Sunday, 3 November 2013

Books for the Century 1900- and More.

This week has been very busy and will continue to be now for the next 5 weeks.  I finished Cold Comfort Farm for our Monday night book group. I won't review it because it has been reviewed to death but I will say I really enjoyed it.

It is the story of Flora who is orphaned at the age of 19 and needs to find a place to live. She is a very organised tidy person and she loves nothing more than tidying up everybody else's life.

She writes to all of her relatives, most of whom are very distant and asks for a place to live. She ends up at a distant cousin's farm in rural Sussex and falls into a household of extremely quirky, eccentric cousins.  Her job is then set for her to sort out everyone's life and she doesn't forget the animal's either. The state of the cows and the bull is cringe worthy.

It took me awhile to get into it but once she steps foot onto the farm everything falls into place.  I have read both positive and negative reviews of this book but I would certainly put it in the positive pile.

The writing is good though it takes awhile to get used to the dialect she uses of the countryside.  I always enjoy dialect and I feel it adds a great deal to the feel of the region.

I would definitely recommend this book. It also counts towards my Century of Books challenge (here) as it was published in 1932.  Also it is book number 140 in my vintage Penguin Book Collection.

I am looking forward to the discussion at the book group tomorrow night.

Now, speaking of Century of Books Challenge. I am participating in it but not nearly as quickly as others who have really taken it to heart.  However I did accidentally find a book in my favourite second hand bookshop in Hobart (Imperial Books on Collins St) of this wonderful book that relates to the challenge very, very much.
It is entitled Brilliant Careers: The Virago Book of 20th Century Fiction. It lists the name of an author and the associated chapter provides an excerpt from the recommended book for every year of the 20th century starting with 1901 and ending with 2000.

I have been thinking a great deal about my reading habits for 2014 and I have decided I will very much focus on the books I already own. I also know from perusing my library in The Library Thing that I have a book published for every year of the challenge with the Penguin books alone.  So next year will focus on the Century of Books challenge using my own library of books both Penguin and non Penguin.

Of course I will still look at current books and books that tend to fall out of the sky unexpectedly. But that will be the focus. I actually think I can stick to that plan.

This Thursday I pack up and head to the USA. I will be visiting three states, California (my sister), Florida, (a good friend I haven't seen in years) and Tennessee, (my brother's family and my mother).
How crazy is this? McKay's Bookstore (second hand books,CDs & LPs )
Nashville Tennessee

I hope to visit a second hand book shop in each location and Nashville has an enormous second hand book shop called McKay's  (here).  They have miles of second hand books and they are all organised very well.  So I will continue to be on line with updates and Facebook with trip photos. If you'd like to participate with me on this trip be sure to check back.

I hope anyone interested in the Century of Books challenge will enjoy the Table of Contents list of authors for each year of the 20th Century.  If you can't read the pages and would like more information let me know in the comments section and I'll be happy to send it to you.


  1. Fort Myers has nothing like the Nashville bookstore you pictured. I do have in mind a few places we can check though. The library used books (Book Nookj) and a used book store near my condo (altho I think her prices are high).

    1. You never know what you'll find and if I find more than a couple I try and haggle. It generally works if price is too high. I'll look at anything book related these days ;-)

  2. Those chapter headings are great - they would definitely make me want to dive into the book. So many names I've seen on blogs, and this would be a great way to try the various authors.

    I am already consumed with envy over your visit to McKay's! Safe travels, and enjoy you time with family & friends.

  3. Thank you Lisa. Let me know if there is anything you are really keen to find and I'll keep a look out as long as it isn't more than 500 pages- haha

  4. I have the Virago book, I thought at the beginning of my century that it would be useful, but I forgot it until now. but it will come in useful next time - if there is a next time!

    1. I know what you mean by 'if there is a next time'. I'm going to slowly work my way through the challenge but won't push it as so much other reading. You did a great job though. I enjoyed following your choices.

  5. Have fun in the US Pam, it sounds like a great trip. Though I missed posts earlier in the week I've just been catching up, I loved reading about you making rhubarb pie to remember your father here and your Life In Books post over on Simon's blog had me smiling at the way you've explored libraries all over the place in your quest for a good read.

    1. Thanks Alex. I'm glad you enjoyed the posts. I've been enjoying the things you've been putting up also. Always lovely to hear from you.

  6. That anthology sounds brilliant - I'm not disciplined enough to do a whole century of books, but this sounds like a great way to discover some new writing.

  7. I'll be doing well if I get through the whole challenge. From blogging I have learned I am not as great at challenges as I thought I would be. haha. But will keep on keepin' on with the Penguin. Thanks for dropping by. Pam


I love comments. I promise to try very hard to reply to any message left.