An A to Z, to get us back into the way of blogging …

… I didn’t mean to disappear for more than a day or two, but life threw a few complications in my path and time slipped past. So time, I think, to get back into the way of things with an A to Z …

A is for Alys Always, an intriguing debut novel by Harriet Lane. I’ve been stalking it in the library catalogue and it was finally entered yesterday, so I got my reservation in straight away.

B is for Baxter. When life gets stressful I have been know to peruse clips of border terriers on YouTube. And I love this one of Baxter, encountering his own reflection. We had a very similar experience with Briar.

C is for Clarissa. Reading Samuel Richardson’s magnum opus according to the dates on the letters is an inspired idea. It’s still early days and there are more letters in later months, but so far so good.

D is for Dragonflies. A lovely hat pattern that I really want to knit before too long.

E is for Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometimes. Simon posted Beck’s version last Sunday and I do like it, but I think I like this version by The Dream Academy even more.

F is for The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West, which I have just pulled out of the Virago Bookcase to read.

G is for Girl in the Mirror by Sarah Gristwood, a lovely novel set in the latter years of the reign of Elizabeth I.

H is for Hitchhiker. I needed simple knitting, and this is simple but very, very effective.

I is for Interviews. I was second choice for the job i was interviewd for last Thursday, and the first choice accepted. Then I had another interview on Thursday, with positive feedback but no decision yet. And I have another one lined up on Monday. Please cross your fingers!

J is for Jon McGregor. I thought that the short story form would suit him, and now that I have begun to read ‘This Isn’t the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You’ I know that it does.

K is for Kind of Cruel by Sophie Hannah. Another new title that I spotted in the library catalogue. And again I pounced.

L is for Laura – Briar and I would like to wish her a very happy birthday.

M is for Muriel Spark Week. I plan to read some of her short stories, and maybe a novel too. You can find all of the details here.

N is for Never No More by Maura Laverty. A book I loved, and I’ve just remembered that I still have the sequel to read.

O is for Olivia Manning. I pulled ‘The Play Room’ from the Virago bookcase yesterday. It’s very readable, but not her strongest work.

P is for Persephone Books. I’ve dropped hints about which one I’d most like for my birthday next month …

Q is for The Quincunx by Charles Palliser. I was already thinking of reading it later in the year, so it was lovely to learn from Savidge Reads this week that it was a book that Essie Fox loved, and warmly recommended.

R is for Rain. Nearly all day.

S is for Summer in February by Jonathan Smith. A film is being made, just a few miles away, so I really must read the book.

T is for Tumblr, where I’m building a home for lovely images and passages that don’t fit into blog posts.

U is for Under The Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy, which is sitting on my bedside table, waiting to be re-read very soon.

V is for Victor Hugo. I’m still happily working my way through ‘Les Miserables’, in weekly installments.

W is for Wellington Boots. Briar loves them – she knows that when they appears she’ll be going somewhere good.

X is for XTC, who I still love. Let’s go for ‘Love on a Farm Boy’s Wages’ this time.

Y is for Yvette Edwards. A Cupboard Full of Coats is a book I was curious about, but it had slipped my mind until it appeared in the library yesterday.

Z is for ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. There’s a border terrier sleeping on the sofa …..

24 responses

  1. I do love your a-z posts, reminds me of actually how much we pack into our
    lives! And also how many books we want to be reading.

    Good luck ith interview.

    • Thank you. The A to Zs work for me because they force me to put things in order without having to focus on one, and so the right thing to write about next rises to the top.

  2. Thanks for flagging up Muriel Spark Reading Week, Jane!
    I’m still keenest on Beck’s version, but it was nice to hear another cover of the song – and a lovely one too.
    Someone recommended Summer in February to me a while ago, and I bought it for £1 somewhere, but have yet to read it. If there’s a film out, that might persuade me.

    • I’ve loved the Dream Academy for a long time, but Beck’s version has grown on me too. Summer in February dates from 1995, so it could fill one of those difficult later years in your century of books …

  3. Good luck with the interviews! It’s good that you’ve been having some positive feedback.
    I can second Essie’s recommendation of The Quincunx – I think you would enjoy it.

    • It’s reassuring that I seem to have the CV and the interview technique, so now I just need the job. I was recommended The Quincunx years ago, but I forgot it until I read The Unburied last year. It’s just a matter of finding the right moment.

  4. Fingers crossed for you. I’ve got both Alys Always and The Fountain Overflows on my wish list (no English libraries in this part of France sadly) and I’m with you about looking up things on YouTube when things get stressed. In my case it’s Dalmatians though.

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