Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Recent Arrivals and Acquisitions (a.k.a. the Immediate TBR Pile)

I am currently between two personal libraries and find that it is quite irritating to find myself longing to read books that are sitting on a shelf on another continent!  Sadly, South African libraries are not as well stocked as British ones and they certainly do not have any Persephones or quirky reads that I may have an interest in.

Fortunately, I have a very good friend who obliges my bookish hankerings by posting a few packages of my books from the UK.  The two Persephones above are from such a parcel - sent in anticipation of Persephone Reading Weekend (25 -27 Feb).  Otherwise, I have access to the handy free worldwide postage provided by the Book Depository (highly recommended to all those outside of the UK) and occassional forays into well-stocked new/second-hand book shops in Melville and Rosebank, Johannesburg called Bookdealers.  They stock economically-priced new books and several second-hand books in fiction and non-fiction.  I found quite a few Viragos there one day!

Anyway... onto the books!  The two Persephones are what I hope to read for the Persephone Reading Weekend coming up.  I've been meaning to read High Wages by Dorothy Whipple ever since it was republished and I aim to at least make a start on it then.  I intend to start the weekend though with a quick read of Cheerful Weather for the Wedding.

Bones in the Belfry by Suzette A. Hill is a current read and book two in the Francis Oughterard mystery series - quite hilarious and well-written and I shall be writing a review on the first two books once I've completed this one.

I also hope to make a start on my first Dickens in years, Pickwick Papers.  I was absolutely charmed by the 1985 television adaptation starring a twinkling Nigel Stock as Pickwick and a fabulous Patrick Malahide as Jingle.  I am eager to reacquaint myself with the members of the Pickwick Club with such cheery names as Winkle, Snodgrass and Tupman.  At 800 pages, I think that I will be with the Pickwick Club for a few weeks but I'm sure that it will be quite enjoyable. 

A Better Quality of Murder is the third book in the Lizzie Martin/Ben Ross series which I have enjoyed very much so far.  It is a mystery set in Victorian England that is written by the excellent Ann Granger.  This is the second series of hers that I have attempted and I haven't been disappointed.  Her period details are spot on and the writing is pitched perfectly.  Highly recommended!

Blameless by the effervescent Gail Carriger was kindly sent to me a little while ago by Orbit and is the third instalment in the hilarious and oh-so-cultured Parasol Protectorate series.  This series is billed as steampunk fiction with fantasy elements (such as werewolves and vampires) and is set in an alternate Victorian London.  But it's really not just a vampire/werewolf series... it is difficult to classify but it is a fun, suspenseful, intelligent read and it's one that I'm looking forward to.

And finally, The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman is the odd one out in this pile as it is set in the US.  It was published in 1966 and is the first in a series of novels following the exploits and adventures of Mrs Pollifax, a retired lady who unexpectedly finds herself employed by the CIA.  I must have come across this series a year ago on the excellent Cozy Mystery List when I was searching for my next read.  Although I'm not really a reader of spy fiction, reviews have been positive and it has been billed as humourous and delighful.  I believe a couple of film adaptations were made which I sadly am unable to get my hands on... they seem to be cheerful viewing.

Reviews of these books will be forthcoming and I hope that they won't disappoint. 


Annie said...

Granger is a writer I haven't yet tried and I know a lot of people think highly of her writing. I must see what my library has before they close it! And, I'll be very interested to hear how you get on with 'Pickwick Papers'. I have a theory that you have to be male to find it funny. Let me know what you think.

verity said...

How nice to have a friend ship you some of your books :) And especially as they are Persephone books too :)

Darlene said...

Isn't it such a nice feeling when books arrive in the mail!

My book choice for Persephone Reading Weekend is Dorothy Whipple's short stories which I can't wait to delve into! High wages was wonderful...you're in for a treat!

motheretc said...

You are the second person I've seen who has High Wages out this week! I'm so jealous!

fleurfisher said...

I have to admit that whenever I read the nems Winkle, Snodgrass and Tupman I think of the March girls and their reenactments in Little Women. I really must read The Pickwick Papers one day. You are going to love High Wages and I shall be interested in your mystery reading to see if maybe you can help me with any of the more difficulat letters in my Crime Fiction Alphabet.

bookmarksandteacups said...

I hope you enjoy the Mrs Pollifax - I think they're great fun. Not really spy fiction, unless there's a "spy cozy" category. We used to read them out loud on car trips. And my dog is Polly, after Mrs Pollifax.

Rochester Reader said...

Annie: definately try Granger, although I have only read this series so far and the first of her new series. I'll let you know about the Pickwick but it'll take me a while to finish it!
Verity and Darlene: I love getting books in the mail. The only problem is the two-week wait! Darlene, I'm getting excited over High Wages now.
motheretc: I've had my eye on it for so long so I have high hopes.
Fleur: Yay! Another plus for High Wages. What letters are you stuck with? Maybe I can come up with something.
Bookmarks: welcome! 'Spy Cozy', I think you've just coined a new sub-genre :-) How sweet to name your dog after Mrs P.!