Book Snob at Large!

If you pop over to Simon’s blog today, you’ll see the first post in a lovely series called ‘My Life in Books’, in which bloggers talk about the books that have influenced them from childhood to the present day.

Today I am featured along with the always witty, intelligent and entertaining Teresa of Shelf Love, who I had the enormous pleasure of meeting not once but twice when I lived in New York last year. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it!





    1. I enjoyed this visit to Simon’s blog and reading all you and Teresa had to say, Rachel. You and I first read “Jane Eyre” at about the same age, even if more than 4 decades apart, which illuminates what a great novel it is. I’m smiling here as I start my day.

      1. I’m so glad to hear that, Penny! Indeed – the greatest novels are truly timeless – they bond generations together! 🙂

  1. I just knew you would be in the line-up, Rachel, thanks for sharing! I’m feeling a bit better about growing up in a house that didn’t resemble the Reading Room at the British Museum but how lovely that your Mum read to you every night. And Bowen…absolutely! I couldn’t agree more.

    1. I’m nothing if not predictable, Darlene! 🙂 Oh yes, you are certainly not the only one who grew up with no books. Books are clutter in my mum’s mind and she hates clutter! All of my books used to traumatise her when she came in my room to hoover! Oh Bowen…The House in Paris is next!!

  2. I love this feature and I’m so glad Simon brought it back for another ‘series’! I loved reading your thoughts on Testament of Youth (such a powerful book) and smiled to read about you and your mother sharing Rosamund Pilcher books – what a lovely way to bond!

    1. Me too Claire! I loved your entry today and can’t wait for the others! Thank you – my mum and I have never really been able to discuss books since – my mum takes about a year to finish anything so I give up in the end!!

  3. What a good idea this two-handed ‘interview’ is! Excellent questions which helped to reveal the real Rachel for any of Simon’s readers who don’t know you already (can’t be many of those).

    I’m so pleased you cited Elizabeth Bowen, my own adored favourite!

    Thank heaven we had our London libraries with their generous child-friendly lending. My parents weren’t well off enough to buy us books very often but we all 3 read ALL the time. And that’s a kind of drug I can’t do without.

    PS So glad you enjoyed Paris – I felt sure you would – and you described it delightfully.

    1. I know, Simon really hit on a winner there! Thanks Chrissy, I’m pleased you liked reading it!

      Of course Bowen got a mention – she’s been the best thing that’s happened to me (literary wise) this past year!

      I know – Sidcup Library was my best friend growing up! Such a great selection and always willing to order in new books. We were lucky indeed!

      Thank you – Paris totally bowled me over. I can’t wait to visit again! 🙂

  4. Rachel, I loved reading about the experiences that shaped your reading future! Now I want to read a Rosamunde Pilcher for my next escapist read. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Jane Eyre was one of the first classics I read, I think I was a couple of years older than you when you first read it. I just remember being enamored with Rochester, despite the wife in the attic. I completely skipped over her time with the Rivers, I was so eager to have him back in the story.

    1. Thanks Diana, I’m so glad! Definitely try a Rosamund – she’s the best. I really enjoyed Coming Home but I remember The Shell Seekers and September also being very good. Her books tend to be set around the war time so they have some nice historical details in them too.

      Oh yes, me too. I think Mr Rochester has ruined me really. What real man can compare to him?!

  5. Brilliant, so interesting. I too loved Jane Eyre, I got the basics, and now I’m older, and have read The Wide Sargasso Sea I look at the book very differently. Great group blog post, how positive and inclusive blogging can be.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Lilac! Yes, Wide Sargasso Sea really does put a new slant on the book, doesn’t it? I had never thought about Bertha as a real person before and it really turned things on their head. I know – it’s wonderful to take part in something like this and get to know new people too!

  6. It was great fun to share the post over at Simon’s with you! And I wasn’t kidding when I said all the books you mentioned that I haven’t read have been on my list for ages.

    And you were wondering who else I thought you might be. My immediate thought was Rohan from Novel Readings who, like you, wrote several posts on Elizabeth Bowen this past year, as well as several on Vera Brittain. But it turns out Simon doesn’t even know her–I’m constantly amazed at how huge the blogging world is, because all three of you should know each other; your tastes align quite well, I think!

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