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Books for April

Occasionally I toodle around the book blogs of which there are many online - 'Blogger' seems to be the place of choice for many of them - and it passes a pleasant hour. One lady was talking about a reading retreat she'd been to, somewhere on the Welsh coast. You were free during the day to read, walk the coast path, whatever, and in the evenings, after a nice dinner, short stories and poetry were read aloud and discussed. What a lovely break to go on! It sounds like absolute heaven, so relaxing and in such beautiful surroundings too. Am wondering why I've never heard about this before.

My last two books for April were quick, easy reads. I've got several books lined up for May but being anal didn't want to start them until May was actually here. So these two were fill-ins, kind of thing.

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The Book of Dead Days by Marcus Sedgwick was a run-of-the-mill young adult fantasy type thing. That's not to say it was really bad, it wasn't, just fairly predictable. It had the usual cranky wizard type, a youth known as 'Boy' who ran errands and hadn't a clue who he was, and his friend and sort of love interest, 'Willow'. The wizard had made a bargain with the devil when he was younger and the devil is due to collect unless a particular book is found. The canals under the city were interesting but hardly original. Not even sure if I'll seek out the sequel when there are so many other things to read.

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More wonderfulness from Professor McCall Smith. It would be hard for me to love this series more than I do. There is nothing about them that I don't like, they're just perfect, imo. I think I read them as much for Mma Ramotswe's philosophising as for anything else. And the delightfully sly humour of course - such lovely little digs at the male sex, so subtley done. Brilliant. I'm trying to make the books last but it's not easy.

The Wind's Twelve Quarters - Ursula K. Le Guin
The Earthsea Quartet - Ursula K. Le Guin (Chunkster challenge)
Quartet in Autumn - Barbara Pym
Saplings - Noel Streatfeild
The Book of Dead Days - Marcus Sedgwick
The Kalahari Typing School for Men - Alexander McCall Smith

Six books this month, though one was four in one but as it's part of my Chunkster Challenge it'll remain as one. I'm up to 25 books so far this year and that's a total I'm very happy with. Choosing a favourite from these six is hard but would probably go with Saplings by Noel Streatfeild for the impact it had on me. My plan for this afternoon is to sit with the Persephone catalogue and pick out a couple as my birthday pressie to myself. I don't imagine the choice will be an easy one.


I borrowed 'The Book of Dead Days' from the library from the library a while back, attracted by the cover and the blurb, but I couldn't get through it :-/
Don't worry, you haven't missed much. Really not sure why I bothered to plough on until the end...

As someone who knows a bit about Persephone books which would you say are *must haves*? I've decided to treat myself to three and am sitting here with 13 possibles. I want them all! LOL.
Very difficult question, and I have lots of unread ones still, but I'd say the following are absolute must-must-haves :-)

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Little Boy Lost
The Blank Wall
Miss Ranskill Comes Home
The Hopkins Manuscript
I found it so difficult to choose - there were at least fifteen I wanted including several from your list. In the end I went with:

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Family Roundabout by Richmal Crompton
The New House by Lettice Cooper

I'm going to treat myself to the odd one here and there over the months and then maybe ask the family for a bunch at Christmas. It would help if you saw them in charity shops but I never have. Would love to visit the shop one day too.

Ooh, yes, 'The New House' is very good, too :-) I think I've found 5 in the Oxfam bookshop over the past few years, but I've bought most of mine new - I always ask for Persephone book tokens from my in-laws for Christmas and b'day presents.
To find as many as five in charity shops is excellent. I shall keep looking but really they're not the sort of books people get rid of are they?

Oh, the token idea is an excellent one, I shall bear it in mind.

Did you know that there's Persephone community on LJ? persephonebooks. It's not very active though.
So if you suddenly vanish; we'll know where to find you - in Wales ;-)
I'm already packed and ready to go. :-D

Thought you might be.