We’re just about at the end of a few days break in Bristol and, pending a book review, I’m just posting a few items of bookish news for now.
First off, in between visits to friends and old haunts I’ve taken in a few bookshops. Let me list them: one Oxfam bookshop, The Last Bookshop (which, paradoxically, was the first one I went to on a second outing), a second Oxfam bookshop, and Bristol’s remaining Waterstones — it used to have three — or, as I still prefer to think of it, Waterstone’s.
Also, since I’m currently rereading Diana Wynne Jones’s Archer’s Goon, I revisited some Bristol sites that I’m certain inspired a few of the fictional places in the fantasy. After a review I shall be putting together a few photos and speculations for a related post.
My haul in Westbury-on-Trym’s Oxfam bookshop was made up of a classic Michael Moorcock title, a Silvia Townsend Warner novel — rather fortuitously, as it had been recently recommended by a blogger — and a slim Jorge Luis Borges collection which is regarded as an early classic of his.
A day later I found myself in Central Bristol. The Last Bookshop is run by Oxford-based @BillAndBenBooks. They recycle remainders, returns and overstocks “to give them a second life” and currently are selling all items at £3.00. Here I picked up a copy of Charlotte Brontë’s last novel, a Gothic tale by Joan Aiken, a George Orwell novel partly written when he was in Southwold (where we visited a few weeks ago and about which I posted a report on its literary connections), and a U K Le Guin collection of short stories. Coincidentally a US stamp was officially issued on 27th July in honour of UKLG.
At the nearby Oxfam bookshop I picked up a couple of Jan Mark titles, including a much praised and award-winning novel. I’d previously enjoyed a new collection of her short stories and her unusual YA novel Heathrow Nights.
Then it was on to the well-stocked Waterstone’s in Bristol’s Galleries shopping mall. I was on the lookout for a replacement copy of Philippa Pearce’s Tom’s Midnight Garden (which I wanted for a Twitter readalong) and the recently-published school story by academic and fellow blogger Daisy May Johnson. In addition I leapt on Katherine Addison’s follow-up to The Goblin Emperor, a sort of sequel but one which works as a standalone. In the photo I’ve also included a Philip Reeve title from his Mortal Engines universe which I forgot to include in my first Oxfam photo of purchases.
So there we have it, a cornucopia of delights, most of which which I hope to get round to reading, reviewing and discussing in due course with whatever leisure opportunities I have left. As a certain wizard advised a hobbit (and us too of course) “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
Have you read any of these? What would you start with?
- Katherine Addison, The Witness for the Dead
- Joan Aiken, The Silence of Herondale
- Jorge Luis Borges, A Universal History of Infamy
- Charlotte Brontë, Villette
- Daisy May Johnson, How to be Brave
- Ursula K Le Guin, The Wind’s Twelve Quarters & The Compass Rose
- Jan Mark, Nothing to be Afraid of
- Jan Mark, Thunder and Lightnings
- Michael Moorcock, Behold the Man
- George Orwell, A Clergyman’s Daughter
- Philippa Pearce, Tom’s Midnight Garden
- Philip Reeve, Night Flights
- Sylvia Townsend Warner, Lolly Willowes