logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: nancy-mitford
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-02-01 05:11
January is over already! Reading summary.
The Diary of a Bookseller - Shaun Bythell
The Pursuit of Love - Nancy Mitford
The Peach Keeper - Sarah Addison Allen
The Mayor's Wife - Anna Katharine Green
A Short History of Drunkenness - Mark Forsyth
Pomfret Towers - Angela Thirkell
The One-Cent Magenta - James Barron
The Bee Friendly Garden: Easy Ways to Help the Bees and Make Your Garden Grow - Doug Purdie
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - E.L. Konigsburg

I don't want to go back to work!

 

I read 33 books in January.  It's always by far my biggest reading month.  I work in schools, which means I get the summer holidays off.  December is crazy with holidays and MT being off work, but January I'm on my own all day and can read and read and read.

 

Of the 33 books, only 1 wasn't on my TBR pile when the month started.  I had 2 five-star reads, and 7 four-and-a-half star reads, so on average an excellent month.  My least favourite was a 2 star read; a collection of essays about libraries that I found repetitive.

 

Since the woman-author reading challenge is taking place this year, here are my "gender" stats:

Women authors:  15

Male authors: 17

Mixed: 1

 

A whopping 23 were non-fiction, compared to 10 fiction.

 

As for my TBR Challenge of only allowing myself to buy half as many books as I've read, I actually did o.k.  I did have a small cheat, because on New Year's Day, my neighbour came over and offered me 6 boxes of books she was getting rid of.  Karma was rigging the system for failure!!  After going through the boxes I chose 6, but didn't count them against my book budget; I categorised them as 'gifts' and I'd said from the start gifts didn't count.

 

So:

January's book buying budget: 12 books.

Bought:  9

Balance: 3 

Total TBR: 322

 

For February, my book budget is 16 books (January's 33 rounded down and divided by 2).

 

Go me!  ;)

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-01-25 04:06
The Pursuit of Love
The Pursuit of Love - Nancy Mitford

My first Nancy Mitford read was Love in a Cold Climate and while I could recognise the talent in the writing, and enjoy the humor, I failed to see anything significant or profound in the story.  That means this, my only other Mitford book, languished on the TBR for years.  I finally picked it up a couple of days ago.  It is a significantly better book, in my opinion.

 

Told in third person by a narrator that is the niece/cousin of the Radlett family, it chronicles the life of one of the Radlett daughters, second-oldest of 7 (I think), Linda.  Linda is a delicate natured, highly emotional child who loves animals, in a family that is hilariously savage, headed by a father that is the very stereotype of landed gentry.  As a teen she becomes highly romantic and impatient for her Grand True Love.  Most importantly to her future, she is undereducated and naive, but kind, charming and pleasant.

 

Of the two books, this one is the most realistic; Linda is just as likely a character today as she was almost 100 years ago.  I didn't read reviews of it before beginning it, but when searching for a synopsis I glanced over several that read of the tragic undercurrent of this book.  On the face of it, I see why people claim this, but really, I can't see it.  Linda herself would not see her life as tragic, and I"m not at all sure Fanny (the narrator) sees it either.  Linda's life was not blameless, but Linda herself never thought it was, and undereducated or not, she owned her mistakes and would repeat them all given a choice, in the end.  I admired her for that.

 

I could talk forever about this book, but I'll just wrap up with a note about the introduction to my edition, written by Hugo Vickers.  In it he states that it is widely believed that this book is largely autobiographical, with Fanny, the narrator, being Mitford.  I know nothing about Nancy Mitford save what he himself wrote in a quick biographical sketch, but based on this, I don't see it; she appears  to have lived much more of Linda's life than the solid, quiet life of Fanny.  Perhaps Mitford, as Fanny, was playing the omniscient observer of her own history, adding the ending she'd have preferred, over the one she ultimately got.  I suppose that's what Vickers meant, but if it was, he didn't make that clear.

 

By far my favorite of the two books, this is engaging writing, amusing reading, and offers readers a depth of insight that will stay with them without weighing them down.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2016-02-22 00:41
Book Haul for week of February 20
Pistols For Two - Georgette Heyer
Love In A Cold Climate - Nancy Mitford
The Pursuit of Love - Nancy Mitford
The Dressmaker - Rosalie Ham
Undeniably Yours - Heather Webber
Lethal Black Dress - Ellen Byerrum
Practical Sins for Cold Climates - Shelly Costa
Fit To Be Dead - Nancy G. West

MT took me on a belated weekend away for my birthday, to the Alpine National Park in northern Victoria.  It's my first time in Victoria's proper mountains and it was absolutely beautiful (pictures may be forthcoming).  

 

A stop in Bright for lunch out last day (at a brewery MT was keen to try) was ever-so-conveniently just a few shops down from a bookstore - a small, but well-curated bookstore and I finally caved and picked up The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham.  I haven't seen the movie yet but I want to, so I'm going to read the book first so I can yell at the screen about how they've gotten it all wrong.

 

As I was buying The Dressmaker, I asked about used bookshops in the area and I was directed to one right around the corner.  I almost missed it - I think my bathroom might be in a bigger space.  But she had a fabulous collection of books; again, really well curated to focus on fiction (Bright is ski-resort territory).  I picked up two Folio Society editions of Nancy Mitford's works: Love In A Cold Climate and The Pursuit of Love.  She had quite a selection of Georgette Heyers too but I can never remember which titles are good and which are... less good, so I settled on the only hardcover one she had: Pistols For Two.  I figured short stories gave me better odds that there would be a few good ones.

 

The last four are from the weekly post.  Two of them: Undeniably Yours: A Lucy Valentine Novel and Lethal Black Dress are the last books in series I've loved, each independently published by the author after their contracts with mainstream pubs weren't renewed.  The last two are Henery Press offerings - Henery Press hasn't given me a bad read yet, so I was willing to give these a go.

 

New books: 8

Read books: 3 (not counting re-reads)

Physical TBR pile: 207

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-12-14 22:18
Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
Pursuit of Love - Nancy Mitford
bookshelves: radio-4x, winter-20152016, dec-2015-free-for-all, long-weekend, britain-england, lit-richer, amusing, published-1945
Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from November 28 to December 11, 2015

 



http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b018ft1m

Description: Fanny Logan tells the story of her beloved aristocratic cousins, the Radletts, and in particular Linda, who is beautiful and loves animals. Uncle Mathew hunts his children with bloodhounds (to the horror of respectable families in the local village) and keeps a blood-spattered entrenching tool above the fireplace as a relic of his experiences in the First World War. The cousins spend much of their childhood in the airing cupboard - the only warm place in the enormous Alconleigh Hall - discussing love and sex.

Beautifully observed and hilariously funny, the novel is also a fascinating hinterland account of the period leading to the Second World War and never pulls its punches in evoking the painful reality of the times.


1: Fanny Logan's story of her beloved aristocratic cousins

2: Fanny is anxious about meeting her Aunt Emily's husband-to-be

3: Aunt Sadie needs to find some young men to invite to Louisa's ball

4: Cousin Linda Radlett falls in love, to the dismay of her family

5: Linda's marriage does not turn out as she hoped

6: Linda falls in love but finds communists' parties are frightfully gloomy

7: Linda's success with the communists does not extend to Christian

8: Linda is living in Paris with the seductive Fabrice, Duc of Sauveterre

9: Linda has to leave Fabrice and return to London

10: Linda returns home to await the end of the war.

Reader...Diana Quick
Abridger...Lauris Morgan-Griffiths
Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-09-07 04:20
Love in a Cold Climate
Love in a Cold Climate - Nancy Mitford

In pains me to admit this, but perhaps I don't really get satire.  I mean, I get what satire is, I can recognise it when I see it, but I don't know...I think I'm missing some small point that would allow me to revel in it.

 

I'm a bit flummoxed on how to review Love in a Cold Climate.  I really enjoyed it; I looked forward to reading it and finding out what happened next.  I bonded with the narrator.  It's written beautifully with a lot of wit and humour.  

 

But the story failed to move me in any significant way.  I know the characters were all superficial, shallow and selfish and I know they all sort of got what was coming to them in the end, good or bad, but there wasn't any crisis or climax, really.  And as I write this it occurs to me that this is probably because the back of the book spoils the gasp! moment. If I'd read this cold, I'd have been shocked.  Still not moved in any meaningful way, but at least shocked.

 

Oh well, it was still a fun read, if a long one.  I can imagine re-reading it again someday when I want to lose myself in the past.  

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?