It’s the fourth day of Virago Reading Week! My goodness, is it just flying by! More posts just keep on coming, and I continue to be delighted by the amount of participation and enthusiasm being shown! Thank you all for your wonderful contributions and I hope you are all enjoying the week as much as Carolyn and I are!
Here’s today’s round up!
It’s not just humans who are taking part in Virago Reading Week! Dogs are too! The lovely Darlene’s handsome border collie Deacon decided to don an apron to demonstrate the deliciousness of Virago’s anthology The Joy of Food. He does look adorable in a pinny!
Rohan of Novel Readings, whose blog I am delighted to have discovered, has posted a wonderful exploration of Elizabeth Von Armin’s The Enchanted April, inspired by the lovely Danielle of A Work in Progress’ review a couple of years ago, which is well worth reading.
Audrey at Books as Food has written an intriguing review of a lesser known E M Delafield title, Thank Heaven Fasting. As Audrey found out, it was quite different to her initial expecations, and proves that E M Delafield goes much deeper than the light, bright and sparkling Provincial Lady series (which, if you haven’t read them, you should).
The always sensitive and insightful Rachel at Flowers and Stripes has continued to post some beautiful quotes from her Virago reading, today focusing on when relationships break down; some heartbreaking, but lovely, descriptions have been picked out from Nadine Gordimer’s The Lying Days and Pat Barker’s Union Street, neither of which I’ve read, but I very much want to now.
Rochester Reader has, like Darlene, drafted in two friends from the animal kingdom to join her for Virago Reading Week; the adorable Ginger and Georgie, her ‘Pirates at Play‘, otherwise known as an interesting Virago title from Violet Trefusis!
Verity of Verity’s Virago Venture has written a review of the fascinating We That Were Young by Irene Rathbone. An exploration of women working during WW1, Verity recommends it to all fans of Vera Brittain’s spellbinding Testament of Youth, plus it has an introduction by E M Delafield. It has certainly piqued my interest – this is what is so great about Verity’s blog, as she has read so many Viragos, and can highlight some of the more unusual ones you might not come across otherwise.
Claire of The Captive Reader has continued reading Elizabeth Von Arnim, today posting a fantastically alluring review of Elizabeth and Her German Garden. The quotes she has picked out have made me want to drop everything and run through the twenty inches of snow on the streets of Manhattan to the library to take this book out, pronto! You won’t fail to have the same reaction when you read this lovely, passionate evocation of one of my favourite authors’ most famous work!
Claire of Paperback Reader posted a photo of what she’s reading this week…Mollie Panter-Downes’ One Fine Day, one of my favourite Viragos, and Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark. I’m sure I’m not the only one intrigued to find out her thoughts!
Over on Librarything, the wonderful Heather has posted a brilliantly concise review of A Stricken Field by Martha Gellhorn. Inspired by Martha’s experiences as a journalist in wartime Prague, it sounds fascinating and very unique. I’d never heard of Martha Gellhorn before, but now I definitely want to find out more.
Tracey of A Book Sanctuary has written a persuasive and very interesting review of a Nina Bawden novel, A Woman of my Age. I am now regretting not having read any of Nina Bawden’s adult fiction and am excited to read some of her Viragos in future.
Jane of Fleur Fisher in her world has posted a marvellous array of pictures of VMCs posed with her gorgeous dog, Briar. She sent these pictures to various members of the Librarything Virago Group, who she encourages us to go and visit!
The lovely Hayley at Desperate Reader has written a fantastic post all about her Virago collection, how she came across Virago, and how Viragos have changed her life. From helping her to make friends, to introducing her to the blogging world (apparently someone thought she was me!), to forging a precious memory of her grandfather and his friendship with Molly Keane, Viragos have been a real source of joy and importance to her. Complete with photos of her enviable collection, this is a post not to be missed!
Danielle of A Work in Progress has written a very informative and thought provoking post about Elizabeth Taylor and how unfairly she has been critically received and marginalised, as well as giving us a sneak preview of A View of the Harbour.
Last but not least, the adorable Simon of Stuck in a Book has blogged about how he discovered Virago – as usual, in a rather eccentric way! And he’s done a little illustration for us, so go and check it out!
EDITED TO ADD: Oops, I missed some! Thanks to my beady eyed co-host Carolyn for pointing these ones out to me:
Katherine at A Girl Walks into a Bookstore posted about the not oft mentioned Victorian chunkster Crossriggs by Jane and Mary Findlater – very interesting it sounds too, and Katherine found it ‘a strange mix, but strangely compelling’!
Mother, Etc posted about the delightful Molly Keane – she is proving to be a popular choice this week – and her lesser read book, The Knight of Cheerful Countenance. Did you know this book started out as a Mills and Boon, and was written by Keane when she was just 17? I didn’t, and Mother, etc has written a very tempting and informative review.
Don’t forget to enter the competitions we are running for you: Carolyn’s photo competition, and my What’s Your Favourite Virago? competition. Also, Thomas’ competition to guess the titles belonging to the cover art in the Virago Reading Week banner is still ongoing!
Excitingly, Virago themselves have got wind of Virago Reading Week and have been absolutely thrilled by its success; check out their post on the Virago blog!
p.s. as you may have read today my favourite Virago is the beautiful Illyrian Spring, sadly out of print. It has traditionally been a terribly hard to find title, but I have noticed today that Amazon UK has a sudden spate of cheap copies available! How serendipitous! So, if you would like a copy, head on over and get yourself one for a song!