Friday, 15 April 2011

Birthday books (part 1)

It's more recent Acquisitions than birthday books, but as, with the exception of the book crowning this pile, I didn't actually recieve any books for my birthday, and a number of publishers have been more than generous over the last couple of months, it feels like I have certainly recieved a lot of books for my birthday.

The tiger's wife (Obreht) was a very kind present indeed from one of my colleagues who has been following the Orange longlist with me, and borrowing many of the titles. Tiger's wife was one of the two that I hadn't been able to get hold of, and when it made the shortlist, she gave me a copy, which I started reading yesterday. (On condition that I lent it to her when I'm done!). My first impressions are of an incredibly well written book, particularly given that the author did not grow up speaking English.

The rest of the books are a mixture of books which I asked publishers for and books which publishers asked me if I was interested in reading and writing about. And of course I'll be writing about these in due course. I'll work down from the top of the pile.

Cakes by Pam Corbin is the latest River Cottage Handbook - I can't resist a book about cakes so am very glad to have recieved this one from Alice at Bloomsbury. It's my first encounter with the RC Handbook series and I think I will seek out more of them in due course (maybe not the meaty ones though!).

Periodic Tales (Aldersey Williams) came via Lija at Penguin. I had this title from the library but it had had to go back before I had finished it - it's one of those books which are great to dip in and out of, and fascinates me hugely. In another life I would have studied chemistry rather than history.

Ruth (Gaskell) was sent by OUP after I read Gaskell's VMC short stories and wondered if anyone could recommend any of her novels. I since realised that I have read Cranford, so look forward to reading this.

The wedding wallah (Zama) is the latest Marriage Bureau book which Jenny from Little Brown asked if I was interested in reading. They had kindly sent me volume 2 last year and I am looking forward to reading this over the summer.

Girl reading (Ward) was an unsolicited book from Virago, but looks intriguing (the title alone sold it to me really!). It's out in May and you can read more about it here.

Just my type (Garfield) was also recieved from Penguin. I have been desperate to read this since it came out as the subject matter fascinates the librarian who used to work in Rare Books in me. Am saving it for when I have time to enjoy it properly.

The bottom two books relate to Sybille Bedford. I made a new contact as a result of reading the Orange longlist, and in turn got contacted by Angela, a freelance publicist who had seen the blurb on my blog which says that I love rediscovered books and asked if I was interested in Sybille Bedford. In fact, Bedford wasn't new to me as I read her two Virago novels for my Virago Venture. Daunt books are rereleasing some of her books to mark the centenary of her birth, and here I have one of her novels and her memoir to read in due course. I look forward to sharing these with you all.

From my family and friends, I mostly recieved money for my birthday (with the exception of some yummy Reese's cups, and a beautiful felt butterfly craft kit), and after money had been allocated towards a trip to the ballet, a new cagoule and some new prescription sunglasses, I had £40 left to spend on books. It took me a while to make up my mind, but I think I've now decided and I'll make a second birthday books post when they've all arrived.


  1. I am so envious of your acquisition of Girl Reading. Katie Ward is coming on my blog on the publication date.

    I have The Wedding Wallah too from Jenny.

    I hope you had a lovely birthday and sorry I missed it. x

  2. Whoever delivers the post to your flat must think you're a very lucky woman! So you like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups do of the last kiddy-style chocolate treats that still make me swoon.

    Hope you had a super special day, Verity!

  3. If you are still looking for Gaskell titles, I recommend North and South and Wives and Daughters. North and South features the more industrial side of Gaskell while Wives and Daughters features the more country side of Gaskell. Both have great stories and are very enjoyable reads.

  4. Oh, and happy birthday!

  5. What a lovely pile! Happy belated birthday!


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