My Photo

Bookish Places


Blog powered by Typepad

« Lost in the Stacks: A Girl at Twenty | Main | Across the Common by Elizabeth Berridge »



Wow. I've read five of the books on the nonfiction list, and bits and pieces of a few others. I'm kind of surprised.

I do hope you have better luck with The Long Shadow this time. If not, I'd say it's time to skip ahead, maybe to #8 or #10.

Margaret Powling

Ooh, what a lovely post, Danielle, with so much to set me thinking, and thanks for the link to those lovely bookmarks!


Teresa--I love nonfiction but I don't read as much as I should so I'm not surprised I've read so few--would like to read more, though. I think I just need to give The Long Shadow a little time--I tend to set books aside too readily if they don't grab me right away.
Margaret--Isn't that like for the bookmarks great? I want to try and make some and plan on getting some art paper at a local craft store in order to do so.


As far as Frances' project goes, I've found all of the original English novellas available for free online, so I'll probably join in with a few. However, the overwhelming malesness and complete whiteness/Anglo-Europeanness of the authors is a bit of a turnoff for me.

There's a much easier way to make those corner page bookmarks! At least, I think it's easier; this way starts with a square and you just fold it into the triangle. Here's a link:

That Guardian list was pretty ridiculous: only fifteen women! And eighty-six of the authors are white! And almost all of them come from the classical/Western culture! Ugh. Not to mention it's weird mix of publishing years! I'll add a few from its list to my TBR, and some of the (seventeen) listed ones I've read I've really loved, but I find lists like that so obnoxious. If only they didn't have such sweeping titles, they wouldn't annoy me so. ;)


Love that article on the country house - thanks for the list. I didn't get on with The Line of Beauty or whatever it was called but the new Alan Hollinghurst does sound interesting - one to look out for.

I grew up playing in the grounds of Knole House - it's a spectacular place but precious little is available to view inside. Apparently 365 rooms is just a guesstimate - the place is so huge that it's impossible to count all the rooms and staircases!


What a great post Danielle. Do get that lovely sampler. I have done a similar one. They are fun to do because you can do just 1 emblem at a time although it is addictive as Oh I'll just do one more!


Eva--I was thinking I could probably find most of those novellas at my library (though in other editions)--hadn't thought of looking online. You're right that the lists are (very) short on women authors but it seems that is almost always the case sadly. List are always jumping off places for me for reading ideas, but rarely do they ever reflect a realistic representation of what is "best of" since that is such a subjective thing! :) Thanks for the link for the corner bookmarks--I have some that a friend gave me and I bet that is the template she used! I will have to try it out.
Rachel--I loved that article on country house novels, so I found it fascinating reading. Interesting about The Knoles--it looks absolutely massive, but it's a pity not much is open to the public. I can't imagine how one family could ever have lived there--it would be impossible to keep up--though maybe I have misunderstood how it was used. And I have not read anything by Alan Hollinghurst, but I do like the sound of his new book. It won't be published here until later in the year, but I will certainly be looking for it at the library.
Merilyn--I think I am going to go order it now. I have stitched one other Quaker sampler, but it was much smaller and I did love those motifs. I have wanted this one for ages, so I think I will splurge. And I like the idea of a project that has individual motifs, which should make it easy to pick up and put down.


Great post with a lot of things to discover. The Awakening is one of my favourite books of all time btw. I read a fair share of those non-fiction books or got them at least. The more time I have the more I tend to read non-fiction but I reserve a portion of every day for it.


Oh, you must read Robert Sackville West's book about Knole which came out last year - fascinating stuff.

Liz F

I think I worked out I had read about seven of the books on the Non-fiction list (or bits of them anyway) but hadn't actually heard of some of them which left me feeling a bit dim!
I do read some non-fiction but it is mostly history, nature or travel, nothing particularly heavy.
I do have the Robert Sackville West book about Knole though and hopefully plan to read it when I have a few days away at the beginning of July. Big houses fascinate me too but I don't think I have ever been anywhere as big as Knole, my favourites are usually the smaller ones that you can actually imagine people living in!
I have the Danish version of The Killing on request from the library as I didn't manage to catch it when it was on TV here but it is taking so long that I hope I'm not going to get a message that it is missing (ie stolen)
That sampler makes my fingers itch to get back to doing some stitching - I used to do it but gave up when we had kittens in the house and it got a bit difficult but they are (theoretically) grown up now (one is 9 and the other two are 7)so I might try again.


Thank you for the links to these fascinating articles, especially the one about The English Novel
and the Country House (have printed that one). Inheritance by Robert Sackville-West was among my Christmas presents last year. Still to read though. Just finished The Smell of Summer Grass by Vita Sackville-West's grandson Adam Nicolson, about his restoration of Perch Hill and enjoyed every page of it.
I am very much tempted by the Quaker Sampler now too...


I am so tempted by the August novella reading. I might give one or two a go but we'll see what's going on once August arrives. And I so totally want to make some of those bookmarks. I've somehow managed to read 7 of the nonfiction list and bits and pieces of several others and I have some of the books mentioned on my bookshelves and a couple on my Kindle so I think intent should count :) Knole is gorgeous isn't it? Poor Vita was devasted that she couldn't inherit it because it was entailed. And that sampler is lovely. You deserve the splurge :)


I keep seeing those novellas all over and am very tempted by them - but how expensive are they? I'll have to check it out. Like you, I had also read far more on the list of country house novels than famous non-fiction, but I haven't read the Go-Between. Something I really need to rectify!


I really liked that Guardian article about country house fiction. And I had no idea that Julian Fellowes was responsible for Downton Abbey. I just went over to Amazon and ordered Snobs, which I've never read. And the bookmarks!! I'm making exactly those right now for the BlogLily Summer Reading Program, which has almost no rules, but a fair amount of swag.


Caroline--That's really good you read NF every day. I love nonfiction, only I always seem to pick up a novel when I want to read. I need to do the same as you! I also love The Awakening--I need to reread it--and perhaps I will soon. I also like Kate Chopin's short stories, too.
Verity--Thanks very much for the suggestion. I think I heard chat about it earlier but didn't realize what it was. I have requested it from my library--was pleased to see they actually have it!
Liz--I've read plenty of other books, but I always seem to miss the ones that make these lists! You've done better than me--I should really read more that are on the list And on my shelves! I love looking at pictures and reading about the families who live in those great houses--it's really fascinating since we don't have quite the same thing here--some nice places on the east coast like the Biltmore--would love to go back there and see some in England, too! I'm not sure why the Danish Killing has never been released here--I thought I might be able to see it streaming online, but so far no luck. And the sampler is on its way. I just need to buy fabric and floss! :) I keep my projects away from my cats. If I leave anything sitting out they think it is an invitation for them to go and plop themselves down on top of it.
Catharina--Someone mentioned that article in an online reading group I am in, so I was happy to see it as I have a great interest in it,too. I am lucky as my library has Inheritance, so I should be getting it soon--not sure when I'll get around to reading it...I haven't really had a lot of interest in Vita Sackville-West, but I admit my interest has been piqued. I think that sampler may actually be Dutch--the designer. I know I had a hard time finding it here but bought it online. I love Quakers and it really appeals to me at the moment--lovely colors, too.
Stefanie--It's dangerous to plan too far in advance--isn't it? But maybe one or two novellas wouldn't mess any plans up too much. Those bookmarks are great--I even have the ruler she used in the photos! I'm moving slowly with my NF reading as usual--but I have noted down a number of titles to try. Why am I not surprised poor Vita didn't get the Knole? Even to live there, though...Imagine! And the Quaker is winging its way to me now. :)
Litlove--I'm not sure of the cost--maybe $10-ish? The thing is I bet many of them are easy to get from the library or in other collections. I know I have several on hand in other editions, but they are very pretty anyway. I loved The Go-Between and will have to reread it sometime.
Lily--Isn't that interesting about Julian Fellowes? I have Snobs and have heard it is very good--must dig it out. I loved Gosford Park--I could watch movies like that over and over!No rules and a fair amount of swag is the best way to do things this summer--I shall keep that in mind myself!

Dorothy W.

I saw that list of nonfiction books, and it's a good one. I didn't add up how many I read, but I've read some of them and would love to read more. I'm tempted also by the Morland dynasty, although I don't need a super-long series to get involved with! But it does sound really interesting.


Dorothy--I like finding more books to read from lists like that--not that I need any help finding more books! :) I've enjoyed the Morland books--I go in phases as you can see but I want to do something similar to Teresa and try and read at least one a month. Will be happy to get out of the Restoration period, though.


Reading (about) Virginia Woolf sparked my interest in Vita Sackville-West. It grew when I visited Sissinghurst and the beautiful gardens she planted there. Then one thing caused another, I read Portrait of a Marriage by her son Nigel Nicolson (and saw the adaptation by BBC), read (in part) her husbands - Harold Nicolson - Diaries and then finally I started reading her works too.
I have saved All Passion Spent for later this year. I think she is a fascinating woman.


Catharina--I think for a long time I've been sort of interested but sort of indifferent about Vita. I do have a few of her novels, which I hope to read some time soon, but after hearing about The Knole and then hearing about her gardening, I am more and more intrigued. I am the same--often one small interest or book will lead to another and another. Now I want to learn more about her. And I have All Passion Spent as well. You'll have to let me know when you are reading it--maybe I can read along!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Books Read in 2020

Books Read in 2019

Books Read in 2018

Books Read in 2017

Books Read in 2016

Books Read in 2015