Sunday, June 17, 2018

Bodies From The Library - 2018

This was the third Bodies from the Library I've been to (the fourth they've done) and it was excellent. It's a thoroughly well organised event that I'd recommend to anybody with even a passing interest in golden age crime fiction.

Particular highlights for me started with Rachel Reeves MP talking about 'Ellen Wilkinson: MP and Detective Novelist'. I hadn't heard of Ellen Wilkinson before, or at least if I had I hadn't remembered her, it's a shame in either count because she sounded like an amazing woman. Rachel Reeves is writing a book (out in March next year) about women in parliament over the last 100 years that's definitely going on my wish list. I also need to look up Wilkinson's biography.

Ellen Wilkinson was a labour MP from the mid 1920's onwards. She wrote 'The Diviion Bell Mystery' to make some money whilst she was temporarily without a seat. Reeves read it whilst researching her book, and approached the British Library about reissuing it as part of their Crime Classics series after finding it thoroughly entertaining as well as full of details about parliamentary life in the period. It's out in August (although copies were available yesterday) and I'm really looking forward to this one.

Martin Edwards in Richard Hull was interesting too, I really enjoyed 'Excellent Intentions' and will finish 'The Murder of my Aunt' as soon as I've written this post. 'The Murder of my Aunt' was Hull's first book, and is apparently often considered his best - so far I prefer 'Excellent Intentions', but both have a lot to recommend them. The good news about Hull is that more of his titles are drifting back into print in various places so there's going to be plenty more to explore.

Martin Edwards and Tony Medawar discussing the compilation of anthologies sold me 'Bodies From The Library'. This collection comprises previously lost tales of mystery and suspense by Agatha Christie and other masters of the golden age - including a Georgette Heyer, which was the selling point for me. These are mostly things which first appeared in magazines and newspapers, often quite obscure ones, and had since been more or less forgotten about. There's another collection due next year as well.

Jake Kerridge talking about Michael Innes has really made me want to read him too. I certainly used to have some Innes, and am hoping that I didn't send it off to a charity shop during one of those periodic clear outs. If I did at least I can choose a sensible place (near the beginning) to have another go with Innes now I have a better idea of what to expect.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Weekend at Thrackley - Alan Melville

It's the Bodies From the Library conference at the British Library this weekend so I'm catching up with some of the most recent titles in preparation - not that I need either an excuse or any particular motivation to read Alan Melville.

This is the third Melville in the crime classics series (the other two are Quick Curtain and Death of Anton, both of which I really enjoyed), but the first book he wrote. It was enough of a success to more or less change his life (he quite his job in the family business, managed to buy a bungalow he called Thrackley, and took up writing and broadcasting work full time).

There's a Dorothy L. Sayers review of 'Quick Curtain' in which Sayers demonstrates a complete lack of humour when it comes to Melville, who shows no inclination to take the detective fiction genre seriously - but that's exactly what makes him so much fun.

'Weekend at Thrackley' is definitely fun. Melville is quite happy to use all sorts of country house mystery cliches, and the plot wouldn't stand up well to serious scrutiny. There's not even much mystery - the question is one of how things will be resolved, as we pretty much know who's done what all the way through and yet it all works beautifully.

I still think of Melville's style as being somewhere between Wodehouse and Sayers - everybody talks like Lord Peter at his silliest, and there's the same love of a joke that I associate with Wodehouse, and this is why I'm surprised that his books vanished for so long.

They're comic gems, exactly the sort of thing that you pick up when you want a pick-me-up, and the sort of thing that I'll read again and again just for the joy of his descriptions. In 'Weekend at Thrackley' there are some interesting details on the subject of gin and ginger, and Bacardi that also caught my eye, but they're possibly not of general interest.

Otherwise the action rips along at a cracking pace, there are handsome young men, equally beautiful young women, wicked villains who preempt the best James Bond tradition complete with gadgets, an isolated country house, and really everything you could want for an afternoons entertainment.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Gin

I'm a collector, possibly even a hoarder by nature, it's obvious when you look at my books - which are hard to avoid looking at. They're everywhere around my flat, but there are other things which are a little less obvious.

My yarn stash is mostly tucked away in drawers, and as I lack for cellar all my better wine, whisky, and gin is fighting for space in my wardrobe. I started pulling things out of there last night in a failed attempt to find a missing shoe, which in turn made me think I ought to take stock of what gin I actually had.

The answer turned out to be these 41 lovelies. Almost half of them have been presents - so people obviously know I like gin (they're right, I do), but I suspect I like collecting even more. The litre bottles of the Tanqueray editions for example - it's going to be a struggle to open those, and the same with the beautifully decorative Rock Rose Autumn and winter bottles. The Sipsmith V. J. O. P is strong enough to be quite intimidating.

Mostly though, as I sit looking at these whilst drinking a coffee, I'm thinking some of them want drinking before I can let myself buy anything else (presents don't count, any gift gin will be accepted with enthusiasm). Last year I had a mini gin festival with a friend to raise some money for charity - which was an excellent way to clear out a few half finished bottles, and fun, but I don't have enough open bottles to want to do that again just yet.

It's probably lucky that my partner has an even bigger stash of single malts, and perfectly understands both the impulse to collect, and the idea that some are for 'best' and not to be opened lightly. Gin isn't collectable in the same way - non of these are likely to increase in value but they're fun to collect and have gathered quite a bit of sentimental value in the acquisition process (we spent ages tracking down a Rock Rose Autumn, the Tanqueray Bloomsbury came from a beer shop in Shetland where I did not expect to find it, the Christopher Wren gin from the City of London distillery was another adventure to find and so on...).

Meanwhile, if you know where to find me and fancy a G&T/martini or similar, I think I've probably got it covered. There's even plenty of ice in the freezer.


Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Fabled Coast - Sophia Kingshill and Jennifer Westwood

Reader, I bought the gin. Specifically the Tanqueray Lovage gin I mentioned yesterday. It felt a bit weird to be going to John Lewis to buy gin (though it's not the first time I've done it). Their drinks section comes under gifts and is an odd mix of stuff, but the gin selection has some gems in it. Also looking good was a limited edition Edinburgh gin that celebrates the botanic gardens  - but one new bottle of gin a day is probably enough.

Both bottles would have looked equally attractive with the book that's been keeping me company recently, but Tanqueray is a gin distiller I have a particular fondness for, so it was an easy choice. The book is 'The Fabled Coast' which I bought last year on a bitterly cold, but beautiful day in Ullapool. Ullapool is an end of the road sort of place with 2 very nice little bookshops (and several other desirable amenities) I thoroughly recommend a visit.

I'd had this book on a wish list since reading Sophia Kingshill's monograph on Mermaids published by Little Toller. It was a nice thing to find on a generally perfect day out, and has turned out to be even better than I hoped.

It's a collection of legends and traditions from the coastline of Britain and Ireland. Some of the stories are true - a giant squid thought to be a kraken that washed up on a Shetland beach, a whale in the Thames (thought of as an omen of Cromwell's death) and so on. Others are more fanciful - dealings with the devil and other supernatural creatures. There's also lots of bits about pirates. All of it is fascinating.

The chapters are broken down into stretches of coastline, each entry is short - sometimes only a paragraph, never more than a couple of pages, and the whole thing is scholarly without being dry. I would have loved this book as a child too (pity the parent who might have had to listen to me read out various entries on a long car journey). As it is I'm very pleased to have it now. It's a potentially useful reference book, and a brilliant thing to dip in and out of if you only have a few minutes reading time - although minutes can stretch into hours quite easily as you follow story to story.

Kingshill and Westwood also wrote 'The Lore of Scotland' which now looks like a must buy, and I see that Sophia Kingshill has written a young adult book 'Between the Raven and the Dove' about witchcraft.  It's heroine is a 13 year old girl so I might find it more young than adult, but I'm tempted anyway just to see what Kingshill is like when she's writing fiction, because if it's half as good as her non fiction it'll be a treat.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Happy world wide knit in public and international gin day

It seems that today is dedicated to celebrating two things in a fan of - knitting, which I’ll happily do in public, and gin, which I try not to drink when I’m knitting because it plays havoc with my ability to count stitches properly.

I spent most of this afternoon doing a gin tasting at work which was amazingly popular. This was just a little table set up on the shop floor with a couple of products on it, and I don’t often get such an enthusiastic or well informed response to these kinds of tastings. If I think back even a couple of years the most common response was ‘I don’t like gin’. Not today.

I’m really pleased about this for a few reasons. The first is that it’s dull and tiring in equal measure to stand in the same spot for 3 hours if no one will engage with you. The second is that after years of asking people if it’s gin they dislike, or tonic, gin’s current popularity is making everyone more open minded (favourite customer of the day, a lady in her 80’s who had never had gin before but was determined to try it - she particularly enjoyed the Warner Edwards Honey Bee gin). The number of questions about mixer and serve options has also been brilliant. It helps keeps me on my toes; questions like these are absolutely the best and most interesting part of my job.

My personal gin collection is also growing again, D has been bringing me back interesting bottles from Scottish trips, and I’ve found a few interesting bottles myself. I need to get them altogether and have a good look at what I’ve got stashed around the flat. John Lewis have also targeted me with more than normally accurate marketing for a new limited edition Tanqueray - ‘Lovage’.

Limited is a relative term here, I think it’s a bottle run of 100000, but the rest of the series, all inspired by vintage recipes from the archive, has been excellent so obviously I’m going to buy this as soon as I can.

Just as the number of gins has exploded, and in line with the increasing variety of tonic water available, there’s also a lot of new books about gin, and cocktails, around. I’m less impressed with these, especially the ones that list or rate gins - the number of new things coming to market means they’re out of date before you know it, and I still think that a good vintage cocktail book (I’m currently favouring ‘The Savoy Cocktail Book’) is the best bet.

For most of us simplicity is the key. I want a minimum of ingredients, equipment, or fuss when I’m making drinks at home, and early cocktail books are great for finding just such recipes. They’re great for learning how to make a really well balanced drink, and from there it’s easier to work out your own successful embellishments.

And finally, this is clearly another opportunity to extol the virtues of the Gin Rickey. D finds these too dry, but for me this is the best possible summer serve for gin. It’s also the best thing I’ve found to do with sloe gin.

You want a tall glass, a measure of your chosen gin, the juice and shell of half a lime, and plenty of ice in a glass. Then top it up with sparkling water. Happy international gin day.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Food with the Famous - Jane Grigson

When I read Laura Shapiro's 'What She Ate' I expected to like it a lot more than I did, and now that I've read Jane Grigson's 'Food with the Famous' I think I have a better understanding of why. 'Food with the Famous' is the book I wanted to read all along without knowing it.

It's much more food oriented and has a lighter touch than Shapiro's book, but I've found it to be more illuminating because of that. Which isn't to say that I think the two authors were trying to do the same thing or that one book is basically better than the other, rather that 'Food with the Famous' comes closer to my particular preferences. It's also a mystery as to why it's fallen out of print.

I had a bit of trouble getting hold of a cooy of this - the first one I ordered (paperback) was in such bad condition I had to bin it (advertised as very good, it turned up with 30 odd pages already adrift, the spine threatening to come apart, and covered in mildew spots). Second time round I tried a hardback which really was as described. It was worth all the effort.

The famous people Grigson has chosen are John Evelyn, Parson James Woodforde, Jane Austen, Thomas Jefferson, Rev Sydney Smith, lord Shaftesbury, Lady Shaftesbury, Alexander Dumas, Emile Zola, Claude Monet, and Marcel Proust. And if I understand correctly this originated as a series of articles for The Observer back in the 1970's.

Some of the famous need a little bit more introduction than others - I don't suppose there's much more that can be said about Jane Austen now she's been explored, prodded, and poked, from every conceivable angle, for so long and so thoroughly for example. Yet it's still fun to see her as a housekeeper, and to consider the details about food she puts into her novels through that lense. The catalytic question that sparked this book was one about White soup for the Netherfield ball. It's not a detail I'd ever really considered, but I'm pleased to now know that with some effort I could make just such a soup.

All the famous people come with recipes that are as close to original as the modern kitchen, and modern ingredients, make possible. It might not be that there are so many things I want to cook in here - though I'm up for any meal anybody else wants to cook for me, but even understanding the ingredients and methods in mentioned dishes adds something tangible to the work that forms their context.

The chapter that's interested me most so far is the one on Zola. I need to get back to my Zola project (I stalled a bit on 'The Sin of Abbé Mouret', but I know there are better things in store). I haven't actually read much about Zola beyond some almost completely forgotten details of his role in the Dreyfus affair as an undergraduate. Meeting him through his interest in food is a revelation. The bitchy gossip of Edmond de Goncourt makes both men supremely human. Grigson argues that Zola's pleasure in food comes from years of going without. She also shows how effectively he uses food to create atmosphere and make points in his novels.

I've been dipping in and out of this one, and am far from finished with it - apart from anything else Grigson keeps sending me back to other cook books (Eliza Acton, Mrs Rundell, Sir Kenelm Digby, and other Jane Grigson's for a start) as well as making me wonder if now is the time to tackle John Evelyn's diary (it probably isn't).

In short it's a gem of a book - and not least for the useful advice of using some diced up lumps of bread to clean a coffee grinder before and after using it to grind spices. That's a tip that will save me a few coffee and spice stained tea towels. Absolutely worth tracking down a copy whilst they're knocking around at a few pence.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Excellent Intentions - Richard Hull

It's been almost unbearably hot and stuffy in town for the last week, and noisy as well (there's been a festival on my street all weekend which hasn't helped) so I went home to mum for a night. The sheer pleasure of a garden to sit in (not a park full of bongo players and children high on candy floss) a dog to play with, absolute quiet at night, and my mother's excellent company, Champagne, and cooking is impossible to overstate. Even the dog bouncing on top of me at 5.30 am to check I was still there was a pleasure (or she might have been checking that I was alone, when D and I stay at Mum's the dog really doesn't look like she approves).

I didn't read quite as much as I meant to, but I did finish 'Excellent Intentions'. I should probably have started with 'The Murder of my Aunt' which the British Library Crime Classics series has also republished and which seems to have been Hull's best known book, as well as his first. 'Excellent Intentions matched the bottle of gin that I also bought last week though, and the two together made a particularly tempting combination.

If 'Excellent Intentions' is a good example of Hull's work 'The Murder of my Aunt' is something I can really look forward to reading. I truly enjoy the BL crime classics, they always have something appealing in terms of atmosphere and detail, and they're giving an increasingly thorough overview of  their genre and period. I love the way that there's room for books/writers that don't take themselves particularly seriously in the collection (I'm particularly thinking of Alan Melville's 'Quick Curtain'), but what I part appreciate are books like this one.

'Excellent Intentions' is clever, and funny, and sly in equal measures. The murder victim is satisfyingly horrible, and a lengthy discussion on the finer points of stamp collecting and the detecting of forged stamps the sort of thing I consider the cherry on the cake of an author having a bit of fun with his readers.

'Excellent Intentions' is sort of a court room drama. We know who the victim is, and as the plot unfolds we find out through a series of testimonies, summings up, flash backs, and so on, what happened. We meet 4 potential suspects, but only find out at the end which one has been on trial, and even then there is a final twist.

It's clever enough to keep you guessing, but has sufficient clues along the way for the culprit to seem obvious enough when the reveal comes around. Hull's red herrings and sly humour are what makes the book for me though. I felt he was daring me to skip the stamp collecting details, knowing that I couldn't in case I missed a vital clue.

If production companies ever get tired of trying to reinvent Agatha Christie this would make a splendid adaptation as well - but that's almost certainly to much to hope for.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

On my way to work

I've been dithering about writing this post for the last week or so, but it's something that's bothering me more and more and writing about it might help me organise my thoughts a bit - so here goes.

Monday morning after the Royal Wedding I left my flat to head off for work to find someone sleeping rough in the corridor. The lock on the outside door of our building doesn't always catch properly despite, or perhaps because of, seemingly endless repairs, and frankly I'm surprised that something like this hasn't happened before.

I'm also surprised at how much it bothered me. 7.20 am (when I should have left by 7.10) is no time to try and wake someone up and argue them out of a building, so on my own and with no idea how aggressive this man might be, I didn't. He'd managed to vomit at the top of the front stairs where he was sleeping (the smell of dettol on the carpet has now faded, the smell of sick has not) and the back stairs (tiled so easier to clean at least) which made nobody feel any happier.

More than anything though it's the feeling of uncertainty I now have coming and going from the building. I want to feel safe between flat door and street door, not find myself in an enclosed space with an unknown quantity. Another neighbour had apparently called the police the night before to get this guy removed, but they were to busy to do anything - which isn't encouraging either.

The other side of this is that for the last 18 months the number of rough sleepers, beggars, and general con artists around town has been noticeably increasing. The latter are those reasonably well dressed, super friendly individuals who regularly claim to have lost car park/bus/train tickets and are in need of money to get home. The same faces come back every few months. My street is far from the train station, a bus stop, or the kind if car park you need a ticket to get out of and they really piss me off.

The number of beggars in the streets has exploded, pretty much every corner, and every cash point has someone pitched outside it - some clearly more genuinely in need than others, and over all so many that any charitable impulse is overwhelmed.

A far more worrying thing though is the general increase in rough sleepers though. All through the winter, even when it was really cold I was walking past people every morning on my way to work. The stretch that has suitable doorways is about a quarter of a mile, and up to a couple of years ago I might expect to see 1, maybe 2, people. In the last week I've counted as many as 9. Some are more or less permanent fixtures, others come and go. This is just one street in a city, when I change my route I see other bodies in other doorways

To my eyes this is a crisis point; to many people are falling through the cracks. I don't have any answers, or much hope that things are going to improve soon. I don't like thinking about what might happen if they get worse, but it's hard to avoid doing so when this is what I see every morning.




Monday, May 28, 2018

Coffee and Cardomom ice cream

'How To Eat a Peach' is very much the Cookbook I'm reaching for at the moment when I want some inspiration. And now that it's finally warmed up I can start working through the ice cream recipes that first caught my eye when I read through this book wrapped in a duvet wondering if winter would ever end (at the beginning if April).

Diana says the pink grapefruit and basil ice cream is the best of the lot, but I really liked the sound of the Turkish coffee inspired one in the 'take me back to Istanbul' menu.

It has a few things to recommend it; it doesn't need churning, it doesn't need much preparation time, it  mostly uses store cupboard stuff, and for ice cream it's relatively low sugar (relatively). It's also delicious.

An ice cream maker is one of my favourite kitchen gadgets, but I'm on my 4th one now, they keep developing leaks, or the paddles break (although that was actually my fault) so recipes that don't need churning are handy. I also far prefer home made ice cream, it doesn't keep so well, but you know exactly what's in it, it's easy to make, and when you find a good flavour it's a beautiful thing.

This one is particularly easy to make, and was even light on the washing up - so many things to recommend it...

It makes about 500 ml. You need 2 tablespoons of instant espresso powder, and the ground seeds from around 10 cardomom pods (I'll buy ground cardamom before I make this again, but have a feeling the extra cardomom hit you get when you find yourself chewing a bit of seed is worth the effort of doing it the hard way). Mix with 2 tablespoons of boiling water and leave to cool. Meanwhile whisk 300ml of double cream with roughly have a tin of condensed milk (175g if you want to be precise) until quite thick. Then stir in the coffee mix, pour into a suitable container and freeze.

This was a good eating consistency after about 3 hours, and otherwise wants a good few minutes to soften before it can be scooped. It has an excellent coffee kick, the cardomom comes through better than I expected, and is particularly good with a dribble of maple syrup over the top.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

A Hundred Books

Earlier in the week I sawAnnabel's post about her new desert island book list. Her post had been inspired by Paula at Book Jotter who had been reading about a man in his eighties who had decided to cut his extensive book collection down to just 100 titles.

Paula, and Annabel chose their lists based around books that particularly meant something to them and had a few other rules and guidelines (see original posts for details). There are a couple of times in my life when I've had to head off with only a handful of books to my name (university and the years living in rented rooms) more always joined them.

Maybe in my eighties stuck in a home there will only be space for a hundred books, and maybe at that point I'd want the hundred that had meant the most to me. It's equally possible that the reality of that would be 50 Georgette Heyer's (those books have seen me through 30+ years already, I could find myself in worse company) and a bunch of crime fiction.

Right now though I'm in my 40's, and I want something a bit different from the books I'd keep with me, or hope washed up on my deserted island. My list is a mix of familiar favourites and books I've yet to read. Long books that I dream of having the time to get stuck into without interruption definitely feature. There are some cookbooks - almost all the kind that are wonderful to read as well as cook from, and there's no particular order.

That's because I started at one end of my flat and finished at the other, then repeated until I had 100. This has taught me that a) my books really need sorting out into a proper order, b) I have some great looking books that I'd completely forgotten about, and c) whilst I don't want to get rid of any of the books I have, I'm not as attached to some of them as I might have supposed.

1. Patience Gray - Honey From A Weed
2. Ambrose Heath - Good Drinks
3. Jane Grigson - Fruit Book
4. Jane Grigson - Vegetable Book
5. Daniel Stevens - River Cottage Bread Book
6. Claudia Roden - A New Book of Middle Eastern Cooking
7. Jancis Robinson - The Oxford Companion to Wine
8. Diana Henry - Salt Sugar Smoke
9. Claudia Roden - Picnics
10. T. S. Eliot - The Complete Poems and Plays

11. John Milton - Paradise Lost (Longman annotated edition) when I bought this it was with the thought it would be a retirement project, and that must have been 15 years ago.
12. Ovid - Metamorphosis
13. The Rattle Bag - Edited by Seaumus Heaney and Ted Hughes
14. English Romantic Verse
15. Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
16. John Sutherland - Lives of the Novelists
17. Jen Hadfield - Byssus
18. Kathleen Jamie - Sightlines
19. Arboreal: A Collection of New Woodland Writing (Little Toller)
20. A Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe - Collins I still have a copy bought in the early 1980's I keep meaning to update it, do I need to?

21. Simon Schama - Landscape and Memory
22. Hall’s Dictionary of Subjects and symbols
23. Sharon Miller - Heirloom Knitting
24. Susan Crawford - the Vintage Shetland Project
25. Ian Niall The Poacher’s Handbook
26. Jill Liddington - Rebel Girls; Their Fight for the Vote
27. Maggie Craig - Damn Rebel Bitches; The Women of the ‘45
28. Georgette Heyer - The Talisman Ring
29. Georgette Heyer - Sylvester
30. Dorothy L. Sayers - Gaudy Night. I'm not sure how much I enjoy Sayers these days but thus book certainly meant something to me when I first read it.

31. Dorothy B. Hughes - In a Lonely Place
32. John Mortimer - The Collected Stories of Rumpole
33. Damon Runyon - On Broadway
34. Gypsy Rose Lee - The G String Murders
35. Raymond Chandler - The Lady in the Lake and other novels
36. Compton Mackenzie - The Monarch of the Glen
37. Wilkie Collins - Armadale
38. Wilkie Collins - No Name. I really love Wilkie Collins.
39. Charles Dickens - Bleak House
40. Jane Austen - Persuasion

41. Alexander Dumas - The Three Musketeers
42. Maria Edgeworth - Helen
43. Margaret Oliphant - Miss Marjoriebanks - has to be the most underrated writer on this list.
44. Anthony Trollope - Orley Farm
45. Walter Scott - The Heart of Midlothian
46. M. E. Braddon - Lady Audley’s Secret
47. William M. Thackeray - Vanity Fair
48. Edith Wharton - The Mother’s Recompense
49. Mae West - She Done Him Wrong
50. Mary Renault - North Face

51. Muriel Spark - Momento Mori
52. Colleen McCullogh - The Thorn Birds
53. L. M. Montgomery- Jane of Lantern Hill
54. Molly Keane - Taking Chances
55. Nora Ephron - Heartburn
56. Florence King - Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady
57. Rumen Godden - China Court
58. Barbara Comyns - Who Was Changed and Who was Dead
59. E. M. Delafield - Diary of a Provincial Lady
60. Daphne Du Maurier - Frenchman’s Creek

61. Raymond Postgate - Verdict of Twelve
62. Nan Shepherd - The Living Mountain
63. Saki - The Complete Saki
64. W. Somerset Maugham - The Painted Veil
65. Gavin Maxwell - Harpoon at a Venture
66. Tex Geddes - Hebridean Sharker
67. Adrian Bell - Apple Acre
68. George Mackay Brown - Winter Tales
69. E. F. Benson - Mapp and Lucia
70. Anita Loos - Gentleman Prefer Blondes

71. John Cheever - Collected Stories
72. M.F.K Fisher - With Bold Knife and Fork
73. Ford Maddox Ford - The Good Soldier
74. Margaret Atwood - The Penelopiad
75. J. Pullein Thompson - Gin and Murder
76. Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman - Good Omens
77. Crimson Snow - crime classics edited by Martin Edwards
78. Stefan Zweig - Fantastic Night
79. The Brothers Grimm - The Complete Fairy Tales
80. Angela Carter - Nights at the Circus

81. Angela Carter - Burning Your Boats - Collected Short Stories
82. Richard Burton - The Arabian Nights
83. Kevin Crossley- Holland - Norse Myths
84. Rafael Sabatini - The Sea Hawk
85. Robert Louis Stevenson - The Master of Ballantrae
86. Dracula's Brood - edited by Richard Daley
87. Teffi - Rasputin and Other Ironies
88. John Banville - The Untouchable
89. Baroness Orczy - The Scarlett Pimpernel
90. Virginia Woolf - Orlando

91. William Goldman - The Princess Bride
92. Sophia Kinsella and Jennifer Westwood - The Fabled Coast
93. Barbara Pym - Excellent Woman
94. Shirley Jackson - The Lottery and other stories
95. A.S. Byatt - Little Black Book of Short Stories
96. George Gissing - The Odd Women
97.E.T.A Hoffmann - Tales of Hoffmann
98. Robert Chandler - Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platnov
99. Robertson Davies - The Cornish Trilogy
100. Evelyn Waugh - Vile Bodies