Thursday, 29 October 2009

Of Recommended Reading

Although Howards End is on the Landing may not be entering my best-loved books list, one of the things Susan Hill has done for me is bring to my attention a few books or authors which I had never come across before, and which I'm now looking forward to trying. One of these is The Paper House by Carlos Maria Dominguez.

It is a small book of only just over 100 pages, including illustrations by Peter Sis, but despite its tiny stature it sounds like it is going to pack quite a punch. The inside jacket tells us that it is a 'fable about the power of literature to steer our destinies', and it is a fantastical book about the joys and the dangers of obsessive bibliophilia. It arrived in the post today, and I am looking forward to reading it even more after Savidge Reads' recent review of it.

Also awaiting me in my college pigeon hole was another title to add to my new Barbara Pym collection, which I am eager to increase after enjoying Some Tame Gazelle and Excellent Women so much. Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to further my acquaintance with Pym when I asked for suggestions recently, and especially to Merenia, who particularly recommended this latest buy: Crampton Hodnet.

This sounds right up my street: how could I resist a Pym novel which is actually set in Oxford?! I shall be sharing my thoughts on these books just as soon as I read them, and I can't wait to try both of these new additions to my shelves (I can see my new bookshelf filling up rather speedily...), although they will have to wait for a while. I am no further with Stone's Fall than I was yesterday, and it too will have to lie mainly unread until after the weekend: I have a friend from Cambridge staying with me until Sunday, and as I haven't seen her since February, we have a lot of catching up to do, and a variety of pleasant activities planned in which to do it!

I must get to bed now, as along with all the meals, exhibitions, and general frivolities we have planned for the next few days, my friend and I both have to be at the library in the morning, for a couple of hours at least! On the subject of bed, I sign off today with some of Sir W's musings from his 1600 essay 'Of Sleepe':

'This Sleepe is to me in the nature that Dung is to Ground, it makes the soyle of my Apprehension more solid, and tough; it makes it not so light, and pleasant, and I am glad of it, for I finde my selfe too much subiect to a verball quicknesse'.


verity said...

Crampton Hodnet is fantastic. If I remember rightly it's the one which has scenes in the Upper Reading Room of the Bodleian. Enjoy!

Sophie said...

Oh, I'm glad to have another recommendation for it. It does sound very 'me'!! I can't wait to try it.

skirmishofwit said...

I still haven't read your copy of An Instance of the Finger Post, but I shall soon! It sounds super.

Sophie said...

Yes, well I hope you enjoy it! I shall look forward to hearing what you think.

Merenia said...

Oh goodness, thanks for that little attribution, I feel almost as proud as if I'd actually written the book myself! There are some truly superb library and museum moments in Crampton Hodnet - you will love it.

I finished Some Tame Gazelle this weekend - it was so delightful and absurd. The chapter on the 'lantern lecture' by Bishop Grote, ending with his singing! was sublime. Didn't want it to finish and wish I could move next door to Belinda and Harriet.

Sophie said...

Well thanks again for telling me about it! I can't wait to read it. I'm so glad you enjoyed Some Tame Gazelle. I really liked that one too, and you're right about the lecture chapter, haha!