A few new books have arrived on my shelves either through the mail, bookshop or found at a second-hand shop so let's see if you can be tempted...
Friends & Relations by Elizabeth Bowen - If you haven't discovered this magnificent author yet then you are missing out, I am telling you! From the back...
During a soft summer in the 1920s, the Studdart sisters marry and set up house, one in London and one on a country estate. However, things are not as they seem. Using careful, elliptical prose interspersed with comic quips and populated by memorable characters, Elizabeth Bowen reveals how these seemingly placid lives are anchored in lies.' And...'For admirers of the Bloomsbury circle and watchers of Downton Abbey, Friends and Relations offers an unforgettable comedy of manners tinged with romance and regret.'
Treasure Hunt by Molly Keane - I bought this one because Danielle from A Work in Progress piqued my interest about this author in one of her posts and secondly because while flipping through the pages I spotted the words 'tea tray'. Call me shallow but there you have it - one ever so slight mention of the partaking of tea and I instantly become fond of a story. First published in 1952 this Virago reissue has been languishing on the shelves at BMV Books in Toronto for ages, I've passed it over numerous times, so it was time to just give it a home.
'To the outrage of their elders and the servants, Phillip and Veronica decide to do the unspeakable and take in paying guests. A battle of wills commences, with Consuelo and Hercules doing their utmost to thwart the new regime. In the midst of it all is old and dotty Aunt Anna Rose, who insists that she has some rubies. If only she could remember where she hid them...'
The Brickfield by L. P. Hartley - By the look of things John Murray Publishers is in the midst of reissuing several of Hartley's novels. The timing couldn't be better for me as I absolutely loved The Hireling and The Go-Between earlier this year. Head off to The Book Depository for details...
'A lonely boy living on his uncle's farm in the Lincolnshire Fens, Richard Mardick's solitary existence is interrupted by a chance meeting, and the idyllic love affair, with Lucy. A disused brickfield is the scene of their clandestine meetings, and it is there that Richard finds her drowned in a muddy pool'A sequel called The Betrayal will be printed later in 2013 and the wait will be unbearable!
Upstairs & Downstairs by Sarah Warwick - This is one of those coffee table books you find on the clearance table at your local bookshop and makes for entertaining browsing. Full of gorgeous photos and illustrations it covers every aspect of domestic life in country houses as well as articles on the suffragette movement, George Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf, other Bloomsbury Group members...and P G Wodehouse!
Last week I succumbed to a terrible virus making the rounds and was in bed for two days. This book was on the pillow next to me for most of the time and was just the thing when I could muster the strength for something light.
A copy of Loving, Living and Party Going by Henry Green is on its way from The Book Depository because Book Snob makes it so ridiculously hard to refuse. Three titles for the price of one and I'm really looking forward to discovering this author.
So who is clearing space on their bookshelves in anticipation of bookish gifts from others or yourself?