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Catching Up With The Magazines!

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I’ve had a week of feeling under the weather (the usual seasonal cold….) and reading has been a bit of a struggle. But with Christmas in sight, I thought it might be a good time to catch up with something a little less taxing in the form of some magazines.

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I tend not to read high-street glossies, because there are few that actually hold my attention. I’m occasionally drawn to something crafty, but so often these focus just on card making or crochet, neither of which are really my thing.

However, I do subscribe to two lovely journals, both of which are wonderful reading but which are very different! First up is the Manchester Modernist Magazine. I can’t even recall how I first stumbled across this lovely little indy mag, but I’ve been subscribing since issue 1; it carries features on all sorts of brutalist and modernist architecture and the like and it’s a great read.

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The second is probably known to many readers of this blog, and that’s Slightly Foxed, a wonderful literary journal. It’s packed with wonderful bookish pieces of a bite-sized length and makes ideal browsing. It’s also very bad for the wish list!

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And if you add in the most recent Persephone Biannually mags which I have lying about, that makes a bit of a backlog… Time for some catching up! 🙂

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…in which I am Slightly Flummoxed!

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But very much in a good way!

The reason being that I popped into a charity shop today (what’s new? I hear you cry?) Well, this was one of three which are at the far end of the Big Town and which I don’t usually go to. However, I *was* passing today and stuck my head round the door on the off-chance… And almost missed this:

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This unassuming looking little volume is in fact a Slightly Foxed hardback – a thing of great loveliness and certainly not the kind of thing that you’d expect in a charity shop! It’s “The Past is Myself” by Christabel Bielenberg and it’s most definitely one of the SF editions I would choose to read – so it came home with me at the bargain price of £2.50!

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I’ve resisted the Slightly Foxed books simply because they’re so lovely and I would want to collect the whole lot if I bought one. Oh dear – what have I done…. :s

On taking a little break from books (but not from reading!)

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That’s a heading that sounds a little alarming, and I confess that I’m actually struggling a bit with reading at the moment. It’s not so much the reading of the books when I actually get going, it’s settling on what I want to actually read – I’ve started several recently and discarded them almost straight away because the mood just doesn’t seem right.

(Image courtesy Cafepress)

(Image courtesy Cafepress)

I wonder: have I overdone it and exhausted my brain a little? I’ve certainly read many volumes over recent weeks, so much so that I have quite a reviewing backlog. Usually, flinging myself into the nearest book tends to work but it hasn’t recently, and I’ve had a few disappointments too, so perhaps something radical is needed.

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Therefore, having just finished the Penelope Lively I picked up at the weekend (and jolly good it was too – review will follow!) I think I might spend a day or two reading Slightly Foxed – I have part of the last issue and the lovely new one which arrived today, and it may be that some shorter non-fiction pieces will do the trick.

Here’s hoping that the reader’s block goes and normal service is resumed asap! :s

…in which I somewhat belatedly discover Slightly Foxed!

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As someone who loves books, longs for a decent literary periodical and reads a lot of blogs, you would think, wouldn’t you, that I would have become involved with Slightly Foxed before now! For anyone who doesn’t know (and there shouldn’t be many) SF is a bookshop based on the Gloucester Road in London, and a quarterly literary magazine. They also produce beautiful editions of lost memoirs as well as lovely paperback editions. So what’s not to love?

I don’t know why I’ve resisted for so long, unless it’s the knowledge deep down that I would have to subscribe and this would give me yet more reading material with not enough time. Suffice to say, I succumbed recently when I read that issue 41 contained some thing about one of my favourite painters, (Dora) Carrington.

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In the early days of my Bloomsbury obsession, in the early 1980s, I was reading everything to do with the group I could. I worked my way through everything of Woolf first (including *all* the diaries and letters published at the time!) then started to explore further. Carrington’s wonderful paintings caught my eye, and then I read about her life (biography and letters and diaries) – I had quite an obsession with her, which never really went away. So when I saw that the spring issue of Slightly Foxed featured a piece on her, I cracked and ordered a sample copy. That was that, really – I’ve now subscribed and thankfully have a lovely literary journal to look forward to quarterly. And what a delight it is too – beautifully put together and printed on lovely creamy paper, packed full of fascinating pieces. I’m trying to pace myself so that the articles keep me going between issues.

Of course, now the real danger is that I rather want to visit the Slightly Foxed shop……. And as for their lovely books – well, let’s not even go there!!

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