A few weeks ago I ditched the idea of restricting library reservations and changed my project into one to celebrate the magic of library reservations.
There are so many things that can spark a search, and it’s wonderful what you can find, in reserve stock or in other libraries, just by running a simple search.
So here’s a list of ten books – a couple that have come home, a couple that are waiting at the library, a few that I have on order and a few more that I plan to order very soon.
What Not by Rose Macaulay
‘The Love-Charm of Bombs’ made me want to read more of Rose Macaulay’s books. Most of all I wanted to read ‘What Not’ - a book she wrote during the Great War, inspired by her work at the Ministry of Information and her new love affair with Gerald O’Donovan. That relationship would continue until his death, in 1942. The book is out of print and I’ve never come across a copy, but I found one in the library’s fiction reserve.
Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor by Adrian Fort
When this appeared as a group read for the GoodReads Bright Young Things I realised that I new very little about Nancy Astor. Save that she was American, that she was the first woman MP to take her seat, and that her constituency was in Plymouth. I’m curious but I can’t justify buying a book only available in hardback that I’ll probably read only once. The library has a few copies scattered around the county, so I placed an order.
Yew Hall by Lucy M Boston
A mention of Lucy M Boston’s memoirs in the comments that followed Hayley’s lovely post about Rumer Godden’s ‘A Fugue in Time’ sent me scurrying to the library catalogue. The book was there. And I spotted Lucy M Boston’s first novel, a story of a house with a long history, written for ‘new adults’ and thought it might sit well on the 1954 slot in my Century of Books.
Jambusters: The Story of the Women’s Institute in the Second World War by Julie Summers
One book caught my eye in the window of The End of the World Bookshop with Briar one evening last week. It wasn’t in the library catalogue when I looked for it later that evening, but I put it on to my ‘please add it to stock’ list and a few days later it appeared.
At this point I must say that I do visit bookshops in opening hours and I do buy new books, but I lack both the budget for hardbacks and the patience to wait for more affordable paperback editions.
The Carrier by Sophie Hannah
This is a simple case of knowing a ‘must read’ author had a new book coming out, watching for it to come into stock and then getting my order in. I’ll probably add a copy to my collection when out in paperback but I couldn’t wait that long and I could see copies going on to library shelves up and down the county ….
Carnival by Compton Mackenzie
I’d never thought to find out what Compton Mackenzie had written beyond
Whisky Galore, Monarch of the Glen, and diaries. But Hayley’s post about The Adventures of Sylvia Scarlett intrigued me. Now I’ve looked I’ve found a far more interesting author than I’d ever realised, and I’ve ordered Carnival, from 1912, a story of theatrical folk with a Cornish connection to fill a gap in my Century of Books.
Underground, Overground: A Passenger’s History of the Tube by Andrew Martin
Last year’s new edition of ‘Poems from the Undergound’ made me nostalgic for my commuting days and so when I spotted Karen buying this book I added it to my wishlist. And when she mentioned a reference to Dorothy Whipple I placed my order.
The Lovely Ship by Storm Jameson
When I saw mention of a trilogy by Storm Jameson in ‘We Write as Women,’ I thought it would be ‘The Mirror in Darkness’ trilogy that I read years ago. But it wasn’t, it was another trilogy telling the story, beginning in the 1840s, of a woman who was heir to a great shipbuilding company. I was intrigued, the first book came from a year still to be filled in my century of books, and so I placed an order.
Bloomsbury Ballerina: Lydia Lopokova, Imperial Dancer and Mrs John Maynard Keynes by Judith Mackrell
I spotted ‘Flappers’ when Cate pinned the oh so striking cover, and I immediately went to add it to my wishlist. It was then that I spotted and other intriguing title by Judith Mackrell. I’d already bought two books that day and I couldn’t justify another so I checked the library catalogue. There are two copies further up the county.
Summer Visits by Margery Sharp
If only somebody would reissue Margery Sharp’s novels I would rush out and buy them all. But as nobody has – yet – I pick up used copies where I can and I order others that the library has and I haven’t found when the mood strikes. ‘Summer Visits’ sounded so appealing on a cool, grey day …
And that’s ten!