Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Coming Soon...

It's the time of year for publishers catalogues to start making an appearance for the second half of 2016, something I generally look forward too (it reminds me a little of the Puffin book club from school days). As a modest sort of blogger I don't get inundated with these (it's always possible the shine might wear off if there were to many) and there are two in particular I look forward to. They're the Oxford University Press, and the British Library ones, and after a very enjoyable half hour with coffee, donuts, and catalogues I thought I'd share the books which have caught my eye.

With the British Library catalogue the appeal is obvious - a bonus feature is that it tends to have lovely illustrations, but essentially it's the list of upcoming crime classics that I get particularly excited by. I won't list all of these (though 'Crimson Snow' is such a splendid title for this years winter/Christmas themed short stories it has to get a mention) because inevitably I want them all. Horror A Literary History by Dr Xaviet Aldana Reyes sounds fascinating though and I'm really excited (possibly over excited) by the prospect of Lost In A Pyramid and other classic Mummy stories - that's surely going to be spectacular. The Haunted Library also sounds guaranteed to keep me happy. 

The joy of the OUP catalogue is its variety, the first things I catch my attention/go on my wish list is Gothic Tales from Arthur Conan Doyle. Helen Constantine's anthology Paris Street Tales has been earmarked for a friends birthday. Due out in August it sounds like perfect high summer reading. For myself The Mind of the Book by Alastair Fowler sounds fascinating. It explores the fine art of the title page and their place in the history of the book. Simon Yarrow's The Saints: A Short History covers a subject I really enjoy (5th century vampire slaying bishops - how could I resist?). Eleanor Barraclough's Beyond The Northlands which looks at Viking voyages and the old Norse sagas is the sort of book I want to read but take forever to get round too, so it's lucky it will appeal to D as well, another one to be filed as 'great gift'. He would probably love Caroline Shenton's Mr Barry's War about the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliment as well. We both love gothic revival architecture (we're a lot of fun to be around). 

I'm also intrigued by Peter Leary's Unapproved Routes, histories of the Irish border 1922-1972. It's something that interests me both in terms of Irish history, but also because we could still end up with a similar situation on the British mainland. Meanwhile new editions of Trollope's The Way We Live Now and George Gissing's New Grub Street are a reminder to read both, especially the Gissing who I'm definatley not well acquainted enough with. 

So there you go - some of the books I'll be particularly looking forward to over the next 6 months. 


  1. I so agree - love both these catalogues!

  2. It's a real pleasure to sit and browse through them, a nice, old fashioned, simple, pleasure!