shelf by shelf : from Galgut to Gordon

shelf (2)It has only been two days since my last shelf by shelf, but I was in the mood to do another one, so why wait. The near constant rain we have been having for the last three weeks is also conducive to blogging.

Taking a quick glance at this shelf I think it may be the exact opposite of shelf 9 in regard to how many I have completed. Maybe I should take a lesson from Phyllis Rose and read the whole shelf from end to end. I know I don’t have that kind of discipline but I like to toy with ideas like that. I was also wondering the other day what it would be like if I got paid to do nothing but read. Each morning at a set time I would have to sit down and pick up a novel and just read until it was time for a break or lunch. No internet, no switching books, just one book, read it until it was done, move on the to the next one. Eight hours a day for a week or two. Would I like that I wonder? Would I actually get much read? Would I eventually stop falling asleep? Would I end up hating reading? I’m sure I will never find out.

Without further ado, I give you, Shelf 10.

Don't forget to click. Plenty of room to zoom.
Don’t forget to click. Plenty of room to zoom.

SHELF TEN: 33 books, 27 unread, 6 read, 18% completed

Galgut, Damon – Arctic Summer
A fictional account of E.M. Forsters time in India. The premise of this book is fantastic and I have it on good authority from Eric at Lonesome Reader that the book is well worth the read. I have read about 50 pages in it, but that was about a year ago, so I will be starting from the beginning when I pick it up again.

Gallant, Mavis – The Cost of Living
Gallant, Mavis – Paris Stories
I like her name, I like NYRB Classics, and I like the promise of stories about Paris. Only thing is, I have never read a word Gallant has written.

Gallico, Paul – Flower for Mrs. Harris (completed)
Easily one of my favorite books of all time. Your heart has to be made of stone to not fall in love with Mrs. Harris. I dream about a really fantastic period film being made of this book with lots of 1950s Dior fashions.

Galsworthy, John – The Forsyte Saga
I have read some of this and enjoyed it immensely. Just put it down for some reason. I loved the TV adaptation made of it in 2002.

Gardam, Jane – Old Filth (completed)
Gardam, Jane – The Man in the Wooden Hat
Gardam, Jane – God on the Rocks
Gardam, Jane – The Queen of the Tambourine (completed)
Gardam, Jane – Lost Friends

Gaskell, Elizabeth – The Cranford Chronicles (completed)
Gaskell, Elizabeth – North and South

Gellhorn, Martha – A Stricken Field
Gellhorn, Martha – Liana

Gibbons, Stella – The Matchmaker
I am really no fan of Cold Comfort Farm so I am not sure how I will feel about this one.

Gibson, William – The Cobweb

Gide, Andre – Corydon

Gilbert, David – & Sons

Giono, Jean – The Man Who Planted Trees (completed)

Gill, Brenden – The Day the Money Stopped

Gilliatt, Penelope – A State of Change

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins – The Yellow Wallpaper etc.

Gissing, George – In the Year of Jubilee

Glaspell, Susan- The Morning is Near Us
Glaspell, Susan- Brook Evans
Glaspell, Susan- The Clock of the Conquest
Glaspell is a Persephone author but I have never read anything by her. For some reason I am compelled to buy her stuff when I come across it. Hoping I love her I guess.

Goldsmith, Oliver – The Vicar of Wakefield
Such a short book, yet I got sidetracked before I got even half way through. I will return to it one day.

Gomez-Arcos, Augustin – The Carnivorous Lamb (completed)
This was one of my favorite books in the late teens and early twenties. I am pretty sure someone important in my life introduced me to it, and it was a big part of my young gay persona, but now I don’t remember the details of how I came upon it. I really need to read it again to see if it is brilliant or embarrassing or somewhere in between.

Gordimer, Nadine – The House Gun
Gordimer, Nadine – None to Accompany Me

Gordon, Mary – The love of My Youth
Gordon, Mary – Pearl
Gordon, Mary – The Other Side

NEXT TIME: Goudge to Hemingway

10 thoughts on “shelf by shelf : from Galgut to Gordon

  1. Liz Dexter May 23, 2016 / 5:11 am

    A very varied selection and I totally think you SHOULD read the whole lot in order. But I don’t think I’d like to be paid to read all day, either. Not with nothing else. I used to have whole weekends of reading and (at least) writing letters in my 20s and looking back, it made me go a bit odd and wasn’t massively healthy!


    • Thomas June 3, 2016 / 12:37 pm

      When I was in my 20s and didn’t have a TV and there was no social media I read less than I read now. I wonder if I was 46 (as I am now) in 1995 if I would have read tons and tons?


  2. Karen K. May 23, 2016 / 11:08 am

    I’ve read both the Glaspells published by Persephone and liked both of them very much. And I loved North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell much more than Cranford, which seemed to me just a quirky collection of vignettes set in a small town. N&S has a much better narrative (also a great BBC adaptation). I’d also recommend Gaskell’s Wives & Daughters if you haven’t read it yet, it is long but so wonderful.

    I have checked out Old Filth from the library several times and just never got to it. I love the Europa editions, I can hardly resist buying them when I see them in the bookstore.


    • Thomas June 3, 2016 / 12:38 pm

      I think if I had tried to read Cranford prior to seeing the wonderful TV version, I probably would not have appreciated it in the way I do now.


  3. Sarah Faragher May 24, 2016 / 1:21 pm

    I was just holding a copy of “Old Filth” (which I’ve had sitting around for a few months) while thinking, “I am not going to read this any time soon. If ever.” I read “Crusoe’s Daughter” a few years ago, lured by its bookish cover. Didn’t love it but am tempted to try again. But I think I like the Europa editions more for their looks than their content. A blanket statement based on the very few I have actually read (Jane Gardam, Muriel Barbery), I should say. I keep meaning to try Elena Ferrante and James Hamilton-Paterson but I always seem to have something else I want to read much more, first. I agree with Karen K. above – the editions are very appealing, design-wise. You see a few and you want to have many.


    • Thomas May 26, 2016 / 1:54 pm

      Sarah, I really liked Old Filth when I read it but there was a certain quality to it that I can’t begin to describe that has made me hesitate continuing the series.

      I think you may be right on Muriel Barbery and Elena Ferrante (and perhaps Gardam once I read more), but I have had good Europa success with some of the unknown (to me) authors I have come across. I really liked Jenn Ashworth’s A Kind of Intimacy, Bernard Tammuz’s Minotaur, the Massimo Carlotto noir books, The Sexual Life of an Islamist in Paris by Leila Maroune and some others.

      But to your point I have come across an equal number that I haven’t been very happy with.


  4. Susan in TX May 26, 2016 / 11:22 am

    I’ve been wondering lately if I would have the self-discipline to read any of my shelves “straight across.” I don’t think I could do it…it would require a compelling motivation for sure. As far as getting paid to read, I don’t think I could do it all day every day. But, on to the shelf. I agree about Mrs. Harris – you have to be without a heart not to love her. I have that same edition of the Galsworthy that I picked up on Amanda’s recommendation, but I haven’t started it yet. LOVED North and South – Gaskell’s writing is just beautiful in that book (and the movie is fairly faithful with Richard Armitage). I’ve read one Jane Gardam which I didn’t care for because it heavily featured a cat, and I am most definitely a dog person. That said, I have a few of her others on my TBR shelf and I’m willing to give her another go. I also have some Stella Gibbons waiting on me. I recognized Glaspel as a Persephone author, but haven’t read her yet.


    • Thomas June 3, 2016 / 12:39 pm

      That’s two votes in favor of North and South. I must read it.


  5. biggardenblog June 2, 2016 / 4:20 pm

    [J] Oliver Goldsmith’s The Vicar of Wakefield is a moralistic novel from a time in European (specifically English, of course – though D would argue YORKSHIRE, OF COURSE! ;~) ) when all writing was expected to be educational, scientific, political, religious, or moral/improving – ie worthy. (But if you were a gentleman of substance with an account in good standing at a bookseller, books of an altogether different quality might be offered … illustrated books, if you get my meaning). Nonetheless, The Vicar of Wakefield is a pleasant little tale well told, and has remained in print on account of that virtue, rather than the virtues of the protaganist (which are notable of course, but less valued in these days). I thought you’d like to know that.


    • Thomas June 3, 2016 / 12:40 pm

      I stopped half way through it but know I will enjoy it when I try and again. (And start from the beginning.)

      Liked by 1 person

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