Elizabeth Taylor Centenary: In A Summer Season


2012 is the centenary of the author Elizabeth Taylor’s birth and various members of  the LibraryThing Virago Modern Classics group have been hosting monthly read-alongs of Taylor’s works. We are now approaching August and this is just a heads-up that I will be hosting the August book, Elizabeth Taylor’s seventh novel, “In A Summer Season”.  There will be an introductory post on 1st August and then hopefully future weekly posts. You can read more about the centenary on Laura’s blog and also follow the discussions on LibraryThing.

I do hope you can join us discussing this excellent and underrated novelist!

July Reads and Re-reads – The Plan So Far…


‘Planning’ is not a word I often use in conjunction with my reading, as up till now I’ve tended to read whatever my mood indicated or my fancy dictated. Obviously if I was reading through a series in order (complete works of Virginia Woolf/Martin Beck crime novels series etc) then my reading would be a little more defined. However, since I started dropping in on the blogging world, joining up with a variety of reading challenges, I have had to structure things a little more!

So this is the plan so far for July!

Firstly, Ali at HeavenAli and Liz at Adventures in full-time self-employment have come up with A Month of Re-reading in July, a wonderful idea to allow us to re-read much loved volumes without feeling guilty about the tottering tbr pile! There are lots of books I would love to go back to but am also a little scared about revisiting – especially if I felt strongly about them in the past but am unsure about how I’ll feel about them all these years on. However, these are the books I have chosen:


To give a little run-down:

Josephine Tey – The Franchise Affair

I have a great love of classic, Golden Age crime novels (Christie, Sayers, Allingham, Crispin etc) and read all the Josephine Teys many years ago. They got lost in various moves so I was delighted to pick up a lovely set via The Book People. The Franchise Affair is, I think, considered by many her best and I figured you can’t go wrong with a good mystery!

Albert Camus – The Outsider

Camus is another writer I first read in my twenties and needs very little introduction. I’ve read The Outsider a couple of times and each time have gained different impressions from it – so it will be interesting to find out what this reading brings.

Colette – Ripening Seed

I had a major re-read of Colette’s non-fiction earlier this year, plus read new biographies and non-fiction volumes which I hadn’t been able to get hold of in the past – but I didn’t get round to any of her fictions. This is a lovely little Penguin which has been calling to me for a while and so I think it’s time for a re-visit. I might be able to get away with fitting in with Bookbath’s Paris in July read-along too – although it’s not set in that fair city, Colette was a very Parisian writer!

Rosamond Lehmann – Dusty Answer

The lovely Miss Darcy is hosting a Rosamond Lehmann Reading Week during 23rd-29th July which I’m looking forward to joining in with – particularly as several RL books have been sitting in my tbr for 20 years (yes, really!) The only one of her volumes I have actually read is Dusty Answer so I shall re-read as part of the challenge.

Italo Calvino – If On a winter’s night a traveller

Where to start with Calvino? The late, great Italian writer, feted in his own country and the rest of Europe and who was one of my major reading obsessions in the eighties. It’s a long long time since I’ve read any of his work and I’m a little scared to approach this novel, because it was the first of his I read. It’s regarded as his masterpiece and I loved it at the time, and I’m just a little worried that it won’t have the same effect on me now. But I think I will take my courage in my hands and re-read!

I think I am going to be balancing my re-reading with some new volumes as well, which will allow for the fact that I often read according to whim or mood. The planned new reads for July are:


Elizabeth Taylor – Angel

Goes without saying, really, as part of the Cententary read-along. I’m rather looking forward to this one as it’s supposed to be unlike her others.

Elizabeth Taylor – In a Summer Season

This is the August ET book but as I am guest hosting I think I need to get a handle on it in advance so that I can say something sensible in my posts!

Virginia Woolf – The Platform of Time

I started this a little while ago but have had several literary distractions so I’m determined to finish this during July. It’s a lovely Hesperus volume of memoirs by VW which should be good reading.

I’m not quite sure which of these I shall tackle first – it will rather depend on where the mood takes me!

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