In London last Monday for the Long Barn Books Editorial Board meeting and catching an earlier train home so just a little nip into Waterstone's at Piccadilly for a quick inhale of the bookish air. I'd gone via the Royal Academy where I tripped over Laurence Llewelyn Bowen tossing his curls into place as he was being filmed for something or other. He was being upstaged slightly by a huge crowd of people being photographed on the steps and he looked very fed up with being a TV presenter.
All life was there and to us country dwellers it's always fascinating to gawp.
But off to Book Heaven and a pile of books to the sofas as I pondered what to buy.
The impending holiday is focusing my mind towards good holiday reads and I came away with some possibles but not yet definites.
Crow Lake by Mary Lawson much heralded after her Booker long list nomination last year for The Other Side of the Bridge.Couldn't wait a minute longer and am well into this, brilliant, should have read it sooner.
Kept by D.J.Taylor not least because it comes highly recommended in the blurb by someone who says "Never loses its grip, clever and intricate, Conan Doyle, Dickens and Wilkie Collins knew how to do it, and Taylor has learned his lesson well"...thanks Susan.
I have no plans to take The Road by Cormac McCarthy on holiday because after all I want to have a good time and be happy but it feels like one of those books you have a duty to read. So many great recommends with caveats about it's gloomy redemption.
Bluestalking Reader in Chicago talked up the possible merits of Anna Gavalda and I'm always intrigued by another French writer so Hunting and Gathering in the bag and a deliciously presented book of short stories left behind.Deckle-edged pages, nice size, great title I Wish Someone Was Waiting For Me Somewhere. Next time if I enjoy this one, but blogpower verified as a recommend from France reaches Devon via Chicago.
William Maxwell has hovered on the edge of the radar and I know not from where, but I browsed his books and ended up with The Chateau. I must have read reviews or articles somewhere that left a footprint on my mind.
From Macmillan a hardback copy of a book I read in proof, Self Help by Edward Docx. I enjoyed it and I think they have high hopes for Booker success with it so that will be interesting.
From Peter Owen, two more Anna Kavan's to fuel my reading frenzy of her books, Asylum Piece and The Parson.
From Adele Geras A Candle in the Dark which she rightly thought might complement my reading of The Tiger in the Attic about the children of the kindertransport.This one a children's book from an interesting series Flashbacks.Living history and important events presented as fictional accounts through the eyes of children, for young readers.
It's been a great big book gathering week.