Monday, December 27, 2010

The day after Boxing Day, which might still be Boxing Day because I don’t really understand the bank holiday arrangements.

First off I need to make a confession – I have a cold, or perhaps that should be a COLD. The confession proper is that I react to this in the manner of a man in a boots add (as opposed to a real live man who probably makes a lot less fuss about than I do.) I feel rotten, but no amount of suggesting that losing a sense of smell is a terribly disorientating experience for a wine person seems to convince people that I might not actually live to feel good again... Currently I’m a bundle of blankets considering the merits of rum toddy v whisky toddy and looking forward to Miss Marple (winning over ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ because of add breaks which will allow for more toddy’s if the need arises).

Before I was struck down by this horrible illness (it’s a real illness honestly) my head was full of Elizabeth Von Arnim’s ‘The Caravaners’, but now it seems to be full of snot I’m holding off until I feel less sorry for myself. (I had mixed feelings about this book and don’t feel it’s entirely fair to try and assess it through a haze of self pity.) What I’ve been doing instead is scouring amazon for upcoming books and trying to work out what bookish things are exciting me about 2011.

The answer is actually not very much at the moment. In the aftermath of Christmas and Birthdays I feel pretty well provided for on the book front and perhaps also a little out of touch with what’s on the horizon. So far all I’ve spotted are the two new River Cottage handbooks (Pam Corbin on Cakes which is intriguing, and Mark Diacono on Fruit which is truly exciting –to me at any rate). The other big event and I have to wait until August for this, is Vintage republishing a clutch of Stella Gibbons. There are some that look like they’re coming out officially and some which I think might be print on demand, ever since Virago bought out ‘Nightingale Wood’ a couple of years ago I’ve wanted to be able to get my hands on more so this is very exciting.

Other things I’m looking forward to on the book front in 2011 include furthering my acquaintance with Trollope, I plan to finish the Barchester books and probably try either ‘Rachel Ray’ or ‘The American Senator’. This is also the year I want to tackle Sir Walter Scott as an adult (a childish passion for Ivanhoe is not enough anymore) and actually read some of the Edith Wharton I seem to have collected – I got three for Christmas and they all look good. I’m also on the lookout for something tempting to balance all this nineteenth century stuff – mind you nothing later than 1950... I think this is the shape that the next month or two will take book wise, I’m off to the borders for a few days to celebrate New Year (and some uninterrupted reading) so need to give some proper thought about what to take with me. Something long because I’ll have the time for it and something short so I feel I’ve been productive I think.

And now the Toddy’s are calling and my tissues are just out of reach so I think I really have to move. I hope everyone else out there has happy reading plans to look forward and finds themselves infection free!


  1. Oohh - the Caravaners - LOVED it! So sorry you are struck down, but hopefully you will be better for the New Year celebrations x

  2. Greetings from another person with a COLD....

  3. A day in bed and I'm feeling a bit more human. Joan Hunter Dunn - get well soon. Feeling ill is horrible.

    Verity, have you read 'Vera' yet?

  4. Ha! this made me laugh. (I went for Upstairs Down Stairs over Miss Marple.) Loved the line about the snot.