Many thanks for the suggestions on which book(s) to choose for Once Upon a Time. I've narrowed the stack down and plan on starting with Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones. So many people recommended her books in general and that one specifically I decided to start there (sadly it seems to be out of print, but my library had it), though I'm very tempted by a number of other books. So I think I'll keep the stack close by (just in case) for a while with Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell on top. I don't want to take on too much, but I like being optimistic about my reading.
I'm very excited about a library book I brought home this week. I had to request it through interlibrary loan and there aren't many copies out there, so I was pleased that a library was willing to loan it to me. It's Early Stories by Daphne du Maurier. According to the preface all the stories were written between 1927-1930 before her first novel was published. She was not yet twenty-three when she wrote these, so they should be very interesting. The book is a Bantam Books edition published in1949. Just in case there are any DdM fans out there that might be interested it contains the following stories: Panic, La Sainte-Vierge, A Difference in Temperament, And Now to God the Father, Adieu Sagesse, Frustration, Piccadilly, Tame Cat, Mazie, The Supreme Artist, Angels and Archangels, Indiscretion, Fairy Tale, The Closing Door, The Lover, Leading Lady, Nothing Hurts for Long and Week-End. I'll be putting this collection on the back burner temporarily while I read her Early Stories. Although some of the stories have since been republished in other collections, most are new to me. This will be a teaser for the new Virago collection, The Doll, coming out in May.
I finished The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham yesterday and was quite bowled over by it. I think I'm going to rank Maugham up there as a favorite author. His prose reminds me of William Maxwell and Wallace Stegner--beautiful, simple yet sophisticated and very polished. I need to ponder this one for a few days before trying to write about it. I decided to pick up E.M. Forster's (whose prose I also love) Maurice next. Although the Maugham was quite satisfying, I'm not sure I'd call it a really happy ending (need to think on it), and I want to read a classic with an (assured) happy ending, which I am told Maurice has. Also I just really want to read more of Forster's books. I know I should be thinking about this year's book list (which I tell myself I am determined to actually read ALL of), that has a number of classics, but I'm just not "there" at the moment. I keep telling myself there is Plenty of time yet, as April begins tomorrow!
I was excited to see that Virago is going to be reissuing more of Winifred Holtby's books. I was lucky enough to win a copy of South Riding not too long ago. I've got it on hand and am going to try and read it before it airs on Masterpiece Theatre early in May. As a side note I had been watching the original Upstairs Downstairs productions from 1971-1975, but I had better step things up as the remake will be airing in April (watch the trailer here).
I rarely get excited about TV, but along with all the Masterpiece productions that I can't wait to watch I'm also very curious about the AMC remake of the Danish show The Killing, which begins this weekend. I would greatly prefer to see the Hugely Successful original, but apparently we aren't getting it over here. I can't decide whether it's a matter of the powers that be thinking Americans just won't read subtitles (maybe they won't?) or thinking they can possibly improve on it (which I'm sort of doubtful, though I might be proven wrong), but I'm willing to give it a try. Maybe the episodes are available online somewhere??
And one last thing. I was very excited to discover that I have won a Library Thing early review copy of S.J. Bolton's Now You See Me. I've been a great fan of her work since she published her first book. When I saw it on the list of new review copies I had to put my name in the drawing, but I didn't expect to get one. It's been ages since I've tried, so this was a pleasant surprise. And the best thing is I won't have to wait until June to read it. I hope to see it in the mailbox soon.
Since I have lots of reading lined up, I had better go get to it!