Library Loot

I missed Library Loot last week when my computer was down, so I have a big pile of books to share now:

Here they are:

The Taste of Sorrow

The Taste of Sorrow by Jude Morgan

“From an obscure country parsonage came the most extraordinary family of the nineteenth century. The Bronte sisters created a world in which we still live – the intense, passionate world of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights; and the phenomenon of this strange explosion of genius remains as baffling now as it was to their Victorian contemporaries. In this panoramic novel we see with new insight the members of a uniquely close-knit family whose tight bonds are the instruments of both triumph and tragedy. Emily, the solitary who turns from the world to the greater temptations of the imagination: Anne, gentle and loyal, under whose quietude lies the harshest perception of the stifling life forced upon her: Branwell, the mercurial and self-destructive brother, meant to be king, unable to be a prince: and the brilliant, uncompromising, tormented Charlotte, longing for both love and independence, who establishes the family’s name and learns its price.”

I’ve just started reading, and it’s wonderful!

The Peachgrowers Almanac

The Peachgrowers’ Almanac by Elaine di Rollo

“Set in 1857, between England and India, “The Peachgrowers’ Almanac” is a rollicking novel about feisty women, the devotion of sisters and the Victorian obsession with empire, experiments and photography. The peachgrowers of the title are 27 year-old twin sisters with a passion for botany. Lilian, in mysterious disgrace, has been married off to a dreary missionary. Alice is left at home, curator to her father’s monstrous collection of artefacts under the watchful eye of the malevolent Dr Cattermole.”

I saw this in Rachel‘s charity shop loot and I knew that I had to have a copy. Wasn’t I strong-minded, ordering it from the library instead of rushing out to spend money?!

Letter to Alice

Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen by Fay Weldon

“Alice is an eighteen-year-old student and aspiring novelist with green spiky hair, a child of the modern age who recoils at the idea of reading Jane Austen. In a sequence of letters reminiscent of Jane Austen’s to her own neice, ‘aunt’ Fay examines the rewards of such study. Not only is her correspondence a revealing tribute to a great writer – it is also an original and rewarding exploration of the craft of fiction itself.”

This is on my list for the Everything Austen Challenge. I was waiting for the right moment to bring this one home and that moment happened. I’ve read the first letter, and I love it!

Walking in Pimlico

Walking in Pimlico by Ann Featherstone

“Stumbling across Bessie Spooner’s murdered body, comedian Corney Sage is caught in a tangle of deception and lies. He flees from his concert-room job in London’s Whitechapel to a comfortable spa town, and then to a circus and music hall. But try as he might, he cannot elude the killer. And in Corney’s world of theatricals, clowns and showmen, where appearances are surface deep and secrets are deadly, any one of them might be the murderer . . .”

I hadn’t heard anything about this book and I actually picked it up to see what it was about because my uncle used to live in Pimplico. Once I saw it was a dark mystery set among the theatrical community in Victorian London I was hooked, and I just had to bring it home.

The Very Thought of You

The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison

“England, 31st August 1939: the world is on the brink of war. As Hitler prepares to invade Poland, thousands of children are evacuated from London to escape the impending Blitz. Torn from her mother, eight-year-old Anna Sands is relocated with other children to a large Yorkshire estate which has been opened up to evacuees by Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton, an enigmatic childless couple. Soon Anna gets drawn into their unhappy relationship, seeing things that are not meant for her eyes – and finding herself part-witness and part-accomplice to a love affair, with tragic consequences.”

I fell in love with the cover first, and the story looks like living up to it.

Ten Sorry Tales

Ten Sorry Tales by Mick Jackson

“What happens when the everyday meets the surreal, when the adult world of middle England meets the imagination of children? In a series of dark and magical tales, Mick Jackson explores the possibilities, and revives the art, of storytelling. From the only child who falls asleep for fifteen years, to the hermit-like Pearce sisters, who prey on the strangers on ‘their’ beach; and from the homemade row boat that leads one old man from his cellar to a magical cavern for the retired, to the little boy who discovers the secrets for bringing butterflies back to life, Ten Sorry Tales is an exquisite collection at turns funny, gothic, moving and sad.”

Another cover that called me across the library. Its by David Roberts, who also hid the cover for Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror – a book I read and loved just a little while ago. The cover shows characters from the different stories and I’ll let you know who is who as soon as I’ve finished reading.

Have you read any of these? What did you think? Which book should I go for next? And which are you curious to know more about?

And what did you find in the library this week?

See more Library Loot here.

9 responses

  1. Do you realize how very lucky you are to have such wonderful books at your library?

    The Taste of Sorrow would be my first choice as the reviews have been quite enthusiastic. Would you believe that I don’t have anything out from my library at the moment and I work there! I’m faced with buying books lately as my library carries way too much contemporary fiction for my tastes. The fact is, in my community I am the one that’s different so I just accept it, sigh.

    • Yes I do – I ‘d be quite lost without my libraries. I have a private library as well as the usual public library, so I am twice blessed. But even then I do have to order in a fair proportion of my books – I can order from any library in the county for 50p and often my kind of books have only one copy in circulation.

  2. Those all sound marvelous, but I’m especially drawn to The Peachgrower’s Almanac! I’ll be on the lookout for your review of the Austen book…I tend to be a little hesitant about reading Austen-ish books that aren’t her novels!

  3. Letters to Alice is something that I would be interested in reading for sure. I really love the covers of each of the books you brought home this week!

  4. I have a lot of Jude Morgan on my shelf to get through, and there just seem to be more and more coming! I’ll have to keep an eye out for this latest one, though I’m not a huge Bronte fan myself.

    You’re up next in my line-up for a Rosie’s Riveters post on BookLust. If you would like to e-mail me at aarti dot nagaraju [at] gmail [dot] com, then I can send you the template. It’s scheduled to go up a week from Thursday.


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