I was thrilled with the arrival of this one, but firstly I have to declare in interest in any book that emanates from Long Barn Books because, occupying a seat on the editorial board as I do, there's a chance I may have had a small say in the book's genesis.
So I did read the proposal for Helen Rappaport's latest book, Beautiful For Ever - Madame Rachel of Bond Street -Cosmetician, Con- Artist and Blackmailer and I added my hearty approval to the decision-making process, which all seems light years ago now.
Lured by the promise of beauty, the gullible rich came in their droves to Madame Rachel's Bond Street shop in the 1860s, face 'enamelling' at twenty guineas (£1500 today) a go a speciality, and it was all bound to end in tears, more about this one next week and I hear it has very narrowly missed out as Radio 4's Book of the Week.
The gorgeous cover designed by Emma Barnes of Snowbooks is a perfect fit for the book's themes and my copy actually nestled in this book bag...
... available to purchase from the Long Barn Books website should you covet one, and if you whisper 'dovegreyreader' in with the order there will be some discounted special offer arrangement.
As if this wasn't enough, the most exciting box of William Maxwell books arrived from Ellen in New York.
"Beside myself " doesn't quite capture the dancing around delirium of the moment and my effusive thanks to Ellen were sent off in a trice, much more about William Maxwell soon.
Plenty more has caught my eye in this week's post too.
I've already read the first three chapters of Stella Duffy's forthcoming book Theodora for publication in June and it's a corker. I've had to drag myself away because I don't want to be premature with my thoughts on here and then find you can't get hold of it for months, so will read it nearer to its due date and be part of the big buzz that I feel sure this book will generate. The story of Theodora of Constantinople, the most powerful woman in the history of Byzantine Rome, forced into slavery as a child but determinedly in charge of her own fate and future. One for the wish list or to reserve at a library near you so then they'll have to buy it.
Another one I've been looking forward to so I was really grateful for a review copy of Dimanche and Other Stories by Irene Nemirovsky to be published by Persephone Books in April.
Then a deceptively diminutive little book with a big theme, Angels A History by David Albert Jones, published by Oxford University Press. Examining the powerful presence of angels in high art and popular culture and religion and spirituality, this one will be winging its way to a good home when I've read it. I have a very good HV colleague who, likewise fed up with clinical writing, pursued a degree in Art History, completing her MA dissertation on the representation of angels in Renaissance art. Let me tell you that used to be a welcome distraction at team meetings.
More angels but of the Barbara Pym variety, Less Than Angels in the new Virago edition and with a forward by Salley Vickers, what could be more perfect...
'Catherine Oliphant is a writer and lives with handsome Tom Mallow. Their relationship runs into trouble when he begins a romance with student Deirdre Swann, so Catherine turns her attention to the reclusive anthropologist Alaric Lydgate who has a fondness for wearing African masks...'
That sounds most un-Pym-like, I can't wait, but nor can I wait to open the latest novel from Jude Morgan, A Little Folly for which Jude Morgan has cast his eye over Regency London.
And whilst we're on the subject, I hear the paperback version of The Taste of Sorrow is now out and though I haven't seen it yet, I hear there's a comment from here in there somewhere.
So how about you, good booky week?