Claire from Paperback reader kindly sent me The orange shortlisted The still point for my birthday, there were 3 books from Canongate, and a few other things besides)

I got through a large number of the books that I took, reading:
My driver (Maggie Gee)
Steer by the stars (Olivia Fitzroy)
Snapped in Cornwall (Janie Bolitho)
Treveryan (Angela Du Maurier)
Clothes Pegs (Susan Scarlett)
Once a and girl (Angela Huth)
American Wife (Curtis Sittenfeld)
Life with the lid on (Nicola Hopkinson)
How to paint a dead man (Sarah Hall)
Barbara Hepworth (Margaret Gardiner)
Buried in Cornwall (Janie Bolitho)
Framed in Cornwall (Janie Bolitho)
Taking the plunge (Stacey Lewis)
Rambles beyond Railways (Wilkie Collins)
The marriage book (Nicky Lee)
Convent on Styx (Gladys Mitchell)
Dry rot and daffodils (MAry Mackie)
Hunting and gathering (Anna Gavalda)
Eliza in Common (O. Douglas)
The carm of North Cornwall (ed Alan Drew)
Louisa (Pamela Brown)
The vicarage family (Lorna Hill)
It's only the sister (Angela Du Maurier)
Faith fox (Jane Gardam)
Death on tiptoe (RC Ashby)
The Whicarts (Noel Streatfield)
Hungry Hill (Daphne Du Maurier)

The highlights were Treveryan, Clothes-Pegs, The Vicarage Family, and Rambles beyond railways. I might write about some of these in due course.

By the way, if you're interested to know what I broke my bookban with, it was with a cheap set of the wonderful "English Journeys" books, which were brought to my attention by Thomas of My Porch, who is reading his way through them this April. When I saw the complete set for £15, less than £1 a volume, I just couldn't resist them as something rather lovely to dip in and out of. I'm particularly looking forward to Vita Sackville-West's Let us praise famous gardens, Vaughan William's Folk Songs, and Celia Fiennes Through England on a side saddle. I hope to see lots of mentions of places that I know, and to learn more about the history of England as a place. Now I just need to find somewhere to put them... Also whilst in Cornwall I bought a copy of Angela Du Maurier's It's only the sister (which I devoured lying in the sun on the beach).

Next week I'll be reviewing three more Orange long-listed titles in preparation for the announcement of the shortlist next week, so do pop by and see my thoughts and share yours if you've read any of them. I also hope to do an Orange themed bake! After this week I intend to continue my Orange Wednesdays series and review a formerly Orange longlisted title each Wednesday - until I get bored! I'm hoping that this will provide inspiration and direction to my reading as well as enabling me to read more modern women's fiction.

I'll start reading everyone's blogs again next week and popping by to say hello, and I'll also try to catch up on my emails!


  1. So glad you had a good holiday - and got through so many books! I'll look forward to hearing more detailed thoughts on some of them, especially since most of the titles are new to me.

  2. Welcome home, Verity, glad you had such a good time in Cornwall. The book haul sounds terrific. Hope you enjoyed Eliza For Common, O Douglas is one of my favourite authors.

    I made some very tasty cookies yesterday.I'll happily email you the recipe for your orange themed baking if you'd like it. Crispy Orange and Polenta Cookies from "Great Gluten Free Baking" by Louise Blair, we both think that they are very moreish!

  3. Happy belated birthday--it sounds like you had a nice time even with the weather! I really need to try some of those Greyladies titles--I think I would like them. And I also have a few of Janie Bolithos mysteries on hand that came recommended from a lady who lives on the coast--perhaps from around the places where some of the books are set.

  4. What a lovely photo of you - and in such a beautiful setting too. (Okay I know I'm biased...)

    I came across mention of another non-fiction book about Cornwall yesterday. I'd never heard of it but maybe you have? The Call of Cornwall by Frank Baker - who wrote Miss Hargreaves.

  5. Sounds like a wonderful reading and exploring holiday!

  6. Hello everyone - it's nice to see you all!

    Claire - I'm not sure if I'll have time to write about them as I'm onto other things now, but if any particularly appeal let me know and I will write!

    Geraldine - yes please! And I'll reply to your email soon :) I read A proper place this morning but prefer Eliza in common.

    Danielle - I think Greyladies would be right up your street. They're pricey though :(

    Cath - I haven't heard of that one - it sounds like it should be sought out though!

    Karen - it was wonderful!

  7. Gorgeous photo Verity! That beach looks amazing - which one is it?
    I can't believe you got through so many books! I only managed 3 on mine!
    So glad you had a lovely holiday, you deserved a nice break!

  8. Glad you had a lovely time and had some nice weather! Gosh! Soooo many books - how DO you do it? :-)

  9. Welcome back! It sounds as though you had a lovely Birthday and holiday!

  10. So glad you had a wonderful birthday and lovely sights!

  11. Oh, how nice to find some one else who enjoys the Greyladies books! I adored Clothes-Pegs and am reading Poppies For England at the moment which is brilliant. I'm also a big O'Douglas fan - The Proper Place is a favourite of mine. I'm very pleased to have discovered your blog through Paperback Reader - I am planning on taking part in Persephone Reading Week so am very much looking forward to that.

  12. Hello Skirmish of wit - thank you for popping in. The Greyladies books are absolutely wonderful, not quite in the same league as Persephones, perhaps they are the chick lit version? I'm glad you'll be joining in the PRW fun.


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