One of my Christmas presents from Tom this year was a trip to and overnight stay in London. He arranged it for this half term, knowing that I might need a bit of a pick me up after returning to work last week. As it's also my birthday very soon, I persuaded him that what I wanted most for my birthday was to browse all of my favourite bookshops in London and pick out a few things to read. Giles was with my Mum, and it felt like such a luxury to have the time to properly scan the shelves and choose what struck my fancy the most. Here's what I picked out (links to goodreads):
- The Virago Book of Women Travellers edited by Mary Morris - This is an anthology of travel writing by women throughout the past few centuries, and it looks so interesting. I'm hoping to be inspired to read lots of full length books after getting through this one.
- The Candy Machine: How Cocaine Took Over the World by Tom Feiling - Feiling travelled the cocaine routes of the world and this book is part history and part contemporary review of the status of cocaine. I love a good micro-history.
- Wild Women edited by Sue Thomas - I've been trying to get into short stories lately, so I was excited to find a second hand copy of this anthology of short stories by women, all with a feminist slant. Some of my favourite authors have contributed, and I'm sure I'll find more authors to try.
- Shadows of the Pomengranate Tree by Tariq Ali (Islam Quartet #1) - Another second hand find, and I hadn't heard of this one before. I've never read a novel set during the fall of Granda and Moorish Spain, so it will be interesting to try.
- The Bronte Myth by Lucasta Miller - I love the Brontes, so this non-fiction account of how they have been viewed and mythologised over time will definitely be read soon.
- Devil on the Cross by Ngugi wa Thiong'o - I've read about this Kenyan author, and finally I've found a copy of the book of his I want to try. He wrote it whilst he was imprisoned, and it's apparently a bitter indictement of corruption.
- Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami - Purely because I've been getting into Murakami lately.
- A Short History of Polar Exploration by Nick Rennison - I would love to be an explorer, but I'm simply not cut out for it. I will have to content myself with reading about exploration instead.
I'm really excited about all of these books. I feel like my reading tastes are going through a change at the moment, and my shelves don't reflect that. I'm still into my classics, but I'm more and more drawn to books about the world, about travelling and history, and books by authors from different countries, full of different experiences. If you've read any of these titles, I'd love to know what you thought of them.
One of Tony Robinson's 'Walk Through History' programs just aired on local TV in Sydney - set in Bronte country, and Lucasta Miller was one of the people he met up with...how funny! I was thinking I must track the book down.ReplyDelete
Those times off alone when you have a small baby are absolute magic - I'm glad you had that trip. I bet you were rushing home to see everyone though...!
I'll be reading the Lucasta Miller book soon, so I'll let you know what I think of it.Delete
And I loved the time alone, but I also loved returning home :)
Thanks Sam - she was good value on the program. I'll keep an eye out. You boys would have been pleased to see you too, no doubt!Delete
'Wild Women' looks amazing and I love the 'women'-theme you've got going on in this selection! The Brontes, especially Emily, I have a big love for her, are some of my favourite authors and yet I hadn't heard of 'The Bronte Myth'! I'll definitely have to check it out! Going to London for an uninterrupted book-spree must be heaven! Perfect gift :)ReplyDelete
Juli @ Universe in Words
I was in a bit of a feminist mood when I went shopping! The Brontes as a group are among my favourite authors too, and I like how The Bronte Myth promises to be more than just a biography.Delete
Mmm ... bookshopping in London. What's better than that? And it looks like you got a stack of great books. Kafka on the Shore is the only one that I've read, but I really enjoyed it. It's one of my favorite Murakami novels. Happy reading!ReplyDelete
Not much is better than London book shopping, especially when you know where to go! I'm building up to Kafka on the Shore, my next Murakami will be The Elephant Vanishes, I think.Delete
Yes, I love books about traveling too. So wonderful, especially when they're from history. Murakami is good, although I found Kafka a little challenging to get into. I still have a copy for when the mood strikes again. Your trip to London for book shopping sounds lovely.ReplyDelete
I love travelling, but I've not had a chance to go to a fraction of the places I would like to visit. Until I do, books are the next best thing!Delete
Last weekend, I went to the library all by myself. It was half an hour of heaven! So I can imagine how much you enjoyed visiting the bookstores. All of your picks sound wonderful. I've only read your #4 and liked it.ReplyDelete
It's so relaxing, isn't it? Hope you picked out lots of great reads :)Delete
I haven't read any of these, but they look stinkin' amazing!ReplyDelete
I agree! London bookshops have the best selections.Delete
Think you've covered a wide spectrum of reads. Enjoy them all.ReplyDelete
Thanks :) I've already started the one about the Brontes, and it is excellent so far.Delete
Lovely. A trip to London first of all sounds fantastic, Such a dream. And having time to be able to browse through shelves in book shops is the best. Yay Tom for understand a literary person's needs ;DReplyDelete
The Virago sounds super interesting, only because it's a travel book written by all women, and I feel like that's a bit rare to find. I tend to enjoy female writers talk about their travels.
Tom used to be a non-reader, but over 11 years I have converted him and he now loves books almost as much as I do. We both love an afternoon of second hand book shopping now :)Delete
Haven't read any of these. Incidentally I picked up a copy of Jodi Picoult's Perfect Match this morning from a second hand bookshop close by my work place. This is my first time reading her work I hope I like it.ReplyDelete
Enjoy your reads.
This is why I like second hand book shopping - it's not so much of a risk to try new titles and authors. Hope you enjoy the Picoult :)Delete
I loved Kafka on the Shore so I hope you enjoy it. I haven't read any of the others, but the VIrago book looks interesting.ReplyDelete
What a lovely little present and little luxury.ReplyDelete
It looks like you picked up some great books!
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