Goodbye summer and hello autumn… #1976Club #readingplans


And so we stagger to the end of another month, and one which has been surprisingly frantic…. September usually is for me, as it’s back to work time after the summer break; and this year had been particularly taxing because of the amount of catching up and the strain of acting as if the world is back to normal when it really isn’t. Despite this – or perhaps because of this! – I have managed some good reading and so here is the pile of books for September!

I hasten to add I did *not* read all of the Nabokov or the Borges – just some relevant sections…. ;D

I usually have no duds, but this month does feature one book which really did espouse views far from mine…. And one underwhelmed me rather, but the rest were great!

September *did* bring some treats, though, as the three Offspring paid a weekend visit to celebrate Mr. K’s birthday. Although we had seen them in different configurations over the summer, this was the first time we had been all together as a group since Christmas 2019. So it was absolutely lovely to have them here, and of course there was celebrating and shopping and plenty of eating! I had my third trip into town since the pandemic began with them, and of course there was lunch at Hank’s vegan deli, as well as a little charity book shopping – here are the highlights! 😀

Coffee at Nero’s, lunch at Hank’s and an evening out at Ask! 😀

September book finds!

The book finds were from the Oxfam, British Heart Foundation and Samaritan’s Book Cave, and I was so pleased with them! The Sybille Bedford was £1 and is to swap out for a very battered copy I already have. The two Virago Travellers were real finds – I have a number of these, but haven’t seen any in the wild for ages, so snapped them up at a bargain price.

My Virago Travellers collection! 😀

Leonardo Sciascia is an author who’s featured once on the Ramblings before, and I thought I’d explore further with this one. And the collection of Angela Carter stories was impossibly to resist – I have a couple of collections, but not all of them plus this had some previously uncollected works, so for £2 there was no way it wasn’t coming home with me. I’ve missed in person book shopping…

We had a lovely family evening out at Ask (who miraculously were able to cater for all our various needs!) and the weekend was a real treat. It was absolutely marvellous to see the Offspring all together again and hopefully it won’t be too long until next time…

Looking forward to October’s bookishness, I will of course be focusing initially on the #1976club which runs from 11th to 17th of the month. There are some wonderful titles to choose from and I have been gathering piles of possible reads from the mountainous TBR – and these are just some of the choices:

As you can see, there’s quite a variety of reading available and so I suspect I may not get to everything which interestes me – we shall see! Aside from 1976, I shall probably try to keep the reading plans loose, though I do have some vague ideas of what id like to pick up next, and these are just a few possibilities:

British Library possibles

British Library Publishing have some wonderful titles upcoming, and I have been lucky enough to receive review copies. Such marvellous books and it’s very hard to choose!

Gorgeous Notting Hill Editions hardbacks

Similarly, Notting Hill Editions are releasing a lovely pair of books in their gorgeous clothbound hardback editions. Both of these sound excellent – can’t wait!

And this is what I’m currently reading, in tandem with other titles:

Current reading…

I’ve read Bely before and his writing is wonderful, very unique and not always straightforward… The book collects together four ‘symphonies’ written over a period of time and I have decided to pace myself with this, reading one at a time and interspersing it with other books. Certain the first piece is unusual and often beautiful, featuring writing which favours repetitions and reads almost poetically in places. Very intriguing…

So – roll on October, with club reading and plenty of other choices! Are you joining in with 1976, and what plans do you have for reading generally?



Books and fun – locally!! 😁 #thomasbernhard #simonarmitage #mishima @i_am_mill_i_am @NottingHillEds


Normally when I share days out meeting friends, lunching and book shopping it means that I’ve had a fun day in London. However, I had an equally lovely day yesterday as my dear friend J. popped over to visit me and we had a great day out in the local Big Town!

Of course, I’m a regular in the local charity shops but they were new to J., so we had a wonderful browse round them, as well as finding some new and interesting crafty shops in an area of the town I don’t normally visit. Lunch was at the amazing Hank’s Deli, a recently-opened vegan place in town – I’ve become something of a regular there!

J. had some great finds in the various shops (and there also were stationery purchases…) Bookwise, however, I was restrained(ish) – I had some library reservations to pick up for a start:

There’s been a lot of buzz on Book Twitter recently about Bernhard thanks to that pesky Andy Miller mentioning him. I’ve been interested for a while so to save the creaking rafters of the house, I reserved a couple of titles from the library to see what I think of him.

As for the charity shops, I remained unscathed until we hit the Samaritan’s Book Cave. There were many temptations in the poetry section, but I restricted myself to a couple of Simon Armitage books I don’t have.

I love Armitage’s writing so these were a real find!

So restrained, for me – until I remembered that I wanted to pop into Waterstones. A particular book had come out that I thought I’d preordered and hadn’t and I wanted to see if it was there – which it was! Our local branch is particularly well stocked…

I’m very excited about this one, as I’ve been rediscovering Mishima of late (as you might have noticed…) – and it’s a very pretty edition bought from a bricks and mortar bookshop – yay me! 🤣🤣

So a lovely time was had by us both and it just goes to prove that you don’t always have to travel far to have a nice day out! 😁

Oh – and as a coda, I may have forgotten to share this recent arrival from the lovely Notting Hill Editions!

Isn’t it beautiful? And as a dog lover, an anthology of writings about our faithful friends is going to be something special for me! I’m looking forward greatly to reading this one; and watch out later this week for a review on the Ramblings of another gorgeous volume from NHE! 😀

What happens when Charity Shops get in new stock…


…. fortunately the damage is not too bad!

I *have* been very restrained the last few weekends, as I’m being strict with myself and only buying books I’m sure I want to read, and relatively soon! I confess that there might have been a few review copies sneaking into the Ramblings recently, but I can’t be held responsible for that. However, the local charity shops have definitely been replenishing their shelves, and I stumbled across these beauties at the weekend:

newbies march 2016

I’d rather wanted to read Eco’s “The Prague Cemetery” when it came out and never got round to it; but his recent passing reminded me of this, so I grabbed this copy for £1.75 when I saw it in the Samaritans.

“The Joke” is an upgrade – I have a tatty King Penguin which isn’t very nice, and I also wanted to check I have the authorised translation, as apparently there have been several. Plus I like Faber volumes and this one was only 95p!

And the Durrenmatt was a must-have when I spotted it in the Oxfam! A lovely Picador collection containing 5 works – The Judge and his Hangman, The Quarry, The Pledge, A Dangerous Game and Once a Greek – I just couldn’t ignore it. I’ve read “Judge…” before (I think I have a green Penguin of it knocking about); but having read reviews by Jacqui and Marina Sofia of its follow-up, I was keen to read more. Interestingly, they have the title translated as “Suspicion”, whereas this volume renders it as “The Quarry” – but I’m sure it’s the same story as the opening pages have the same action they describe. Interestingly, considering Sarah’s post here about the cost of some books in charity shops, this one was £4 – more than I would normally pay, but the condition was pretty good and I’ve never seen it before.

So – time to donate a few more books to make some space! 🙂

A Slight Loss of Control in the Samaritans Book Cave


Which is probably a slightly strange heading I should explain!

The short version is that it’s been a bit of a week as OH had to be taken into hospital as an emergency (all is fine now and he is home and healing), plus I was attending two concerts at the local Regent in the Big Town (OMD/John Foxx on Thursday, Simple Minds last night – both of which were excellent) and there was a major amount of running around to hospitals, chemists and concert halls! So when Youngest Child and I dashed into town yesterday it was mainly to collect meds and get last-minute birthday gifts for Eldest Child.


The Samaritans Charity Shop have now christened their book basement as a Book Cave and as I haven’t been in for a couple of weeks this was too good to resist – I felt the need of some book therapy after the last few days. And the four rather lovely Viragos I found were certainly worth it:


I was particularly pleased with another Bawden, and also with the Macaulay as I have this in vintage Penguin but not Virago. The Fugard is not a VMC but sounded interesting nevertheless.

However, things did not stop here. On a little display in the middle of the Cave they always place interesting volumes, and there was a hardback NYRB called “Alone! Alone!”:


For £1.75 how could I refuse? It seems to consist of short pieces on outsider women (from Stevie Smith to Katherine Mansfield plus a number of very interesting diversions in between. It certainly came in handy whilst hanging around Boots waiting for prescriptions….

The last two finds here were a little self-indulgent and I confess I mainly bought them because the covers were so pretty:

book clubs

Well, they were only £1.25 each and the “Mr. Fairweather” book has this wonderful illustration inside:


These three old Pan paperbacks came from a bin outside one of the charity shops that is always filled with odd things for 15p each. I confess I’m not quite sure why I bought them, apart from the fact that my mother used to read these when I was a teenager, I’m sure I probably borrowed them from her and read them too and I loved the 1960s/1970s style covers! What I’ll actually do with them remains to be seen…..


Final find of the day was a vintage Penguin I’ve been looking at online for a long time – this didn’t come from the Samaritans but from a charity shop on the outskirts I don’t usually look at, and was in a basket of “vintage” books individually priced. The lady volunteer was astonished when she saw it was priced at £2.50 as she thought it was from the 10p basket. I paid up the proper price and she was still bemused when I left.


So a slightly self-indulgent day – but I did feel the need after the week I’d had!!

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