1. A used copy of Cheerful Weather for the Wedding by Julia Strachey!!!! I have been wanting to read this Persephone book for a while now and kept checking my library catalogue, hoping somehow they’d get their act together! But instead I found my own copy in a little secondhand bookstore in Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba called Poor Michael’s (there’s a photo below of the cosy interior). You never know (and how important to scour every inch of the fiction section!)
2. The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith and Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding. I don’t think I’ve ever read any 18th century novels, but sometimes I get curious about the novels Jane Austen and co. must have read that inspired them to write. Plus Oliver Goldsmith was mentioned in the notes for Wives and Daughters as influencing various aspects of Elizabeth Gaskell’s writing and the opening sentences had the same homey feeling as hers.
3. Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. I’m wanting to read more Victorian novels and this was recommended by Nicola at Vintage Reads. I also read a play based on it for a theatre history paper on Victorian melodrama — most plays from the Victorians (besides Oscar Wilde) aren’t studied anymore for good reason (check out Wilkie Collins’ adaptation of his own novel The Woman in White if you don’t believe me), but they are good good fun to read!
4. Jean Santeuil by Marcel Proust. This is an early unfinished novel of Proust’s and of course, I couldn’t pass it up. He writes more about lilacs!
5. Finally, The Victorian House by Judith Flanders. We drove into Winnipeg one day on our holidays (just to go to a bigger bookstore there) but none of the books in fiction were impressing me too much, so I skipped on over to history. Most history books aren’t in bookstores very long, so getting what interests me when I can is the way to go. I bought a copy of The Victorians by A.N. Wilson years ago and afterwards often asked myself why I got that instead of something fun and easier to read, but now years later, I’m reading it and glad to have a copy.
6. The bunny. I accidentally left some things behind at my in-law’s cottage and needed something to cheer me up! (Interestingly, I seem to write about bunnies whenever I go on holidays!)
Of course, after bringing a whole bag of books with me and buying more on the way, I only read Wives and Daughters all week. It’s a lovely holiday book, engrossing, light, funny and touching. I’ll review it soon.