Thursday, April 15, 2010

Recent Acquisitions and Other Bookish News


I got an order delivered from Amazon recently. These are my latest acquisitions:

The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier - I've just started reading this and I'm loving it. I'm a big, big fan of Daphne.
The Places in Between by Rory Stewart - I've been wanting to read this ever since I read an article about this amazing young man. This book chronicles his travels on foot across Afghanistan. It sounds incredible. 
The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham - After recently enjoying The Chrysalids, I could not resist ordering another Wyndham novel.
Nightingale Wood by Stella Gibbons - I've been reading about this book for ages and it sounds like a light and delightful read in the tradition of Jane Austen.
Bonjour Tristesse and A Certain Smile by Francoise Sagan - I read Bonjour Tristesse years ago and enjoyed it. Time for a reread and a chance to try out another novella by this famous French writer.

Have any of you read the above? I'd love to hear what you thought of them.

In other bookish news, Claire at Paperback Reader and Verity at   The B Files  are hosting the Persephone Reading Week from May 3 to 9. I'm not sure which ones I'll be reading as I still have a few unread Persephones on my shelves. Plus, I've read a few that I have still to review so I might be delving into that pile too. Recently one of you asked what Persephone Books were, so just in case you still don't know, Persephone Books are reprints of rediscovered twentieth century novels mostly by women writers. I've read quite a number of them and have yet to be disappointed. They've all been wonderful so far. You can learn more about Persephone Books at their website here.

Oh, and I also bought The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon for my first book club read. I recently co-founded a book club together with a friend. We have eight members right now and I think that's a good number. I'm really excited to have our first meeting. I'd love to hear from all of you regarding book club suggestions. If you are in a club, which books generated the most discussion? Any other advice on how to run a successful and fun book club?

20 comments:

  1. What an interesting assortment of books. The only one I'm familiar with is Bonjour Tristesse, which I found a little too pretentious (even reading it as an insufferably prententious teenager). Am very intrigued by the Stella Gibbons! I love Cold Comfort Farm but it's the only one of her novels I've read. I'll have to track down a copy of this one!

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  2. The Du Maurier and Wyndham are both excellent. I'd start with one of those. Wait a minute, I see you have! The House on the Strand is a joyous surprise from beginning to end. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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  3. great mix of books-I am going to order my first Persephone Book from Amazon-maybe it will be here in time for Persephone week-

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  4. What great books - I have been wanting to read Nightingale Wood for a while!

    Well done you on starting up a book group! We started one at work a few months ago and I've just loved it. I enjoy discussing books on my blog but it's not the same as thrashing it out in a room with real live people! We discussed Of Mice and Men which provoked a real debate this past week, and another book we all had a really good discussion about was Fortune's Rocks by Anita Shreve. I think books with potentially controversial themes, plots or characters make for great reading group books as people can take such different stances on the issues involved. Have fun with it!

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  5. Thanks for the mention of PRW! I love DDM, and enjoyed HOS, and I especially enjoyed Nightingale Wood. How lovely it is to have new books.

    The book club sounds fun - I hope you'll keep us posted on it.

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  6. This is a wonderfule pile of books. I read Nightingale Wood a month or so back and really enjoyed (plus the title makes me think of Norwegian Wood by the Beatles, which can't be bad!). I hope that your first book club meeting goes well. I would love to join a book club, but have yet to find one in my local area. Looking forwards to hearing about your book club!

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  7. I have just picked up Nightingale Wood from the library and I can't wait to read it. I loved Gibbon's Cold Comfort Farm, so hope this one keeps me fascinated too.

    I can't wait for Persephone week.

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  8. Lovely pile of books! The Midwich Cuckoos was my first Wyndham and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    The House on the Strand I received for Christmas but haven't read yet; Bonjour Tristesse I read many years ago and have been wanting to reread; Nightingale Wood I was disappointed in but the story has stayed with me so I'd like to give it another try in years to come.

    Thank you for the PRW mention; I'm really looking forward to delving into my own pile.

    Congratulations on starting your own book group! That will be fun. I think the best advice I can give is to keep it fun, with few rules and little politics. Enjoy your first meeting (also, you can find posts on book group choices on my blog via the book group tag).

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  9. All of these look wonderful! I'm particularly jealous of Nightingale Wood - I've been wanting to read it for ages! I'm really looking forward to your thoughts on that one!

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  10. These seems to me an interesting set of books. I've read none of those, but I'd love to read Du Maurier's The House on the Strand.

    Congrats on starting a book group! Have fun :)

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  11. What a great stack! I think The Curious Incident is a good book group read - but the really fun thing about being a member of a book group (which I am) is that you end up reading all sorts of books you wouldn't normally think to look at. Good luck with it and let us know how it goes.

    Persephone Reading Week sounds like so much fun and I'd love to take part, but not sure yet if I'll be able to get myself organised...

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  12. I'm a huge fan of DuMaurier too. I have loved everything I have read of hers so far but Rebecca is my favorite. I just found this (The House on the Strand) one at the used bookstore I go to. I look forward to hearing what you think of it.

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  13. Nice haul! :) I am big fan of Maurier and her Rule Britannia has been a long time favourite! I haven't read any of the books you have bought but they all sound very good, have fun! And good luck with your book club :)

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  14. I used to be a member of 2 book clubs, (had to take a haitus for work, but will be returning to one next year).

    The things that make it successful are: 1. having a good spread (it is always more fun to discuss a book over a nice little snack and a bottle of wine), and -I know it might sound dumb- but having discussion questions. The one book club didn't have those, and it was never as lively of a conversation. We usually had one person pick the book each month, and that person would also bring the questions. It worked out really well. Whenever the conversation stagnitated, the questions provided something new to think and talk about.

    Also, I read "Curious Incident of the dog in the Nighttime", and it was a really good read. Good choice for your first book club. Other books that generated good discussions were: Snowflower and the secret fan, the Time Travelor's Wife, and Devil in the White City. (All are also great books by the way).

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  15. I'm looking forward to your thoughts on Nightingale Wood! I absolutely loved it, and hope you will too :)

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  16. I love Daphne du Maurier as well, though I have not yet read this book. I plan on rereading My Cousin Rachel next month and am looking forward to it. I also have the Stella Gibbons novel on my pile and an old copy of Bonjour Tristesse that I really should have got to by now. Lots of great new books.

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  17. Good book club---a good salad and a good wine!
    Recent favorites "The Seamstress" "People of the Book" and informally "The Book Thief"!

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  18. I have seen Nightingale Wood around so many times and have been tempted so I am looking forward to hearing what you think about it. I have just recently joined a Book Club - our selection for this month is The Time Traveler's Wife which I have already read but am looking forward to re-reading it in the context of Book Club.

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  19. Looks like you got some good books. I am not familiar with any of them except The House on the Strand. I love Du Maurier too.

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  20. I'm excited about Persephone Reading Week! Haven't read as much as you so looking forward to what you'll be reading.

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