Inevitably, as I have a birthday in December and well-trained family when it comes to Christmas, there are always bookish arrivals! So I thought I would share what’s been coming into the Ramblings and weighing down the rafters…

First up, a few non-event arrivals!

These are two lovely volumes from subscriptions I have with publishers – the Pessoa is from Sublunary Editions, the Bernhardt from Renard Press. I say subcriptions I *have*, but in fact the Pessoa is the last I’ll receive from Sublunary, as they’ve had to stop overseas subs because of the prohibitively high postage costs. I sympathise greatly, because I know just how these charges have been hiked since Brexit and the Tr*mp administration; but it’s a real shame, because they’ve produced some marvellously individual works and I shall miss them. However, I’m very glad to still be able to support Renard, as they also issue some really intriguing titles, and I’m looking forward to exploring the Bernhardt, especially in the light of my reading of “Levels of Life” by Julian Barnes! πŸ˜€

Next up, an unexpected treat:

The wonderful Tove Jansson needs no introduction here; I’ve read many of her adult works and all of the Moomins (bar some short pieces), and I absolutely love her writing (and also her art). “Notes from an Island” went straight onto my wishlist when it came out, and then a very kind friend offered me a spare copy they had! I was delighted to say the least – thank you, friend! I may try to read this over the holiday period as I think it will be the perfect book to sink into.

Then there are the birthday books – here they are in all their glory!

That’s quite a chunky pile, isn’t it, and such a lovely variety! From the top down, the Beauvoir and Genet were generous gifts from my old friend J. and I was very excited to have them in my collection as I’ve never seen or read them! The double Zola comes from family, the next two in his Les Rougon-Macquart sequence – I really must get started on these soon. Next up is a piece of inspiration from Mr. Kaggsy – I really don’t know how he does it, but he managed to find a pair of Russian books I’ve never read!! I know of Kropotkin, of course, but somehow in all the years I’ve been reading Russians, he’s managed to slip past me. No more! I now have two of his works! Walter Benjamin’s “Arcades Project” has been on the wishlist for ages, so when my Little Brother asked what I’d like for a birthday gift, I suggested this and it did indeed arrive. It’s a whopper! One I will no doubt spend next year dipping into…

Last but definitely not least for the birthday was this lovely which you can see at the bottom of the image above:

I have frankly been coveting “The Penguin Modern Classics Book” since I saw it come out, so when the Offspring asked for ideas, I suggested they might considering getting me this jointly – which indeed they did! It’s absolutely gorgeous, but may well have a very bad effect on the wishlist….😳😳

As for Christmas, again I was very spoiled and here are the books which made it to underneath the tree:

The bottom four titles, which are all by V.S. Pritchett, were a flash of inspiration from Mr. Kaggsy. I’ve never read Pritchett, who’s apparently reckoned to be the English Chekhov, and he seems to have had a long and illustrious career. He also wrote about Chekhov, Spain and lots of short stories so I’m looking forward to exploring his work, including the two doorstoppers. For a man who occasionally lets out a groan at the amount of books in the house, Mr. K shot himself in the foot there…

The decluttering book is from Middle Child, and the collection of Berger poems from Eldest Child (Youngest rather thoughtfully presented a Blackwell’s token!) The three final books are from my old friend V (Arrival) plus the Giono from JacquiWine and the Capote from HeavenAli – I salute and thank them all for finding me lovely books I don’t already have and want to read!!!

So it has been a bookish time, and I just need to find myself a little space amongst all the festivities to sit and have a quiet read. I hope you’ve all had a bookish and happy festive time – there will be a few more posts coming on the blog this year, including highlights of my reading year. Now I just have to decide which favourites I want to feature!! πŸ˜€