Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wish List

My blog posting has been a bit sporadic recently - for which I have a variety of excuses the best of which is an unexpected burst of socializing which has slowed down my reading and kept me away from my laptop. Less exciting for me have been the problems with said laptop (which I'm getting heartily sick of) it seems to be exceptionally slow and desperately temperamental with it, particularly frustrating is a habit of letting me write long, witty, and insightful comments on other peoples blogs before freezing or just generally losing the dratted things (or as it may be short comments with a total lack of wit or insight, either way it's annoying me). If nothing else though I suppose it's a timely warning of what happens when you get to reliant on a specific piece of technology (work has just moved the holiday booking system and payslips online - marvelous they said... you can do all these things from the comfort of your own home they said... but not on a tablet, or a phone, and in any case only if you use internet explorer 9, and that's when the whole system doesn't crash about your feet which it's done with depressing regularity, and it doesn't notify you by email so it all seems a bit pointlessly bloody vague to me compared to the days when you wrote a holiday request on a bit of paper and had an actual conversation about it). I could go on but the post heading is 'wish list' and not 'lengthy complaints about exceptionally middle class problems like not being able to access amazon and facebook as much as I'd like'.

Happily, because it's a favourite rainy day occupation, I did manage to have a good browse on amazon earlier and even better they alerted me to a book I'm actually interested in instead of the normal nonsense some definitely faulty program normally sicks up - something from Mills and Boon called 'The Scarred Earl' for heavens sake and all because I looked at some Georgette Heyer, also who knew there was a whole sub genre of regency set romances about scarred noblemen returning from the peninsular wars - I mean I know now because I followed a trail of titles into very strange territory (for me). Anyway the book I was interested in (and have been periodically checking for) is a new Diana Henry cookbook which looks to be due out next spring (March?) called 'A Change of Appetite: where delicious meets healthy'. Because it's Diana Henry I'm happy to overlook the healthy and concentrate on delicious, I'm really very excited about this book which apparently takes inspiration from the Middle and Far East by way of Scandinavia and North Africa. Also she's just a brilliant writer.

Having added it to my wish list (only 6 months to wait) I thought I'd have a look at what else was on there to look forward to... John Wright's 'Booze' for the River Cottage Handbook series is due out in the next month (I've been waiting for this since New Year's day) his previous books for the series have been amusing and informative so this should be a treat. It's also only a few weeks until Penguin release their Legends of the Ancient North series - I have my eye on 'The Saga of the Volsungs' and 'The Wanderer: Elegies, Epics, Riddles' (lush covers as well). Virago have loads of good stuff coming out in the next year or so too (they always do) there will be Angela Thirkell both before Christmas ('Pomfret Towers' and a short story collection) and in the spring ('The Brandons' and 'Summer Half') as well as Monica Dickens, lots more Rumer Godden, L M Montgomery, and lots of Mary Renault who I've wanted to read more of ever since 'The Friendly Young Ladies'.

There is also plenty of Shirley Jackson on it's way from penguin Modern Classics which is a reason to be both cheerful and to remind myself that they're probably better read in daylight and not just before bed. Better bed time reading would be Fiona Cairns 'Seasonal Baking' which is out now and would already be mine if I hadn't spent all my money on a desirable bottle of Old Pulteney (or more accurately if I didn't owe so much money to my mother after she picked up the bottle for me and I wasn't hoping that a sister would pick up on my heavy hinting about birthday presents). I do keep drooling over this book in actual bookshops, I see Fiona Cairns in Waitrose sometimes (she's local, I'm not a stalker) and eventually decided I could speak to a total stranger, she said this is the book she always wanted to write, I can honestly say it's the first baking book in a while that I've been tempted by (sick of The Great British Bake Off spin offs here - possibly because I seldom get to watch it and find Paul Hollywood sort of repulsive) not least because I find Cairns quite an inspiring woman.

So that's my wish list, what's on yours?

14 comments:

  1. I'm glad you find Paul Hollywood sort of repulsive too!

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    1. I just don't get the appeal there. I liked the sewing bee programme rather more but possibly because I'm always very impressed with people who can sew anything more complicated than a cushion cover and less impressed with cakes I could never imagine wanting to eat.

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  2. What an irony - the blogspot comment form DID eat my first attempt to comment your entry that, among other topics, mentions disappearing comments!

    I wanted to post about my Amazon wishlist. It is huge, as I use it to keep record of all the books I hope to read in English one day. But I would like just to mention some of the books I find the most tempting now: " Island Summers: Memories of a Norwegian Childhood" by Tilly Culme-Seymour; "The Obituary Writer: A Novel" by Ann Hood; "The Golem and the Jinni LP: A Novel" by Helene Wecker and "Floating Gold: A Natural (and Unnatural) History of Ambergris" by Christopher Kemp

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    1. Blogger is horrible to leave comments on, I would remove the word verification but last time I did that I was swamped with spam and some of it was quite offensive and I don't want that sort of thing up for even a couple of hours. I have Memoires of a Norwegian Childhood on my wishlist to but am waiting for it in paperback. The Ambergris book sounds intriguing too (well they all do but that one particularly grabs me). Amazon wish list is a really useful way of keeping track of books :)

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  3. Also, a question - does anyone else have problem with approving the comments - I had to type name of my blog, my full name TWICE on forms popping up and to prove I am not a robot to get the previous comment posted

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    1. Problems are common - I wish I could do more about it :(

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  4. How wonderful it would be if all delicious things were healthy! Two books from my wish list are Helen Dunmore's The Lie and Armisted Maupin's The Days of Mrs Madrigal, neither published until January, but I might add a Diana Henry on your recommendation - which one do you think is best? Much sympathy with the those tech problems.

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    1. I've really liked all of Diana Henry's books. 'Salt Sugar Smoke' is particularly about preserving things so great if you want jam and so on. Otherwise 'Food From Plenty' and 'Roast figs, Sugar Snow' are the ones I've used most. 'Roast Figs, Sugar Snow' is winter food from all over the place and exactly the sort of book I love (I really love it, and now I'm thinking about it might take it for bed time reading tonight). I seem to remember hearing that Diana herself has a soft spot for 'Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons' which I have but haven't looked at closely yet. Both of the last two were reprinted (last year) and are really good value. Now I'm off to check your other recommendations.

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    2. Roast Figs sounds the most appropriate, then. All the jackets for her books are sumptuous - they make you feel peckish just to look at them! Thanks for the advice.

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    3. Do tell me if yo get a copy and if you do what you think of it. I love her writing and the styling of those books, I've also had good results with everything I've tried so far which is always encouraging.

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  5. Thanks very much Desperate Reader. I appear to have preordered "Booze" entirely on your say-so. This is not the first time this has happened........

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    1. I swear I'm not enabling your booze habit...

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  6. Haley I love you for your comment on Paul Hollywood.

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    1. I feel mean now but he's really not my cup of tea.

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