The Pursuit of Love (1945)/Love in a Cold Climate(1949) – Nancy Mitford
One of the titles from the Autumn TBR shelf this two-volume issue was my first introduction to the Mitford family, and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone from volcanic Uncle Matthew to Linda to Jassy and Victoria. Strongly autobiographical (I’ve read), this was a witty novelistic visit with an eccentric upper-class country family in England. Mitford grew up in a similar world, I think, and a lot of the plot mirrors what happened in her own life. There’s been some question of how serious Mitford intended this novel to be, but in my opinion, I think she is completely making fun of this lifestyle (although in a nice way) – similar to Thirkell in some ways. Enjoyed it.
Number two of the MaddAdam trilogy, a speculative fic read that is super-great even if you don’t normally venture down that path of reading. Atwood has dreamed up a complete world of a dystopian society after an unspecified environmental disaster referred to as “the Flood.” This was an amazing and provocative read, and I am going to enjoy the final volume which was published earlier this year. (Have to spread it out to make it last though…)
Dracula – Bram Stoker (1899)
A re-read for me and one that I just adore as it’s epistolary and Victorian and checks off all the right boxes for what I enjoy when I choose a book. It’s very different (in a good way) from the tired old Hollywood trope of Dracula and the original is much more complex than usually portrayed. I love reading this, although as I had read it on Kindle, I didn’t realize how long it was until I saw it in a bookshop. This would definitely count as a Scary Big Book Read if it was on that pile!
The Countryman Cottage Life Book – Fred Archer (1974)
A collection of memories from a wide variety of people about life in a cottage in Scotland, Wales and England. Archer seems to have written quite a few books about English country life between the wars, and I happened to pick this one up from the library when I was browsing some shelves. It’s a mixed bag of people’s personal memories and other more scholarly perspectives (for example, on the history of crafting in Scotland). More of a book to pick up and put down, really, but not bad. If I was going to recommend an English country-life type book, it would be more likely to be someone like Laurie Lee, Miss Read or some of that group though.
There’s some good reading right there…