Persephone Reading Week Wrap-up



As Persephone Reading Week draws to a close, I am more enthusiastic than ever about his wonderful boutique publisher. They have done such a brilliant job bringing some great books back to life in unquestionably the most stylish packaging in the market today. The look good, they feel good, they smell good. I can’t wait to buy more Persephone. I can’t wait to read more Persephone. I can’t wait to blog more about Persephone.

It was so much fun bopping all over the Web reading so many different Persephone Posts. There were at least 10 bloggers who participated that were new to me and who have now been added to my feed reader. And I can’t wait for the fabulous Claire and Verity to host next year’s PRW. Thanks to them and the bloggers like Simon T., Simon S.,  and Dovegreyreader Scribbles who first piqued my interest in these lovely little lovelies.

To round out my posts for PRW, I thought I would leave you all with a ranking of sorts of the 9 Perephones I have read so far with links to my reviews. (I only read 4 for this week, don’t think I read all these for PRW.)

The Great
The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
High Wages by Dorothy Whipple

The Very Good
The Priory by Dorothy Whipple
The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Greenery Street by Denis Mackail

The Good
House Bound by Winifred Peck
I think Peck had a hard time making up her mind what this book should be about.

The Okay
Cheerful Weather for the Wedding by Julia Strachey
I think this one would improve with a re-read, now that I understand the pacing.

Mariana by Monica Dickens
I think the online hype killed this one for me.

The Kinda Boring
The Runaway by Elizabeth Anna Hart, Illustrated by Gwen Raverat
I am not much of a children’s book reader and found this much too slow and simple to keep my interest. The woodcuts illustrations are amazing. I had hoped to scan some of the more brilliant ones but my scanner died. Boo hoo.

10 thoughts on “Persephone Reading Week Wrap-up

  1. Paperback Reader May 9, 2010 / 10:26 am

    Thank you so much for your enthusiasm this week, Thomas; your posts have been a joy to read and have reinvigorated my own passion for the books.

    Mariana is one that I am trying not to allow the hype to spoil. I too think that Cheerful Weather for the Wedding will offer so much more on a reread; it is one I appreciate more after time.


  2. C.B. James May 9, 2010 / 10:42 am

    I've been following along rather than participating this week. I can't help but wonder if this may be the future of publishing–small boutigue publishers who release collectible books like these.

    I think this sort of publishing has a good chance of surviving the iPad/Kindle revolution.


  3. verity May 9, 2010 / 11:26 am

    Like Claire, I want to say thank you for your enthusiastic paritcipation this week – I am glad you have enjoyed it and I love your finishing post!


  4. kissacloud May 9, 2010 / 2:45 pm

    Thomas, love that categorized list! As I also found Mariana a little disappointing, I'll take that to mean that the ones on your Great and Very Good lists I might also probably very well like.


  5. JoAnn May 9, 2010 / 4:09 pm

    Sorry to hear Mariana was disappointing. I was surprised to find it at B&N on Friday, and brought it home with me…


  6. mary May 9, 2010 / 5:21 pm

    You're a kinder reviewer than me, Thomas – I thought House-Bound and Mariana were both pretty dire. Good to see some more measured enthusiasm for Persephones though; I do enjoy them but I'm often put off by all the gush from the faithful!


  7. Thomas at My Porch May 9, 2010 / 10:16 pm

    Paperback Reader and Verity: Oh, it was all my pleasure. Thank you two for doing such a splendid job hosting.

    CB: I definitely think you are on to something. I will never use an electronic book as long as I live. Even if they stopped printing books tomorrow. I could find enough second hand to last me my lifetime.

    Kiss a Cloud: Well you should read one and see if your theory holds.

    JoAnn: It was worth reading, just didn't get high marks from me. Plus, I would have bought it for the cover alone.

    Mary: My House-Bound review was pretty honest. It felt like she should have stuck to writing something fluffy and fun. But she tried to mix in a bunch of disassociated serious things but didn't really have the courage of her convictions. I can understand why folks liked Mariana, I just wasn't one of them. I didn't really review that one, I focused on a breakdown of the cover art. In which I focused on the pervier aspects of the painting.


  8. dolcebellezza May 9, 2010 / 11:44 pm

    I agree with you completely about The Home-Maker being great. It's my favorite so far, but I've only read To Bed With Grand Music, Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, and half of Greenery Street in addition to The Home-Maker. That book had just such an interesting twist, to me, and was so revelatory about the roles we play in our homes; just because we're supposed to play a certain one doesn't mean it's the right one for us.

    I'm loving Greenery Street, which I know you do, too. How fitting that Mackeil was a friend of AA Milne (a most beloved author to me) and Ernest Shepherd did the cover in one edition. I'll get back to you when I finish it, but I can see why you love it.


  9. Jessica May 10, 2010 / 5:18 am

    This event seems to have passed me by but I'm glad you have enjoyed it. I myself will be checking out some of their titles


  10. mary May 10, 2010 / 6:28 am

    I've just clicked back to see your take on the book jacket art … hilarious, Thomas! … I hadn't looked at it so closely before as my edition is a battered old Penguin.


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