My entirely non-radical reading list

oldmanreading200
source: howtodrawit.com

This is probably unspeakably tiresome, so don’t feel obliged… It’s a list of the books in my to-read pile. It’s overwhelmingly dead, white, European – in fact English – males, and this bothers me.

  • The Cinque Ports, a Historical and Descriptive RecordFord Madox Ford
  • Return To Yesterday – Ford Madox Ford (now)
  • The Way of all Flesh – Samuel Butler
  • A High Wind in Jamaica – Richard Hughes
  • Twilight of the Gods and Other Tales– Richard Garnett
  • Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  • The Invention of Nature: How Alexander Von Humboldt Revolutionized Our World –  Andrea Wulf
  • A month in the country –  JL Carr
  • The Journal of a Disappointed Man – WMP Barbellion (next?)
  • Hot Water – PG Wodehouse (done)
  • The Habsburg Monarchy 1809-1918 – AJP Taylor
  • The Red House Mystery – AA Milne
  • The Parthenon – Mary Beard
  • In a Class of Their Own: A History of English Amateur Football – Terry Morris (done) My Amazon review here

-There’s some quite demanding stuff here so I’ll have to leaven it with some Terry Pratchett and some Milligan, who are sadly also DWEMs.

-It’s about time I reread To The Lighthouse and Scenes of Clerical Life, so DWEW get a foot in the door.

-I haven’t read any Wilkie Collins for a while either. Dickens is covered for now as I’ve got Little Dorrit on audiobook, beautifully read by Mil Nicholson.

 

-Additionally I’ve got about 20 books on my A****n Wish List, none of which are shown above, so I’d be immensely grateful if #Bookshambles, @backlistedpod and others would lay off telling me about great new stuff and just recommend things I’ve already read for a few months if that’s OK.

-Of course if Gotham Season 2 comes on Netflix soon, if Hastings United make a serious promotion bid or if I just come over all anti-intellectual I’ll only be able to manage reading Angry People In Local Newspapers When Saturday Comes. but that’s OK too.

-A good thriller. Someone recommend me a good thriller.

PS I had the great pleasure of briefly meeting Alan Judd on the train on Monday. Mr Judd wrote this biography of Ford Madox Ford , which he’ll be delighted to know I instantly ordered when I got home. He’ll be less delighted when I say that I bought it 2nd hand for 1p + p&p.

That book I bought.

This I suppose is the usual “Real Books v E-Books” thing, which tends to send even Mrs Trellis back to her “Heat” magazine with the vapours.

We went to a second-hand book sale in a church hall a couple of weeks ago. Clearly having “No Books At All”  in the house made this an important mission.

I picked up this book, identifying it as possibly interesting, unlikely to exist on Amazon and a nice book to hold. It’s call “Men Women And Books” by Leigh Hunt. (There’s a big piece on him in Wikipedia). It’s a collection of essays, journalism and short fiction and was first published in 1847.

MEN, WOMEN AND BOOKS

A Selection Of

SKETCHES ESSAYS, AND CRITICAL

MEMOIRS

FROM HIS

UNCOLLECTED PROSE WRITINGS

by

LEIGH HUNT

My edition came out in 1943 and was published by “Live Books Resurrected” about whom I know nothing. A scanned reprint  of Volume One only is available for silly money from Amazon.co.uk. My copy has both volumes.

It was printed in the War to strict economy standards.

Wartime_Economy

What this means is that it is printed on inexpensive paper and follows quite complex rules about words per page, margins etc. In practice what I have is a hardback book which is certainly more utilitarian in appearance than we’re used to today, but there’s this: the standard of proofreading & editing is miles beyond that of many modern books. I’m about half-way through and there’s not a single typesetting or spelling error, and I suspect the publishers & printers would have been very embarrassed if any were to be found, wartime or not.

It was originally given as a gift to one Mary Barnes by her Grandfather:

Hand-written dedication

Some handwriting!

I hope Mary Barnes enjoyed it. (I don’t suppose there’s the slightest chance that it was this Mary Barnes? No, I doubt it. The dates are OK but I’ve got nothing else).

How much less fun than this would have been a Kindle edition.

Thanks to the person who donated it at the Church Hall, who perhaps was a child or grandchild of Mary Barnes. I’ll look after it!