A Few More Aquisitions

So last weekend when I wasn’t ill in bed with the delights of pig flu and had finally gotten around to unpacking most of my things Novel Insights came round and we went to my favourite ‘5 Books for £2’ store and I went a bit crazy, as did she. However I then went back again the next day… and on Monday, whoops. I love seeing the treasures that you have brought back when you have been shopping and so once again I thought I would share mine.

New Books... And More New Books 

Portrait of a Marriage by Nigel Nicholson – This is an account of one of the most famous literary marriages and quite an unconventional one. “Vita Sackville-West, novelist, poet, and biographer, is best known as the friend of Virginia Woolf, who transformed her into an androgynous time-traveler in Orlando. The story of Sackville-West’s marriage to Harold Nicolson is one of intrigue and bewilderment. In Portrait of a Marriage, their son Nigel combines his mother’s memoir with his own explanations and what he learned from their many letters. Even during her various love affairs with women, Vita maintained a loving marriage with Harold. Portrait of a Marriage presents an often misunderstood but always fascinating couple.”

The Sun King by Nancy Mitford – I am a slight Mitford addict and that’s after having only read their letters to each other and the first of Nancy Mitford’s novels ‘The Pursuit of Love’ but believe me that is enough. Now finding this very rare and out of print copy of one her non fiction novels I was completely overjoyed.  

Martha Peake by Patrick McGrath – A gothic mansion and a mystery tale, which kind of sold it for me, plus it’s in almost brand spanking new condition. I haven’t read any McGrath yet but have ‘The Asylum’ in my TBR too. This was a slightly random purchase.  

Tales from the Town of Widows by James Canon – I liked the title, I won’t pretend it was anything more than that because it wasn’t. Well… I liked the blurb too, a town of widows and how they cope with war as well as each other.

Bleeding Heart Square by Andrew Taylor – I have seen a few very good reviews of this and though I have STILL not read ‘The American Boy’ when I saw this in mint condition I couldn’t say no. There must have been a book group which this was the choice of as there were about six brand new copies in the store.

Sophie’s Choice by William Styron – I have a vague notion of what this cult classic is about and feel I may cry my eyes out when reading it (please don’t anyone give me any spoilers) this has been on my radar in previous visits to the shop and finally gave in. 

Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold – I have been sent a review copy of Glen David Gold’s latest novel ‘Sunnyside’ and I wanted to give what has become some sort of modern cult classic first.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt – I want to try my hand at more non fiction and have heard some people say that this is as good as, if not better, than ‘In Cold Blood’ which I think is absolutely fantastic so this had to be purchased. 

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt – Actually I bought this on a quick dash into the store on Monday after I had heard the sad news that Frank McCourt had sadly past away. After hearing from so many of you how wonderful this book is I decided I really needed to read this.

Playing With The Grown Up’s by Sophie Dahl – When I was young Roald Dahl was one of my favourite, if not favourite, author’s and I have been intrigued by the fact his now famous Granddaughter Sophie becoming a writer. I wouldn’t have bought this if it wasn’t for the fact that one of my friends who doesn’t read very often has raved about this endlessly so I hope they are right.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith – At book group Claire brought this in as her favourite read. I have always quite fancied giving it a go anyway however this made it a future must read. The books that Claire has reviewed and that I have read and she has loved I have also loved so her recommendations are ones I always hanker after.

This Charming Man by Marian Keyes – I hope that Savidge Reads isn’t a snobbish book blog and accepts all different sorts of literature or at least has a go at them. This is undoubtedly one of the biggest selling books of the year and I gave Twilight a go so why shouldn’t I give this one a try. Two people who I like very much have also raved about her writing.

Passion by Jude Morgan – I have just started ‘Taste of Sorrow’ and my mother has been raving about ‘Indiscretion’ which I bought her (and I own) so I have a feeling that Jude could become an author that I like a lot. If not it was only 50p. I know little about Mary Shelley and the idea of reading a fictional account of her excites me, I loved Frankenstein.   

Devoted Ladies by Molly Keane – I have heard of ‘Time After Time’ but not this one. I admit I bought it for the cover and the fact that the blurb sounded so art deco and fabulous. Two female friends who aren’t actually as friendly as they might appear sounds like a recipe for 1930’s fun.

The Journal of Dora Damage by Belinda Starling – I saw a review of this on Bath Books and have been hankering after it ever since. Gothic late Victorian London, a book-binding business gone bust and Dora Damage must go to any lengths to save herself and her family. It has been compared to some of Sarah Waters earlier work… I cannot wait.

Do you own any of these? Have you been hankering after any of these? What books are you itching to get your hands on? What have you bought recently?


Filed under Book Spree, Book Thoughts

27 responses to “A Few More Aquisitions

  1. Harriet

    Where is this “5 for £2” store? Lead me to it! Seriously, give us the address — if in London as I assume, it sounds very worth a visit. I have read a few of these — I Capture the Castle has to be my favorite of this bunch. I was a bit disappointed with Bleeding Heart Square.
    Hope you are getting better. You have made rather light of having swine flu but it sounds a bit worrying.

    • The shop is literally down the road from me in South West London! Its a soley books charity shop and its marvellous! Though also dangerous.
      As for the swine flu if you saw me and were with me in real life you’d see how dark I am about it, just trying to stay positive as its now officially horrid and still hasn’t left!

  2. Lovely acquisitions! I love the sound of a ‘5 for £2’ shop! Where is it?!

    I hope you enjoy I Capture the Castle when you get around to it. I am always really nervous when people are reading my favourites in case they hate them.

    I enjoyed Playing with the Grown-ups; it has a portrayal of motherhood that really stayed with me. I loved The Man with the Dancing Eyes by Sophie Dahl – it’s a short, modern fairytale.

    Devoted Ladies and Sophie’s Choice are both on my (non-immediate) TBR pile.

    I bought The Other Hand last week and hoping to start reading it tomorrow.

    • I am nervous about you reading The Other Hand so we are even! I have a feeling I Capture The Castle is going to be just up my street! I am thinking of reading Sophie Dahl between The Taste of Sorrow and The Childrens book is it a light yet fab read?

      • Hee, even indeed.

        It’s relatively light, quick at least, but fairy dark. It reminded me of something that I can’t quite put my finger on so I look forward to your thoughts on it.

  3. What an amazing stack! I’ve never read Sophie’s Choice, but if the movie is any indication, get your tissues. I absolutely LOVE Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil…it is the perfect portrayal of Savannah. It’s got everything you would want. I also very much enjoyed Passion. This is not my normal read, but I’d heard great reviews and I wasn’t sorry I picked it up. Those old poets were an interesting lot!

    • Oooh if Passion is anything as good as The Taste of Sorrow I am going to be in heaven! Great praise for Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil too which has always tempted me and yet I hear little about. I might save Sophies Choice for the beach in Tel Aviv as feel its a gloomy read and I might need to be in the sun!

  4. That is a diverse selection of books! I used to love Marian Keyes when I was younger – I haven’t read any of her books for a very long time though – I’ll be interested to see what you think of it.

    • As much as I can I try and read a diverse selection of books and getting them all so cheap certainly helps. I have been intrigued by Keyes as everyone I know who has read her loves her and this one in particular has been a huge huge seller so I feel I should investigate.

  5. Dot

    I think that you will love I Capture the Castle, it is such a lovely book, it is going on holiday with me this year for a re-read!

  6. What a lovely haul! I’m a Mitford fan, too, but I haven’t read The Sun King. I’m not one for misery memoirs but Angela’s Ashes was compelling, as I recall. And as for I Capture the Castle, there’s one I’ve been meaning to read for ages but am being beaten to it just now by my daughter.
    Hope you’re feeling better.

    • Ooh I shall have to keep you updated on The Sun King though its not gone on my immediate TBR! More great recommendations for Angela’s Ashes and I Capture the Castle! This seems to have been a very productive spree!

  7. armen

    Except the Angela’s Ashes which i read a few years ago in translation, i haven’t read or heard any of them!!
    In fact i haven’t read that much British literature except the classics.
    Where i grow up, most of the book were and still are being translated mostly from French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Latin American and eastern European literature, not that much from British authors.
    I have to try some of them!

    • Oh that’s really interesting Armen. I suppose really only the classics do ever get translated which is sad, unless of course we have a huge huge modern seller. I myself haven’t read that many classics to my shame! Something I am slowly but surely trying to change!

  8. The boy very sweetly got me a copy of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil last year but I haven’t read it. It has a film cover, grrrr….!

    • Oh dear, mind you mines the film cover but you almost can’t tell as its a stone statue in a garden! Its only the back that gives it away sort of. Plus I think its quite a hard book to get your mitts on second hand. I am looking forward to it though still have no idea what its about! Loved doing this shop with you (well half of it) weekend before last! We need to raid Copperfields soon!

  9. I love I Capture the Castle too…and also Playing with the grown-ups – very quirky and different.

  10. You see how I just spiral into this endless cycle of adding books to the list and acquiring them from the bookstore. I have not heard of any of these titles and since I have similar reading taste, I’ll have to put some of these books on my list. 🙂

    • Hahaha that’s the best and worst thing about book blogging… Mind you being book lovers there is always ‘just one more book’ that we need to own.

      I would really recommend you read Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman its just beautiful, and sad, and a bit racy!

  11. I would question the sanity of anyone who thinks that Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is better than In Cold Blood. I liked MGGE, but it feels more like journalism. I suppose it is, and probably purer non-fiction than what Capote put into ICB.

    By the way, your copy of MGGE, while it may have been printed post-film, appears to have the original pre-film cover picture and design. Here in the US, secondhand copies of this one (even in hardcover) are a dime a dozen.

    • It was edmund White who said it and he is an author I really like and so am hoping he’s hlaf right and half wrong. I don’t think anything could be better non-fiction than In Cold Blood a truly amazing book.

      • Interesting that Edmund White said it. I recently came across and EW book that I had never heard of before: Hotel de Dream. I really enjoyed it. A fictional account of a manuscript that Stephen Crane may have written about a male prostitute.

  12. I particularly look forward to your review of Passion – I almost bought it last summer when I went through a bit of a Mary Shelley obsession.

  13. christie61

    I have The Journal of Dora Damage on my tbr list (I have a list *and* a shelf…) I read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil ages and ages ago. It’s a good book, but I’m not sure it’s as good as In Cold Blood. (It did make me want to visit Savannah desperately, though!) I hadn’t heard of Martha Peake, so I added that to my list. I loved Asylum…it hit all my personal kinks. *g*

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