Virago Reading Week: Round Up #1

So we’ve come to the end of our first day of Virago Reading Week and here’s what you’ve all been up to so far:

The lovely Joan of Flowers and Stripes posted memories of Viragos she’s read over the years on Sunday and a quote from Mary Hocking’s Welcome Strangers about little rays of light today.

Several others jumped in a day early on Sunday, with reviews of Chatterton Square by E.H. Young at books as food — she says it’s a novel about two marriages and includes a short bio of the author; Elizabeth and Her German Garden by Elizabeth von Arnim at Luvvie’s Musings, which has given her the new phrase “Man of Wrath”; The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather at The Captive Reader, which Claire says is “a novel about desire and about devotion to one’s art” and finally, I’m not sure if Frances at Nonsuch Book meant to join in, but since she’s reviewed Loitering With Intent by Muriel Spark and is now addicted to her, she’s in anyways!

I’m now wanting to read almost every author I’m hearing mentioned! Okay, for the posts today…

There have been many reading plans announced for the week: Danielle at A Work in Progress wants to get to E.M. Delafield, Elizabeth von Arnim, Elizabeth Taylor and Molly Keane; Katherine at A Girl Walks Into a Bookstore will be starting with Molly Keane; Rochester Reader has Barbara Pym and Elizabeth Taylor lined up; Iliana at Bookgirl’s Nightstand has a whole stack of books to choose from and wants some advice on what to read first; Bride of the Book God is going to focus on Margaret Atwood, Angela Carter and E.M. Hull; Christine is going to read Barbara Pym and reread Rosamond Lehmann; at Mother Etc. it’s Janet McNeil’s wonderfully named Tea at Four O’Clock and more Molly Keane; and Old English Rose will be reading Barbara Comyns and Winifred Holtby.

Whew! Darlene at Roses over a Cottage Door is reminiscing over the wonderful turning point in her life that finding Diary of a Provincial Lady three years ago brought her as she begins to read another E.M. Delafield novel, while Thomas at My Porch also describes his first Virago discovery in London years ago, riding the tube with Vita Sackville-West!

And finally, there are two reviews today, the indefatigable Verity at Verity’s Virago Venture (should you ever wonder about an unknown Virago, she’s got it reviewed there!) and she’s focusing on the unusual suspects this week, starting with Glitter of Mica by Jessie Kesson, a tragic beautifully written story set in a farming community in Scotland. Carol at Book Group of One has also reviewed Frost in May by Antonia White, the very first book to be published in the Virago Modern Classics collection.

To quote Carmen Callil again (from the same article as before):

This novel, about a nine-year-old girl closeted in an English convent, is a classic – funny, wonderfully written, its heroine a young Everywoman up against an authoritarian and frightening body of adults who insist on subduing her spirit in the name of God. Rosamond Lehmann used to tell me how often her readers wrote to her exclaiming of one of her novels: “This is my story.” Frost in May was mine. I had to republish it.

These books are our stories. (And if I’ve missed anyone’s posts, please let me know or pass your links onto Rachel for tomorrow.)

Oh, I forgot to add that JoAnn at Lakeside Musing noted that it’s also Edith Wharton’s birthday today! And there’s also a fantastic Virago Modern Classics group on LibraryThing, with more people joining in Virago Reading Week through there. They’ve included a link to many free downloadable Viragos (and Persephones) here.

Have a great day tomorrow! I’ve already finished my first book today and am inspired to try to read as many as I can this week, let’s see who can read the most!

14 thoughts on “Virago Reading Week: Round Up #1

  1. Alex says:

    What an excellent start to the week! Thank goodness it’s a public holiday tomorrow in the land downunder and I can get some serious reading done !!

    • Carolyn says:

      Thanks, Alex! I’m very glad I’m not working right now (and glad you have a holiday in Australia too, what for?), so have lots of time to revel in all this. 🙂

  2. carolwallace says:

    What an elegant way to do the round-up! And you even get neatly around the “making me want to buy more books” problem with the link to free downloads. Well done!

    • Carolyn says:

      So have I, I’m a full Virago convert now. I’m so glad for your enthusiasm to get this started, it’s a wonderful time! Looking forward to your post today. 🙂

  3. Danielle says:

    Thanks very much for gathering up all the links–I have lots of new places to discover and expect I’ll be adding ever more titles to my wishlist! I know I won’t finish all my Viragos that I’ve chosen this week, but I am thoroughly enjoying spending all my reading hours dipping into them! I might have to carry this over for a while after the readalong has finished!

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