books, bookshelfies

Bookshelfie: Random Girl’s Own hardbacks

You know I think this might be the very last shelf you haven’t seen*! And given that I’ve been telling you that I’m planning a reorganisation, maybe means that this is my cue to actually pull my finger out and do it. Although I do need some more shelves to do this properly. Anyway, here you see a very random selection of hardback Girl’s Own or Gir’ls Own adjacent hardbacks. Some of them are truly terrible – I’m looking at you The Girls of Dancy Dene – some of them are by authors that I keep elsewhere, including my only two hardback Elinor M Brent-Dyers. Why only two? Well because I already own all the Chalet School books at least once, mostly twice and I can’t bring myself to get rid of either set, so the chances of me getting rid of any if I get a set of hardbacks is small, even if we don’t think about how much that would cost. Anyway, this is a little shelf in the bottom of one of my built ins – down the room from all the fancy hardbacks, Viragos and downstairs Pratchetts – but the shelves above it are glass and not wood and they are used for my bits of antique silver. Because that’s the sort of person I am.

*apart from the to-read bookshelf, which I’m not sure I’m brave enough to expose in full. I’ll think on it.


Bookshelfie: The Chaos Shelves – part three

Is this the most mixed up shelf of them all? I think so. This is an insane mix of non fiction, cozy crime, historical crime and romantic comedies. You can see a couple of hardback Meg Langslows, a few previous BotWs – like A Kim Jong-Il Production, The Rest of Us Just Live Here, The Year of Living Danishly and Sorcerer to the Crown.

In fact, thinking about it this might be the shelf with the highest amont of recommended books of any of them because the back row has Euny Hong, Negroland, the Unfinished Palazzo, Swan Song, Underground Railroad, Somewhere Inside of Happy, A Very Big House in the Country, A Dangerous Crossing and The Madwoman Upstairs. And why is that? Well it’s because this is where the hardbacks and larger books that I want to keep but that don’t belong with anything else live – and why do I want to keep stuff usually? Because it’s good. And a lot of these are non fiction or books where I don’t own other stuff by the same author, so they don’t have another logical home to go to. So there it is. It still needs reorganising though…


Bookshelfie: The Chaos Shelves – part one

Oh, ho ho Merry Christmas We’ve reached the bits of my bookshelves that I try not to pay too much attention to, because they are such a state. I keep telling myself that I’m going to sort them out, and then losing the will to live and giving up on it until I add some more bookshelves to the house! This one actually starts fairly well – you can’t see it on the photo but the back row is actually very neat and is mostly seriesand that spills over to the front where as you can see I have the Lady Sherlock and Charlotte Holmes series. Behind them are the Steph Plums and the rest of the Janet Evanovich collection and then the Christina Jones, Melissa Nathan and the bits of Susan Elizabeth Philips’ Chicago Stars series that I own in paper. The the rest of the front is odds and ends of things that don’t have a better home to go to – a Paul Charles that doesn’t match the rest of the set in format, size or design. Odds and ends in paperback and bits of series that won’t fit elsewhere. But it could be worse… and that is yet to come.


Bookshelfie: Modern (mostly) Middle Grade

We’re getting to a point now where there aren’t a lot of nice neat and tidy shelves for me to show you before we get to what I think of as the Chaos Shelves. But then as I’ve been promising all year that I’m planning to reorganise some of the shelves and show you the results, then at least you’ll have seen the before and after when it happens. Anyway, I don’t imagine that this shelf will change much in any reorganisation. This is the bookshelf in the back spare bedroom. This has mostly been my office over the last nearly two years, but it’s also where any young people who might stay with us would sleep, so it made sense to use the shelves in there (left by the previous owners, who used it as their kids bedroom) for books suitable for any young people who might stay, and it also tends to be where the graphic novel end of my book collection ends up. And there are quite a few familiar books on here – recent BotW Piglettes, Bloodlust and Bonnet and The Unforgettable Guinevere St Clair and less recent BotWs The Good Thieves, Carry On and Pumpkinheads. There’s also various series that have come up at various points – like the Wells and Wong books that I own in paperback, the Lumberjanes and Fence graphic novels and the Tiffany Aching novels from the Discworld series. It’s starting to look a little full, but I’m not sure there’s anything here that I’m prepared to get rid of, so when it gets full it’s likely to be a case of moving stuff to other places rather than a rationalisation situation…


Bookshelfie: Bottom shelf hardbacks

So. As you can probably tell, this is the shelf that has some of Him Indoors’ books on it. Apparently I can’t have all the bookshelves to myself, so I gave him a section of one of the downstairs bookshelves, which I personally thought was very nice of me – it means he can keep his books handy like I keep my favourites handy, even though what I don’t know that he actually rereads them! To be fair I’ve read the Bill Bryson, some of the Guy Martin, the Ben MacIntyre and the Ian Fleming’s Commandos. And at this point I can’t remember if Blitzed was originally mine or his, but we have both read it! Of the definitely mine there’s the Noirville Anthology that I helped judge, and The Color Purple was one of my A Level books – although this isn’t my copy from back then, it’s one I have acquired since. Then I’ve written about a lot of the others too – The Riviera Set, Kick, Queen Bees and Frannie Langton.

Like a lot of the shelves, this is probably due for a tidy and a reorganise, but when I will get around to that is anyone’s guess!


Bookshelfie: A whole lot of Viragos

I mean this does pretty much exactly what it says on the tin – although I hadn’t quite realised that that was what I had created until I started looking at it for this post. The Angela Thirkells I have already written about – and I’m still annoyed that the spines don’t all match, even if the covers do – and the Nancy Spains have had more than one mention too as Death Goes on Skis was a Book of the Week, Cinderella goes to the morgue was in last week’s recommendsday and Poison for Teacher was in the boarding schools post. There’s a little collection of plays at the far end, and then it’s what you could loosely term my A Level reading favourites. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was on my A Level summer reading list in the summer of sixth form and I thought it was so brilliant that I went out and brought all the other volumes – and carried on buying Maya Angelou’s new stuff as it came out. And then I also studied First World War Literature and read the whole extended reading list of novels – and these are the bits I kept because they spoke to me the most. Except that I’ve lost my copy of Goodbye to All That in one of my moves and I’m refusing to replace it until I find the edition I used to have or a prettier one. I can’t help myself like that. The only other things on there are Diary of a Provincial Lady and Frost in May, both of which are going to get bumped if many more Thirkells or Nancy Spains appear! It’s a classy shelf of excellent books that I don’t feel like I have to justify if people spot them. And yes, I know, I shouldn’t feel that I have to justify my reading but sometimes people make you feel like you do.


Bookshelfie: Mixed bag of favourites

I struggled with what to call this shelf because, well, there’s no obvious theme. It’s mostly historical – fiction and non fiction – but with a sprinkling of romance, a couple of essay collections, some non fiction and translated fiction. But there’s a lot here that I have written about before. My love of Laurie Graham is well known – here you see one of my (three) copies of Gone with the Windsors, plus the rest of my hard copies of her books. I cannot tell you how much it annoys me that they’re many different sizes and formats. There’s a gaggle of previous BotWs too – Love Lettering, Evvie Drake Starts Over, and then stuff I’ve mentioned in other posts like The Editor, Flappers and the 1920s/Bright Young Things collection.

In the next reorganisation – whenever that happens – I suspect I’ll try and create a non fiction shelf somewhere and get the Laurie Graham’s onto a shelf with fiction. The trouble there is that large old hardback of Grand Duchess of Nowhere, which limits the options for them somewhat…


Bookshelfie: Twentieth Century (mostly) mystery

Say hello to the Peter Wimsey collection and its current shelf mates. Fun fact: the Margery Allingham*, Gladys Mitchell and Edmund Crispin books used to live on this shelf too, but they got bumped down to the Ngaio Marsh shelf when the British Library crime classics collection got too big – the gap is because there are a couple of books out on loan – BLCCs with my dad and Miss Buncle’s Book with my sister. But as you can see we’re getting tight for space again – especially as I’m getting a new Persephone Book a month at the moment from Little Sis – so this is going to be in need of another reorganisation soon. I can already feel that it’s going to be complicated – it’s one of the narrower shelves in the book case so it looks nicer with shorter books, but I also like to keep similar books together and I’m getting to a point where that’s going to be tricky. Yes, deeply first world problems. I know. Wish me luck. I’ll show you a picture when it’s done…

* Margery Allingham may make an appearance in one of the Nicola Upson Josephine Tey books…


Bookshelfie: Hardback Non-fiction

This is another corner that is prime for reorganisation because it’s a bit fragmented and could be split up. You can see the edge of the fancy Pratchetts here – with my very old copy of Sourcery – and next along from that are the Virago hardbacks which will soon need more space because of those IWD sale purchases that I haven’t read yet. And so when it does this is likely to be where the space comes from.

I’m trying to get a corner of Hollywood and acting books and memoirs together and you can see the start of that here with the Antony Sher, Anne Helen Petersen, Helen O’Hara and Trumbo. I have more actor memoirs waiting to be read (or in the process of being read in the case of the Harvey Fierstein) so this will need some more space. Where that space comes from I don’t know. The bottom shelf of this bookcase (along from the fancy hardback pile) is a bit of a mishmash of non series Girls Own books, not all of which I’m sure I want to keep, so it may be that I relocate them to somewhere else, maybe sell some of them and use that space to make it the hardback collection – with the fiction ones from the other week and the non fictions. Of course then you have the issue around separating authors where I have mixed hardbacks and paperbacks but we can cross that bridge when we come to it.

Anyway, also on this shelf are the Kate Andersen Browers – which I’ve mentioned before in various posts – and I’m fairly sure I also have The Residence somewhere, so I probably need to check on that and keep them all together. My suspicion is that one of them got loaned out at some point and they got split up in that shuffle. Taking of books on loan, this is where my copy of Tom and Lorenzo’s Legendary Children should be (who did I lend that to? I must track it down!) and that’s why Fabulousa is here. The History of Drag is on the shelf below with the Art/coffee table books so it’s similar proximity if not together-together. The Anne de Courcy is the one that seems to not belong here – but again that’s here because Chanel’s Riviera used to be here before it got loaned out – and while it was gone the space got used up and that got filed under the fancy hardback shelf.

Loaning books out and then using their shelf space for other things is a common problem here – currently sitting in front of this cabinet are Vanderbilt and Dead Famous which have just returned from my parents and which should been in this bookcase, if only there was room for them…


Bookshelfie: Nice Hardbacks

This is the current fancy hardback pile in the corner of the fancy bookshelf. This is the bottom right of the shelves, top left is the Virago shelf and next to that are the Fancy Pratchetts. I mean I know I’ve had Bookshelfies featuring a lot of previous books of the week before, but this might be a new record for books I have previously written about! I think the only book on here I haven’t written about already is Theatre for Dreamers, and I’m not 100 percent sure that that one is a keeper tbh. But it’s here until I find a hardback that I want to replace it with – at which point it moves to the lower shelves in the back room until I do the next cull, at which point it will be reevaluated!

Anyway, there is no rhyme or reason to this pile – it’s just hardbacks that I have liked and which don’t fit in with any of the other collections of that makes sense. So we have Rodham, which was my first hardback Sittenfeld, the two Jasper Ffordes which are here because they don’t match the crime ones and The Starless Sea because I don’t really have a hardback fantasy and magical realism shelf. Then there are The Girls and the Vanishing Half because I don’t have a lot of literary fiction hardbacks and the Katie Racculia because I didn’t know where else to put it. The Andrew Lownie and the Anne de Courcy are here because I don’t have space on the history book shelf and so I need to have a reorganise, but I just haven’t yet. So basically this is a bit odds and endsy at the moment – but I fully intend to fix this at the next clearout. When that is going to be, I am not currently able to say!