Who is Book Snob?

Hello! Welcome to my blog. I’m Rachel; a twenty something, prematurely middle aged born-and-bred Londoner, currently exiled to the countryside for reasons of penury. My two greatest joys in life are reading and travelling, and you’ll find plenty of accounts of my adventures in both on these pages – enjoy!

I also blog at Old Fashioned Girls with my friend Miranda – pop on over and check us out!

If you’d like to say hello, please do! You can email me at booksnob@hotmail.co.uk.

107 comments

  1. Hi Rachel,
    Just to say I hope you picked up my reply to your post on my sleepy blog. It was good to hear from you and I like what you’re putting together about Yates. I submitted my Ph.D last week – and am exhausted – but no time to relax since I am delivering a paper on him at the Aldeburgh Literary Festival next week, Friday 5th March. I’m first on and feeling quite scared at the thought of speaking for an hour. Lots and lots of Power Point methinks. I’m used to speaking for twenty minutes at academic conferences but an hour is a lot.

    Also, just in case you are interested, there is a conference on Yates at Goldsmiths on Saturday 5th June. I think I am speaking there but it has to be confirmed. Entry is free.

    Maybe we’ll run into each other one day, clutching copies of RR.
    Kate

    1. Thanks Kate – I did get your reply, thank you! Congratulations on submitting your PhD! How exciting for you! I hope the festival goes well and I will definitely try and get to the conference at Goldsmiths in June – if I do, I’ll come running up to you to introduce myself!

      I’m glad you like my musings on Yates…nothing compared to yours of course but I am enjoying exploring his work!

      Rachel
      x

  2. Hello Rachel. I just want to ask, what happened? Suddenly, you had 12 new posts in my Google Reader in, like, 2 hours! Something up? It’s just really weird.

  3. I have just found your blog (and started my own) and I adore yours. I love finding other British-based ones! I look forward to reading more!

  4. I’ve just written a rather lengthy e-mail and used the address you give but it was refused!

    Has something changed since you wrote Who Is Book Snob?

  5. Oh, you must think I’m nuts – I had left a comment before the above – saying the story was so familiar, but I knew I’d never heard of the book, or seen the Fred Astaire movie.

    I guess I didn’t properly submit it, and it disappeared! :)

  6. Hi Rachel,

    I am Sayantika, 23 years, from India. I came across your blog when I was looking for a review of Louisa May Alcott’s ‘Good Wives’. I am re-reading ‘Little Women’ now, which I had read ages ago. It’s very hard to come by such a blog like yours. It is so enriching that I have decided to launch a reviews page for my blog, if not a separate blog on reviews. Your lists are really great, and I have read a few of those books, being a student of literature. The lists have just given me an idea on what to read, and what to re-read too.
    I shall keep visiting your blog for your takes on the books and maybe, have some interesting conversations regarding books.

    Thanks, Sayantika.

    1. Hello Sayantika! What a lovely comment. I am glad you are enjoying my reviews and that we share our reading tastes! I hope to see you around often. Happy reading!

  7. Hello Rachel,
    Congratulations on a wonderful blog, it is informative and fun. Like you, I too love Persephone and Virago books. Currently I own three Persephone titles: Marianna, The Making Of A Marchioness and A London Child of the 1870′s.

    I would have loved to take part in the Virago Reading Week but unfortunately in Mumbai, Viragos are not easily found. You have to order them online but the shipping costs a bomb.

    Thanks so much for hosting a beautiful blog…you have found yourself a loyal follower from Mumbai!
    Regards,
    Anuja
    Mumbai, India

    1. Hello Anuja, thank you for your lovely comment!

      I am glad you love Persephone and Viragos too – always the sign of a wonderful person! I am sorry you can’t get hold of Viragos that easily, that’s a real shame. I feel for you!

      You are so welcome – thank you for reading! I look forward to talking with you in future!

  8. I’m so glad I found your blog. I’m currently backreading your posts, because I love your insights on the classics. Also, I love the pictures of New York. I want to go there someday. :)

  9. Hi Rachel, this is my first visit in your blog and so far it’s amazing.
    I was looking for a review of Patricia Highsmith’s ‘Carol’ and I really liked yours. Congrats for the interesting blog.

    Amanda
    Brasil.

  10. Hi Rachel, as I’m actually referencing a quote from your review for my English Coursework, I was wondering whether I could get your surname down? Just so you’re properly acknowledged. Would be much appreciated, thanks.

  11. I’ve just found your blog and I love reading your reviews! I’m backtracking at the moment and adding to my TBR pile which is huge already but good books need to be read! Keep up the good work!

  12. I just found your blog and wanted to say I am also a fan of the pioneer story in America. Can you recommend other adult fiction besides Willa Cather? Are there any from a man’s point of view?
    I am a student getting my MLS and am writing a paper on collection building focused on the pioneer movement and would like to have a broad focus for the similarly-obsessed.
    Following the Laura Ingalls Wilder trail is also one of my dreams and I intend to do it one day soon, bringing my two daughters (Caroline and Laura!) with me.

    1. Hello Nancy! Thanks so much for reading!

      What a wonderful paper to be writing! I am jealous! I know there are a fair few modern novels that refer back to the pioneer movement – I can’t think of any specific ones off the top of my head but I’ll try and do some research and get back to you. What I have found interesting about reading so many American novels this year is just how many reference pioneer backgrounds, family history, pioneer towns, etc – pioneering is a foundation to so many American stories even if it is not explicitly explored. For example, Louis Bromfield’s novels, William Maxwell’s novels – set in old pioneer towns – as are Marilynne Robinson’s Home and Gilead…it’s surprising how much mention of pioneering you can find.

      How amazing that would be! I would love to do that. And Caroline and Laura! Beautiful!

  13. Hello Rachel, Thanks for your reply, you said that you are “in the country” and recommended a library….well, I’m in the Middle East and so any library here would have books primarily reading from right to left….but libraries, recent ones, are few and far between.
    If I can every get a copy of Hayward and Harari’s Translators Note at teh beginning of the book, and I write up my short story [fact not fiction], I’ll send it to you, it’s all about the smuggling out of Russia of the manuscript. Thanks,
    CaroL Ann

  14. Hi Rachel – I’m not sure if you’ve checked your other e-mail account, but I sent you a reply to that address. I hope you’re keeping safe and are out of harm’s (read: Irene’s) way. You’re in my thoughts, as is my beloved New York City. Lots of love to you from Ireland, June

  15. I just found your blog and I’m so excited I did because I consider myself a bit of a book snob, if not a book lover myself. I’m coming to London to study abroad for the year in two weeks and I’m so excited to go book hunting! I’ll surely be reading all your old posts and catching up on your “reads” of all the books in them, if you will.
    Looking forward to more,
    Hannah

    1. Hi Hannah, thanks for coming by and commenting! Book Snobs are always welcome here! How exciting – I bet you are going to have an absolutely wonderful time! You will find plenty of magnificent book shops to enjoy, I can promise you that! I look forward to seeing you around!

  16. Hi Racheal and others

    I’m delighted to discover this line of thought and conversation. I’m Nandy, a South African living in Leiden holland for 10years. I love books, reading and an aspiring writer. Life at the moment has gotten the better of me, i have all sorts of projects opened and unfinished. This, I promise myself will change and should change.
    I’m inspired by all of your notes and thank you for sharing your passions.
    I will continue to be part of the conversation, I belon to a bookclub so, great reads are always welcomed.
    Soo long

  17. Just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to chime in and say how enjoyable it is to read your reviews. I’m always looking for good books, and many of the titles you have discussed here sound interesting! :) I also belong to a book club; being exposed to different genres/styles is something I love when it comes to literature. Definitely will be checking out the selections here for future book club discussions!

    Keep up the great work!

    ~Stacey

  18. Dear Rachel, I do like your blog, I find 19th cent novels a bit heavy going but your blog inspires me to give them another go. On a different tack may I recommend -
    The Feminine Middlebrow Novel, 1920s to 1950s: Class, Domesticity and Bohemianism, Oxford University Press, 2001 by Nicki Humble, she is a Professor and senior lecturer at Roehampton. Its a good read, all the writers you will have heard of or read. The actual book gives a curious feeling of deja vu, though published in 2001 it has an old fashioned typeface and plain black cover so you have to keep reminding yourself you are not reading something published in the 1950′s. I emailed Prof Humble about her book and tentatively offered up a theory on a very minor historical event and got a lovely, polite, considered reply and I am only a very ordinary, non graduate member of the public.

  19. Hello! just found your blog via a link posted by a twitter friend. Love it already. I am sitting at work and reading your posts. Its awesome to have found your blog! I will be back to check it everyday now :)

    1. Hi PV, lovely to have you come by! I’m so glad you’re enjoying what you’ve read so far – I look forward to seeing more of you around and hearing your opinions! :)

  20. I love your blog and plan to return. Like many Americans, I’m a complete fool for Downton Abbey and even picked up the book The World of Downton Abbey recently because I couldn’t get enough of that world. It’s not exactly literature, but it is beautifully done and quite informative.

    1. Hi Ruth, lovely to hear from you! I’m so glad you enjoyed Downton Abbey too – I must get hold of that book, thanks for the recommendation! :)

  21. Hi Rachel, I met you briefly at the Penguin Bloggers Night on Thursday, was lovely to meet you! And Bloomsbury Bell also (terribly embarrassed that I cannot remember her name…) Are you on Twitter? Lizzi (littlewordsreview.wordpress.com) xx

    1. Hi Lizzi, lovely to hear from you! It was a pleasure to meet you too – Bloomsbury Bell’s name is Naomi! No I’m not on twitter – too much technology for me to handle! I’ll definitely come and visit your blog though! :)

  22. After a long hiatus, moving house, etc. I am back to the blogs. With time so short, I had to edit my long list of blogs to follow and one of the few blogs that made the cut was of course, Rachel’s Book Snob. I list it, on both my blogs, as a “favorite”.

  23. Hello! I’ve just discovered your blog and I can’t help but think that I’ve found what I’ve been looking for. Looking forward to reading through your previous posts.

  24. Hi Rachel, yay, it makes my day when I find a blog like this. I was so excited to stumble upon it when I was taking a peek at Jane Brocket’s inspiring blog. I have been lost in your posts for the past 1/2 hour!!!! I’ll be back to take a look again soon. x Library Girl.

    1. Hi Kura, how lovely of you! So glad you like what you’ve found and I will be over to check you out too – look forward to seeing more of you here! :) x

  25. Hey Rachel! Thanks for replying to my email quickly and for the book suggestions which i am going to try. Its not easy trying to find something comparable to Mapp and Lucia but im determined to try – surely finding other gems along the way!

  26. Dear Rachel,

    I wanted to drop you a line but my gmail does not recognise your e-mail address. Has it been modified?

    Kind regards,

    Laurence

  27. Rachel, I found your log through scoping out The Optimist’s Daughter on Google. This book is the topic for our book group this coming Thursday. The discussion leader has an audio of Eudora Welty herself reading parts of the book – should be a treat for the group. I’ll let you know what she sounded like.
    What’s so appealing about her to me is the total accuracy of her depiction of the redneck family of Fay’s, the dialogue of the bridesmaids, and the loyalty of the friends of her mother – a lot like The Help in its keen ear for conversations – have you read that?
    Best wishes to you, Jeanne

    1. Hi Jeanne, what a great book for a book club! I wish I’d read it with other people. I would love to hear about what Welty sounded like, thank you!

      I haven’t read The Help, no, but I might get around to it soon…I do have a copy somewhere!

  28. Hello there Rachel,
    came across your site from Random Jottings..
    love the whole concept and major book lover.
    Sending you an email shortly.
    Kind regards,
    Lady M.

  29. Hi Rachel, have you heard of ‘Artwork’ by Peter Campbell? I think it might interest you seeing as you’re a fan of Ravilious (whom you introduced to me).

    ‘A sick boy having breakfast in bed; a dog in a pram; the inside of a kitchen cupboard; a clothes rail with one lonely frock; a fox passing the (dying) artist’s home – all images from the world and work of Peter Campbell, genial, domestic and affectionate and which, collected here for the first time, make him an heir to Ardizzone, Bawden and Ravilious.’

    - Alan Bennett via LRB email

  30. Hello! I’m a book loving and tea drinking 21 y-o from Sydney Australia ;)
    Lovely blog! Really liked your thoughts on Night and Day, Woolf is one my favourites, but I haven’t gotten around to reading that particular one yet.

  31. Hello Rachel– I found you in a roundabout way– a Pinterest board, a Google for Miss Bunkle, and there you were… Add the tea-drinking quilt- making, and above all, living in England, and I was sold! Can’t wait to dig around more!
    Melinda/Auntie Em

  32. Hi, I came across your blog by mistake, but what a fabulous mistake it was. It is so wonderful to find others who have the tastes when it comes to books. Looking forward to chatting about my fave novels with you. I am currently reading Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky by Patrick Hamilton. A love triangle set in 1930s London in a bar. So far so good. Really enjoying it. Its long, but I do love a big tome to get stuck into.

    1. Hi Jules, how lovely to ‘meet’ you and thanks for leaving such a lovely comment. I haven’t heard of that book before – you’ve intrigued me! I can’t wait to hear more!

  33. Hello, I’ve only just discovered Bookssnob and I love it! I found you when googling Dorothy Wipple. A friend told me about her and now I’m hooked, and it’s just great to read other people’s opinions of her. I’m looking forward to working my way through all the other posts, it all looks great!

  34. I just wanted to say thank you for the post over on “Old Fashioned Girls” on Anne Chisholm’s cento. I am ashamed to say that I didn’t know what a cento was until I read this (a rather embarrassing admission from an English teacher…) and who would have thought that combining such disparate lines of poetry could create a distinct thing of such beauty? Like you, I find teaching poetry to be the most rewarding aspect of my job. Peeling away the layers with a class often yields new perspectives on old loves. I thought you might like this blog that I occasionally dip into, I have made many new discoveries through it and it has the most stunning images – firstknownwhenlost.blogspot.co.uk/

  35. Hello Rachel -
    I have been following your blog for a year or so and my greatest hobby is collecting “quotes” – I just added this one of yours to my Commonplace Book.
    “What greater markers are there of the stages of life we pass through than the books that we read?” – loved that!!!!

    Judy from Canada

  36. Hello. Same careful blog!! Man .. Outstanding .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your web situate and engage the feeds additionally…I’m contented to attain many of use in sequence right here surrounded by the send. Recognition for sharing.

  37. Really enjoyed looking around your blog and have taken some recommendations to get out of my current reading stupor! Thanks so much for writing it and happy reading.

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