Sunday Salon: Notes from a Traveling Reader

Today, I have returned to the U.S. after a wonderful week in England, most of which I spent in Yorkshire, although I did manage two nights in London as well. I got to see many sites of literary significance in the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, as well as a few in London. I also had the great pleasure of meeting some wonderful blogging friends: Catherine of Juxtabook, Claire of Paperback Reader, and Simon of Stuck in a Book. I’ll have a fuller report—with pictures!—next week.

This week, however, I wanted to share a bit about all the reading I did leading up to and during my journey, and to tell you about my bookish booty from my travels. So consider this a special edition of my usual Notes on a Reading Life.

Books Completed

Almost all of the books read have some sort of connection to sites I visited in my travels.

  • On Art and Life by John Ruskin. This tiny volume from Penguin’s Great Ideas series was a great way to get a taste of Ruskin before visiting his home in the Lake District.
  • On the Other Side of the Dale by Gervase Phinn. An amusing book about a Yorkshire school inspector that sometimes crossed the line into too precious. Perfectly fine for an airplane book, but not fabulous.
  • Nineteen Seventy Four by David Peace. A gritty novel about disappearances of children in the Yorkshire area. So graphic at times that I almost gave up on it, but the writing and story were just interesting enough to keep me going.
  • Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson. A wonderful story set in York of three generations of women, all told in the refreshing voice of the youngest daughter from the youngest generation.
  • The Abyss by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. The 18th Morland Dynasty book and one of the best yet, with one of the Morland men behaving like a character right out of a Brontë novel.
  • Hetty Dorval by Edith Wilson. This book about a young woman who makes friends with a woman of low reputation is mostly set in Canada, so the story is not connected to my travels, but I did buy it at the Persephone shop and read it just in time for Claire and Verity‘s Persephone Reading Week.

New Acquisitions

  • Hetty Dorval by Ethel Wilson. I was looking for a good, short read for Persphone week, and this was one that Claire recommended.
  • Every Eye by Isobel English. Another Persephone, this short novel about one young woman and two love affairs has been on my list for years.
  • Tell It to a Stranger by Elizabeth Berridge. My final Persephone, this one is a collection of wartime stories.
  • Life at Grasmere by Dorothy and William Wordsworth. This book is part of Penguin’s English Journeys series, which Thomas has been reading. My day in the Lake District included a stop for tea in Grasmere, right next to the church where the Wordsworths are buried. When I saw this little book in London a few days later, I couldn’t pass it up.
  • The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter. Claire was giving this away as part of her Angela Carter month celebration. My library doesn’t have it, so I was happy to win a copy, although I may try to read another Carter before delving into this more controversial work.
  • White Is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi. I read and enjoyed (but did not love) Oyeyemi’s The Icarus Girl preblog, and the reviews have gotten me curious about this book. Catherine had seen me mention it, so she passed along her copy to me.
  • The Taste of Sorrow by Jude Morgan. So I had 10 pounds cash left when I was at the airport. I had to spend it, and better a book than crisps and candy, right? This novel about the Brontës has gotten great reviews, and it seemed like a great choice for capping off my trip.
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22 Responses to Sunday Salon: Notes from a Traveling Reader

  1. Sasha says:

    Welcome home, then, Teresa. :) A little envious/giddy about your Persephone stash. But more intrigued about your last-minute acquisition, Jude Morgan’s book on the Brontes. I haven’t heard of it, but I like reading about the sisters, so, well, yeah. :)

    I’m rereading Jane Eyre this month, actually. There’s a readalong, and I got myself a new copy since the old one (that was my mom’s before) is falling apart and kind of musty, haha.

    Anyhoo. Hello!

    • Teresa says:

      Sasha, I’m excited to read the Morgan book, especially after visiting Haworth. Jane Eyre is one of my all-time favorite books, and I haven’t read much about the sisters. This book has apparently been well-received by the Bronte biographer/scholar world, so it seems like a good one to try–but I do want to read an actual biography or two at some point as well.

  2. Jenny says:

    Welcome home! Behind the Scenes at the Museum is next up on my list after I finish my two in-progress books, so I’m eager to see what you thought of it!

    • Teresa says:

      Jenny, I LOVED Behind the Scenes at the Museum. I’m going to try to write a review in the next day or two while it’s still fresh in my mind.

  3. Iris says:

    I’m glad to hear you enjoyed your trip! And you did buy so many amazing-sounding books! I haven’t read any of them, although I’m hoping to read The Icarus Girl soon.

    • Teresa says:

      Iris, I passed up even more amazing sounding books! I had to keep telling myself I didn’t want my suitcase to be too heavy to lug up the stairs when I got home.

      And The Icarus Girl is worth reading, even if it wasn’t a favorite for me.

  4. Welcome home! It was lovely to meet you. book shop with you and I hope that you enjoy your new acquisitions.

    • Teresa says:

      It was great to meet you too, Claire! Thanks for getting the Macbeth tickets and book shopping with me. I’ve already enjoyed my first Persephone from the stack!

  5. Steph says:

    Can’t wait to hear more about your trip (and see pictures)! And I’m so glad you finally got to read Behind The Scenes at the Museum – it was the first Atkinson I read, but I really loved it!

  6. Jenny says:

    Glad you had a good trip! And it’s exciting you acquired White is for Witching, it’s miles better than The Icarus Girl. Promise. I hope you enjoy it!

    • Teresa says:

      Jenny, I remember you liking White Is for Witching more than the Icarus Girl! I liked Icarus Girl well enough to read more Oyememi anyway, and if White Is for Witching is indeed miles better, I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

  7. Kathleen says:

    Sounds like a wonderful trip. I can’t wait to hear more about it!

  8. rebeccareid says:

    Oh how fun! I have this dream of going to the lake district some day, sitting on the hills on a clear day and reading Wordsworth. Sounds like you got some great locational reading in and some wonderful new books to begin!

  9. Simon T says:

    It was lovely to meet you! I wish I could comment on the books mentioned, but I’ve only read one of ’em – White is for Witching, and I must confess it confused me no end. I hadn’t a clue what was going on for most of it…!

    • Teresa says:

      Simon, I’ve heard mostly good things about the Oyeyemi, so it’s always helpful to have someone lower the expectations a bit!

  10. Juxtabook says:

    Rob and I throughly enjoyed meeting you too Teresa. Glad you enjoyed your stay and are home safe and sound. looking forward to hearing what you thought about the Globe!

    • Teresa says:

      Catherine, Thanks again for suggesting Skipton and all your help. It was a great experience all around! And we did stay dry at the Globe, thanks to our smart decision to stay against the wall and under the tiny bit of roof over the yard.

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