A small selection of the postman's burden this week and some confessions for you.
Children's World Growing Up in Russia 1890-1991 by Catriona Kelly and published by Yale University Press is 700 pages of compelling fascination.I've dipped in and found myself unable to get out again because books on childhood endlessly attract and here's one that offers great background to Russian reading whether it be fiction or non. First thoughts on this book soon.
Four books from Cambridge University Press that have me on the edge of my seat, it's sad I know but The Sickroom in Victorian Fiction by Miriam Bailin ?
How can I not be desperate to read a book like that?
Likewise Disease, Desire and the Body in Victorian Women's Popular Novels by Pamela Gilbert, Professional Domesticity in the Victorian Novel by Monica Cohen and Charlotte Bronte and Victorian Psychology by Sally Shuttleworth. Suddenly the arguments, insights and variety of readings these books offer on well-known nineteenth-century novels give me cause to read them again as if for the first time.I suspect you'll be hearing about these throughout the coming months.
Still on the subject of Classics, a new translation of an unknown (to me) novel by Emile Zola, The Belly of Paris from Oxford World's Classics. With the focus on food, eating disorders, consumerism and the city and enthusiastic comparisons to the spirit of the much-loved, The Ladies' Paradise I can hardly wait to start this one either.
Also from Oxford University Press, and with much antsinthepantsation surrounding the forthcoming film, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. I suspect the book may suit me better than the film because to see Alan Rickman singing might destroy the dream which has only just survived his role as Snape in Harry Potter.Unless they've dubbed in Rhydian that is.
Winter Wood by Steve Augarde was a fine surprise from David Fickling books. This is the third and final in the trilogy that was off to a flying start with The Various. Yes, we also had to have a first edition with one of Steve Augarde's little drawings in, except mine wasn't off eBay for £450. Bookhound drove halfway across the county to put our original copy under his nose and a very lovely chap Steve Augarde was too by all accounts. There was a long wait for the sequel Celandine and I had sadly lost the momentum of the first book and never read it. Now that I have Winter Wood I might just start the whole lot again and recapture the fantastic magic that held me spellbound especially as it's very much John Caple country too, set on the Somerset Levels.
I was delighted to receive a copy of It is Just You, Everything's Not Shit A Guide to All Things Nice by Steve Stack. The enigmatic Steve is a blogger himself and currently on a blog tour promoting his very own brand of "for goodness' sake stop being so b****y miserable" and here's the book to make every day a fluffy-bunny day if ever there was one. Lets banish grumpy old men and women and the 'everything in life is terrible because we expect it to be' mindset.There's a great recipe for bacon sandwiches, why eBay is so good, how to play sock football, TV programmes like One Man and His Dog (Come by, Shep...noooooo, easy, easy, good lad) and much more to make you smile.Steve has agreed to stop off here on his worldwide tour and I had some high-powered questions prepared but had mistaken his identity for this Steve Stack, but our Steve has agreed to answer them anyway, which is kind.