Sep'13 books

Since it has been made quite clear to us that there’s nothing much we can do about our incurable book-buying patterns, I feel less guilty about showing what just came in from the cold. (Yes, I do think that buying books from stock clearance sales is a form of book rescue.)

The Land of Spices – Kate O’Brien
I know nothing about this writer’s work but I was hooked after reading the blurb at the back of the book.
Set within the austere world of an Irish convent, 1941’s Land of Spices matches Helen, a Mother Superior feeling stymied by her monastic existence, with Anna Murphy, a bright young girl on the cusp of experiencing what promises to be a full, happy life. Although their destinies lie along separate paths, the two are pulled toward each other.
I am somehow reminded of Antonia White’s Frost in May, which I loved. This is also a Virago by the way, and the lovely cover photo gave it the final push.

Rebecca and Rowena – W. M. Thackeray
This one I had picked mainly because it was a Hesperus Classics. I just love those lovely French flaps in these pretty editions. Since I have had thoughts of wanting to try and read Thackeray’s Vanity Fair at some point in time but have always been daunted by the sheer bulk of it, I think this short novella would be good place to test the waters between Thackeray’s writing and my taste for it.
A hero is much too valuable a gentleman to be put upon the retired list in the prime and vigour of his youth; and I wish to know what lady among us would like to be put on the shelf, and thought no longer interesting, because she has a family growing up, and is four or five and thirty years of age?
Now, that’s a rather charming sentence to get the ball rolling! And it looks to be rolling in Mr Thackeray’s favour. 😉

A Life Worth Living – Joseph Prince
I’ve always enjoyed and learned much from listening to and reading Pastor Joseph Prince’s sermons and devotionals. His fresh and revelatory ways of bringing the Bible and the message of God’s grace to life has been invaluable to my own growth and walk with God in recent years. If you are looking for something that is liberating, inspiring and empowering, I highly recommend that you give this (as well as his other books and messages which can be found on Youtube) a try!

Mediterranean Summer: A Season of France’s Cote d’Azur and Italy’s Costa Bella – David Shalleck with Erol Munuz
Having just recently returned from a trip to the lovely south Italian coast myself, this book which tells of the adventures of a young chef hired by a super rich Italian couple aboard their yacht ‘Serenity’ one summer, looks simply too delicious to resist. Reading it will probably help to transport me back to those lovely (but sadly all too few!) summer days spent along the Amalfi Coast this past summer.

Who Was The Man Behind The Iron Mask – Hugh Ross Williamson
This seemed like a fun book to dip into for attempted answers to some of the enigmas found in English history. While it may or may not be historically accurate, no harm having a little fun with these “Historical Whodunits”. Here’s a sample of some of the contents: ‘The Princes in the Tower’, ‘The Parentage of Queen Elizabeth I’, ‘The Gowrie Conspiracy’, ‘The Poisoning of King James I’, and ‘The Wives of King George IV’.

So, that’s the loot for this round. Anyone familiar with any of them?


10 thoughts on “Not feeling so guilty now….

  1. I agree with kaggsy – rescued books don’t count against one (you know, like broken biscuits have no calories!). These are all unfamiliar to me, though the one about the chef on the boat reminds me that I would be hopeless at this as I get so ill on boats that someone else would definitely need to (wo)man the kitchen!


    1. Haha…. I never knew that bit about broken biscuits having no calories! Love the analogy, though. 🙂
      I probably won’t be able to thrive on a boat too. Guess that’s the beauty of books. They transport you to places and situations where anything is possible (even the impossible ones!).


  2. No, I have not heard of any of them. I continually try to find Hesperus Press books in the library but as we cannot sort the catalogue by publisher (I had a talk to a librarian about this) it is very hit and miss. I like the stories, the fact they are short so easy to fill in small spaces with and good authors. Hard to find in Australia though.
    Enjoy your new loot. Bringing books home is so much fun.


    1. I don’t come across those Hesperus editions very often over here, too. That’s what makes finding the occasional one so much more appreciated. And yes, bringing books home is always fun! 😉


  3. The Land of Spices was my introduction to Virago Modern Classics, in the old green covers, and to Kate O’Brien’s books, which I love. I also love books about cooking, and books set on boats, so I’d love to read Mediterranean Summer – though I’m pretty sure I couldn’t be doing the cooking either.


    1. Thanks Lisa, for confirming my hunch that I had gotten myself a rare gem in The Land of Spices! Am looking forward to it and will definitely keep an eye out for more Kate O’Brien’s books from now on. No worries about the cooking. I can’t even handle cooking on land, let alone at sea! :p


  4. I enjoyed Land of Spices & the HRWilliamson is an old favourite. I read my library’s copy over & over again when I was young & bought the same edition as yours when it was reprinted some years ago. I’m not sure I (or any historian) goes along with some of his theories but I love reading historical speculations like that.


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