Thursday, June 25, 2015
Thursday Bookshelf - DO-GI
I've decided to use the bigger photos so that you can read the spines. It just means that you need to click on the photos to see all the books on each shelf.
This shelf begins with Dostoevsky, a writer I'm still struggling with. I admire him rather than love him. I'm about to begin reading The Gambler with my 19th century bookgroup so we'll see if I get on with him any better this time around. Maybe I only keep his books on the shelf for their snob value?! I have no such problems with the other writers on this shelf. O Douglas is a relatively recent discovery, thanks to Greyladies.
I've read the Sherlock Holmes stories many times & I can always pick them up with pleasure. The Penguin boxed set was a bargain & the volumes are just the right size to fit in my handbag. The Folio Society boxed set can be read at home & there's the giant annotated three volume set on the bottom of this bay of shelves because it didn't fit here. Margaret Drabble is another favourite as is David Duff. Like Theo Aronson, a biographer of royalty. Also, the beginning of my Daphne Du Mauriers.
The rest of the Du Mauriers, Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals, a new favourite after I listened to it for the first time last year. Anne Edwards is another favourite biographer. The books on the shelf are about Sonya Tolstoy, Queen Mary & Vivien Leigh (sorry about the glare on the spines). Then, the Eliots, George & T S.
Penelope Fitzgerald is there too. I enjoy her fiction but love her non-fiction, the essays in A House of Air & her Letters, even though I was irritated by the way the editor arranged them & by the eccentric footnotes.I have Hermione Lee's biography of Fitzgerald on the tbr shelves & I must read it soon.
Two more favourite biographers on this shelf. Margaret Forster & Antonia Fraser. I've realised that I must buy more non-fiction than fiction as I've also read many novels by both these authors yet there are very few on the shelf. I remember buying the blue copy of Fraser's Mary, Queen of Scots back in the 70s. I was so excited to see it in a bookshop that I couldn't stop looking at it all the way home in the car (my Dad was driving) & I dropped everything to start reading it when we got home. I've read it several times since along with many other books about the Queen of Scots. Antonia Fraser is just as obsessed with Mary as I was. She wore a Queen of Scots headdress at her wedding to Hugh Fraser. There's a photo in her recent memoir, My History, which I've not yet read. Maybe I'll listen to the audio book, read by Penelope Wilton, instead?
More Antonia Frasers plus her biographer daughters, Flora & Rebecca. Lucy Frost's No Place for a Nervous Lady is a fascinating collection of letters & memoirs by women who lived in the Australian bush in the 19th century. Whether they'd just arrived from Europe or had grown up in the cities, the bush was a new & sometimes frightening experience for all of them. Galsworthy's Forsyte Saga - I still have Volume 3 tbr. I remember reading Juliet Gardiner's Wartime just after I moved into this house, while the electrician was sorting out the lighting. I have two more of her books - The Thirties & The Blitz - tbr.
Helen Garner, another author I've been reading since Monkey Grip in the 70s. In recent years, she's been writing non-fiction & Joe Cinque's Consolation is the best thing she's written, in my opinion. I gave my copy to my sister, which is why it's not there. My Elizabeth Gaskells are on this shelf & Winifred Gerin, biographer of Mrs Gaskell & the Brontës. Gibbon's Decline and Fall is there under false pretences, really. I confess, I haven't read it but I got so sick of seeing it on the tbr shelves so I put it away here. I couldn't bring myself to weed it as I really do want to get to it one day. I'm considering trying it on audio, there are several versions on Audible, & I've put the version narrated by David Timson into my Wishlist. Stella Gibbons finishes off this shelf along with the annotated Sherlock I mentioned above.