I have spent a lot of time in bookshops recently, but mostly ones I’ve already written about relatively recently. But this week I was staying near St Paul’s, so it gave me the chance to have a wander around a smaller (it’s relative – it’s still bigger than the Waterstones nearest to my house!) bookshop than the West End ones.
What I like about Daunt Books is that they show you different books on their big main displays – it’s not a best sellers chart or six new releases facing outwards, it’s a lot of books, some you’ll have heard of, some you might not have. So here on New Fiction we have Games and Rituals (and this was actually another case where it was out before it’s official release date) but most of the rest of the stuff that’s on here is stuff that I haven’t come across before – albeit some of it by authors that I have heard of.
I also spent a fair bit of time at the New Biography display – obviously I have the Dress Diary of Mrs Anne Sykes, the Janette McCurdy and the Elizabeth Taylor, and I bought Dad the Terry Pratchett biography for Christmas so I can get my hands on that if/when I feel mentally prepared to read it, but The Empress of the Nile looked really interesting, as does the Jean Rhys, Mary and Mr Elliot, Shy and Mr B. Only the fact that I didn’t have enough space in my suitcase stopped me from buying several of them.
I own a few more from the next shelf across as well – I’ve read the Edward Enninful, the Lucy Worsley is waiting on the pile and I’ve borrowed the Anne Glenconner from mum. I do quite fancy the Noel Coward – especially after Private Lives the other week – but it was very, very chunky. I’m half tempted by Between Friends, because I do wonder if I’ve grown any and matured since my, shall we say, visceral dislike of Testament of Youth back when I read it at 17, so maybe the letters between Vera Brittain and Winifred Holtby might be a way of dipping my toes back in that water, but a hard back is a lot to spend to see if I’ve changed my mind at all!
And finally, I spotted a new British Library Crime Classic in the wild – I’ve read a few John Dickson Carrs now and this is definitely going on the list, for just as soon as I’ve got the pile down a little. And because this Daunt shelves all fiction together (except for fantasy) it’s on a shelf a few books down from The Yonahlossee Riding School for Girls which I don’t think I’ve seen in the wild since I borrowed it from the library about 6 years ago!
Have a great Saturday everyone and go buy a book!
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