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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

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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



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.
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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.  

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text 2015-08-21 05:57
TBR Thursday - Aug. 21
Rain: A Natural and Cultural History - Cynthia Barnett
The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster - Scott Wilbanks
A Curious Friendship: The Story of a Bluestocking and a Bright Young Thing - Anna Thomasson
The Kaufmann Mercantile Guide: How to Split Wood, Shuck an Oyster, and Master Other Simple Pleasures - Jessica Hundley,Alexandra Redgrave
A Bed of Scorpions - Judith Flanders
Fool Me Once - Lisa Falco,Steve Hockensmith
Love in a Cold Climate - Nancy Mitford
The Secret Museum - Molly Oldfield

I had to re-arrange space this week to accommodate my TBR because the piles had become structurally unsound.  I've moved all my MMPs to the fireplace mantle with the avowed goal of getting through them.  Weeks like this do not help me out one bit.  I actually toyed with a buying ban for about 10 seconds, then checked my email and saw Wordery is having a 10% off 2 or more books sale and figured that was karma talking and gave up.


Books bought this week: 8

Books read this week: 6


The following books came from BookLikes friends' reviews:



These were impulse buys at the bookstore:



And these are new-in-series I already follow: 



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quote 2014-10-08 10:46
The true amateur of bars, be it noted, is seldom content to drink his beer in his own hotel, where he may have it in comfort at any hour; he is always restlessly awaiting the glorious moment when some other ‘they’ shall be available. This is called pub-crawling, a sport much indulged in by gentlemen of the leisured classes.
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