Thursday, November 3, 2011

Five Books

This is Simon Stuck in a Books idea, I liked it last time he did it, I like it even more now because after all what appeals more to any reader than getting to nose around other’s books?  So without further ado here’s my list starting with:

 The Book I’m Currently Reading

Jennifer Kloester’s Georgette Heyer Biography of a best seller. This was also the last book I was given (by Elaine Random-Jottings – thank you very much Elaine) it’s great, a really interesting read for Heyer fans as well as shining a light on the economic reality for women looking to earn a living from writing in the mid twentieth century. These are the authors I feel most at home with – seeing the figures is illuminating.

The Last Book I finished
Georgette Heyer’s The Devil’s Cub. Inspired by Kloester’s book appearing and now my reading it I’ve been revisiting a couple of Heyer’s to see how they read to my more critical adult self – I find she’s still wonderful. There’s a real temptation to re read the lot which I’m only going to try and fight because I have such a huge pile of unread books to tackle.

The Next Book I Want To Read
There are actually two books at the top of the pile and I need to choose one before I go to work in an hour. Helen Zenna Smith’s Not So Quiet has been hanging around for a while and seems appropriate given the First World War subject matter. With armistice day coming up, and for the first time having a friend on active service – well it seems important to put some time aside to think about what Remembrance day is for. On the other hand and at the risk of seeming very shallow – just look at that new edition of Mitford's The Sun King, how can I wait to read that? Also it feels like a natural follow on to the Heyer’s...

The Last Book I Bought
Hawksmoor At Home was an amazon purchase, it turned up on Monday (at 7.30am and thank you post man for laughing at my dressing gown/ pyjama combo) inevitably there has been a purchase since I technically bought this one but I’m counting the Hawksmoor book. It’s beautiful and should really have stayed on my Christmas list but I lacked the self control. This isn’t the sort of cook book I normally buy but it illustrates a particular and very British movement in cooking which I’m currently a little bit fascinated by. There’s a recipe for marmalade brownies which sounds amazing and a whole lot of stuff about cocktails and drinking which is (ahem) useful research for work.

The Last Book I Was Given
Was as I have mentioned the Kloester biography, but not long before that Cardigan Girl Verity sent me Tea With Bea. If you buy a lot of cookbooks –which we both do- you will inevitably find some that either feel like a duplication of recipes you already have or which on closer inspection just don’t really reflect your own style of cooking. I think this is particularly true of baking books. Verity wasn’t sure about this one but it appeals very much to me. I haven’t used it yet because some of the cakes are on a fairly epic scale but I have friends coming to stay next weekend so the time is ripe.


  1. I am curious as to where you bought "Hawksmoor at Home". Amazon lists it as unavailable, though not in the UK. "Tea with Bea" ,they have. Thanks for featuring these. I want both.

  2. Hawksmoor at home intrigues me although it is more of a cooking book. I'd love to try marmalade brownies; I made marmalade flapjacks last week from Dan Lepard and they were amazing.

  3. Betsy - I'm in the UK and Hawksmoor is everywhere. It was just under half price on amazon which is a price I like and is a great meat and drink book.

    Verity, hope you're feeling better post tooth. I don't think Hawksmoor is for you because it's mostly meat. I'll probably use my own brownie recipe with added marmalade - the hawksmoor one says it makes only 15 brownies but uses 8 eggs and almost half a kilo of sugar. They must be big brownies. Will let you know the results.

  4. I have the Heyer biog & will hopefully get to it soon. I also have a pile of unread Heyers to read afterwards if I feel inspired. I know you went on to the Sun King but I hope you have a chance to read Not So Quiet, it's very good, a bit like No Surrender from your description. Worth reading for the passion of the writer & the subject matter but not the best novel ever written. We That Were Young by Irene Rathbone is another in the same vein (also a VMC but long OP).

  5. Lyn, Not So Quiet will come next. i have the Rathbone as well but it was a lot longer so I think can wait until next year. The Heyer bio is interesting though probably only for Heyer fans.

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