Saturday, 26 February 2011

Persephone Reading Weekend: Is it your first time?

If you've missed out on previous Persephone Reading Week excitement then you might be interested in reading some of my posts from before:

A pile of Persephones (May 2009 - the first unofficial Persephone reading week!)
My Persephone Life (August 2009)
My Persephone Reading Life (May 2010)

And here are some Persephone Books reviews from my blog over the last few years to whet your appetite for more...

Fidelity (Glaspell)
Bricks and Mortar (Ashton)
Making conversation (Langford)
They can't ration these/How to run your home without help/Kitchen Essays
Every eye (English)
Marjory Fleming (Malet)
Alas poor lady (Ferguson)
House in the country (Playfair)
Operation Heartbreak (Cooper)
A very great profession (Beaumann)
World that was ours (Bernstein)
Short story collections
Good food on the aga (Heath)
Still missing (Gutcheon)
An interrupted life (Hillesum)
The expendable man (Hughes)
Julian Grenfell (Mosley)
Hopkins Manuscript (Sheriff)

Don't forget, that if you're a Persephone newcomer and reading your first Persephone Book this weekend, you're eligible for a special prize draw - just mention it when you post your review and we'll choose a winner at random!


  1. My first Persephone book has been read my review is up!

    Thoroughly enjoying this.

  2. I'm in the middle of my first Persephone, but I wrote an intro style post this morning!

  3. I just read your first post 'A Pile of Persephones' and find myself reeling from the fact that you read 350 books that year! Oh how I wish I could read that fast! It is lovely to see how your love of Persephone began!

  4. I'm not a newbie, though I still haven't gotten one of those elegant gray editions. Does that count? No, I didn't think so.

    I really came by to say congratulations. Everywhere I turn, people are writing about Ps and their blogrolls are full of other people writing about Ps. I’m very happy for you!

  5. I think it's great you're offering a prize to Persephone newbies; so often I've heard people say that it's hard to get them (usually for geographical reasons) and it's nice to think that gradually those wishes can be fulfilled!

  6. Fabulous job by you and Claire this time and all the other times Verity! What fun to be reading your first Persephone. I don't remember which one I read first - almost certainly Miss Pettigrew, but I do remember thinking I'd like a cropped cashmere cardigan in that colour a la Brora. Many Persephones later I now find I absolutely love that shade of grey and look for it everywhere!

  7. I wasn't sure I would have the time to join in, but I did! I started my first Persephone, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day Friday night and I couldn't be more delighted with it. Thank you for hosting such a fun event!

  8. You've read a nice stack of Persephones over the last few years! I'm moving along very slowly with them! This weekend I'm working on Daddy's Gone A-Hunting, but I won't finish it in time to write about it now--so am reading along in spirit anyway. It's fun seeing which other books are being talked about though.

  9. I've just posted on my love of all things Persephone here,

    Thanks again for hosting the weekend. I plan to spend the afternoon reading as many posts as I can!

  10. Hello Verity, I'm so new I don't even have a Persephone yet but some are in the post from the UK. Does that make me a pre-newbie? :)

    I hope to participate in your next reading weekend. I met Lyn (above) from "I Prefer Reading" in the last ten days so I am now looking forward to some great new titles, it's great to be able to see so many reviews.

  11. Enjoying this weekend. I have read about some good books and lovely blogs.

    My post for today is about the author I read.

  12. I don't have a blog so am leaving a comment here about the Persephone that I finished this weekend.

    "Tell it to a Stranger" by Elizabeth Berridge. This is a collection of short stories. "Subject for a Sermon" made me think.

    Quote below is said by Lady Hayley to her son who is home on embarkation leave, WW2.

    "I noticed a book on the French revolution in the dining room, you'd been reading it. Well, there's a good lesson for you. The aristocrats didn't really lose, because the mob could only cut off their heads. And ultimately that's such a small thing."


    This mother appears to be more concerned with doing her good works, than with spending time with the son that she may never see again.

    She'd been giving a talk to the Red Cross so missed his home coming. Lady Hayley doing that, inspired the vicar to write a sermon, and I'd love to know what he said.

  13. I've just posted my review of Dorothy Whipple's They Knew Mr Knight here:

  14. Hi, thanks for hosting this event! I've just posted my review about my first Persephone Book 'Good evening Mrs. Craven' here:

  15. How wonderful! I am very excited to have read my very first Persephone, thanks to this weekend celebration. I thoroughly enjoyed Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and am eager to read another one soon. Here's my post:

  16. I'm having so much fun with PRW -- thank you, and Claire, for organizing this. I posted my first Persephone yesterdary -- CHEERFUL WEATHER FOR THE WEDDING -- and my second Persephone, THE WINDS OF HEAVEN, will be up any minute now.

  17. Hello, Verity! Hope your RSI symptoms are much better after a day of rest.
    I don't have a blog too, so will just share a bit of my first Persephone - "A London Child of The 1870s" (in an Oxford University Press edition, though) here.
    This is one book that can really bring a smile to your face. :) It is the delightful account of Molly Hughes' childhood world in which ...'Victorian children did not have such a dull time as is usually supposed'. And dull it certainly was not! It does seem that children of those days were more "creative" in finding ways to engage themselves and have fun, than the modern day children of this age. The account is told in such a simple, innocent & matter-of-fact voice that you are just drawn into little Molly's world in no time. I oouldn't help smiling and chuckling to myself at seeing how the child's mind works at times.

    One instance was when she first started school and struggled badly with arithmetics.
    "Good Lord!" he exclaimed. "Don't they teach you how to... Look here, darling, can you do simple long division?"
    "Oh yes, Dym" said I hopefully, for that was my long suit. He breathed something about fractions, but seeing my blank face, showed me how to bring everything to farthings, and then see how many times I could take the little heap from the big heap - by division.
    "And will the answer be in children?" said I, "because it's got to be."

    Another gem :
    One last acquaintance I must mention - an old lady who was too great an invalid to go out. Mother used to take me now and again to see her. Her name was Mrs Ayres. She wore a larger cap than the usual kind that middle-aged ladies used to put on when they took their hats off.
    "Where is Mr Ayres?" I asked Mother one day, when we got outside. "There isn't any Mr Ayres," she replied, "and there never was any Mr Ayres." After a mysterious pause she added, "They call her Mrs Ayres from courtesy, because she is so old."
    Who were 'they'? I pictured people gathering together round a green table and deciding, "Let's call Miss Ayres Mrs Ayres." But to this day I have wondered at what particular moment this decision was made.

    And that is why I find this little gem of a book so utterly charming. :)

  18. Thanks so much for a fun weekend of learning about the different Persephone books. I read Saplings by Noel Streatfeild. Written by an author better known for her children's books, this novel focuses on the effect of WWII on a middle class family in Britain, especially the four children (Laurel, Tony, Kim and Tuesday). I wanted to like this book more than I did--while it realistically reflects the impact of WWII on a particular family and individual characters, the structure seemed to fall apart in the last third of the book (like the family perhaps) and the ending seemed almost arbitrary. Very interesting, though, in its portrayal of how life went on, and how much remained unchanged for the characters despite the reality of the war. Now to decide which one to read next.....Susan E


Do leave a comment - I love to hear from people who read my blog.