Books That I’ve Bought of Late; The London Edition

I spent most of last week down in London having a lovely time catching up with lots of friends and getting very nervous before getting rather tipsy at the Green Carnation Prize winner event. This all naturally included rather a lot of falling to bookshops and buying quite a lot of books, which I thought I would share with you all as we all like a bit of book porn don’t we?

First up were four books that I have been meaning to get my hands on for ages and ages after lots and lots of people were talking about them around Halloween…

Galley Ghosts

These four gorgeous mini paperbacks are ghostly short stories by E. L Barker, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edith Wharton and P.G. Wodehouse. Don’t they look great as a little collection? As usual I am rather slow to the party and indeed have been meaning to buy them via Galley Beggar Press’ website online, however they were on prominent display at the gorgeous new Foyles store (they haven’t paid me to say that you wait till I share it with you on Thursday) and so they were whipped off the shelves and run to the tills.

Next up was a find when I fell into Hatchard’s which is one of my favourite bookshops because of its oldy-worldy-ness. You feel like you have fallen back in time in some way, which was apt as I was after a classic crime novel by members of The Detection Club…


Gavin has chosen The Floating Admiral (yes a book on a bloody boat) as his classic choice on the next episode of Hear Read This. I don’t know masses about The Detection Club, just that they were a select group of crime novels, including Agatha Christie, who would wrote a chapter of a book each – one of which was this one. I am really looking forward to this one as it is from the golden age of crime, which links in with the next two random purchases…

British library editions

The British Library have started publishing books, these are not any old books (though they are old books) but recovered crime classics that have gone out of print. My eye was caught by J. Jefferson Farjeon’s (who wrote more than sixty books, who knew?) Mystery in White, in part as it was in prime position in Waterstones Islington, as it had the subtitle A Christmas Crime Story and regular visitors to this blog will know I like a Christmas story over, erm, Christmas. This seemed perfect, a broken down train in the snow and a deserted country house, what more could you want. As I looked around Murder Undergound by Mavis Doriel Hay which couldn’t have been a better present to myself from London could it?

Just as I was leaving the store I then spotted a book that I had to buy because of the title alone…


How could you not want a book by Murakami with the title The Strange Library. This was a no brainer and at the till the bookseller was super duper effusive about it saying it was a marvellous dark little fairy tale, so it should be just my sort of read.

Finally I should add another three books though admittedly I didn’t buy them, though I think I did quite well on the buying front frankly.


On the Thursday night I attended the Penguin Annual Bloggers Night at Foyles (yes them again) where I was lucky enough to meet three authors who have books out in 2015; Emma Hooper, Claire Fuller and Julia Rochester, so I grabbed their books. I also spoke to and shook the hand of William Gibson which was nice, though his books went like gold dust. I hear Marieke Hardy is a fan. It was also lovely to see Annabel, Simon, Sakura and Kim (the latter two also very nicely showed up at the Green Carnation Party) and we had a lovely catch up and natter, including the idea of having bloggers meet ups, as we did it once and it was lovely.

All in all a rather wonderful trip and a rather good book haul don’t you think? Which of these have you read and what did you make of them? Which of them do you fancy reading? What have you bought of late?


Filed under Books That I've Bought of Late

11 responses to “Books That I’ve Bought of Late; The London Edition

  1. A very respectable haul! And really great to see you after so long!

  2. Annabel (gaskella)

    I love the Galley Beggar Ghosts. Ideal stocking fillers. Lovely to see you too last week.

  3. Ann

    I would like to read all the books you just got – my kind of books

  4. kaggsysbookishramblings

    Lovely selection Simon! The Galley Beggar Ghosts look just gorgeous!

  5. David

    Well, I certainly enjoy a bit of book porn and that is a fine haul! I must say, whilst crime/mystery isn’t my thing, I have been fancying ‘Mystery in White’ which sounds great fun. Emma Hooper’s and Claire Fuller’s novels are both ones I’ve heard about (is Fuller’s title an Iron & Wine reference?) and I’ll probably be tempted to buy them when they come out despite resolving that next year I am going to buy much less new fiction (this because I did a rough tot-up the other day and realised I had about eighty 2014 books that I still haven’t got around to… yikes!).
    As for me, I’ve bought far far too much lately – I justify it to myself by saying the majority were at impossible-to-resist bargain prices, and this splurge has resulted in me discovering two new favourite writers in John Dufresne and Laurie Colwin. I also finally took the plunge and bought the full set of 16 Vintage Classics Dickens novels that The Book People are always flogging – £10 for the lot. Despite loving ‘A Christmas Carol’ I’ve always been put off Dickens, mainly I think by the TV adaptions (and of course the length of the books!), but a quarter of the way into ‘Great Expectations’ and I’m thoroughly engrossed. What I hadn’t really appreciated is what an easy read he is, but of course in his day I suppose he was ‘popular’ rather than ‘literary’ – a Victorian equivalent of John Irving or Stephen King perhaps?

  6. Helen

    I have just ordered the Ghost story books – they look great!

  7. I know they say never to judge a book by it’s cover but ALL OF THOSE. I want them!!! And most definitely the Murakami.

  8. Mary Arth

    Do you know if I can get the mini paperbacks by Galley Beggar Press’ in the US? I don’t know what to “google”?

  9. Oh how I wish I would like the contents of Murder Underground as much as I love the cover. Maybe I should write a cosy novel based on that illustration.

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