Friday, November 27, 2009

Books from Britain Part 1 of ??

I always seem to read a disproportionally high number of books by British authors, but I think this year there has been a record number. Now that it is so easy to order from a particular depository of books I seem to order one book here, one book there (there is no minimum order for shipping).

While I am on the topic of this depository I thought I'd share a few tips I've gleaned from shopping there. First, there are two websites you can order from: the dot com and the dot UK. The prices are slightly different so check both places. Second, the preorder prices are AMAZING especially at the dot com site for some reason. I bought Nigel Slater's new book on preorder for a song, and have bought paperbacks, retail price $13-14 for $5-7. So, if there is something coming out you know you've got to have; preorder it!

Now for a few things I've read:

The Mesmerist by Barbara Ewing

Well, we know I love a good Victorian romp, and that is just how this engaging and entertaining book begins, with two somewhat-aged actresses looking for a new profession. Cordelia becomes a Mesmerist, Rillie her assistant. This is all fun and successful, but these two 'ladies' have secrets. Oh, do they have secrets! Suddenly, almost unexpectedly, things become much more Dark and Sordid, but also much more interesting. Scandal and murder and a Victorian style court case round out this book. This is just the sort of comfort reading I love to fall into. A delight!

Shadows of the Workhouse by Jennifer Worth

Shifting to the 20th century, this is the second of Worth's trilogy of her life as a nurse in the East End. I adored the first in the series, The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times, and knew I had to have this. Worth is a master storyteller and one immediately becomes engaged in the tales she tells. Shadows of the Workhouse is made up of three stories, two real heart breakers that sandwich a lighter tale about a Nun Worth lived with.

Overall, Worth gives a fascinating peek into a world we rarely read about, that of the poor of the East End. This is a great book for lovers of social history, as well as medical history. I didn't find this book quite as engaging as the author's first, but still a worthwhile read.


bermudaonion said...

It sounds like I need to check out Book Depository!

JoAnn said...

Did you get the e-mail with a coupon for an additional 10% off? If you didn't, I'll forward it to you.

Staci said...

Both of these sound extremely great, especial The Mesmerist!! I love your short reviews of these!! Thanks for the heads up on the website!

Anonymous said...

The Mesmerist sounds like fun! I'm making a big order from the Book Depository soon, and I believe I may have to add this one to my list. :)

Danielle said...

I love TBD and order from them more than US online stores. Since I am on a book buying embargo--well, swearing not to use my credit card until it is paid off, it has been painful not to be able to order books from TBD. I'm afraid if I let myself order just one I'll totally fall off the wagon! And I also comparison shop between the two websites and have found great pre-order prices (especially on hardcovers....can you see why I've had to cut myself off). I have something by Barbara Ewing (ordered after I heard of her from you), though I can't remember if this is the one I bought. Will have to check out Jennifer Worth's books now...well, add them to my wishlist anyway.

Tara said...

Kathy, yes you do!

JoAnn, thank you!

Staci, thanks a bunch!

jennysbooks, it was! I wish I was making a big order to TBD right now...

Danielle, I see you've noticed the same things I have! I think you might have Rosetta by Barbara Ewing? Which I still have not read yet, this one just appealed to me more, at the moment.

Nan said...

I just got two books from those folks yesterday, and some a few days before that, and some last week... Oh, I'm in book heaven. When I think of all the money I used to spend at the 'other' English bookstore for shipping just to get the books I 'had' to own! I think the East End is all gentrified these days. Have we talked about the UP series? Tony is from there, I believe.

Tara said...

Nan, I find it fun to preorder things and then they show up unexpectedly, like gifts! YES! We have talked about the UP series, and I've watched the entire thing. I am so hoping we will have another one.