Sunday Salon: Extending the Virago Celebration

Today is the final day of Rachel and Carolyn‘s wonderful Virago Reading Week. What a wonderful week of celebrating books by and about women! My own Virago Modern Classics experience is limited, mostly involving books by such household names as Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, and the Brontës—and I don’t believe I’ve read any of those in their Virago incarnations. But I’ve heard so many good things about Viragos that I’m eager to read more. Reading posts from other more-experienced Virago-ites has caused my TBR list to grow grown—and several books that were already on my list got a little boost toward the top.

My Virago Collection

Because my own reading selection for the week was not at all successful for me, I’ve decided to extend my Virago joy by selecting another Virago to read. But because I don’t want my second attempt at a Virago edition to be as lack-luster as the first, I’ll need your help. I have gathered up my small collection of Virago editions and ask for you to vote on which one I should try next, probably sometime in February. So cast your vote below and help me ensure that my next Virago choice is a success!

I’d also like to extend the celebration by sharing a bit of Virago joy with you. On the right in the photo above, you’ll see the copy of Spinster by Sylvia Ashton-Warner that I read this week. Now I didn’t like the book much, but others might. It is a green-spined out-of-print Virago, which probably makes it hard to come by cheap. This particular edition is a former library book (from Norway!), so it has a call number on the spine and a due date slip and card pocket in the back. There are also a few dog-eared pages, and it looks like it was originally a paperback that the library pulled apart and converted to a hardcover. So with all those caveats in place, I offer it to you, dear readers. If you’re interested, just mention it in the comments, and I’ll do a drawing on Wednesday.

Drawing results: Simon was the winner of the drawing for Spinster. Congrats!

Thanks again to Rachel and Carolyn for organizing this terrific event. If you haven’t gotten a chance to stop by their blogs and check out their round-ups for the week, I encourage you to do so.You’ll almost certainly find a link to something irresistible!

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26 Responses to Sunday Salon: Extending the Virago Celebration

  1. Carolyn says:

    I voted for Angel because I read it this week and found it quite enthralling (a very clear sighted portrait of the rise and fall of a romantic novelist who deludes herself), but also would put Invitation to the Waltz next, I’m reading a different Rosamond Lehmann now and really liking it too, but for different reasons. It’s beautifully written, a sexual coming of age, something realistic about what young love and all that is really like. So it just depends what you prefer!

  2. Deb says:

    It was hard to choose between Rosamond Lehmann and Angela Carter, but I eventually voted for Rosamond Lehmann–almost an eenie, meenie, minee, moe situation. If you’d had any Barbara Pym on the list, she would have gotten my vote.

    I never win anything (I just checked the lotto numbers and, alas, I’m still not a multi-millionaire), but I’d love my name entered into the drawing.

    • Teresa says:

      I actually have a Pym (Excellent Women) on my shelf, but it’s not a Virago, and I acquired it in 2011, so I’ll have to wait until the TBR Dare is over.

      And the interest in Spinster seems limited, so your chances are very good!

  3. bookssnob says:

    I voted for Lehmann! Her books are remarkable and brilliant. Thank you for taking part this week and for offering a give away – you don’t need to enter me for the drawing – I have enough Viragos on my TBR pile as it is!!

    • Teresa says:

      Everyone seems to love Lehmann! I feel a little bad offering a book I didn’t like, but I’d rather it move to a home where it will be appreciated!

  4. Frances says:

    I am such a Virago neophyte that my vote should hardly count but I cast mine for the Angela Carter because I am currently reading Fireworks, my first book by her, and am blown away. What a surprise! Claire of Paperback Reader has often sung Carter’s praises but I had no idea until I started reading. And then Simon of Savidge Reads posted on a Carter title this morning. And now I feel a new reading obsession coming on. I hope Angela gets along with Muriel.

    • Teresa says:

      Strangely enough, this Carter came to me from Claire–I won it in her Angela Carter celebration. And I believe it was also the very book Simon S. posted on this morning. I’m looking forward to giving her a try because she sounds like just my kind of writer.

  5. Katrina says:

    I voted for Lehmann but I’ve also enjoyed Angel and Good Behaviour.
    I also have too many in my TBR pile!

  6. Steph says:

    Without reading any of the comments, I picked the Lehmann because I was so intrigued by the title… lo and behold, she is a favorite amongst Virago fans! I hope your next exposure is more successful!

  7. Jenny says:

    I went for Angela Carter because The Bloody Chamber has been on my list for a while. She sounds like my kind of author!

  8. Pingback: Virago Round Up: The Final Countdown! | Book Snob

  9. I haven’t read any of these so I really had no business voting; however, I’m really intrigued by Frost in May, which I believe is the very first Virago, so I thought that would be a good choice.

  10. heather says:

    I voted Invitation to the Waltz because that is the one I most recently finished reading. I’ve also read Angel by Elizabeth Taylor, but it is my least favorite Elizabeth Taylor. Also have read a couple of Molly Keane’s that I liked, but one I couldn’t stand, so very hit and miss with her. Lehmann is a safer bet I think and it looks as though the majority are going for her. Spinster is one I haven’t seen before, so I’d be interested in the drawing for that one!

    • Teresa says:

      I think the Lehmann is far enough ahead that it’ll win out. I’ve heard Keane can be hit or miss, and I’ll keep in mind your comment about Angel if it doesn’t work out for me. I do like to give authors two tries before I give up.

      And you’re in the drawing!

  11. Simon T says:

    Spinster is a Virago I’d love to read, if the draw includes non-US participants…

  12. michelle says:

    I voted for Angel as it sounds intriguing. Id love to be entered into the giveaway (if it extends to international entrants) as I dont own any Viragos and after reading so many amazing posts – this would be my first.

  13. Dorothy W. says:

    I’ve read two of the books in your poll, the Lehmann and the White, and I enjoyed them both, but the Lehmann is truly magical. That one’s leading now, and I hope it wins! I think I’ll bow out of the book contest this time, but thank you for doing it!

  14. Simon T says:

    Yay! Thanks v much!

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