Friday, June 29, 2007


I think I'd like to take a look at the books I've acquired lately.

The first stack is all from mooches and swaps except for The Other Eden. I've been reading so much about Snowbooks lately and was thrilled to find this at Half Price Books. The top three books by Monica Dickens came from an American woman that spent time in the UK some years ago. I'd been hoping to come across a copy of One Pair of Hands for some time and the others are the icing on the cake. Nutmeg wrote so eloquently about Gift From the Sea, I just had to procure a copy for myself. I am already enjoying just opening it up and reading passages at random. The book on the bottom, Ordinary Lives, A Hundred Years Ago is a Virago. Published in 1982, it is filled with wonderful photographs and first hand accounts of life prior to 1900.

The second stack is made up mostly of birthday gifts. In a Sunburned Country was a recent impulse buy and I'm currently about halfway through it. The Allison Weir book Innocent Traitor is her latest release. I've read lots of her nonfiction books about Henry VIII. I was happy to see this book about Lady Jane Grey since she has been a sort of pet subject for me ever since the movie in the 80s starring Helena Bonham Carter. Real Cooking at the bottom was a birthday present to myself. I just cannot get enough of Nigel Slater's writing. His next book looks to be about English Cooking and I don't expect it to be published here. Book Depository, here I come.

This last photograph shows the titles here a bit better. I've been thumbing through How to Run Your Home Without Help and I'm exhausted just looking over it. I have a new appreciation lately for all my modern conveniences.

This will be a working weekend for me, so I will not be getting too much reading done. Bill Bryson's book is certain to keep me entertained during my meal breaks. I'll be eating that wheatberry salad again. Have a wonderful weekend!


Iliana said...

Birthday gifts? Did I miss a post?! Well, at least you know how to celebrate :) I'm having some serious book envy right now. haha. Hope you manage to get in some reading this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your books! I made a trip to Half-Price Books today to sell a few and get a few. Picked up 3 for my husband and 3 for me that we are using in our library book club this fall. I wanted to have my own copy of the books.

I suggested "Innocent Traitor" to a coworker and she said she liked it very much. It is in my enormous pile of books still to be read. Hope you enjoy it as well.

Carrie K said...

So..Happy Birthday? I met Alison Weir at a book signing when Innocent Traitor came out. It's her first historical novel, her other books are all non fiction. She hastened to add that it's all based on historical fact, she just got to play a bit with it.

Bybee said...

Who publishes all those gray paperbacks? They're pretty; I want to touch them.

I really enjoyed "Toast" by Nigel Slater. Haven't read any of his cookbooks yet.

Curious about Monica Dickens. Does her writing resemble her ancestor's?

lazy cow said...

What a beautiful stack of Persephone books!
I like Nigel Slater's writing too, but I've never made any of his recipes for some reason.
I also have the same Monica Dickens titles, which I've yet to read. My best friend loves her, and recommended them to me years ago. Happy belated birthday.

Cornflower said...

So many there that I've read and enjoyed - you've got lots of treats ahead.
I don't own a single book by Nigel Slater. I've no idea why as I've given one as a gift and loved what I saw when I looked through it. Time to remedy that situation!

Nan said...

In a Sunburned Country is far and away my favorite Bryson book. I have never forgotten the images of all those creatures over there. The HUGE spiderwebs in neighborhood trees which makes you wonder just how big the spider is. The statistics in the book are astounding. :<) Gift From The Sea is one of my yearly listens. I have the print book too, but I really like Claudette Colbert's reading of this wonderful book which means something new to me each time I read it. And a late Happy Birthday! Gemini or Cancer sun??

Tara said...

Bookgirl, I sort of slipped it into my June 15 post describing how I would celebrate - didn't want to scream 'Hey it's my birthday!' but it's really nice to get all these lovely good wishes now.

Kay, I just love Half Price Books! I'm glad to hear of someone who enjoyed Innocent Traitor. It has now joined MY enormous pile to books TBR!

Carrie, Thank you - it was June 17. How exciting to have met Alison Weir! I thought it was her first fictional book but wasn't sure.

Bybee, the gray books are published by a small publishing house out of London called Persephone Books. You should check out their website. They are addictive! I also enjoyed Toast very much - I highly recommend Slater's cookbooks, especially Kitchen Diaries and Appetite.

You know, this will be the first time I read Monica Dickens! The book One Pair of Hands is an account of her time working 'in service' and I hear is quite entertaining.

Lazy cow, Yes, I've definitely read more Nigel Slater than actually cooked his recipes. I've only done a few very simple ones. I really want to try one of his curries. Thank you for the birthday wishes.

Karen, I am looking forward to all of them - when I'll get to them only time will tell! Do read some Nigel Slater - I think he's just sublime.

Nan, yes, so far this one and the one about small town America are my favorites of Bryson. I agree about the statistics - I've even marked a few pages. I can see how Gift From the Sea would be great to listen to. Thank you - and I am Gemini!

Jill ONeill said...

*Gift From The Sea* is a wonderful book and I do recommend it. Read that one soon.

E.Delafield of *Diary of a Provincial Lady* is wonderful.

I tried Monica Dickens' One Pair of Hands but didn't particularly care for it. I passed it on to a friend who rolled on the floor laughing over it.(This was back in the days before we had acronyms for that type of thing.)

StuckInABook said...

Oh hurray, what wonderful books! You've picked some of my favourite Persephones (had I spieled about them before?) the Richmal Crompton and EM Delafield are both wonderful, if a little poignant. The Monica Dickens I found uproariously funny. You've got some good reads ahead of you!

StuckInABook said...

Oh, and happy belated birthday!

Tara said...

Jill - I will. Interesting, your comment about the Dickens. I'll have to see what I think.

Simon, I'm glad to hear you've enjoyed some of these so much! I am looking forward to them. And thank you!

Unknown said...

One pair of Hands by Monica Dickens is a hoot you will love it. The Family Roundabout by Richmal Crompton will start you off on a Crompton binge be warned! I have just started The Other Eden so will be interested to hear your take on it when you have read it. Elaine

Danielle said...

I've had this post marked for ages in my Bloglines and every time I scroll past it I drool! :) What lovely books. Lucky you to get such a nice stack of Persephones!! And that Ordinary Life, A Hundred Years Ago sounds great! I love books like that with photos. Hope you had a wonderful birthday!!